[Dixielandjazz] Big Bands

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 3 12:46:14 PST 2004

Tom Loeb wrote:

> A couple of Monday night big bands that I know of do not exactly get paid.
> The leader sells CDs for $15.00 (his cost $1.00 each). But he buys the music
> and equipment. The house keeps about half the cover charge. What little is
> left from the cover charge goes to the band members for gasoline money. The
> leader may slip a few dollars of his own to a few band members. Is it that way
> in other areas too? Does OKOM work like this also?

List mates & Tom:

That's the way it works for big bands in the Philadelphia area. There are at
least 10 of them working for little or no money as you outline above.

However, our small OKOM band (6 piece) does a bit better. MINIMUM of $100
per man for a local one to three hour gig during the week. Often more. That
figure rises to $200 to $400 on the weekends. When we work in a club vs. a
cover, for example, we get, on Sat night, $1400 for the band or the full
amount of the cover charge, which ever is higher. Long distance gigs, and or
private parties are charged out higher.

While not all OKOM bands in this area seem to be able to get that much, we
have as much work as we can handle often doing doubles on weekends during
the summer months with municipal concerts during the afternoon and weddings
and/or club dates at night.

It takes a few years of hard work (band marketing) to get there but the
rewards, both tangible and intangible are well worth it.

And we too, sell CDs for $15 at gigs and once I've made the costs back,
($2500 or so) each man gets a buck per CD sold. Current CD sales locally are
857 on #1, released 2 years ago and 570 on #2 released last year. These
sales to LOCAL FANS help expand our LOCAL AUDIENCE.

Bottom line learned from my previous day gig life? YCDBSOYA

Steve Barbone 

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