Evidencia: New Music for Violin & Afro Latin Ensemble

15 3Arts supporters
$1,075 raised of $5,000 goal
32 Days 09:58:07 LEFT
This project will only be funded if $5,000 is contributed to 3Arts by November 22, 2020, 11:59PM
    • 22% contributed
    • 78% to go

In a Nutshell

I am a jazz violinist who takes inspiration from my Afro-Latin heritage. Over the nearly two decades of leading the James Sanders’ Conjunto ensemble, our sound has largely focused on the work of other composers, encompassing both jazz standards and Afro Latin sources. Earlier this year I began writing original music for the group, feeling that this was a moment to create new sounds that draw on Chicago’s unique place in the jazz universe and my own particular background. With the pandemic, rehearsals and live performances came to a screeching halt. I continued to write, however, and various livestreaming platforms gave me the ability to work out these compositions. Now, with this campaign, we have the opportunity to document this music and get our ensemble playing together again. With your support, we will record these compositions as Evidencia: New Music for Violin & Afro Latin Ensemble.

The Full Story...

Born in Chicago, I am the product of a marriage between an American father and Afro-Dominican mother. I began my career as a jazz musician in the last part of the twentieth century. Early on, I knew I wanted to make music that drew on my lineage and traditions as an Afro-Latino. With that as my north star, I formed James Sanders’ Conjunto to explore the convergence of these forces.

The musicians involved with this project are Jose Rendon (conga), Luis Rosario (bongos), Steve Eisen (sax & flute), Jean-Christophe Leroy (drums), Jose Porcayo (bass), and Leandro López-Várady (arranger & pianist).

In the coming months I plan to get the ensemble in the studio to document the original new music written during the lockdown. The recording that we’ll produce will be the evidence, or evidencia, of our persistence. My hope is that we will emerge from this difficult time with something tangible and meaningful to our musical community: the continuing evolution of Latin jazz and my voice as a composer.

The musicians of Conjunto have seen their livelihoods affected severely by the pandemic, so I also have the well-being of my fellow artists in mind. This project will give them meaningful work and an opportunity to practice the craft that they, like myself, have dedicated their lives to.

Funds raised by this campaign will go toward the musicians' fees, studio costs, and video production. 

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Enthusiastic social media recognition ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above plus a copy of the album and your name in the credits on the music video ($30.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    All of the above, plus an autographed album ($80.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    All of the above, plus an invitation to an online, 30-minute solo violin performance by James ($105.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Autographed album, your name in the album credits, and a 45-minute solo violin performance by James (live or online, in the Chicago area) ($255.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    Above plus "Producer" credit and the opportunity to have a cameo in the video release accompanying the album ($755.00 is tax deductible.)

James Sanders


Violinist James Sanders confidently crosses stylistic borders but stays true to both the jazz violin legacy and his rigorous classical training to create music that transcends categories yet remains faithful to its multiple inspirations, which include his Caribbean heritage. He …

View James Sanders's profile
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    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Veljko Trkulja

    • Tamara Glassburg

    • Tomeka Reid

    • Stuart Mann

    • Tyrone Tate

    • Norman Wear

    • Dan Clucas

    • June Matayoshi

    • bill kronenberg

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Edward Scott

    • Dave Abatangelo

    • Rose Parisi

    • Carolina Cifuentes

    • Dave Belden

make it work


3AP is funded in part by support from:

  Illinois Arts Council