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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by rictroll View Post
    If ‘everyone is teaching’ where are the students at these gigs?
    They teach too.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Vinnie View Post
    There's always busking.
    Busking is cool by me.

    Summer in Central Park is a beautiful thing. With a right people you can make good $ and get booked for private events.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    Couldn't agree more with this, this is my fundamental problem with disparaging "free" gigs. I don't think gigs that pay $20-$50 are that much different than "free" gigs. And we can disparage cheap gigs all we want, but, ultimately, the market for high quality jazz just isn't there in most places.
    There are a few jazz venues in town here. To go there and buy two tickets plus food and beverage I'll spend about $200 in an evening for two people in that venue. At that kind of economics playing jazz is an almost viable business proposition, if even still a bit sketchy. chatting with some of the national caliber musicians that play there after sets indicated to me that these are "destinations" venues for musicians from the east and west coast as they travel through flyover country here because they can get that kind of money. Let's face it, if you're touring with a trio you probably need to be getting a minimum of $1000 a show or more to make it a viable prospect- so it costs maybe 50 or 70 bucks a set to see someone like John Scofield. I paid $80 per ticket for my wife and I to see Bob Weir and the Wolf Brothers, $50 per to see Jorma 'n' Jack, $45 to see Jonathan Kreisberg, etc. Money well spent by the end of the evening but not sustainable as a weekly or frequent thing.

    For musicians to make a living, they have to be able to play steadily enough while earning enough money to make ends meet. Getting one $500 gig a month is not going to achieve that. And quite frankly those gigs are rare around here. Most places where people are playing jazz, however, are places like coffee shops and pizza parlors. They cannot afford to pay musicians a living wage for playing because there's just not enough money coming in. The value proposition for musicians is that their presence will attract an audience whose spending will exceed the additional costs associated with having music (PRO licensing which is not cheap, building a stage, providing a PA and lighting if the venue is such that it needs it, whatever marketing costs might be involved, surrendering floorspace for the stage they could otherwise be occupied by paying customers, etc.).

    For probably 1000 years or more being a professional musician is a chancey profession at best and one that is actually not viable for most people who try to achieve it. The relative affluence of some popular musicians in the last 60 or so years is a fluke from a historical perspective.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #104

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    I'm going to risk some controversy and point out that historically, (and very generally speaking) being a jazz musician was more an occupation available to poor black men, not middle class white people. Louis Armstrong's roots in New Orleans, for example. The be-boppers of the late 40's, early 50's- Miles' upbringing as the son of a dentist, coming to NYC to study at Julliard, was the exception, not the rule. Read biographies like "Bird Lives" for a glimpse into how it was. That is, it's never been a "good job", even for the greats during a golden age.

    I've known a bunch of pro musicians over the last 30-40 years, and most all had a day job of some kind, taught students, did weddings, etc.

  6. #105

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    Interesting thread. I should be practicing right now for a a group practice tonight to decide how much more we need to practice for a gig next week... Instead I'm got caught up with this thread! Reminds me of a Gillian Welch song "Everything Is Free".

    Everything is free now
    That's what they say
    And everything I've ever done
    I'm gonna give it away
    Someone hit the big score
    They figured it out
    That we're gonna do it anyway
    Even if it doesn't pay