[Dixielandjazz] Future of Dixieland - Redux

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Thu Aug 7 19:32:21 PDT 2003

In a message dated 8/7/03 2:22:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Custode at aol.com 

> The Queen City Jass Society recently held a children's open house during a 
> special monthly get-together for their membership.  Of the members who 
> attended, 
> only a very small handful (I surmise less than 2%) brought their 
> children/grandchildren.  This was tremendously disappointing to me for two 
> reasons: 1) I 
> would have thought that the membership would have been more responsive and 
> 2) 
> children meant children of all ages...adult children as well as 
> young/adolescent children.  Obviously, I was wrong to assume or think along 
> these lines.

  No, I don't personally think so Lewis, I think you simply did not get an 
adequate response or participation from your current membership, but I do recall 
your original posts and your statement about why more people did not come.

> So, where do we go from here.  If people who love this style of music, and 
> openly advocate the perpetuation of it, do not take a proactive role in its' 
> future, how can we expect the younger audience to do so?  This time, I have 
> no 
> answers.

Here is an idea you might try: Set a good date for another such event, 
hopefully that does not conflict with any other major event in the area.  Now get 
some local business to print up some 8 1/2 X 11 flyers like a small poster for 
you about the event, with a coupon for a discount or something to get traffic 
for their business as well.  Put your band's picture on it as well and don't 
forget to add you booking information on it so somebody could call you to book 
you for another event.   

Now turn the flyer over and put your message about preserving the culture and 
music and educational benefits for children and expanding your Society 
membership etc.

Go to the local grade schools first, and volunteer your band to come and 
perform a forty-five minute assembly for their classes, try to get as many kids in 
the auditorium as possible for this, even if you have to combine grades.  Now 
find out how many kids are going to be attending this assembly program and 
insist that each one of them takes this flyer home that afternoon when they get 
out of school.  Make sure the flyer states that the children get in to the 
event for free, and if you want their parents or grandparents can also be invited 
for free one time to check it out.

Now give those kids all the excitement you can in that assembly program, and 
send them home all excited about the band and the music with that flyer to 
talk their parents into coming out to your event.   

I think you will be very surprised at the response you will get from totally 
new people who may not even be aware of your society, get some new blood in 
there and get them excited about it and it will start to grow again.   

Now don't stop with just one little school or class, do it as often as you 
can in as many schools as you can circulate the program to, because the more 
kids you expose any kind of music to the better because they are ready and 
willing recipients that have not yet been tainted with the titles of Old folks 
music, etc. etc.  Kids just love music and will jump all over this music if given 
half a chance.  Once their parents see their enthusiasm for it, they will be 
delighted to join your society and get involved with something they can do with 
their children.

It will take a few tries more than likely, but don't give up, as my Father 
used to tell me, if at first you don't succeed, Try, Try again.  Those words 
have stayed with me for fifty years and I still try all the time and I am 
accustomed to succeeding.  And for the skeptics on the list yes you bet your bippy I 
have failed a few times too, and may well do so again, but I never stop trying 
in life, to do so is to lay down and die without a fight.  Not for me and my 

Dixieland and Traditional Jazz is Not Dead folks, they just keep moving it, 
but that's OK because those who would like to shoot it have a much harder time 
hitting a moving target.
As for it ever reaching it's former level of Mass popularity, it probably 
will not do so simply because we have too many other entertainment options 
available to us all around, however remember this little recognized fact: There are 
many, many more people to take it to now than there was in the HEYDAY, they 
are just not all in the same place.  We must be on the constant move to take it 
to them rather than wait for them to find us.

Cheers, and do give it another go Lewis, 

Wish I was there to help you.

Tom Wiggins
The irrational promoter
Saint Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band

We entertained more people in Europe last summer than the last five New 
Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals did.  And Lewis is correct that there is little 
New Orleans Jazz or Dixieland in New Orleans these days, it is and always has 
been an export commodity of the Crescent City.  Heck even Louis Armstrong 
left there with it.  We are the best tourist advertisement for New Orleans 
Convention & tourism that they ever had and they don't even know who we are, or 
care.  That is why we don't live in New Orleans either, besides the darned rain 
all the time.

> Lewis D. Custode, Jr., CLU, ChFC
> Bourbon Street Brass, Buffalo, NY
> leader/trumpet   
> _______________________________________________

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