[Dixielandjazz] Creating Places to Play

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Tue Jul 6 14:22:39 PDT 2004

In a message dated 7/6/04 9:45:54 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

> Long article, not specifically OKOM. However it points out how musicians
> can create gigs by going where the people are. Trust the Chinese to come
> up with this incredibly brave way to play their music. Can't get a
> festival gig because OKOM festivals are shrinking? Hey, go out and
> create your own audience among the hoi polloi. If you are not pressed
> for time, and are curious, this is a GREAT ARTICLE.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone

Once upon a time before we were Cool, there was also a lot of great American 
Jazz and Blues music being performed on the streets around America by American 
musicians, HELLO HELLO does nobody remember it?

That is what happens when there are more players than the market can employ 
in legitimate (or even illegitimate situations)    We live in a Supply and 
demand world, We have many more Musicians than there are gigs, therefore only the 
Savvy Band leaders and Musicians are the ones who continue to be creative and 
find or create good gigs and make a living.

The Peruvians came here and started this revolution in Street music before 
the Chinese Guys came, and they have done it not only here but in every other 
country around the world.

I can't recall going to any country to perform at a Jazz Festival or music 
event and not seeing at least one Peruvian band playing on the streets.  The 
same applies around Europe with a lot of good Gypsy bands as well.

I also from time to time have seen a few clever Symphony musicians dress down 
into Hippie or even Hillbilly clothes and play on the streets around San 
Francisco, Los Angeles, and outlying cities, performing Bluegrass and Country 
swing music, and selling self produced CDs as well.

I know several musicians who play the streets in San Francisco around the 
tourists areas and they admit to knocking down $300.00 or more per day, and they 
have not filed any tax returns and paid any taxes in at least fifteen years 
either.  I have never seen an IRS agent out there counting the money in the case 

Music has gone underground in more ways than one folks.

There is however no shame in playing on the streets, it certainly pays better 
than sitting around an AFof M union hall waiting for a gig call or rehearsing 
all day everyday with that big band that is coming back any day now to it's 
former glory.

In all truth however Big Bands are Back in some areas, and guess how they 
came back to popularity?  They are playing for about the same amount of money 
that they made in the 1930's & 40's during the depression days.

Another great place for some of you, Contact the State and Local Parks and 
get permission to show up there and play and sell your CDs.  Most of them will 
be happy to have you do so as it attracts people to their parks.

Almost all cities have a public Bandstand somewhere, and it sits vacant most 
of the days since there is no budget to hire anybody for most days.  Those 
bandstands are just sitting and rotting away, why don't more of us go out and 
make use of them, Your taxes paid for them and are paying for the eventual 
repairs for them, get clever and turn them into an asset for your band and music.   
Where else can you get a rent free venue, and if you can promote yourself and 
draw a crowd you will be delighted to know that they came there to see  and 
hear YOUR music.   Play it good and they will buy your CDs and keep coming back 
and  telling and bringing their friends the next time.

Sadly watching it happen over and over again.

Tom Wiggins

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list