Two Saturdays ago, Bloomington finally got the chance to hear Joshua Redman perform. The famed saxophonist and his band graced the stage at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre Feb. 16, sponsored by Jazz From Bloomington. But the concert nearly didn't happen at all. Redman was originally slated to perform on Sept. 11, but the show was called off in light of our nation's tragedy. The cancellation almost cost the organization everything.\n"We lost quite a bit of money for promotions and ticket refunds," Jazz From Bloomington President Monika Herzig said. "Since this was our first concert of the season and was supposed to create the funds necessary for further events, we nearly had to dissolve the organization. Luckily we hung on and are now back on track financially."\nThat may not have happened had Redman not been able to return to Bloomington for Saturday's performance.\n"Mr. Redman and his management were very accommodating in trying to find a return date," Herzig said.\nJazz From Bloomington has become established as a prime resource in the region for the promotion of jazz-related activities. The organization began humbly in 1997, when a CD of songs by local jazz artists was compiled to benefit the renovation of the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre. Since the fall of 1999, Jazz From Bloomington has been incorporated as a non-profit organization and is now in its third season presenting concerts featuring both nationally recognized and local independent jazz artists.\nThis, in turn, will benefit the community in the long run, Herzig said.\n"The benefit for the community is that we bring in national acts that would usually not get closer than Indianapolis," she said. "Also, we're attracting audiences from as far as Cincinnati and St. Louis to Bloomington for our concerts."\nIn addition to attracting national talent, Jazz From Bloomington also highlights local artists.\n"Our function is partly to bring high-quality jazz to our area, but also to serve as a focal point for all the jazz interest and talent that is already here in Bloomington," said Paul Spade, Chair of the Communications Committee for Jazz From Bloomington.\nAnd music, Spade noted, is an important thing to be promoting these days.\n"Music in general isn't going to bring about world peace all by itself -- or discover a cure for cancer," he said. "But music is all the more important when things are tough."\nJazz From Bloomington has tried to bring college-age fans into the fold with performers such as Redman.\n"Redman's accessible music and this exciting band makes this cutting-edge jazz good for young listeners to check out," Director of Advertising and Promotions David Miller said.\nBut sponsoring shows in the Bloomington area may be just the beginning for the organization. In fact, it hopes to do much more in the future if things go as planned. \n"Something we haven't quite figured out how to do yet, but we want to, is to bring some of this activity and talent to the area surrounding Bloomington, not just keep it here in town," Spade said. "It would be fun to take a concert to Bedford, for instance, or Spencer. I bet some of us would be surprised at how receptive and sophisticated the audience would be."\nThe success or failure of the Redman concert was crucial to the continued survival of Jazz From Bloomington, and the organizers couldn\'t have been more pleased with the turnout.\n"The concert was a huge success," Herzig said. "People came from near and far and every seat in the house was filled. This was our first time selling out the entire theatre. It's very exciting."\nAnd this means good news in the long run for Jazz From Bloomington.\n"We're doing fine, thanks to our membership and
generous sponsors," said Herzig. "The beginning of the year was tight, but we'll be fine. The main impact of (the Redman) show is a great feeling of optimism that jazz is very much alive and there is a great audience out there. It's good to know that our efforts do have an impact."\nHerzig has high hopes for Jazz From Bloomington, and for music in general here in the area. Still, even more than that, she said she believes there is much more that music, jazz in particular, can do for us.\n"Jazz is a very personal, expressive music," she said. "It's a possibility to communicate without words, without language barriers, bringing people together. Maybe that's what we need these days, a way to bring the world community together"