[Dixielandjazz] Adding youthful Members

Phil Wilking philwilking at bellsouth.net
Tue May 25 14:01:00 PDT 2010

If you will (can find a place to) play where teen-agers can hear you - 
perhaps shopping malls and such - and will play at tempos a human can dance 
to - the young people will come - at first to jeer and then they will start 
to dance. You have to seek them out, they are not looking for you.

Tempos to dance to are critical, you are trying to be attractive to an 
audience which has never heard anything like you before and is completely 
self-absorbed. They DON'T CARE how musically amazing you can be, so save the 
virtuoso showing off with strange extended chords for the after-hours jam 
session. The same applies to long announcements between tunes: they don't 
care about the history, they want to polish their belt buckles. Use old 
traditional jazz warhorses - King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, etc., they have 
strong rhythms and good melodies which will stick in the kids' minds despite 
the raging hormone fog.

Again, KEEP THE SPEED DOWN! Yes, through familiarity, it is going to seem 
draggy to you - SO WHAT? Your object is to get the girls moving to the 
music. As soon as the girls start to move to the music, you have found your 
proper tempo. Foot tapping is a beginning, but it isn't good enough, you 
want full body movement. When the girls begin to wiggle, the boys will join 
in. If they don't know how to Charleston or Black Bottom (and who will?), 
they'll make something up on the spot and be very happy.

I have seen it happen.

Phil Wilking

Those who would exchange freedom for
security deserve neither freedom nor security.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Beth Schweitzer" <beth at portafortuna.com>
> I agree that we need to attract more young people, but I think the real
> problem is in attracting a younger audience - not younger musicians.
> How do we get young people interested in listening to
> OKOM? What can we do to make it "cool" or "hot" or whatever temperature
> is in style today? 

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