[Dixielandjazz] Knocking Amateurs

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 11 16:12:50 PST 2003

Ed Bideau III wrote

Dont knock us amateurs or freebies too hard guys.  Our little band is
only thing going in SE Kansas and we are doing a lot to spread dixieland

around and get young people exposed to it.  Our band members all have a
Masters degree or higher and we are giving a lot of time and effort to
the genre going. We also sponsors a jazz hour on public radio at PSU
goes all over SE Kansas. When we charge for a gig we tell the client to
write a check to a charity of their choice.  The band is set up as a
501(c)(3) corporation for educational purposes.

Bottom line we are doing this because we love the music and dont want it
die.  The retired members of our band are jazz men from the early 40s,
vintage, and they donate a lot of time going to local high schools to
the students to improvize, get off the page and out of the box.  We also

have high school students sit in a lot and when we are done with them
can play some jazz without having to play off a chart.

If it wasnt for a lot of amateurs, the genre would croak.  Who will keep
going when the pros croak?

List mates and Ed:

You are to be commended, Ed, as long as you stay close to Chanute KS.
But don't go too far away, like Springfield MO, for example, where a
list mate has figured out how to make jazz pay, in an area that is not
know for being a hotbed of Dixieland.

Think one level higher now that you've got young folks interested in
Chanute. Figure out how to make it pay. It is not that difficult to do,
especially for retired guys from the 40s or 50s in jazz. That's who
makes up my band and we do 160 paying jazz gigs a year in the
Philadelphia PA area.

Our audience is younger generations. Our niche is as "jazz survivors"
from the 40s and 50s. We figured out how to play in clubs, for
townships, at schools, etc., etc., etc. and get paid for it. That way,
we can be sure the music will prosper also.

We not only play at local jazz festivals, (6 per year) but we play at
High Schools. And we get funded by groups that "fund for the arts."
Example, Friday, March 28 8 PM, we play a 2 hour jazz concert at
Unionville High School, public invited free. 900 seats. Expect to be
packed. Have invited local high school music departments, promoted,
etc.., etc.

Bottom line, it works, it pays WELL over scale, we love it, the audience
loves it and the kids see it as a way to make a few extra bucks during
their lives so they play it. OKOM should be a paying proposition. The
music is good enough to warrant it.

Steve Barbone

PS. It is easier to do this in our area, but certainly possible
elsewhere too. Like Springfield MO where the Creole Jazz Band is showing
the way.

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