[Dixielandjazz] Does "Dixieland" Matter Anymore?

Chuck Kercher ekercher@tampabay.rr.com
Sun, 4 Aug 2002 22:24:21 -0400

Good news and good advice, Steve. I believe that the thread about
entertainment being essential to large acceptance and appreciation by young
and old was brought up by C. Hooks. He got some negative answers to this
message, largely along the lines that humorous activity--physical, dress, or
whatever had nothing to do with the level of musicianship so had no place in
the "Grand plan to revive OKOM."
    I had the pleasure of working with Charlie in Michigan before he decided
to leave his teaching as a college professor for a (career?) as a jazz
clarinet player and singer. I lost track of Charlie for many years and have
no real knowledge of his level of success. I do know that every gig that I
played with him was blessed by a natural, infectious exubrience that gassed
up every gig.
     My dad used to describe one of his favorite players--Barney Bigard as
looking and moving like a "French Banker." I know that I am much more like
Barney in that regard--no comparison musically--and I love it when I am
working with players like Charlie that light a fire with not only their
playing but with that kind of ability to entertain.
    Keep up the good work, Steve.  OKOM needs more people like the personnel
in your band and C. Hooks. Chuck Kercher
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet@earthlink.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2002 5:18 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Does "Dixieland" Matter Anymore?

> List Mates:
> Barbone Street has been successfully promoting OKOM to the general
> audiences for several years within a 100 mile radius of Philadelphia
> using the term "DIXIELAND JAZZ".  For the young folks, there is no
> negative connotation and for us, it is the best way to describe the
> music.
> In that vein, we did 4 gigs these past few days, all to general
> audiences, with a few real jazz fans mixed in. Also, mostly young folks
> with a few older folks mixed in.
> Thursday Night: a club date at the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in
> West Chester PA. 9 PM to Midnight. Place was jammed at 250 people the
> whole time. We, and the audience had a blast. BTW, we've been there
> regularly for 4 years now, (beads and all) and out draw every other band
> they have ever presented there.
> Friday Noon:  University of Pennsylvania Ice Cream Social on a street
> next to the campus. U of P gave away Ice Cream to passersby while we
> played from 11:30 to 1:30 PM. We ran them out of scream about 12:45 PM
> and they had to get back-up supplies. Estimate 500 passersby. The
> University and the Ice Cream Supplier were astounded by the size of the
> crowd we drew. Previous bands had not done anywhere near that, nor did
> kids dance in the streets like they did for us. (beads and all) Then
> drove 95 miles to Rehoboth
> Friday and Saturday Nights: Sydney's Jazz Club, Rehoboth Beach Delaware.
> 9 PM to 1:30 AM. Louis Armstrong Birthday Celebration over the weekend.
> Once again two packed houses. Wildly cheering and dancing crowds, mostly
> young, most Fri nighters came back Saturday because they had such a good
> time. Some turned away because club was over capacity. BTW Sydney's is
> an UPSCALE Restaurant and club, named as one of the 100 TOP JAZZ
> NIGHTCLUBS in the USA by "JAZZ IS" Magazine. We play there 4 times a
> year and according to the bartenders there and Sydney, we draw the
> biggest, and happiest crowds all year. (beads are a big hit)
> Even met a 20 something sweet young thing, who is going to Spain next
> month, loved our band, and so I am writing a separate note to Kash with
> her email address as she'll be in Madrid for a week and then on to
> Grenada. She wants to hear your band now, and ride in your sports car,
> Kash!!! And is prepared to fall in love with Spain and stay there, maybe
> permanently.
> Why do I post this? Neither because I want gigs from readers, nor to
> sell them CDs. Our plate is pretty full. My agenda is simply to tell
> everybody that DIXIELAND is a very vibrant musical form. There is a
> demand out there for good music that very few bands, Dixieland or
> otherwise, recognize. I urge those bands that are able, to get to the
> clubs and other venues where the kids are. You will perpetuate the music
> as well as have the time of your life. Just do it!
> And, no, you don't have to be a "show" band, or use hokum, as some might
> accuse us of doing. (without having seen or heard us) Focus on
> presenting a good band and play swinging, danceable jazz.
> In that regard, with all due modesty, Barbone Street is the kind of band
> that will ignite the crowd where ever we play, in any city in the world.
> The musicianship is equal to, or better than, most other jazz bands, of
> any type in the world. And we will almost certainly out-perform them
> all. And yes, we will throw beads and joke with the audience. Why?
> Because we get a huge kick out of it, and we revel in the applause and
> adulation of audiences wherever we play.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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