Who Has Bucked Trends And Started A Successful Jazz Oriented Band In The Past Five Years?

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I had a quartet (more than 5 years ago) that was somewhat successful playing for various events. It was always a side gig since we all have day jobs. I think this is about the only way to go (if you’re not trying to make it big). Because it’s the companies and large functions that can afford to shell out the dough. Made some good side money. Ate some amazing food. Had a great time always, and that’s what counts. So that is successful to me.

Then there is the funny parts. Like the 90 year old who asks, “can you play Take the A Train? You know, it has a good drum part...” Of course, we did play that tune. Lots of good memories...one of the famous news anchors was trying to play my drums without asking. Kinda ticked me off a bit!
 
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SwivoNut

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I live in an area that has a Big 10 university and a junior college. The university has Jazz Band I, II and III and the college also has a jazz band. Every possible jazz gig is gobbled up by university and college students and faculty members or a host of established local jazz musicians. I did not grow up in this area and only recently moved here when I got a job offer in local government. I knew that the chances of getting into a jazz band and playing what I wanted to play were slim to none. Then I came up with this crazy idea. I would try to put together a band made up of people who were willing to devote their time and talent to play for seniors in old folks homes who never get a chance to get out and hear bands anymore. I advertised on Craigslist and in local music stores for like minded musicians and was overwhelmed at the response. The local Council On Aging sent me a booklet that listed all of the senior homes in a tri-county area with addresses, phone numbers and contact names. It also set me up with a room in one of them where we could rehearse whenever we wanted. After a few rehearsals I started booking gigs. We played twice a month and were booked for three months in advance. The audiences were more enthusiastic than any we had ever played for. It really doesn't matter what type of music you play or how good or how bad you sound, the audiences will love it. Most places had never had any live entertainment before and the only thing the residents could look forward to was watching Lawrence Welk on TV every Saturday night. Our pay was giving back to the community and bringing joy to others. After a while most of the members moved on and the band broke up. I didn't need the money and I got to play what I wanted to play so I consider it to have been a successful endeavor. I 'm currently playing in an 18-piece big band that plays swing, jazz, TV/movie themes, etc. and I couldn't be happier.
 

thejohnlec

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We have a pool of great musicians here as well, and several of us have gotten some traction doing some trio and quarter, low volume gigs for a variety of events. It's really fun, and a nice challenge and change from our busy cover band.

My wife and I are also involved in a 9-piece horn band, playing Chicago, EWF, ToP, Steely Dan, Toto, etc. Believe it or not, we're busy with it and people love it. More fun than we should be allowed to have!
 

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