[Dixielandjazz] Reaistic Future for Dixieland Jazz

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 3 16:10:59 PDT 2003

Just returned from Fri & Sat night in Rehoboth Beach at Sydney's Jazz
Cafe celebration of Louis Armstrong's Birthday. Glad to see the thread
still going. Here is my take on the "Realistic future for Dixieland"

Arrived to play Friday night at this Beach resort town. MANY music
venues in Rehoboth area. All are versions of rock, hip hop, young
generational music except Sydney's. She runs a Jazz & Blues Club. Mostly
Blues. Barbone Street appears annually for Mardi Gras celebration, and
then for the closest weekend to Louis' Birthday, and then for the
Rehoboth Jazz Festival in October.

Friday night crowd was relatively sparse. We got a great reception, but
we were a bit concerned that perhaps this weekend was going to be less
attended than the past couple of years. Were we losing it? Found out
there was no local advertising at all, just a listing outside the club.

Saturday night arrive an hour early still concerned. Notice lots of
people standing outside the door, and no parking spaces within 5 blocks
of the place.
Finally manage to squeeze into a spot right by the door that is reserved
for owner. Doorman says she told him to let band park there.

Open the door and the joint is JAMMED. PACKED TO THE RAFTERS. With
dinner patrons still waiting for tables and bar patrons like sardines in
the front room where we play. Sydney also has closed circuit TV of
bandstand to several other rooms. 6 by 8 foot screens on walls. Music
piped everywhere via sound system.

Band gets set up and goes outside to escape the crowd. I light up a pre
celebratory cigar because we realize this is going to be one of those
magical nights.

We are ready to start at 9:30, but Ms. Sydney asks us to delay start
because some of the early dinner only patrons have not yet cleared the
tables and she is afraid that if we start playing, they will never leave
and 20 to 30 more reservations for 9:30 PM and the music, will be
severely disappointed.

Tables finally turn over and we get started at 10 PM. At the
announcement that we are starting the place erupts in and explosion of
cheers, and whistles and yelling. We are electrified and start to play.

Well, the place was absolutely crazy all night till 1 AM when music and
drinking must stop. Audience of about 250 or so consists of 10% people
over 60, 20% between 35 and 50, remainder under 35. Includes a
bachelorette party and numerous singles. (All paid a $10 cover)

Now, I'm not going to talk about beads, or anything else other than the
music. It was OKOM, the way we play it. And the general audience loves

Word of mouth is what packed the house. "Hey, for a good time, go see
Barbone Street at Sydney's." Many who were there Friday, returned
Saturday with friends in tow. "You have to hear/see this." It was all
word of mouth.

We talked with some familiar faces. Fans from 200 miles away who said.
"We visit Rehoboth Beach every year. We now schedule our visit for your
weekend in August. This is our third annual visit to Sydney's to see
you."  Not just one or two, but about 20 or 30 who come specifically to
see us. From Washington DC, Albany NY, Harrisburg Pennsylvania, etc.,
etc., etc. Even one couple from Hawaii says: "man there is nothing like
what you guys play in the islands."

When we announced the song "Butt Love", fans cheered, and the group of
girls having a bachelorette party immediately started a butt wiggle
dance as we played I Can't Give You Anything . . . BUTT LOVE.

Don't knock it, oh purist elite's, that's exactly what happened in Funky
Butt Hall long before you became so knowledgeable about "Jazz". That is
one reason jazz began. It is the REAL AUTHENTIC.  Not that particular
song perhaps, but certainly that type of dance to a more blues based

The OKOM and the presentation drew these folks to Sydney's. Her sound
man, new to her place this year said he had never seen anything like it
there. Much bigger crowd Saturday than he had ever seen at her place.
Doorman said the two day Fri/Sat count was highest so far this year.
Dinners got way behind, service suffered. Sydney was helping out in the
Kitchen and going crazy.

But few really minded, because the music, the energy feeding back and
forth, and the love of the crowd for the band and the band for the crowd
carried the night. The service problems were minor compared to the
overall enjoyment of the night for the audience.

The realistic future for Dixieland? I've just come back from there.


PS. Have a jpeg of 3 girls doing the "butt wiggle" if any of you are
Write me off line.

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