[Dixielandjazz] Paul Grant plays Great Falls, Montana Festival

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet@earthlink.net
Wed, 26 Jun 2002 10:15:21 -0400

Paul Grant, one of the trumpet players for Barbone Street here in the
East, played his first "festival" last weekend in Great Falls. Montana,
USA.  He was in the front line with Jim Beatty (Clt) and Pete Pepke
(Tmb). Marc Allan Jones was the pianist. Not sure who the rest of the
group was. Having play in Great Falls myself about 6 years ago, I
encouraged him to take the gig for the fun of it, but told him it would
cost him some lost earnings because we had some gigs over that weekend.

He was nervous when he left, but I told him, that he would love it, that
he would be the darling of the fans, and that he would out play just
about everyone there. He is a "working" musician here in the East, had
played with me, and others frequently at the casinos in Atlantic City
since they started using OKOM and will do about half our 160 gigs this

His report upon returning was that the band was extremely well received.
Fans flocked to him to buy drinks and meals and to talk about jazz. He
couldn't get over how well he was treated. Jim Beatty would love to use
him more frequently, but the air fares between coasts make that a tough

The only downer?  Light money. Barbone Street released him from 4 local
gigs so that he could make the festival. (He was gone from Thursday
through Monday)  The monetary difference?  He would have made $330 more
by staying home.

His comment to me upon return, "Now I know why you don't play
festivals."  It is great fun, but I wouldn't want to be on that circuit.
One a year would be plenty, just for the fun of it. (Actually we don't
play festivals because nobody asks us, and I am not promoting the band
to that circuit)

Bottom Line as I see it?  For working musicians, the OKOM festival
circuit is losing it's allure. Basically because there is more money
and  a more enthusiastic audience locally for those bands that promote.
The music is not dying off, but the festival audience is.

Steve Barbone

PS. Paul is one of the black OKOM musicians in Barbone Street and 10
years younger than I am. For those of you anywhere near our territory,
see him at Rehoboth Beach DE (Sydney's Jazz Club) Aug. 2 & 3, or at the
First Union Band Shell in Reading PA on July 26, or at Commerce Square
in Downtown Philadelphia on August 7.