[Dixielandjazz] New blood for OKOM

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Dec 15 22:24:41 PST 2003

In a message dated 12/15/03 4:39:21 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
kayewade at earthlink.net writes:

> So, it's our own fault that we're loosing people of the younger age. We
> do nothing to bring them in.

That pretty much sums it up Kaye, and I am of course not speaking of you 
specifically , but enjoining your comment of WE meaning Jazz Societies and 
Festival organizers of OKOM.

Except I ain't part of WE, and neither is Steve Barbone and a few others who 
long ago broke out of the mold or never went into in the first place.

I have been playing OKOM since 1990 and have yet played ONE SINGLE American 
Jazz Society Sponsored  Traditional Jazz Festival.  Nor have I booked one 
single act on any one festival.   Yet I do business all over the rest of the world, 
and play the top major Jazz events everywhere but America, and get paid as 
Steve says far more money for one show than I could or would be offered to play 
an OKOM festival in the USA.

To show you how idiotic this system here is:

I just got a thank you but no thank you letter fromt he New Orelans Jazz & 
Heritage Festival, telling me that they employ 90% of the musicians at their 
wonderful festival from the local New Orleans music community of musicians.

Well fifty percent of my touring personnel live in New Orleans, and forty 
percent of the remaining members are from their originally, but left because the 
wages and opportunities to earn a living playing music in New Orleans has been 
dismal for over thirty years or even longer.  Not to mention that I have been 
booking and promoting New Orelans music and acts for well over ten years.   
Most successful New Orleans acts are on the road making a living anywhere but 
New Orleans.

Any successful act from New Orleans usually makes their money far from New 
Orelans, yet continue to promote the Legends of New Orleans and send tourists 
their by the thousands every year.   Too bad their festival organisers can't 
understand this.

It is much the same with OKOM festivals everywhere I am afraid, it is the 
organizers that refuse to change and grow with the times that are causing the 
decline of the audiences for OKOM rather than he musicians playing the music.


Tom Wiggins

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