[Dixielandjazz] COLLEGE KIDS AND OKOM
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 21 09:06:22 PST 2004
Got home from last night's gig at Philadelphia's 23rd Street (First Troop)
Armory at 4:00 AM just as emotionally high as a kite. Natural high from the
music and the excitement, only one drink all night.
The gig was 6 piece Dixieland / Swing for the premier Fraternity at the Ivy
League University of Pennsylvania. Started at 10 PM and ended at 2 AM. Total
attendance was 406 students paying $20 a pop to attend this "martini" party.
The joint was at capacity and jumping.
Formal for those who were so inclined and just about all were beautifully
dressed up. Even our band, (The Barbone Street Jazz Band) plays this one in
jacket & tie out of respect for the kids. They've hired us 5 years in a row
now. And we do 4 or 5 other college gigs a year in the area.
1) These kids are something to behold. All under 25, smart as whips,
culturally diversified with some international students, who love jazz and
are as eager to talk to jazz musicians as we are to them.
2) They dance to everything we play.
3) They respond to our "audience involvement" antics. (Mardi Gras beads and.
bikini bottoms saying "Love Those Italians" on them)
4) They call us "sir" and treat us like rock stars.
5) They cheer wildly.
6) They call friends on cell phones at 1 AM, laugh and say "I'm having a
great time. Some old guy (describing me) even gave me Mardi Gras Beads."
This is one of our "best" gigs of the year, along with Sydney's Jazz Club in
Rehoboth, because of the phenomenal response that we get from an audience
that "isn't supposed to like New Orleans Jazz", according to those in the
know. (yeah right1)
Between sets, we stood on the stair landing between the room where we played
and the floor below where the rest rooms and the cavalry museum are. It was
a treat to ogle the girls as they passed, drape beads on those who had none,
smile/laugh and talk with them. By last count, we had comments listed below
as the kids passed by:
"You guys are awesome." 14 times
"Thumbs up" 11 times
"Excellent" 16 times
And the bottom line? "You guys 'made' this party." from the fraternity
organizers who were enormously pleased. (They even quickly asked me to put
"jazz" on the sound system CD player between sets when I had put a R & R CD
on thinking they would like a change of pace from jazz.)
And when in the 3rd set we asked for requests for the whole set, here is
what we played, "by request" from 21 to 25 year olds.
Strutting With Some BBQ; At Last; Sweet Georgia Brown; What a Wonderful
World;(with the kids shouting out the last line lyrics of the song), Things
Ain't What They Used To Be, St Thomas, I Can't Give You Anything But Love
and a Horace Silver hard Bop Blues "Filthy McNasty".
So, the next time you hear some dried up old jazz literati tell you that
kids are musical idiots, or that they don't like jazz, and any other similar
nonsense, please smile sweetly and say:
"Jazz is like sex. If your partner (or the audience in this case) doesn't
like it, 'YOU AIN'T DOIN IT RIGHT'."
Fellow Bandleaders . . . Carpe Diem!
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