The founders of CapitalBop, a grass-roots jazz advocacy organization supporting Washington, D.C.’S jazz scene, credited a recent Amherst graduate with getting the once-flagging operation’s groove back, in a recent feature by the Washington Post.
New York Times jazz writer Giovanni Russonello and jazz bassist Luke Stewart, who founded CapitalBop in 2010, had been increasingly focused on their independent careers, with the result that their efforts to provide paying gigs and other support for local musicians suffered. But this year they announced a full spring season of concert presentations, after debuting two new monthly series for local artists.
Russonello and Stewart said the most important factor to their resurgence was when they hired Jamie Sandel ’17 as the organization’s managing director.
“Jamie’s a godsend,” Stewart said. “He does all the critical day-to-day stuff that should require multiple people. . . . He’s really been a game-changer.”
“I’ve been spearheading the projects that we have taken on, but I’m just the execution of Gio and Luke’s vision,” Sandel said.
“That execution requires Sandel to wear multiple hats. He manages everything from accounting and artist relations to writing news releases and checking out late-night gigs around town. He’s also developing the next component of CapitalBop’s revitalization: an educational program led by puppeteer and website contributor Majeedah Johnson,” the Post wrote.