Home Entertainment Meghan Stabile, who linked jazz and hip-hop, dies at 39

Meghan Stabile, who linked jazz and hip-hop, dies at 39

by YAR

Meghan Stabile, who saw jazz and hip-hop as genres that could be cross-pollinated and who, hoping to bring jazz to younger audiences, started a very low-end business producing concerts that explored the intersection of the two , died June 12 in Valrico, Florida. She was 39 years old.

Maureen Freeman, her grandmother, said the cause was suicide. She said that Ms. Stabile had recently moved to Valrico in the hope that it might help her fight depression.

Ms. Stabile began producing shows while still a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She decided to call them Revive Da Live, a name that, at a time when turntables were dominant, captured her interest in backing hip-hop artists with jazz musicians performing live.

“It’s an organic hybrid,” he told The Boston Globe in 2012. “Jazz is in the DNA of hip-hop.”

Once he moved to New York in 2006, he continued to host Revive Da Live events and formed the Revive Music Group, which produced shows, created an online forum called Revivalist, and released several albums in association with Blue Note Records, the prominent jazz label. . .

Ms. Stabile usually worked outside of the jazz mainstream, booking shows at small clubs, but gradually became something of a force in New York.

“In the past year and a half,” wrote The New York Times in 2013, “she has become a presence in town: hiring, promoting, cajoling, mentoring and mentoring young musicians, many of whom are still finding their feet. road. ”

Don Was, now president of Blue Note Records, told The Times that he had first encountered Stabile two years earlier, when he joined the label as creative director and set out to find what was new in jazz.

“I started going online, four or five hours a night,” he said.

“And invariably,” he continued, “every thread I followed led back to Meghan’s site. So night after night, she seemed to be at the center of the energy.”

He was also producing shows in Boston and elsewhere. The goal, as she explained to The Globe, was to energize the jazz scene and connect it with hip-hop-educated audiences. A Revive Music show at Berklee in 2012, for example, was called “Hip Hop 1942” and featured ensembles playing jazz tunes and then showing how they had been sampled by hip-hop artists.

“It’s important to honor the tradition of music, and we still have shows that do that,” he told The Globe. “But we also have to honor the music of today and make it more relevant.”

Blue Note posted a tribute to her on Twitter.

“Beloved by the musicians she worked so hard for,” the post said, “she was a passionate advocate for jazz who built a vibrant scene around music and gave so many deserving artists a platform.”

Meghan Erin Stabile was born on July 26, 1982, in Grand Prairie, Texas, the daughter of Gina Marie Skidds. Her father was not a part of her upbringing and she was raised largely by Mrs. Freeman and an aunt in Dover, NH. Her relationship with her mother, who died last year, was rocky, she told The Times in 2013, and that gave her a testy quality.

“I got kicked out of four schools: three high schools and one middle school,” he said. “To fight. I went through a lot and I made it through. It didn’t break me. So always having that strength has been able to get me out of any kind of situation.”

He entered Berklee as a singer and guitarist, but, Freeman said in a telephone interview, he couldn’t get over stage fright and soon turned to the music business. She also got a job as a waitress at Wally’s Cafe, a jazz club in Boston, and began to absorb the jazz scene.

He began producing, his grandmother said, “with nothing but his brain and a pencil,” adding that he particularly liked helping emerging musicians, though he never had much money.

“He did everything he did,” Freeman said, “but it was always a mess.”

As Ms. Stabile’s reputation grew, some of her shows were held in good-sized venues. In 2013, for example, she booked the 19-piece Revive Big Band at the Highland Ballroom in Manhattan and lined up dancer Savion Glover to appear with it. But an event like that disproved the cane operation of one of her.

“The exterior illusion is great,” he told The Times. “Everyone thinks we are this big business. But look, it’s me sitting here.

In 2013, Ms. Stabile entered into a deal to produce and curate records for Blue Note, resulting in Revive Music Presents: Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1, released in 2015.

“The idea of ​​a variety of modern jazz that is versed in hip-hop, as a matter of course, rather than calculation, dominates much of this music,” wrote Nate Chinen reviewing that record in The Times.

Ms. Stabile had scaled back her production activities in recent years, focusing on her own health. But in a 2017 interview with the CQP website, she said that she thought her work over the years had helped connect two disparate worlds.

“When I started promoting shows, I had to learn how to market specifically to jazz fans and specifically to hip-hop fans,” he said. “I had to find ways to attract them. If he called it a jazz show, then hip-hop fans wouldn’t buy tickets. If I called it a hip-hop show, jazz heads wouldn’t buy tickets.

“So I had to create a new narrative from scratch. Once we got them into the room, once they heard the music, there was no denying how cool it was.”

In addition to her grandmother, Ms. Stabile is survived by a brother, Michael Skidds, and a sister, Caitlyn Chaloux.

Ms. Freeman said that although Ms. Stabile had scaled back her production activities, she had a long-term goal inspired by her own struggles.

“I wanted to promote a wellness center for jazz musicians,” he said, “so that when they didn’t have a concert and they were struggling, they could go to his center.”

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