[Dixielandjazz] Unions and Youth Gigs Redux

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Fri Mar 11 17:46:53 PST 2005

Steve Said:
Never have done a youth gig that the AF of M ever had any involvement with
whatsoever. They aren't really effective in the Philadelphia area except
with the Symphonies.

Same Here.  They would do well to raise the scale to what a non union sideman makes plus the work dues.  The trouble is that a lot of those guys are just hacks and no one in their right mind would hire them for that. 

By the same token, I've never played a gig at below scale, except where I
might personally donate the band to a charity event. Do that twice a year
and that is a personal choice.

I play and rehearse occasionally with a band that plays for charity.  I also play in the Scottish Rite Brass to benefit their clinic and sometimes around Christmas for the Salvation army.  The last two are very professional bands and I get to network with the other guys in town and that never hurts.  The only other freebees are for members of the band when they have special events such as a daughter getting married etc. That's a professional courtesy.  There aren't many other things that I will play free for.  That amounts to several thousand dollars worth of donations each year.  No one ever asks plumbers to come over and fix their toilet for free so why ask me to do what I do either.  There never should be a free lunch.

Those elementary school gigs at $420 for an hour do violate our own minimum
standard, however the band INSISTS that they want to play as many as I can
get because they love the music and the kids. Plus I book them on afternoons
where we have a following evening gig, or a good chance of getting one. High
School and College gigs exceed our minimums.

But what else are you doing while you wait for Branson to call?  Might as well have a paid practice.  I was surprised to find several years ago that I was making more playing the throw away daytime jobs than I was making with the Friday/Saturday night bands.  So now I treat them with a little more respect. 

The sidemen also realize that the 10 or so wedding gigs that we get every
year come directly from young girls hearing us play in schools, or at other
public concerts, or at restaurants and jazz night clubs. Those jazz weddings
are incredible fun and as you guys who play weddings know, pay very well.

Yes they do!

Steve Barbone

PS. Just got booked in a quartet setting at one of Philadelphia's top
restaurants for Sunday Brunch series. New Orleans theme food, New Orleans
theme music. Banjo/Tuba/Trumpet/Clarinet. The Restaurant is the very "IN"
Striped Bass, at 15th and Walnut Streets. 11:45 AM to 2:15 PM. Stop by and
eat if you are in the area

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