[Dixielandjazz] Adding youthful Members

billsharp sharp-b at clearwire.net
Tue May 25 10:12:01 PDT 2010

World problems are often dealt with at summit meetings.  We of OKOM are 
due for a summit meeting of our own.

A fellow musician and friend says that we, as players of dixieland, are 
among the walking dead. The audience is room full of Q-tips. Jazz club 
membership is dwindling and the societies are struggling to survive 
because age is taking its toll.  The presence of younger players and a 
youthful audience is abysmal.

Here is a possible solution: [ this is for the area in and around 
Sacramento, but could be applied in other sections of the country]]

What if the various club presidents all went to a "summit meeting" and 
agreed to do the following:

Form a youth band from the membership of the attendees at Sacramento's  
Summer Youth Jazz Camp and promise to have them as the hired guest band 
at the various  jazz clubs twice in the ensuing year.

  This would do a few things to get youth back into our societies.  It 
would/should:  1) provide a reason for them to play and learn these 
tunes;  2)  bring their parents and youthful friends into the 
societies;   3) bring some energy back into jazz as we hear it (the 
earliest bands were often "kids' eager to play hot jazz);    4)  
provide a new core of players for future years.  Who knows, some of us 
might end up working gigs with them.

Note:  The summit committee should  promise to provide a top dollar to 
the youth bands.

The reason I said "twice a year"  is because it provides more playing 
for the youth, and I'd bet we'd notice a huge improvement between their 
first and second appearance.  Additionally, say that 4 clubs formed a 
pact to bring the youth bands to their clubs, then that would be 8 
appearances in a year - -plenty of reason for a band to rehearse and 
want to play.

If every year for the next 3-4+ years we were to institute this kind of 
support for new players, we would begin to build a new foundation of 
players for our kind of music .  We can rebuild this structure.  And 
this is a method to do it.

Sacramento, Modesto, Stockton, Fresno, South Bay, Sonora, Redding - - 
-do you hear me???


Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side and a dark side and it 
holds the universe together.


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