[Dixielandjazz] Bands for club gigs in Sacto.

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 28 13:58:49 PST 2005

Tom Wiggins wrote: (polite snip) about opening A JAZZ CLUB IN OLD SACTO
answering Bob Ringwald's comment that working six nights a week in club
venues sucks.

> And yes playing six nights a week or so steady is a drag for most adventurous
> players, but the weekend warrior guys up there should be all over it for a
> chance to play and at least make some noise using it as live rehearsals to try
> and build themselves a following.

No question, if you gig 6 nights a week for an extended period of time, you
will become a jazz zombie, playing the same old same, old all the time. And
there aren't that many band followers in Sacto to put up with that for very
long either.

The solution to that is to open a club and rotate the bands, rather than
have one band play there for a long period of time.

Except in "Tourist" situations like the San Antonio Riverwalk and a band
like Cullum's which is constantly reinventing itself.

One of the most successful Dixieland venues in the Philadelphia area ran for
over 25 years. The Bands were supplied by Derf Nolde and called the Keystone
Five. (actually six, sometimes seven, including Derf).

The brilliance of it was that he ROTATED the players every week during those
years. Trumpet/Cornet guys included, Randy Reinhardt, George Rabbai, Al
Harrison, Paul Grant, Jon Erik Kellso, Peter Ecklund, Jack Fine, Danny
Tobias, Ed Polcer, Bob Leive, Bob Gravenor, Mac McClaeb, etc. Clarinets,
Kenny Davern, Ken Peplowski, Marv Ross, Dan Levinson, Steve Barbone, Orange
Kellin, Joe Midiri,..... Well, you get the idea. The rhythm section was
fairly constant with Derf on piano, Dewitt Kaye on Bass and Tony DeNicola on
drums. When any of them took off, Derf for example, a great player like Ed
Metz Sr was rotated in to fill the gap.

Then the club folded because toward the end, the owner got into booze, women
and drug trouble, all at the same time. And Derf moved away.

With all of our gigs and visibility, we solve the "same old, same old"
problem by appearing in many different venues over the year. For every 100
gigs we do, we play in 80 different venues. The other problem that solves,
is the short money paid for "regular" club date gigs. It is much more
lucrative to play once or twice in various venues around the area, and you
build a much larger fan base.

And, you get a chance to work up new material, like last night at an upscale
retirement home. We played the Eagles Fight Song, working it up by request.
The trumpet, who knew it because he was in the Eagles Big Band last year,
taught it to us. Those old folks sang it well. GO EAGLES. :-) VBG

Steve Barbone

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list