[Dixielandjazz] Talking to fans

Elazar Brandt jazzmin at actcom.net.il
Sat Dec 18 05:42:42 PST 2004

Hi Tom,

"Fire in the belly"? And I thought I was just hungry!  "Run out of hot air"? Never! Don't worry.

Actually I do enjoy playing for the sheer joy of making music and making people happy, and if I were in a better financial position
I would do more without worrying about whether I got paid for it. (This does NOT mean I'm into taking commercial jobs from other pro
players by undercutting. I try not to do that.) Israel is a small enough place that it's relatively easy for one person to make a
difference and get noticed--if you call playing street music for 8 years easy, that is.

Next to the steak house where I have a weekly solo banjo gig, there is s new Chabad cafe that meets in an old stone windmill, and is
meant to be a gathering place for singles. So far it's mostly young singles, and more gals than guys. (Aw, gee, do I HAVE to go play
there?) More than once a young, gorgeous 20-something who is the counter person for the evening has followed me into the steak house
and asked, "Oh, Dr. Jazz, would you mind coming by and playing a few songs for us later after you finish here?" Ha! YOU try saying
no to an invitation like that! I come in a couple hours later, watch half a dozen or so young faces light up, one brings me a chair,
someone else brings me a coffee, and I go to work. If they know the songs, and some of them do, they'll sing along. One of them says
she plays trumpet, but I haven't talked her into playing anything with me yet. Ask me if I worry about getting paid for these little
impromptu gigs.

After a few times, the Rabbi, who calls me "Doctor" or "Dr Jazz", hired me and my partner for their Hanukkah party, gladly paid me a
nominal fee we agreed on (they're a new, nonprofit outfit) plus a tip and bought one of our CDs. (Did I mention we have a CD for
sale? Details on my website.) They tried to book us for another night of Hanukkah too, but we were already booked for that night.
Later on he told me he wished he had us rather than the band they did get for that night. He said we were much more alive, and the
people liked us better. Now often when I go into the place, our CD is on their stereo system. (The young staff of waiters and
waitresses at the steak house also play our CD a lot when I'm not there. Nice to be developing a good response from 20-something
Israelis. I keep telling my partners we need to get out and play more for this age group.)

Last week while leaving the steak house, one of the young cafe gals stops me and asks if I would stay for a moment and play a song
for her friend, who just got engaged, and who is on her way to the cafe. Of course I agreed. I didn't ask for any money, wasn't
offered any, and would not have dreamed of taking it for that. This sort of thing contributes to the "legendary" aspect of my
reputation--committing senseless acts of jazz, putting smiles on people's faces, in a land going through a troubled time. I can live
with that legacy. There are enough jobs that pay the bills... well usually anyway.

Happy holidays to all,

Doctor Jazz Band
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel: +972-2-679-2537

P.S. So Tom, where are you, anyway? Maybe we can meet one of these days.
  -----Original Message-----
  From: TCASHWIGG at aol.com [mailto:TCASHWIGG at aol.com]
  Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 9:08 AM
  To: jazzmin at actcom.net.il; dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
  Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Talking to fans

  I would say Elazar has the Fire in the Belly,

  Stoke that fire Elazar and may your bellows never run out of air, and walk softly but carry a Big Tuba.  :))

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