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A Professional Trio Just Lost a Gig to Our Quartet

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Jazzin', Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    After playing at the Montreal Jazz Festival in a HS Bigband, a lady came to the music teacher/conductor to ask him if some of us can play a gig. He directed her to us (3 friends and I recently established a jazz quartet just for jamming and stuff). So she said that we would be playing entertainment for a fundraiser against breast cancer. The gig is august 31st. She came by today to my house with 3 other people to judge our playing. She told us that there would also be a professional jazz trio with a vocalist, and that we would get one set of 30 minutes (which isn't a lot, but it's our first real gig, and experience is good) and they would have 2 sets of 30. Then we played the 4 songs that we prepared to show her (Take Five, The Chicken, Impressions and Chicken Scratch) and two more songs (Chameleon and Watermelon Man) just for fun that we jammed on because they wanted to hear more. We didn't play at our best because we didn't really have too much time to arrange and prepare, but it wasn't bad either. Anyway, after all of it, they told us that we could have all 3 sets of 30 minutes as long as we don't mind having that much and that we have enough music prepared. This is pretty cool, it will be my fisrt gig (not including ones with my HS). All the entertainment hired besides us is professional, there are going to be professional comedians and a DJ. It's pretty serious stuff. We aren't accepting any money though since it's a for a fundraiser, but I believe all the other entertainers, the catoror and other misc. things are being payed for what they do since it's ther job. It should be fun.
  2. Congrats on the gig. But...

    Musicians playing for free... :rollno:

    Remember, there are some musicians out there who actually play for money, so when you volunteer to play for free, of course a venue will pick your band instead of the other band. I know it's exciting for you to be playing your first big gig outside of HS, but depriving a professional band of a gig just because you're doing it for free is a nono. That kind of thing happens all the time around where I live, and it's pretty disgusting.

    So nothing personal, congratulations on getting a gig, but in the future please keep in mind that you should be paid for your work, otherwise it's unfair to others. ;)
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

    If a HS group pulled this on one of my bands, a few people would get a spanking. :D
  4. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Considering the circumstances he described, I couldn't disagree more.

    The key word is "fundraiser". We do 'em too, and in many cases they have food donated by local restaurants, merchandise donated by local shops for use as door prizes and/or raffles, etc. These folks usually get paid for their products, also - but give it away for events such as these.

    To suggest that there's something "wrong" with donating your musical talents for a cause beneficial to others is, well, "wrong". :rollno:

    Congrats on the gig, Jazzin', and good luck....
  5. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    the fundraisers i play are always paid gigs.
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Wouldn't it be nicer if you got the gig because you actually sounded better, rather than because you undercut their price? Because you do realize that that's the only reason you got offered the slot, cause now she can spend that money somewhere else.

    Congratulations, you just put some real musicians out of work. Stay in the business long enough, it'll happen to you.
  7. Damn! It's a freakin' fundraiser! He's happy, as he should be. The point is that they were good enough to play there, thats great, congratulations!
  8. seanlava


    Apr 14, 2005
    I have nothing against donating one's services in the name of a good cause, but why should the band play for free, when the other service providers (comedian, DJ, etc.) are being treated like the professionals they are? I have to agree with Geoff, Ed and NJL; whenever one band undercuts another on price, it hurts all of us who make our living in music. When club owners and event promoters can get bands who are willing to perform for "exposure", (one of the most insidious and dishonest terms ever coined, to be sure) it leaves professional musicians out in the cold. This is a microcosm of what's wrong with the US economy as a whole; if companies can hire workers in other countries for half of what they would pay workers here, there's no reason to keep the jobs in this country.
  9. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA

    Yes. Like, perhaps, to be donated to the cause (in this case, breast cancer) that the *fundraiser* was organized for in the first place.

    Sorry, fellas, but this is analogous to complaining that Habitat for Humanity construction volunteers are putting "real" carpenters out of work. :rolleyes:

    Some things are more important than a paycheck.
  10. That's the key. Everyone else is being paid for their work. Music is your job. You should be paid for your work, especially for playing 3 sets.
  11. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    People of all vocations can *choose* to donate their time, effort, talent or money to what they consider a worthy cause any time they see fit.

    Jazzin' has chosen to do so here, realizing that a charity event is a zero-sum game - the lower the costs of putting on the event, the greater the amount raised for the charity.

    I, for one, applaud his way of thinking, would do (and have done) the same, and couldn't care less what "everyone else" performing at the event chooses to do.

    Quite different from playing a free gig at a club or festival, to maximize a bar owner or promoter's profits.
  12. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Apperently the other band wasn't too commited to the whole thingy anyway, they weren't answering calls and stuff. It's a fundraiser, and maximum profit for the fundraiser is better. I don't think the other band was kicked off because they would be getting payed and we wouldn't. I think it is because the fundraising people saw us play first and realized that we are really good or even better than the other band, plus the other band wasn't as commited. We were offered I believe 500$ for our work, but we turned it down. We were either going to turn down the money or accept the money and then donate it.
  13. That's very minimal pay for 3 sets anyway.

    I have nothing against donating your services for a good cause, but when it involves taking the job away from a professional band, that's entirely a different story.

    Next time you play a gig like that and want to donate your services, this is what you should do. Play the gig and get paid, and THEN donate the money that you earned from the gig. That way you're sure the money is donated to whatever cause (because for all you know, the money that wasn't used to pay you could just go to pay another entertainer).
  14. Hypothetical situation:

    My little brother plays sax. He's not only going to play at the fundraiser for free, but he'll pay them $500. After all, it's good publicity, and it's really fun playing at events like that, so afterall, he should be paying to get the privilege of playing there, right?

    Now who do you think they'd hire, your band or my little brother? (he can play some mighty fine F minor pentatonic blues, mind you)
  15. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Almost any "donation of services for a good cause" involves taking work away from a professional of some sort.

    Some months back, one of my friends/neighbors got very sick. While he was laid up, I cut his grass about four times, my wife cooked extra and brought food over, etc. Other neighbors did the same thing. And, I'd suspect, you'd do the same thing if one of your friends was fighting with medical issues.

    By doing this, we undoubtedly eliminated the need for him to hire a lawn care service, and also eliminated the need for numerous calls to restaurants for high-priced takeout meals. In the course of helping a friend, we "took jobs away" from other professionals.

    Heck, in another thread just last night in Off Topic, I posted some info to help another TB'er get his cable modem working. Guess I shouldn't have done that; I may have "taken a job away" from a PC tech, who would have made (and charged for) a service call today.

    Oh, that's right. The professionals we "took work away" from weren't *musicians*, so that makes it different. :eyebrow:

    Jazzin', you're doing a good thing, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
  16. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Well, I guess they'd have to make him audition for them and see how good and entertaining he is by himself.
  17. sorry.. but ***?!

    a cancer fund raiser is PAYING the entertainers?!

    i find that pretty crazy.

    i think getting paid and donating is a good idea, on the other hand, I cangradulate you for your efforts Jazzin! Hope the gig goes down well! :)
  18. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Yeah, everybody who's moaning about Jazzin's band getting the gig because they didn't want money need to go take a Reading Is Fundamental class. - They were offered the gig AND the money, and THEN turned the money down. These people planned for Jazzin's QT to receive the designated funds when they offered the gig, Jazzin' didn't go "hey, we'll play for free if you give us the gig".
  19. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Yes, exactly. They came to us with an offer to play the gig and pay us money, we turned down the money. We had a discussion on whether to accept the money and donate it or whether to just not accept the money and decided to not accept the money since receiving and donating it would just be two more steps.
  20. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Here's the original quote
    If you can show me in there where it says "they offered us the same money as the other band, but we turned it down.", I'll be happy to attend any class you might suggest.

    The IRS does NOT accept "donation of services" as a viable deduction, generally the only way to "donate" your musical skills is to have whatever organization sign a contract for a specific amount of money with the tacit understanding that they will not pay you. You can then deduct that "non-payment" of services as a business loss. You could also take the money, cash the check and then write a check back to the charity and deduct THAT as a donation. To think that they are not going to take that $200-2000 fee that they just saved by getting a bunch of high school students to play for free ( I don't see that they are similarly soliciting the home economics class for free food, kinda puts how much they value music in perspective) and just get one more round of cocktail weenies or upgrade the well bottles at the bar just shows a startling naivete.

    I have played charity concerts for no remuneration. I have also played charity FUND RAISERS where organizers have been happy to pay top dollar for musicians, caterers, venues etc. because that enables them to raise far more money through sales of tickets (for gala events and dinners)than getting the East Podunk Choir and Brass Band to perform in the local gym.