[Dixielandjazz] 2005 The Great OKOM Gig Explosion Year.

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 23 20:58:03 PST 2005

Have been doing A New Orleans Brunch at Striped Bass Restaurant in Center
City Philadelphia, SUNDAYS. Very Posh Seafood Oriented.

Starting OKOM 5 days a week (Monday through Friday) for 8 weeks at the
Showboat Casino in Atlantic City next Monday. They originally asked for 26
weeks which we turned down because of numerous existing summer bookings.

Now Le Jardin, a VERY POSH FRENCH Restaurant in Center City Philadelphia
wants to talk about a steady OKOM gig on their roof garden venue atop the
Art Alliance Building.

The above all coming totally unsolicited, from A & R types. This must be our
15 minutes of fame, after being "discovered". All in addition to our many
regular gigs which I generate.

Barbone Street is running out of available dates and may have to do over 250
OKOM gigs in the Philadelphia area this year. We'll have to work two, or
more bands at same times to cover some of them.

Now, what was it folks want to say about "no audience for OKOM"?

Yeah, it took about 10 years of band marketing to get to this stage in OKOM
gigs. All the while fighting the urge to give up because other OKOM band
leaders all over the USA said it couldn't be done. Even those with 30 years
of "experience" on the Festival Circuit.

I remember the first year with 6 gigs, and the steady progression to 12, 26,
38, 56, 66, 79, 157, 143, 158, 161. And now? 250? (At a time when the "A"
band is not looking to work that hard)

But then, who said the music business was easy, or for sissies, or about
that very small pool of fans in "Festival" audiences?

This is a totally different music scene that the one eyed festival bands
have ignored. And one which, unless you are wired into the "working
professional" music scene in your area, you have no idea even exists.
Hopefully, as you retire and devote the time to the working band scene, you
will discover the benefits of playing where the people are.

And if you work hard and are "lucky" like Mike Vax and me, you will also
discover the thrill of working in schools, from elementary to University,
and seeing the kids tune in and turn on when they hear good jazz.

Steve Barbone


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