Originally Posted by Deltadrummer
Jay, I am looking to take the band to the next level. As you can imagine, we went through a stage where we were playing any club in Manhattan just to get out there and play. As of late, we've been playing a lot of dinner clubs; but as we do a lot of electric jazz fusion, this can at times not be conducive to the atmosphere. We were supposed to have a regular this summer that fell through. In other words, we got screwed; but we made the best of it playing at a World Cup event before 700 people and we have a jazz fest gig. The guys in the band are less open to continuing in the dinner club circuit, so I am looking for alternatives, esp since we are a quartet and many of the clubs do not have a cabaret license and cannot use more than 3 musicians.
They say NY is a bebop town, so how do you market a jazz fusion band?
Ah, I see. First of all I wouldn't call New York a bebop town. And if you want to make any money I'm going to suggest that you stay away from that scene, such as it is. For one thing, as a fusion band you won't be able to "compete," and secondly why would you want to? Jazz is as dead in New York as it is anywhere else. Sad but true.
It's tough to figure just where to put your band up to take it to the next level. Are you guys writing music and getting your own unique sound together? Because if you're only doing covers then you're going to be really limited as to getting gigs that pay, unless you're putting a very unique take on those songs and you've got a lot of...I don't know, PR skills and an absolutely fantastic CD quality demo.
You don't need me to tell you that the number one customer you need to please is the club owner/manager. But who is that guy, and, as you say, what's he willing to pay?
How about playing at places like the Bowery Poetry Club or the Knitting Factory, for example? At least you'd be on the way to building a following. You're not going to want to play at, say, the 55 Bar. Nobody goes there and they don't pay shit, just ask Vic Juris.
It's a tough nut to crack, but I do wish you very well indeed.