[Dixielandjazz] Handling cancellations and breaks

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Mon Jan 1 21:59:38 PST 2007

Dave - about breaks

It's partially in how you put together your tunes.  There is a way to give 
everyone a break during the tunes.

Usually everyone plays a Dixie head.  The second chorus is the clarinet with 
the brass taking a break,  the next chorus is the cornet who has just 
rested.  The trombone or piano takes the next one and then everyone goes out 
with a Dixie chorus.  How long you are not playing depends on how many you 
have in the band and how many choruses they take.

Some don't like this arrangement because they think it becomes boring but 
there can be on longer gigs a chop problem.  On short gigs I will play a lot 
of background on long gigs I play a lot less.

Take a little longer between tunes.  An additional 30 seconds amounts to 7 
or 8 minutes per hour,  also start the break 3 minutes to the hour and start 
playing at 17 after.  It looks like a 15 min break but is actually 20.  Kind 
of like charging that point 9 cents for a gallon of gas - no one notices. 
If you play one tune right after another on a long gig you will kill 
yourself.  Talk to the audience more.  They like it usually and it saves the 
chops too.

Try recorded music for breaks if you really need it but most importantly 
pace yourself.
St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Dustin" <postmaster at fountainsquareramblers.org>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 1:53 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Handling cancellations and breaks

Steve Barbone wrote:
Cancellations are another matter. I rarely ask for a deposit because I know
most of my clients and they do not cancel, except for "Acts of God". I got
cancelled once 2 years ago because a Corporate client found a cheaper band.
OK, I promised never to work a gig with them again and wrote a note to the
president to that effect.

Last week, a gal from that corporation called me. Asked me to work a 2 day
gig, 100 miles away. Excellent pay + room & board. I declined and felt good
about it. The best revenge is living well, working only for people you like,
and only when you feel like it.

Steve, I applaud your ability to turn down gigs that other bands would
probably die for.  There¹s an ³almost² corporate client on my list that
screwed us over so much in pre-booking phase that I wouldn¹t work for them
at any price.  For our booking contract, I use a provision that reads --

> In the event PURCHASER cancels the Engagement for any reason 30 or more 
> days
> prior to Date of Engagement, this Agreement shall be null and void. In the
> event PURCHASER cancels the Engagement for any reason less than 30 days 
> prior
> to Date of Engagement, ARTIST shall be paid 50% of the fee.  In the event
> cancellation occurs during the Hours of Engagement due to inclement 
> weather,
> ARTIST shall be paid full fee.
If somebody cancelled on me less than 30 days out, they¹d receive an invoice
for 50%.  If they paid it, fine, we¹d work for them again because they are
respecting the deal. If they didn¹t and they came begging later on, they¹d
have to square up the back fee before we¹d take another booking. But I
wouldn¹t necessarily turn them down.

Let me ask a general question.  How do you guys with other bands handle
breaks?  How many minutes per hour?  This is an issue for us since our
trumpets tend to run out of chops pretty quick.  We play two 45-min sets,
normally, and try to get a 15 min break per hour, but some clients always
beg us or demand we play through because they are afraid folks will start to
walk if we stop for a break.  So we wear down our high brass and the heavy
improv falls on the bone and the clarinet who never seem to get a break.  I
am very interested in how others deal with this issue.

David Dustin

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