[Dixielandjazz] If you play/promote Swinging Dixieland will an audience come?
mccloskey at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 07:32:34 PST 2009
I might look to the Bluegrass community for a model of how to draw young
people to the music. Bluegrass does an excellent job of creating festivals,
jam sessions, and developing youth groups to draw people into the music at a
young age. And Bluegrass and Dixieland share a lot in common: exciting,
improvisation, upbeat, and virtuosity.
On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Stephen G Barbone <
barbonestreet at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Is this an idea whose time has come? Can Dixieland regenerate like rock did
> in the below article. Maybe, maybe not, but there are 4 locally well known
> Dixieland and/or Swing bands here in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that are
> now in discussions about a cooperative effort to draw a new young audience
> to the music via similar performances.
> We figure nothing ventured, nothing gained.
> Steve Barbone
> March 1, 2009 - NY TIMES - by Dave Caldwell
> A New Stage So Local Bands Can Play On
> SOUTH ORANGE NJ
> NO more than 20 minutes into the first of three sets, all 25 round tables
> in the makeshift coffeehouse were taken, and customers were still streaming
> through the front door. Children mingled with grown-ups, and happy chatter
> blended with rock ’n’ roll.
> Dozens of musicians are in South Orange and Maplewood, most of whom play
> for fun when they get home from their day jobs. But these are tough times,
> and three sites in the area that provided steady weekend gigs for these
> grass-roots groups all closed recently.
> So Alex Silberman of Millburn, who plays in a band when he is not running a
> consulting firm, and some friends in South Orange and Maplewood decided to
> rent the main room at the Baird Center and put on their own concert. They
> put out notices, and Mr. Silberman and volunteers created a stage, set up
> tables, hung tapestry on the walls, punched up the sound system and dimmed
> the overhead lights. Then they crossed their fingers.
> Before the mid-January event, Mr. Silberman said he would have jumped up
> and down for joy if 100 people showed up for Rock the House NJ, as they
> called the concert. The event, featuring three local groups, drew nearly
> twice that number. So another one is planned for March 20.
> “There’s a real interest, which is really gratifying,” Mr. Silberman, 49,
> said as he worked his way through the crowd.
> After the costs of the room rental and concert posters were covered, he
> divided the modest proceeds from the $5 cover charge among the three bands
> that played at the Baird: Felt, MoodRing and 3rd Gear. Three other local
> bands will play the next concert.
> Posters in fluorescent colors included text that read: “Rock the House NJ
> is a collective of musicians and music lovers who provide a structure to an
> otherwise homeless music community — bringing the music to your backyard.”
> Given the growing popularity of Maplewoodstock, the summer weekend concert
> held for the last five years near the Maplewood train station, no one seemed
> surprised that the first Rock the House NJ event drew a sizable crowd.
> “It’s very clear that people want music — I don’t know why those venues
> couldn’t survive here,” said David Gomberg, a Maplewood psychologist who
> plays in MoodRing and was the sound man at the Rock the House NJ concert.
> The Dancing Goat, in South Orange, and Here’s 2 the Arts and Café Meow, in
> Maplewood, have closed within a year of one another. Another pub on the
> Maplewood-Millburn border has cut back recently on appearances by local
> Nevertheless, Mr. Silberman decided the South Orange-Maplewood community
> was capable of sustaining its own regular concert series through the fall
> and winter.
> “Everybody loves to play, and the idea of creating something appealed to
> everybody — the sooner the better for most of the bands,” said Billy
> Fishkin, a lawyer who lives in South Orange and plays guitar in a band
> called Walk the Dog.
> Mr. Silberman sent e-mail messages to members of other local bands, and
> about 25 musicians attended a meeting in December to talk about whether his
> idea could work. He had no shortage of volunteers.
> Dawn Botti, a lawyer by day, signed up to be the concert emcee. She and her
> husband, Gary Szczecina, a graphic designer, moved to Maplewood five years
> ago from Jersey City mainly because the town had a thriving arts community.
> Ms. Botti, whose voice sounds somewhat like Pat Benatar’s, is the lead
> singer of a group called New Day Dawn, which just released a CD. Mr.
> Szczecina is the drummer. They did not play at the first Rock the House NJ
> event, but they wanted to help.
> “I think of it as a local movement — it’s like a renaissance,” she said.
> “It’s all for one and one for all.”
> The organizers had decided to keep the cover charge low to entice more
> people to attend. Children under 12 got in free, no alcohol was served and
> the items on a small menu, which included Belgian waffles and baked Brie,
> were made by Mr. Gomberg’s wife, Leah.
> There are 10 to 15 bands in the community, Mr. Silberman estimated —
> including Test Pattern, his band — and he would like to have enough of these
> concerts so everyone would get to play at least once.
> He said he also wants to bring music to more young people in Maplewood and
> South Orange, perhaps to teenagers who might want to start their own bands
> and play before an audience.
> “We’ve got to get some teen bands at this thing,” said Gary Shippy, a
> Maplewood resident and Walk the Dog member who was one of the organizers of
> Maplewoodstock. “Look at this space. It would bring in whole, new blood.”
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