[Dixielandjazz] Adding youthful Members
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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