[Dixielandjazz] How to be a successful bandleader

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sun Jan 2 11:43:04 PST 2005

In a message dated 1/1/05 11:43:40 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
zenith at ans.com.au writes:

> Our band has a benefit (musicians playing for free) open air concert gig at
> Manly Corso (where the annual Jazz festival is held) on Saturday 15th
> January (only the third gig for 2005) for the Tsunami Disaster Fund.  The
> only problem we have left now is should we sell our CDs for free as well
> ????

G'day Tom:

It is of course a personal call for the band, however in a practical business 
sense I would say you are not obligated to sell your CDs for Free and should 
not be expected to do so.  That is (should be a separate but related business 
for the band and it's income) I view the CDs as the means by which to pay for 
your Band promotion and advertising and travel expenses, which leaves your 
normal fees unencumbered for such expenses if possible.

Giving of one's collective time and performances to raise money for such a 
worthy cause and entertaining others at the same time is no small sacrifice or 
contribution to be slighted, and you still have expenses to meet for getting 
the band there, rehearsal expenses, etc., etc.  Remember that almost all those 
relief organizations and top level workers are getting paid salaries, and 
certainly all expenses for their charitable work for the same situation.

If the band elects to turn around and make even more monetary contributions 
to the organization and its relief efforts, no problem, but you must stay in 
business and meet your own expenses to be around to do it the next time some 
organization calls upon you to help.  The fact that you have been so generous to 
come out and give of your time and forfeit your performance fee should not be 
taken lightly, and the organizers should even instruct the audience to be kind 
enough to purchase your CDs to help you defray your expenses.  If you should 
decide to give them a portion of the Profits from such sales so be it, nothing 
wrong with that, but it should be your call.  This is not a WAR it is a 
relief effort so you should not be expected to Give ALL and make the ultimate 
sacrifice to go out of business for even a worthy cause.

That is my personal opinion on it, and of course it is a personal call from 
all members of any group, and if one of them felt the urge to donate more money 
and could afford to do so then by all means do it.  That being said, remember 
that the relief organization must collect enough money to remain a viable 
organization and pay their expenses and salaries to perform the much needed 
relief efforts they are undertaking for this disaster as well as have a reserve to 
be around for the next one.  They too are businesses and most run like one, 
and with a lot more money than most Bands will ever have to run theirs.

Best of luck to you guys and have a great gig.


Tom Wiggins

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