[Dixielandjazz] New Tunes

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 14 13:28:58 PDT 2007

Mopo makes a good point, as does Ivor. Lots of old tunes that are good tunes
to play. Heck, I've got 1500 of them in Tex Wyndham's chord book and have
played most of them. There's only one problem with them.

The audience for them is dying off. There are damn few, if any, OKOM bands
out there today that can make a living playing them. Those tunes, still do
not generate enough interest (in the USA at least) among the musical
audience so that the bands that play them can exist profitably without
asking for sponsorships and/or outside donations to stay healthy.

On the other hand, those bands and/or musicians who play newer pop tunes as
Dixieland Jazz find that there is a much larger audience out there and they
will pay good money to hear it.

IMO, and I know I may be a minority of one, there is no difference in the
genre if one plays more current pop tunes as Dixieland, rather than
continually reprising the older pop tunes. (which BTW were not Dixieland
either until someone decided to play them as such)

The difference is in the musicians. (and the audience) Some look ahead for
jazz ideas and some look backwards. Either works in the genre, however those
that look ahead seem to have an easier time of making a living while also
expanding the overall audience for the music. To me, that's the ultimate
reason for being.

We keep bemoaning the fact that there is no audience for Dixieland. That's
totally wrong. There is a huge audience for Dixieland Jazz. But you have to
make the music relevant. Do that and the music will be self sustaining.

Steve Barbone

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