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Jazz Scene in Your Town

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by TroyK, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Splintered from this thread:


    I'd like to hear about jazz in your town, how much is there, what type is it, how many people are playing, how hard is it to break into, how's the radio, etc.

    I'm from Seattle, which some statements where made about that I was responding to. I'm happy to talk about it and hear about other places.

    For now, here's my response to the (hopefully) final post in the other thread:

    Yeah, I know a lot of people from Seattle who have moved to New York. It's the mecca. Some have stayed, some have come back or moved on. Whenever I'm in New York and talk to cats someone always askes me if I know people that they know back here. We've got some players.

    Doug Miller is a bassist who spend some number of years in New York and then moved here and settled. I think Geoff Harper was out there for a while.

    I may try the waters someday myself, but I'm not remotely ready and I'm able to play and grow here.

    There are a number of full time jazz clubs here; Dimetros is one and it does mostly cover touring acts. Tula's in the top local spot, The Triple Door is a great club and has both local and national acts. Then there are next tier places like Pies and Pints that has great acts. I'm going to see someone I play in another group with play at a place called Tost this weekend. They have music every night, but it's not always jazz. There are some untold number of places like that. Then there are hotel bars, other bars, pizza places, resturants, coffee houses. We have at least 3 jazz festivals in the city each year that I can think of at the moment, plus Port Townsend, which is just across the water, in the summer. Orgin Records and Pony Boy Records put out some really top local jazz and there are labels like Freetone and Collateral Jazz for more under the radar releases.
  2. I'm realy interested in this thread, as there is only one place here in Blacksburg that has live jazz, and even that is only once a week. I'll be looking for a new place to call home for a few years after I finish school. It would be nice to get a heads up on what is happenning around the country, as far as jazz is concerned.

    Southwestern Virginia is pretty good for bluegrass, but it's not realy my thing.
  3. The Tampa/St. Petersburg area here in the sunshine state is discouragingly meager in the way of jazz. There are some heavy cats who live here (Chick Corea, Kenny Drew Jr., etc.) but they rarely play around. Some of the local guys are really burning, but there are at least three times as many who aren't even close. There was one pretty happenin' club, owned by Lionel Hampton's cousin Marcus, but it closed down about a year ago. It's really pretty sad...
  4. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Hey again keykendrick -

    I followed your thread over here.I'm glad to hear the scene has opened up more in Seattle. Honestly there wasn't much there 10 years ago. I used to work doing promo for a lot of promoters and clubs downtown and jazz just wasn't even part of the scene. I googled Seattle jazz clubs and it seems there is a LOT more going on now! GREAT MAN!

    My wife and I moved to a small town (pop 1000) on the south Oregon coast in '96. Couldn't deal with I-5 anymore. And the Seattle I grew up in barely exists anymore - beautiful geography but the vibe changed so much. We just picked up and left.

    Anyway when I moved here at 40 I figgered my playin' days were over except maybe the occasional country gig. To my surprise a couple of old jazzer cats (piano, drums) had a gig at a small club in town and needed a bass. It's just a summer/fall affair but to be able to get to play jazz at all is something I couldn't have even dreamed about!

    I haven't had the opportunity to play jazz since the late '70s in college at Ellensburg. In Seattle did t-40 thru the 80s and original rock 80s-90s. I'm not a super jazz bassist by any means but I love playing through fake books - standards, ballads, bop, showtunes -whatever these guys throw up!

    I still practice a lot just from obsessive habit I guess.

    I'm glad to know you! I didn't mean to dis Seattle -- it's my hometown! I'm glad to hear that jazz is being supported!!

    Go Seahawks! -Ryco <%+
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Go Seahawks, indeed! No worries, come up and play with us some time. Your town sounds lovely. Tough to beat the Oregon coast.

  6. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    Yeah, the jazz scene here is ok.
  7. Well, here in St. John's, Newfoundland there is the begining of a local scene. For the most part it can be traced to one guy, Kirk Newhook. He started jazz festival in 2002 and this year it will be the fifth year for it. While the festival is only for a week in the summer, there are workshops put off year round to try and get players and people in general interested in the "scene". The festival gets acts in from "away"(away being anywhere that is not Newfoundland) and has local acts as well. There are a few bars around the city that have jazz acts, but they are few and far between. With the geographic location here ( a few kilometres from the most easterly point in North America) it makes it difficult for touring acts to make it past Nova Scotia, Halifax to be precise. When they do, it's always a treat. So, what's the bottom line, not much of a scene, but those that love jazz do support it.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.

    Pretty easy to find a good restaurant, too...
  9. Gordon Budris

    Gordon Budris

    Jan 20, 2006
    I live now in Philadelphia. The jazz scene here is ok. One would think that much more jazz happens here than actually does.
  10. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    The Garden in St. Pete has a good trio on Friday nights, Buster something or other leads, on trombone no less. They're fun to catch, and it's a cool place.

    Other than that, though....slim pickens.
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Our town has no scene. Kingston, however, is a short drive away and has a pretty good music scene for it being a smaller city (something like 140,000 people.) I know several musicians who make their living solely by playing and teaching and live well doing it. We've got an annual festival at the end of the summer (I think around 2 weeks long) and a "Live At Your Library" series every fall and spring with five or six concerts. They've had some really great performers there.
  12. The scene is good here in Atlanta. Better for me than most.

  13. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    In San Antonio, we are doing better....

    Next week i'm going to lobby City Hall to pass a proclamation stating April is Jazz Appreciation Month (in accordance with the Smithsonian)....

    In April, we are putting together 10 days of free and live Jazz for downtown SA (and yes the musicians are getting paid)....

    This is just what my office is doing, other places are doing stuff as well....

  14. Funny you should mention the Garden...Buster Cooper, who did a long stint in the Ellington band and is a well known cat all over the country, does indeed lead a good little trio, if I do say so myself...:smug: I'm actually on that gig fairly often, at least a couple times a month...it's a lot of fun, and Buster's a great cat to work with. I'm actually heading down there in about an hour to play tonight :bassist:

    But yeah, other than the Garden, our area is hurtin :bawl:
  15. Reuben


    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think the scene in Seattle is very cool. For a small American city it's fabulous. In the years since I left it seems to have only gotten cooler. It's limited, for sure, but there's a lot to take part in, and some real fine players. Gigs pay better on average there than in NYC, and if you don't mind 8-10 months of rain, it's a good lifestyle there.

    The big thing that drove me to return to my NYC home though is the isolation factor. In NY I can drive any direction for only a few hours and be in a great place to gig, and in Seattle it's just not enough to me that Portland is 3 hours away and Bellingham 2 hrs. Here in NY I'm running all the time between Boston, NY, Philly, Baltimore, DC, and even North Carolina sometimes. I can do the drive down to NC in 8 hrs. Ever drive from Seattle to San Francisco? It SUCKS!

    Also, the peer group factor. In Seattle about the only bass peers I had were Mike Bisio (recently moved to NY) and Geoff Harper. Out here I'm hanging regularly with all kinds of inspiring bass friends who I learn from and have good relationships with. It's important to me.
  16. Here in Ashland, Oregon, there are just 3-4 clubs that have any live jazz at all. There are maybe 8-10 clubs all together within a 100 mile radius. Most of the clubs feature other types of music and only have jazz ocasionally. There are just a handful of good players on any instrument. The players I know who are making a living in music are either teaching or are willing to travel extensively. Others, like me, are part-timers with day jobs.

    The closest thing we have a "name" jazz performer around here is Paul W's friend Pat Moran. Locally she's known as Patti McCoy and is something of a local legend (she has some great stories, too!).

    Despite the limitations of our so-called "scene", most of the players I know are very serious about what they do. I just put together a group to play some Mingus music for the local jazz society.

    Looking forward to what others have to say about this subject.

  17. Reuben


    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey, I played in Ashland once at a brew pub!

    Fun little town.

    And still a long-ass drive to the Bay Area...
  18. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    Older fella with an upright and mustache? I reckon i've shook your hand once or twice....I love the Garden, and try to make it a regular stop in my nocturnal ventures. I'll ask, next time i'm there, if you're....you.
  19. ArenW


    Jan 14, 2004
    Cocoa, FL
    There are two venues in Northeast Indiana that have jazz on a regular basis-Club Soda and a restaurant called Joseph Decuis. There are a couple places around Fort Wayne that will have a jazz act occasionaly. Aside from that, if you are going to play jazz here, you are going to have to do it in coffee shops or at special events. It seems to be a pretty sad state of affairs.

    However, we have no shortage of Butt Rock cover bands! Spike your mullets guys, it's time to party!!!
  20. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    I live in Toronto, it has an absolutely amazing jazz scene. We have bassists like Dave Young that perform at local clubs on a regular basis. Infact, Toronto's jazz scene is much more active than it is classicaly.