[Dixielandjazz] Re: "Working Bands" was Early Jazz In NYC - Jan 6, 2005

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 11 07:42:40 PST 2004

on 12/11/04 4:45 AM, Nancy Giffin at nancyink at ulink.net wrote:
> You see these talented guys performing as individuals yet inevitably as a
> group in jam sessions at many jazz parties across the U.S (and elsewhere,
> like Blackpool, England.). In general, their style is more modern and their
> fees more expensive than most OKOM festivals are geared for. (Just my
> observation.)
> They deserve the fees they ask for (being full-time musicians), but it's no
> wonder we don't see them in groups more often out west here since most
> OKOMers don't want to pay $15 or more to see them in concert.
> For instance, I'd very much like to see Ed Polcer's All-Stars play in
> Sacramento next Feb. when they're passing through town on their annual
> nationwide tour, but it's not worth Ed's while to stop here if he can't get
> a decent-sized audience to pay the $15 to $20 needed to cover expenses.
> Too bad; I think the west coast would love John Cocuzzi on vibes, Joe
> Ascione on drums, Dan Block on clarinet, Frank Tate on bass... (Dan Barrett
> is not too shabby on trombone, but we see him fairly often in CA.)
> A sponsor is needed, but it's not so easy to find one for this kind of music
> and audience in Sacramento.

Interesting point. The reason I posted the original about "the bands in NYC"
is because in many instances, OKOM festivals showcase "pick-up" bands.
Perhaps because there are damn few "working" OKOM bands.

Here, Polcer tours with an excellent "working" band and some folks can't
muster up enough of an audience to hear it!!!!!!!!! HOW SAD IS THAT?

Or, a band like Midiri Brothers which had been working steadily in the East
for more than 10 years before it is finally "discovered" by OKOM
Festivals!!!!! (Through the tireless effort of Bruce Gast, I might add). HOW

Manhattan Ragtime (Orange and Jon-Erik) forms a MONSTER BAND which has yet,
to my knowledge, to be invited to an OKOM Festival.!!!! HOW SAD IS THAT?

The Bob Crosby Bobcats led by Ed Metz Sr. is another MONSTER BAND, (the very
definition of OKOM) yet gets invited to few OKOM Festivals.!!!!!

Independence Hall is a huge hit at a few OKOM Festivals with what is
essentially a pick-up band.(albeit of great musicians) What does that say
about the quality of lesser "festival bands" which continue to appear
instead of them!!!!! HOW SAD IS THAT?

Yes there are exceptions, (and they know who they are) but in the USA, where
jazz was given a huge boost over the past 5 years, by Burns, Marsalis,
Lincoln Center et. al., OKOM Festivals continue their slow but steady
decline in terms of audience participation, profitability and in some cases,
the quality of the music. HOW SAD IS THAT?

Like anything else in life and/or business, nothing lasts forever. It is
time for Festivals to Reinvent themselves.

Steve Barbone

PS. Did anybody notice in this month's AARP bulletin that there was an add
for a generic Dixieland CD? Anybody know who the band is? Maybe some of you
with CDs in your Garages should think about marketing to that HUGE MARKET?
I believe they have 27 million members or so, many of whom would be the
right age, love the music, and have absolutely no clue where to hear it.
They don't even know this chat list, or OKOM festivals exist. ANY FESTIVALS

Every time Barbone Street plays in a new venue, oldsters come up and wax
nostalgic saying that they had "no idea" this music was still being played.


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