[Dixielandjazz] Corporate Work

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 1 14:30:28 PST 2003

Richard Stevens wrote:

Nail on the head David,
That's why you have to charge a fortune for "corporate" work. We often
regard these gigs as an exercise in control. Breathing, volume and
demeanor. My best (or worst) experience was in a large room. We were
asked by the function manager to play in a particular spot. As we
started playing the crowd gravitated towards the band and started
drinking and having a good time. Then the CEO or some other exec of the
firm holding the do, standing no less then three feet from me and
holding out with loud voice, has turned to me and offered the classic
finger to lips shhhhhhh. I wished later I had shown him the other finger

gesture. We took a break and moved to the other side of the room; you
guessed it the crowd followed us across.

Richard & Listmates:

No question that corporate work is always a trip. We always go in
thinking some will ask us to play soft, and others will ask us to play
loud. We always try and get one person designated as the "volume"
control authority. Then we disregard every one else and just nod our

Trick is to be happy at any volume and play for yourself. Proof of how
we do is whether we get asked back, or whether we get other gigs from
the performance in question. We find that it works pretty well for us.

And we always figure we're there for background so we maintain our
composure and play jazz at whatever volume they want. Loud or soft, the
music rules and connecting with the audience, whether they clap or not,
is what we strive to do.

Remember what Artie Shaw would say. Look at these a--holes, clapping
after every solo. Used to piss him off that they didn't keep quiet.

Musical content: "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

Steve Barbone

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