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  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I have no sympathy for classical orchestra musicians, there are very, very few instances in the US where pro performances aren't heavily subsidized by local, state, or federal gov't. If only jazz musicians had that kind of support. Classical music hasn't really stood on it's own strengths for a century.

    Classical music never was in the open market (except operatic enterprises of 18th -19th century that in some Wuropean countries - except France - depended directly on the income from sales).

    All the rest was mostly paid by the church or rich patrons. It did not depend on how many people would buy tickets, it did not bring profit as did regular commerce and banking.
    And it is more or less similar to today's support from goverment, universities, funds etc. Good musicians and writers gather around Universities and Academies having different honourable degrees and positions like Writer in residence or Poet Laureat... which often (not always) means just that they are supported, paid some salary for their artistic achievents (of course some of them can be really good full time teachers but mostly this is very formal).

    One of the problem I see today with jazz that it came from commercial industry originally (especially considering it was US where the open market realtionship, sales, profitablity were very important part of mentality)... and it seems that they believe that one can just sell good music in the open market - and it seems they think it has always been like that. But it was not like that. Actully never.

    There were some great American non-jazz musicians... fro example Charles Ives is one my favousrite composers ever - and he had successful insuarance business, Morton Feldman if I remember correctle had some carpet business... this kind of music was never marketable at all - especially in the country like America - they never really thought they would earn living from it...

    Every exception - like Philippe Glass - meant crossover or interaction with pop-music... or good marketing of his art as Pop-art...

    Wha t I am trying to say that things change... ecomomics change.

    Jordi Savall - one of the most succeful commercially serious classicl musician of our days probably- also reacted recently on the problem with earning from concerts and recording: he said openly and clearly that real art should not be paid depending on profitablity, it should be paid and supported just becasue it exists. That is it.

    As for jazz.. there is one difficulty with it.. part od its authencity is connected with indepndednt commercial club form. In some saence going under goverment support, into academies and universities kills some part of this independencs spirit...
    The same concerns rock...
    I can hardly imagine characters like Bird or Jim Morrison prosper under some University support...

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  3. #77

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    I hope that his position at the university has afforded him some financial stability.

    Maybe not pertaining to Bobby Broom, but the one thing that I see that most successful artists pursue regardless of the reception is productivity. Like massive productivity. They are driven to promote themselves through the work that they can do. More than one successful painter has filled up a museum.

  4. #78

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    Hi All,

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that I inspired such a hearty thread. Because of that I thought I'd check in with an update about my current situation. Before I do I'd like to say a few things, not the least of which is that I really appreciate all of the discussion, concern and advice.

    I've lived and felt every second of this journey with its inherent up and down extremes. I realize that I have been extremely blessed because at the age of 15 I devoted my life to jazz music. At that point it was for no reason other than being enamored with a passion for the music. I could barely play, but was learning fast. Very soon after that I "realized" that I had been born a generation too late and probably wouldn't get to do what I wanted to do in music: to play with and/or be like one of the guys on those records I was falling in love with. I decided that it didn't matter to me what did or didn't happen. What was most important was that I learn to play well enough to earn respect as a true jazz musician. I also decided then that being famous was not my goal. It was shortly after that that magic began to happen for me. No, not that I could play all of a sudden (that took years), but that opportunities began to occur that would carry me through to a life in Jazz.

    I understand that someone would view my original exposé as a complaint. It's a harsh world we live in. Considering the feelings of another man is too much for some to bear. Trust that I thoroughly considered how what I wrote, or I myself, would be viewed before I pressed "send." I was tired of feeling like I was protecting my truth.

    Regarding managers, agents, bad attitudes, social media, boogeymen, etc., remember that I have been a performing musician and educator for 40 years. I have experienced a lot. I've seen record deals and self-produced recordings. Made demos recorded via four track cassette machines, eight track analog tape synced to keyboard/ midi controlled computer programs and DAWs. I've had agents, managers, etc., good and bad. I create various kinds of content and have active socials. I am fortunate to have a career as a performing musician, having been asked to play by the masters, some of whom I idolized on those records I was in love with. I've traveled with my own groups and have been an opening act on major concert tours. Hell, I've even made magazine's critics' and readers' polls. And although like many Americans I worry about finances, I've never been destitute, ever. And, after about 15 years in the biz I understood that I needed to adjust my goals to include some amount of "fame" or recognition in order to work as a leader.

    So, why was I "complaining" then? Simply because that in spite of all those accomplishments I still am not afforded opportunities that would allow me to sustain myself as a performing artist/leader and certainly not commensurate with many of my peers of comparable stature in the field. Sure, everyone's road in life is different. I get that. Also, I know that there are other possible contributing factors that might explain my difficulties. I, like those in the thread, have refrained from exploring every possibility.

    Speaking of difficulty, I'm sure no one predicted that there would be no performing opportunities available to anyone due to a worldwide pandemic! Once again I thank my lucky stars because a bit over a year ago I was appointed to a full-time university Jazz Studies position. Teaching has been an integral part of my career since 1982 when saxophonist, Jackie McLean, asked me to teach in his African-American Music Program at Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. If I had accepted his following offer in 1983, to head the Guitar Program there, I would probably be retired by now (at least as far as receiving a pension is concerned). But I refused the position because I felt unqualified. (The artist in me strikes again.) Well, now I am qualified and loving being Professor of Jazz Guitar/Jazz Studies. I have a healthy studio of eleven students and I teach a few different classes in various semesters – jazz improv, jazz history and music business. And if that isn't enough, the university encourages me to pursue my usual creative/artistic and performing activities in order to fulfill the "research" requirements of the position. So, after teaching in higher ed for nearly 20 years, getting my masters degree at age 45 and finally seriously pursuing a position such as this nearly 10 years ago, the stars seem to have aligned.

    But the saga continues. I still have a strong desire to create and to share my music with people. My greatest satisfactions in this game have been those that don't equate with monetary value – the joy of playing music with people, touching upon the occasional and elusive heights of the creative spirit, watching a student experience a breakthrough or develop from not much to everything. So now as I continue working my ass off, I can seemingly breathe a welcomed (and deserved) sigh of relief. On the other hand, I continue to have personal musical career goals, like wanting to play in Europe and at major jazz venues around the States annually. Because I am and will always be a jazz musician and due to my Capricorn nature I will most likely continue grinding. I know that people tend to relate to an underdog, so I hope that some of you will continue pulling for me, because I still am one, but I thought I'd follow this thread with a little clarification and something maybe a bit more positive. I don't doubt someone will see this one as boastful. ??

    Wishing You All the Best,
    Bobby

  5. #79

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    Mr. Broom - I first became aware of your artistry listening to "Jazz with Bob Parlocha" at 4:00 AM while driving to my day job. Your sound, your groove, and your melodic mastery were like a beacon in the darkness. I just want to say, "Thank You" for your contributions to the art of Jazz and jazz guitar.

  6. #80

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    What K said. And thanks for posting. It's a good read and a real treat to hear from the real deal. I'm relieved to find that you've landed well. I hope you get to do some serious jazz 'research' again soon!

  7. #81

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    Kudos, Bobby . . . you're a certified warrior! Play live . . . Marinero

  8. #82

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    Bobby,

    You're one of the baddest guitar players out there in my book.

    Things are tough all over with this pandemic going on as you said. I hope you find away to keep at it with your teaching. It's hard to not be a bit pessimistic about the the way things are in this country with respect to the arts among other things when I hear things like this.

    I'm pulling for you.

  9. #83

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    Now it's time for Duke to join th thread too...

  10. #84

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    what a great first post from mr. bobby broom...not only a great guitarist, but obviously a gentleman and a scholar

    may he forever draw satisfaction from his many accomplishments

    cheers

  11. #85

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    Had the pleasure of hearing you with Miles Davis here in the Twin Cities many moons ago! It didn't seem to be a Jazz Gig in the traditional sense type of gig. But It sure was enlightening in a good way!

    I can empathize completely with your experiences albeit at a much more local level and as a pro guitarist for over 40 years as well.
    Jazz while being the more enlightened music in modern recorded music times. Well may be the hardest to pursue as a professional musician!

    I always loved it from a late teenager hearing both Chick Corea Light as a Feather, John Coltrane Giant Steps, George Benson, etc.
    But I came form the Albert King and R &B Cornell Dupree side first. And Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, etc were much more accepted as Pop Music
    So my path was much easier in one sense that I could play gigs to survive.

    Later working with several well known local national acts in what's now called Funk Genre. I experienced the reality of a business that has little to do with actual musical ability and more with selling widgets.
    Not saying people couldn't play, but their actual musical vocabulary was quite limited including my own at that time.

    I have come to appreciate the Jazz or Geat American Songbook as a great College Level Course in how music works harmonically,lyrically,etc.
    I've also been priveledged to play with the likes of great musicians such as Eric Gravat, Doc Severensen, Jack McDuff and many local greats here in the Twin Cities.
    Even at 63 I'm just happy to be a student of such great Music and talented Musicians. Bobby Broom you are World Class Sir!
    Last edited by jads57; 11-16-2020 at 11:40 PM.

  12. #86

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    Bobby Broom as I first stumbled across his trio on D’s Blues.

  13. #87

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    Bobby
    I'm an amateur player who will never be that good but... I'd rather be a bad jazz guitarist than good at most other things.

    I'm the guy who will buy your recordings, and if you play nearby, I'll come to hear you and stay all evening, buying food and hoping the venue notices the uptick in receipts.

    I'm happy you have landed on your feet and have a solid spot from which to continue practicing your art. This music is not dead until the last person who loves it dies and I think we are still a long way off from that. People like you are keeping it alive and giving middling amateurs like me something to strive for, even if it's just some fresh ideas for playing "Misty" or "Autumn Leaves." Yeah, that's where I am. Thank you for staying with the fight.

    I'm a Capricorn too... I don't believe in astrology, but like a stopped clock that's right twice a day, it seems to have scored a direct hit.

  14. #88
    When I started this thread, I never expected Bobby to notice our little corner of the woods. That said, it is fantastic that he is situated in a teaching position during this pandemic so that he has some stability. Bobby is one of my favorite musicians and it was nice to hear an update on his status.

  15. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    He should stop whingeing and just get a day job, like the other 99.999% of jazz guitarists have to. Heck, even Tal Farlow did that, and he was a guitar god when Jazz ruled the world...
    Tal never made much money playing the guitar, and his "day job" was pretty much as rewarding for him as his music. Being a bebop star only means nice articles in very small publications like Jazziz and Downbeat. Jazz never ruled the world.

  16. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Tal never made much money playing the guitar, and his "day job" was pretty much as rewarding for him as his music. Being a bebop star only means nice articles in very small publications like Jazziz and Downbeat. Jazz never ruled the world.
    Louis Armstrong and miles Davis respectfully beg to differ.

    But yes you’re right really. With a few exceptions especially since 1960 or so jazz is a niche taste. Is this sad? Probably. Maybe we should be grateful that there are those who stick with it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #91

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    I believe Bobby Broom has had a day job teaching at a Chicago University or College. In fact since the 1960s many greats like Rufus Reid, Richard Davis, etc have taught at Universities and Colleges to support themselves.

    As far as whining, it's criminal that such great musicians go under appreciated by their fellow Americans. Europe and Japan have the good sense to recognize great talent and art when we reward mostly banal crap that passes for music.

  18. #92

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    Hey Bobby: We've met and played---though it was a long time ago (once at Randy Johnston's gig; once at yours at 55 bar---and now that it comes into focus we maybe played the one tune at Randy's gig. But 'nice eyes, Pres'---and glad you're OK in this shit).

    I understand your sentiments and they're well-expressed in print. You seem like a guy who counts his blessings, and that doesn't happen often enough at the overcrowded trough of jazz. In fact, if I may, you bring to mind a pet peeve of my own: successful jazzers (pop people sometimes, too---alas) talking shit PUBLICLY about their peers' work---sometimes even their BETTERS! Not naming names here, but it makes the mudslinger look petty; jealous; generally a maladjusted asshole. (When I was a school kid I'll never forget a social studies teacher giving some example, wrapping up with: 'When you attack someone THEY get sympathy'. Wise words, know what I mean?)

    So in the count-your-blessings department I guess I don't do too badly. If anything I've probably been more noticed of late for composing/songwriting than playing (or is that in my head?). Fine with me, b/c I love song and writing as much as I do improvising; backing a good singer; etc. It's all music and a privilege to be in the game and get paid. Like there are MANY people stuck in jobs or with bosses they despise, but they have few or no options but to stay there and feel miserable, or they and their families would be in a shelter or something equally unappealing.

    My point (and I have a feeling yours too): No one owes ANYBODY ANYTHING!! We come into this life and leave it in our birthday suits, and what happens in-between is largely on us. Now I'm not saying here that some people aren't born with certain strikes against them---a variety. But ultimately we can at least in part if not be masters of our destinies at least achieve plenty through sheer stick-to-it-iveness.

    The jazz field? That's a lot to chew over, and I wouldn't want to steal your thunder, so I'll just point to the above paragraph and say it applies there.

    That's it, guitar brother. Nice to read your well-articulated words and well-reasoned sentiments. Be well and safe---Joel Fass...

  19. #93

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    The Federal government needs to put money into bebop as a preserved American art form.

    They need to put money into public broadcasting, for the sake of the population's culture and IQ. PBS and NPR became more a vehicle for Yanni, Deadmaus and Wilco than for educated jazz and classical music. At best we get local college jazz stations.

    Once the public channels were forced to living off private funding and donations, they planted their feet into pop culture.

  20. #94
    Thats what I call singin the blues!

  21. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by shredmiyagi
    The Federal government needs to put money into bebop as a preserved American art form.

    They need to put money into public broadcasting, for the sake of the population's culture and IQ. PBS and NPR became more a vehicle for Yanni, Deadmaus and Wilco than for educated jazz and classical music. At best we get local college jazz stations.

    Once the public channels were forced to living off private funding and donations, they planted their feet into pop culture.

  22. #96

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    Hi Folks,

    Sorry to post this here, but I wasn't sure where best to announce this...

    This Saturday (tomorrow), I'll be doing a live webinar for mymusicmasterclass.com. It'll be a clinic and Q&A.
    I hope some of you will join me. Bring your instruments, thoughts, ideas, questions, what you're working on, etc. and let's have a lively discussion!

    Thanks,
    Bobby

    https://www.mymusicmasterclass.com/p...qa-05-29-2021/
    2PM EST, 1PM CST, 11AM PST

    Bobby Broom and the State of Jazz-img_75d6a42c33d5-1-jpeg

  23. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Broom
    Hi Folks,

    Sorry to post this here, but I wasn't sure where best to announce this...

    This Saturday (tomorrow), I'll be doing a live webinar for mymusicmasterclass.com. It'll be a clinic and Q&A.
    I hope some of you will join me. Bring your instruments, thoughts, ideas, questions, what you're working on, etc. and let's have a lively discussion!

    Thanks,
    Bobby

    Bobby Broom (Live Jazz Guitar Webinar/Q&A - 05/29/2021)
    2PM EST, 1PM CST, 11AM PST

    Bobby Broom and the State of Jazz-img_75d6a42c33d5-1-jpeg
    A good a place as any, I'd say!

    I may try to drop in if I'm home in time, I'd love to attend one of your sessions. Keep us updated on any future stuff as well.