[Dixielandjazz] Adding Youthful members / or audiences

Phil Wilking philwilking at bellsouth.net
Wed May 26 15:36:42 PDT 2010

No, the youngsters are not going to be at your usual locations - you have to 
hunt them up in their natural habitats - which normally will NOT be where 
their elders hang out.

Perhaps part of the long-term solution to the problem of shrinking patronage 
is to take a page from the British theatre book.

It may no longer be the case, but when I visited London about 40 years ago, 
every legitimate theatre made sure they had a section of seats which college 
students could afford. OK, it was usually the highest balcony, but a British 
actor learns in his earliest training how to project to the farthest corner 
of the house. Those seats were "loss leaders" of course, but those college 
kids grew up to buy many much higher priced tickets.

I know the band leader usually does not run the music venue and therefore 
can not set ticket prices, but he can look for places to play for an hour or 
two where young people gather. Then play there for for little or no money as 
"advertising." Perhaps set up with the best titles of the band's repertoire 
on big cards for requests.

Or he could use the idea of 100 years ago which was the source of the term 
"tailgate trombone." In the days before radio, much less television, bands 
would hire a flat-bed wagon. They would put a sign on each side announcing 
the location of that night's performance, and then ride the wagon through 
the streets playing to advertise the dance or street fair or whatever. The 
trombonist always got the seat at the rear so he had room over the tailgate 
for his slide. These days, the "wagon" might well be a flat-bed truck.

Of course, if the sidemen won't go along with this and won't ever play 
unless well paid now, with no planning for the future, then they and the 
aging audiences will simply die off together.

Phil Wilking

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

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis" <larrys.bands at charter.net>

> Almost all of the things I play don't have young people around.  Old 
> people pay, young ones don't and everyone I know wants to make money or 
> they won't play. 

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