[Dixielandjazz] Re: Street Musicians - was strange gigs

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet@earthlink.net
Mon, 12 Aug 2002 15:35:22 -0400

Fred Spencer wrote: (polite snip)

"I played in a most unprofessional, scruffy trio on the streets of New
York City - trumpet, guitar, and drums, snare and cymbal. We opened
outside the IBM Building but were soon moved on by one of the guards.
Thence to the bottom of Central Park where we made $19.00, which almost
paid the parking fee, and 600 Italian lira."

When Barbone Street did that Ice Cream Social for the University of Pennsylvania
in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, on the break, we came upon a scruffy
trumpet player working at a street corner two blocks away. Playing be-bop, hat on
the sidewalk collecting tips from passersby. He was an excellent jazz musician
from what we heard.

He and Ace Tesone, our bass player got to talking about trumpet players and Ace
mentioned that he had played and recorded with Clifford Brown. The guy was all
over Ace about Brownie. "Man, he was my hero, etc., etc. He said he was too
disheveled (his gig uniform) to play with us at U of P, but promised to come see
us at our brewpub gig on August 16, dressed appropriately.

We asked how much money he made per day. Answer $150 to $200, all tax free. Said
he used to work seven days a week, but cut it down to 5 because he didn't need
the extra money enough to work weekends. Biggest problem was that the Cops make
him move on, several times a day so he switches locations.

Bottom line? This guy makes more money than 90% of the musicians in the world.
All you need are some grubby outfits, a hat, a musical instrument and a medium to
large sized city.