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Looks like I might be a band leader again

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, Jun 15, 2004.


  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I told myself a while back that I did not want to be a band leader again, and deal with the biz, but it looks like I will be again.

    I have a pianist, saxophonist, and drummer that I am assembling into a Jazz Quartet. All of them are great players. I've been a bandleader for rock bands, but not with Jazz bands. Is there any difference other than supplying charts/lead sheets? I can't see any difference from my experience playing jazz, but I've only been a fill-in, so I could be ignorant.

    I'm not looking forward to doing the biz again, but I am looking forward to branching out and playing different music with some great players. Plus, it'll be nice to play some different gigs, and hopefully they pay well.

    Wish me luck.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. do what feels right, if you make a good band leader, then i guess its detiny, or something :D

    good luck, jazz and rock arent THAT miuch different :D ;)
     
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Any thoughts?

    Tuck in your shirt. :cool:

    I just got a long term sub gig in a jazz sextet, and am taking a turn at hustling some gigs. So far, my experiences are far more positive than they ever were trying to promote my (sorta) rock groups. The players are older and easier to deal with, the promoters seem to respect the craft more, and I'm seeing triple the number of gigs in a month already. I'm sure this is very much location dependent, but it's working for me. Good luck, and have fun!

    The main thing that's seems different to me is the rehearsal end of things. Many jazz players want and expect to either get paid to rehearse, or at least for everyone to be very organized and businesslike if and when they do rehearse. No reason a rock situation can't be this way, but many aren't, IME. I was expected to learn around 100 tunes in two weeks (reading, not memorizing), and did that. The band leader put in some serious effort writing charts for me, annotating parts of special interest to the bass, etc.
     
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    What is it about being a band leader that you do and don't like?
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The thing that I like about being a band leader is taking an active role in where the band is going to go, and decision making on things such as personnel, promotion, level of commitment, reperatoire, etc. I like the music part of being a band leader.

    The business part is what is difficult for me. I know that being organized is crucial in being successful in this kind of endeavor. But, it's a constant struggle for me to be organized. Keeping track of people's schedules, client contact information, and the various to-do lists are a challenge. The other thing I don't like is the business end of it. I don't like dealing with agents or club owners/managers. I've had plenty of experience with it, but it doesn't mean I like it. Hopefully, with this band I'll have to less of that since I'll be dealing more with event planners than club owners.
     
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Yeah, hard to believe but I walked by the Tux store and actually looked at things there. :bag:

    I hope the gigs will follow soon. We've had 2 practices and have about 20 tunes worked out. Once we get 30-40, I'm ready to promote and book. I think Washington DC will be a good market for Casuals. There's plenty of business, political, and social events going on all the time.

    Jazz is definitely harder to perform than Rock, but the musicianship of guys I'm working with makes the transition much simpler. Plus it's really fun to stretch out and do something different.

    I agree with you about the professionality of the musicians in terms of the music and business. It's nice to have a singer who can actually read the melody line, and present the musicians with a chart and begin jamming.

    Overall it's a challenge, but I'm enjoying it.