[Dixielandjazz] A new jazz market trend?

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 14 07:04:34 PST 2005

Funny how things work out. OKOM in restaurants? Nah, never happen outside of
New Orleans etc., etc.

Now, all of a sudden, it seems here in the East, that there is a developing
trend back to OKOM & Sunday Brunches. Dan Levinson has just booked a steady
in NYC. The Smith Street Society Jazz Band just booked a steady at the
Iridium in NYC. Plus there are many more around.

And now, I am playing a steady with a banjo/tuba/trumpet/clarinet quartet at
a Sunday Brunch in Philadelphia. First one yesterday. Pure N.O. Brunch Theme
with "Dixieland" food specialties on the menu. (I had the blackened shrimp
fettuccine and it was wonderful.)

Unfortunately, this summer, I will have to sub many of these Sunday's
because the "A" band is so busy with Concert in the Park gigs.

The restaurant is one of Philadelphia's most upscale and very trendy;
Striped Bass, 1500 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Brunch entrees start at
$18.95 and go up from there. No cover. Yesterday's inaugural was fairly well
attended, and the crowd and owners loved it.

Especially a beautifully dressed 8 year old girl, having brunch with her
mother. I walked over between sets and presented her with Mardi Gras Beads
saying it was a New Orleans tradition. She beamed, thanked me and according
the restaurant staff, was absolutely beaming for the rest of her time there.
And the 50 something lady who walked in with some beads on. I gave her two
more strings and when she left, her husband gave the band a $20 tip.

My oh my . . . maybe a result of "The Magic of Believing"?

Best of all, the owners of this restaurant own 10 more in the Philadelphia
Metropolitan area. I am, however, becoming a nattering nabob of negativity
about that because I have neither the desire to be in the booking business,
nor the desire to have 11 versions of Barbone Street gigging simultaneously.
After all, many on the DJML view that as heresy. Besides, those upscale
Restaurants don't want/need, can't afford, (insert your favorite negative in
this space ___________)  OKOM Bands and there is no audience for the music.
Yeah, right. ;-) VBG

Steve Barbone

PS. The owners and GM treated the musos just fine. No silly rules, good
money, play what you want, and by all means, have brunch on them.

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