What We Believe

The filmmakers, musicians, investors, and fans of Tradition is a Temple believe that music is a cornerstone of the tradition, culture, community and economy of New Orleans. This music sustains New Orleans through hard times, energizes its local celebrations, is central to the region’s tourism industry, and influences music around the world.

We believe that our world is more beautiful, rich and true thanks to New Orleans Jazz. We also believe musicians should be fairly compensated for sharing their gift.

What else do we believe in?
A lean production and distribution team, transparency, balance, equity and a tradition of integrity.

Here’s the Problem
New Orleans musicians are tragically underpaid for their art. Gig fees and tips are paltry compared with those collected by musicians in other metropolitan cities. Additionally, even though the city’s top musicians are local icons and well-loved by jazz aficionados across the world, most are barely visible across the United States.

New Orleans musicians are often solicited to participate in films, television series, and major music recordings. But rarely are they brought in as partners with the potential to share in the economic success of the recording. They are treated as work-for-hire and paid a set fee for their services. And when royalties are offered the musicians, they simply don’t amount to much. Too often, productions will incur so many expenses that they effectively wipe out any potential for real long term financial benefit for the musicians.

Our Solution
We created a documentary about New Orleans jazz musicians like “The King of Tremé” – Shannon Powell, Jason Marsalis, Topsy Chapman, Lucien Barbarin, and the Tremé Brass Band. Many of these musicians learned to play music while growing up in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Now they’re working to ensure that their tradition survives. They’re passing their music to the next generation – just like the Masters before them.

In addition to being paid a fee for their time, the featured musicians are equity partners in the film.

We managed to keep production costs low while creating a first-class cinematic experience. This means that more revenue will flow back to the musicians once the distribution of the movie is complete. We couldn’t have done this without the help of the The University of New Orleans, College of Liberal Arts, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Allan Houston Foundation, the Hogan Jazz Archives at Tulane University and the Idea Village. Who dat!

The Cinema in Concert
Soon we’ll be taking this movie on the road, with what we believe to be a fresh approach.

We will expand on traditional theatrical release and present Cinema in Concert. A screening of Tradition is a Temple followed by an always amazing musical performance by the Shannon Powell Trio. We’re planning stops at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, major national and international Film and Jazz Festivals and television.

Here’s How You Can Help
The movie is in the last stages of Post-Production. (This means we’ve wrapped our five years of research, filming, recording, and the bulk of the editing.)

Now we need to raise $30,650 dollars to pay for the finishing touches: sound editing, graphics, buying music master rights, and merchandising.

Here are the hard costs we are looking at:

- Additional Hard Drives and Shipping: $700
- Trailer Editing and Color Correction: $850
- Sound Design: $4,000
- Sound Mix: $2,000
- Graphics: $4,000
- Travel for archival research: $500
- Archival Photo Reproduction: $1,600
- Video: Rights and Licenses: $3,000
- Music Synchronization Rights: $3,000
- Music Master Use Rights: $2,000
- 3 copies of each: Digibeta, HDV, HD Cam Tapes: $2,000
- Narration Voice Over: $2000
- DVD, Soundtrack, and Merchandise Production: $5,000
Total $30,650

If you pre-order your copy DVD of the movie now…or buy a t-shirt, soundtrack album, or one of our other sweet gift packages…you can help us cover our costs without diluting the musicians’ ownership rights. Just a few clicks and you’re supporting the swinging music of New Orleans. Check us out on Kickstarter.