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OPINION NEEDED - Potential Gig - Smooth Jazz

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MNAirHead, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member


    I've been doing my homework on a potential band to start.

    Challenge is that I'm not qualified to have an opinion on if it (smooth Jazz) is marketable or not.

    Basically it would be more like a "we need each other type arrangement"

    His Contributions
    1. He's written the material (yes he sounds like the recordings live)
    2. He's got a very cool cat old school latin percussion guy
    3. He's developed an "image"

    My Contributions
    1. Backline Leader (Coordinating the Midi Sequencing + live talent)
    2. Marketing & PR
    3. First Member
    4. Gear - I own headphone direct gear, 4-6 strings + fretless
    5. I share in his lack of interest on playing with egotist and know it all folks who want to play "Mustang Sally" but we're funkier. He does play classier places.
    Thought would be that the following are potential venues
    1. Jazz Festivals
    2. Orchards and Vineyards
    3. Golf Clubs and Yacht Clubs
    4. Music Instruction (schools and seminars)
    5. Guitar Freaks
    6. Travel Destinations - Europe, Africa and Asia Resorts + Cruise Ships
    7. Sound Designers - Tracks and Canvas
    8. Parties and Events
    I'm in a position where it wouldn't destroy homelife if I toured for a few weeks a few times a year.

    Overall it's interesting.. unfortunately I"m unsure if there's a market out there for wallpaper smooth jazz in the live market.

    I'm in the position that could be adult about it and have an upfront understanding of how we're going to do this.

    What's your opinion on him?



    My thoughts
    1. Less distortion (Move toward acoutic and synth guitar)
    2. Find a method to get some types of vocals
    3. Get it to a jazz label asap for corrections
    4. Add some known charts (Walk Around Heaven etc.)
    5. Midi Sequence the entire show in tracks... then punch in out as people arrive.
    There's audio samples on the upper right side of his web page


    Critical, constructive and thoughtful replies appreciated.

    Would you join?

  2. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    While I don't understand the purpose of the midi sequencer, I can offer this.

    My band pretty much specializes in background music. We have a regular white-tablecloth restaurant gig that pays as well as any restaurant gig pays. We do book maybe 20 corporate receptions per year that pay well.

    We've found that orchards and vineyards are not worth the trouble. Pay is too low.

    You're probably right about travel and vacation destinations, but we're not in a locale where that's an option for us.

    Nice thing about these types of gigs is that they start early, are over early, and there's no need for a bouncer.

    We've not been able to find a booking agent. We've had to go out and make the corporate contacts on our own. It's important to get a regular restaurant gig so that people can hear you to hire you for their private affairs. Even if you have to take a little less for the restaurant gig, you can chalk it up to marketing expense.
  3. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass Electronics
    You have potential there.

    Do you have DVD press package for this gig?

    It does not cost to much to put something like that together and attempt to create new gigs
    where other acts are doing something similar but are doing it through a booking agent.
  4. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Thanks for the note below.

    They do have some materials.. the materials are high quality..

    I'd be starting a marketing campaign


  5. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Thanks for the note...

    MIDI is that the material you hear on the demo is 100% backline sequencer... the thought would be to punch out parts if there are live musicians for the gig.

    Thanks for the pointers.


  6. depends on how much commitment,money,lost wages from other sources,whether you think you would enjoy it or just be along for the cash........ask yourself what kind of commitment should it be a total disaster and could you tough it out if that were the case........if its a short term thing why not,you could go as a hired gun,but if its not what kind of music you want to play dont make any long term promises.......im not a smooth jazz type but it seems to be a big seller jazz wise,and you might get a lot of freedom to stretch out the chops.......might be just the thing to ride out the recession.......traveling on someone elses nickel can be nice
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Would be more to travel and record than anything.

    Probably his biggest asset is that he's been patient and doing his homework and not just jumping in.

    Just like any "luxury" item... this may be SUPER easy to promote once the correct route is established.

    I'm not a huge smooth jazz type guy.. I do appreciate that his material sounds live like it does on the recordings... you can't say this for 99% of $10 CDs sold at shows.


    PS- Jim I do appreciate your comments on the folk group I was dorking around with.. there was no unsucking them..... as you suggested, the thread was pulled.
  8. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    I like the sound. I think it would be a fun gig. I enjoy the smooth jazz genre. I was sad when KCFE went off the air years ago...

    I understand your thought about standards, but would you need to deal with royalties/licensing issues?

    I think this has a more solid base to take off from than most opportunities I have seen in a while.

    My wife and I don't get out much, other than when I am playing (and that doesn't count for me as a night out!) but this is something I think we would probably go to hear.

    Good Luck!
  9. Smooth jazz is not for me personally, but for what it is it ain't bad. Dude already has gigs booked in the future,and IMO a LOT of potential with the older crowd. Destinations and cruises absolutely. I see a lot of bass opportunities there if you are allowed to run with it. Hey man if you think it will be a blast, go for it.
  10. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I'm with you.. ther is a market cause there isn't a ton of stuff in this genre.. it's a "premium" type thing.. it's older, richer and more subtle crowd.

    I'd have to put some conditions on playing to come to an agreement.

    I'm interested as it's really tough to do a cover band playing Brown Eyed Girl.. theres zillions out there.

  11. Jazz festivals are certainly something to consider. You'll have a built-in audiance for the sort of music you want to play, and the pay isn't too bad from what I hear. My bass instructor is in a group that regularly plays in the Cape May Jazz festival here, and he says it's also a good place to make further contacts for future work.
  12. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Thank you.. I think there's the market.. I'd have to learn how to promote this stuff.

  13. anonymous_111514

    anonymous_111514 Guest

    Oct 24, 2006
    you could also market it to the weather channel...
  14. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member


    That's not beyond the realm of possiblity.

    I"m thinking of non traditional marketing methods.
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I say go for it. Sounds like very good quality musicianship and songwriting to my ears.

    Its nice music.
  16. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Seems like a decent gig. I can dig some smooth stuff depending on the instrumentation. I think there is a decent market out there and some really good players.

    Yeah, the summer jazz concerts would be a good thing to tap into if you can get some spots. I'd try to network any local or area players to see where they're playing and maybe get on some bills with them. Also market to internet radio and restaurants. May not be the crowd you're used to marketing too, but I think the gigs are out there.

    Good luck and definitely keep us updated on this thread. I'm curious to know what comes of it.
  17. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Thanks for the note.

    Peter (writer/guitar guy) and I are both in the same boat.. sick of garage bands who bite..

    We would have some work ahead.. all of the material would have to be resequenced. .. we'd have to fine tune some of the stuff as it's a little too "Joe Satriani" for the country club and vineyard circuit.

    I'm interested as he sounds live exactly like the recordings.

    Yanni came from Minneapolis area (true).. guessing there's an opportunity in this stuff.

    I do like the idea of playing cooler places for more music saavy folks.

  18. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    Is Minneapolis still doing the summer concerts at Lake Harriet Bandshell? My band played there once a couple summers ago, and it was a good event. We do originals, jazz/rock/funk, and got a good reception from the crowd.

    Contacting the Park & Recreation departments of some of the suburbs may get a response, too. I know Robbinsdale always has a bunch of bands throughout their "Whiz-Bang Days" celebration.
  19. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Thanks for the honest opinions...

    As it look's we're looking for a keyboard protools producer to redo the music.

  20. Tim, Good luck, and keep us posted.

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