[Dixielandjazz] FW: FW: RedGorilla Music Fest seeks bands - AustinTX

tcashwigg at aol.com tcashwigg at aol.com
Thu Jan 18 15:55:11 PST 2007

Cc: deanoassunto at thedukesofdixieland.com
Sent: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] FW: FW: RedGorilla Music Fest seeks bands 
- AustinTX

   Hey Cash et al;

I've got to chime in on this one on two counts.  First, the French 
Quarter Festival in New Orleans is one of those pay to play festivals.  
I was getting ready to put my group in one year until I heard about the 
fee, then I backed out.  But after I had thought it over, it would have 
been nothing to go around town and drum up some corporate sponsorship 
for that gig with the local businesses around the region.  The face of 
festival gigging has changed from being asked to play to finding your 
own backing and paying to perform and promoting your corporate 
sponsors.  Just think of the income potential if you've got merchandise 
to sell at a large festival venue.

Hi Mike:  Happy New year and good gigs to ya.

Yes, indeed the French Quarter Festival is one of the best festivals to 
play in the world if you want to play Traditional Jazz, and get 
priceless exposure to 400,000 + attendees walking around with money in 
their pockets to spend on Cds and T=Shirts, Hats etc.   Something that 
most musos simply have no business sense about at all, and why they 
have 975 of their first 1000 Cds still sitting in the garage collecting 
dust while they keep spending more money making more Cds that will join 
them in the corner soon.   There is simply not much money to be made in 
New Orleans playing Live music  especially OKOM players, has not been 
for a long long time.   So it becomes more and more important for 
anybody wishing to play there to fully understand the economics of 
promotion and marketing themselves.

The second point is, the "Dukes of Dixieland" didn't play that showcase 
in Las Vegas, Jon Shoup's "New Orleans' Own Dukes of Dixieland" played 
that gig.  The band "Dukes of Dixieland" died back in 1974 with the 
passing of my Uncle Frank Assunto, and thank goodness finally the jazz 
community is realizing this fact.  Word on the street in N.O. is that 
other band has been asked to take a pay cut on their gigs and they've 
been asked to cut back to a trio on their riverboat gig.



I am also aware that the "REAL DUKES of DIXIELAND" did not play that 
showcase in Las Vegas, But they Should have !  Or at least the second 
or third generation of their musician decedents, Part of what this 
thread is all about and the POINT I was trying to make.  But as far as 
the Promoters in attendance and the patrons that heard and saw them 

Legal or not  Moral or not like it or not John  Shoup has been 
marketing  "A" band called the Dukes of Dixieland for many years very 
very successfully to mass audiences mostly outside the "Dixieland Jazz 
Community" and that Name is what is worth the money, tis indeed a Pity 
that the Assunto family lost control of it for so long, and even the 
fact that the Jazz world really had no clue of it, but again they 
probabloy did not care so long as they "Thought"  they were listening 
to the Music of the Dukes of Dixieland, which is what they wanted to 
hear all along or they would not have gone to see the what would in 
today's live music world now be  "referred to as "Dukes of Dixieland 
Tribute Band" and making more money than the Original Dukes probably 
ever made.

It's just basic name rights and Marketing Mike.   There are tribute 
bands out on the tour circuit now making more money than some of the 
artists they "Tribute" can get on their own Names.    Case in point is 
the current Rage selling out major venues in a Tribute to Frankie Valli 
& The Four Seasons.

  You could be the reincarnated Uncle Frank  but if you did not market 
it and promote it nothing would happen, sort of like changing the name 
of Ford to Edsel because you didn't like your Brother :))   Uncle Frank 
is gone, and left you guys a legacy, unfortunately John Shoup borrowed 
it and made all the money off of it while there was still a viable 
market for the name and the music.

The word on the street that they have been asked to take a cut in pay 
and cut to a Trio is and should not be a Big Surprise at all, given the 
current economic situation and music scene in New Orleans,   Thank the 
good lord you don't live there and are trying to make a living these 
days.   There ain't NO MONEY, Which is why they went to play in Las 
Vegas in front of folks from other regions that HAVE money and viable 
tourist venues to play.    You can only live on Myth and hype about a 
Famous City like New Orleans for so long, and not long at all when the 
tourists and the money is not coming in, time to get out of dodge and 
go where the Money is.

I have a good friend who moved back after the Hurricane, and has yet to 
get a PAID gig anywhere in Louisiana.

Sad but True,

Tom Wiggins

 From: tcashwigg at aol.com
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 2:51 PM
To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] FW: FW: RedGorilla Music Fest seeks bands 
- AustinTX

Hi Jim:

There is a Very Large Basic Difference in these situations.

1. As in Kaye's situation while it may have been uniquely potentially
beneficial for her other career,
it was not doing anything for the LIve music gig situation. Had she
been doing it at a movie studio or on a movie set lot that would have
been a whole different matter. As she would then be addressing and
"AUditioning" for the specific people she was hoping to get work from.

#2. The Red Gorilla event is a Specific Advertising and Marketing
Event that spends Thousands of dollars and man hours to organize the
stages and P.A. Systems and and performance schedules of hundreds of
bands and artists and spends Thousands of dollars in advertising those
bands and the fact that they will be there to perform and be seen by
people looking to hire them and or sign recording contracts with
suitable ones etc.

Now one of the top Dixieland bands in the World ( The Dukes of
Dixieland) just played a showcase in Las Vegas at a major Event
Producers Conference where they were seen and heard by hundreds of
Talent buyers with checkbooks and contracts in hand. The fee to get on
that showcase was a Hell of a lot more than the Red Gorilla or SXSW
events in Austin. They no doubt filled many dates on their calendar
for the next two years from that endeavor. Not to mention that they
did it unopposed by any other Dixieland bands on the program. The
only thing any other Dixieland bands can hope for is that they get
residual gigs after the Dukes play their dates and collect all that
good money from buyers who did not have to go looking for all the
invisible Dixieland bands in the world.

It used to be when this was once considered a Profession, that you got
gigs from word of mouth and referrals like the Doctors and Dentists and
Lawyers used to do. That is no longer a viable way to get enough gigs
to keep a good band going all year long, at least in the USA. Times
have changed, they all now advertise and the Chiropractors showed them
how to do it, by taking their profession out to the public in large
festivals and events where they could network directly with potential
customers for future business, and they pay for the display booths that
they set up there to demonstrate their services. Yes we all still get
some referrals and residual gigs from each one that we do play, but
they are getting fewer and further between for a variety of reasons.

Now here is a test: Name all the Dixieland Bands that immediately
come to mind to the general public or committee band buying members in
the world. Why such a short list ?? because nobody else advertises
or markets like they do. A terrible thing happens when you don't
Advertise or Promote " Absolutely Nothing ."

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Dukes of Dixieland

Pete Fountain

Woody Allen

And I am certainly not advocating playing for Free but am savvy enough
to know the difference between playing for Free and Promoting and
Advertising my Band business, I often book very very well paid gigs
and set aside the excess money to pay for just these kind of things
which is an investment back into my Band business which always results
in more and better gigs and therefore more and better money for the
sidemen who only show up and play and take the check and go home.

I do not run a co-op band, I run a Business that employes musicians (
usually good ones who don't understand business or marketing or
promotion ) and that the world is not just waiting to hear them play
and give them big paychecks for doing it, especially if they can't find
them. I realize Jim, that your band is a special and unique one
having been together for 30 years very successfully, but you basically
have no competition where you live, especially at your quality level.
Here in the USA the market is glutted with musicians and becoming more
crowded every year, not just in Dixieland. The dixieland gigs here
are scattered all over the map and usually crammed into a small joint
where if you are lucky 30 to 50 people show up, and all of them are not
gong to book your band, so your exposure for future gigs is very small
in that circuit. Just in my part of the world in the past two weeks I
see 22 Dixieland Bands working for FREE for the very organizations
that profess to be Preserving and Promoting the Music. I simply ask
For Who and Why ? There are often at these events more musicians that
audiences to hear them. Doesn't ANYBODY see what's wrong with this
Picture ? or is anybody even LOOKING at it.?

Me thinks Not.



Maybe I could move my band to Barcelona and live out my days playing
there with the closest Dixieland band being in Madrid :))

At least Jim and I could get together on the off days for a Beer or
Sangria. :))

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