[Dixielandjazz] New Year's Eve gigs

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Thu Dec 16 21:01:57 PST 2004

We kind of blew it this year with some really bad timing.  I have had a
fairly long standing gig in the 10-1am slot but last year the good Doctor
didn't have a party so I took another gig.  I thought he was out of the game
due to his ill health.  We usually play a 5-9 gig and I sent a contract to a
local country club for that slot.  Which they didn't return.  I found out
that they had hired a 9 piece band and didn't want my Duo in the lounge.  I
did have an afternoon gig for a Sr. group.  So I took the first gig to come
along which was with a band that I play with often and the leader pays well.
Then the 10-1 gig comes in. The guy I play duo's with took the gig so all
ist not kaput.  So this year I only have two gigs but I'm hoping to get the
new years day gig that I had last year.   I have had really good luck
booking NY eve but it's been with a Duo and involves a lot of racing around
town with multiple set ups.  Since the millennium I've scored a triple three
years.  For me to make a good return on the eve I work small and try for
several jobs.  By the way I hired the band leader on the late job to work my
duo with me in the afternoon so we both end up with extra.

Double is sort of standard.  I work my duo for $300-350 on a Friday-Saturday
night and I double it for NYEve and Fat Tuesday.  I charge extra for St.
Pats, Valentines, Mothers day, Fathers day, Grandparents day, Veterans day,
Cinco De Mayo, Sundays and  The week before Fat Tuesday.  NY Eve afternoon I
add $100.  That comes out when I get a hat trick on NY Eve or Fat Tuesday  I
book at $ $1500-1700 for the three gigs So I can make $1000-1200 and pay the
other musician pretty well too for the day.  I don't always do that well and
I know my friend will make that much or more off of one gig but he has
hassles too.

I find that I can do a lot better than as a sideman booking gigs and I go
for the small dinners and things like that.  Taking up little room is a good
thing too.  Saturday night we did a dinner for a small nursing home staff in
a tiny room of a restaurant.  We had the width of a double door and the
length of a booth @ 70" x 36" to set up in.  It was a little tight but I
used one JBL Eon and a single music stand.  They loved us and I made a
contact for more gigs with another Senior home activities manager.

I did the icy road bit for a lot of years but I have been doing well close
to home the past 20 years or so.  Big bands usually make less per man than a
small band will make.  I know the guy that I work with charges shares for
the Book, for the PA system, Set up and teardown, booking fee, Leader fee
and Yellow Pages.  Then he pays himself and us for playing the gig.  It's a
9 piece group and I'm getting $250 so that translates into $2250 for the
band and $1500 for the other stuff.  So he's pulling about $1750 on the gig
or more.  The bucks are definitely in the booking but there are expenses to
and a lot of hard work.  The side guys just walk in and play and cash their

Unfortunately I don't know of a single Dixie group working in this city on
the Eve.  There may be one working a private party but I haven't seen any
ads for any of the usual Trad bands.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Romans" <cellblk7 at comcast.net>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 7:15 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] New Year's Eve gigs

Just wondering how NY's Eve is shaping up for my listmares out in Dixieland
Jazz Land! Cell Block 7 doesn't have a New Year's Eve gig...probably because
bands have priced themselves out of the celebration. Isn't it usual to ask
double what you usually ask...or triple? Putting up with long drives on
highways where there are a lot of people who have had "one or two"...better
to celebrate at home?
Curious in Lodi...
Warm regards,
Bob Romans
Cell Block 7 Jazz Band
1617 Lakeshore Dr.
Lodi, Ca. 95242
Cell 209-747-1148
Because I play trumpet, I envy no man!
"Most people hate the taste of
 beer---to begin with. It is, however.
a prejudice many people have been
able to overcome".
Winston. Churchill!
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