This month in St. Charles, a foodie app makes its global debut and a new box subscription for musicians is unveiled. In addition, a cultural ambassador, Crystal Kotvan, has been named. What they all share in common is something called “Jank-Pop.”
#TheJankGuitarStore is a St. Charles business that has played a strategic role in cultivating local arts and culture since its doors opened in 2015, a news release stated. The business is built on the philosophy behind the Jank genre of music, which is a style of guitar-driven music with three or more distinct stylistic influences, most commonly reggae, rock and classical music.
The St. Charles Jank Award and Jank Ambassadorship, which Kotvan received, recognizes an outstanding local youth who embodies certain principles. The outgoing 2016 St. Charles Jank Award winner and Jank Ambassador, George Ressinger, passed on the award to the 2017 honoree during a ceremony June 12 at The Official Guitar of St. Charles statue in Lincoln Park.
Ressinger was the inaugural St. Charles Jank Award recipient. While studying and working at Fermilab, Ressinger met with public officials, learned about the music industry and advocacy for the arts, made public appearances, and engaged in peer-to-peer mentoring during his tenure as Jank Ambassador, the release stated.
As the torch is passed to the next St. Charles Jank Award winner and Jank Ambassador, a new expansion of cultural resources will be launched by #TheJankGuitarStore.
St. Charles Official Music
Kotvan will be the cultural correspondent for the St. Charles Official Music YouTube Station.
The online station run by #TheJankGuitarStore has received more than a half million views to date, the release stated.
In the role of cultural correspondent, Kotvan will have the unique opportunity to create a voice for local youth by featuring cultural trends that she feels are most significant and how they affect local life in St. Charles.
Kotvan will have the opportunity to sit in on three one-on-one lessons at #TheJankGuitarStore to learn about the signature “Press-Play-Record” instructional method.
Kotvan also will have the opportunity to shadow #TheJankGuitarStore owner Jay Scott Corbin de Baschemin when he visits local schools as a guest lecturer. Kotvan will actively participate and report on local music education.
in Saint-Malo, France
As part of being the Jank Ambassador, Kotvan will travel with a parent or guardian to the future site of the second location of #TheJankGuitarStore in Saint-Malo, France. Kotvan will shadow business meetings and attend cultural outings to get a behind-the-scenes look at the store’s sister location.
An important element of Jank music is being a global citizen and appreciating the influential similarities and differences between cultures around the world. Kotvan will bring that connection home to St. Charles through video correspondence and participation in establishing a youth exchange, connecting young people in St. Charles and Saint-Malo through the arts and music as part of a sister-city coalition.
‘The Road’ song challenge
Kotvan will be on the panelist of judges who select the 2017 winner of “The Road” song challenge.
As Jank Ambassador, Kotvan will meet with the mayors and council members from St. Charles, Batavia and Geneva to discuss local arts and youth culture. Kotvan will have the opportunity to share her experiences as a cultural touchstone, and gain valuable insight from local leaders.
Earlier this month, Band Box, a subscription service created by #TheJankGuitarStore for musicians who play guitar and wind instruments, was unveiled. Band Box delivers necessities, such as picks and strings for guitarists, and reeds and handkerchiefs for wind instrumentalists, on a quarterly basis directly to a musician’s home or school.
Band Box will sponsor the 2017 Jank Ambassador’s coverage of live musical performances by local youth for the St. Charles Official Music YouTube Station, and 9 percent of local Band Box sales will be reinvested in city programs in Geneva, Batavia and St. Charles, the release stated.
The launching of ‘me-n-u’
Also earlier this month, a new app called “me-n-u” created by #TheJankGuitarStore was launched in St. Charles that answers the question: “Where should we go eat?”
The “me-n-u” app uses a visual interface to solicit gut reactions to dishes from the Tri-Cities’ most popular local eateries and matches the user with a restaurant that best suits his or her tastes in the moment.
#TheJankGuitarStore worked with local restaurants such as The Finery & Blacksmith Bar, Restaurant Juliette, The Grandstander and Abby’s Breakfast and Lunch to be the first featured restaurants in the “me-n-u” technology.
As the St. Charles Official Music YouTube Station cultural correspondent, Kotvan will interview local culinary artists about how they developed the dishes that appear on “me-n-u” and what local and global influences inspire their creations.
“Local business, in general, and local arts and culture, in particular, are what define a community for people who live and visit,” Corbin de Baschemin said in the release.
“Everything that we do at #TheJankGuitarStore not only directly supports local arts, but also promotes those qualities about St. Charles to the world,” Steve Douglas, board member for #TheJankGuitarStore and the founder of the Jank-Pop musical genre, said in the release.
The two-way street of cultural exchange comes back around to the Jank musical genre and philosophy created by Douglas in 2003. Jank music has been performed by musical artists The Brigade, Tilky & The Brigade, and Casely and The Jank, and the Jank philosophy is embodied in the day-to-day operations and activities of #TheJankGuitarStore. By creating attractions and helping people make local buying decisions, #TheJankGuitarStore is on a mission to show the world what St. Charles has to offer, while helping to make local choices more competitive with every musical performance, cultural landmark and engaged user, the release stated.