Move from New York to Seattle?


Junior Member
I'm currently studying at the New School for Jazz in NYC but my girlfriend just got a job with Microsoft in Seattle. Now I'm thinking about possibly moving out there and was wondering if anyone had any information or insight they could share.

I love my school but New York is tough. I'm in a few bands in New York that have a little momentum, and I'm not sure if I should stick around to see what happens with them. To give you an idea of who I am, I'm into playing funk, hip-hop and live electronica, and can cover most jazz gigs as well.

I love my girlfriend and we've been together almost two years, and she's going to be successful and is willing to support me, which I feel is pretty important.

If anyone could tell me anything about the scene in Seattle, or even what you would do in my situation I would greatly appreciate it.


Platinum Member
There is a scene here with clubs hosting bands pretty much every night of the week, but you'll be going from a small fish in a big pond to a ever-so-slightly larger fish in a brackish back-water of a small pond. Kidding about that last bit, hehe. There are players here of all stripes, but it isn't at all like LA, NY, or Nashville. Not even close.

But I've been slogging it out here for the last 22 years and I like it, but I'm not trying to "make it" or even make a living at it, either. Depends on what floats your boat, I suppose.


Senior Member
My daughter owns a venue in Seattle.

The good news - maybe - is that she's having a tough time finding good enough local bands to play it, so, at least theoretically, if you hooked up with top players you'd become part of a rare and highly desirable commodity.

The not so good news is that she tells me that the usual pay is a piece of the action from the bar and venues are closing weekly because of a variety of economic problems.

Posting this inquiry seems to me to be a good start toward finding out if you can have a future there. But you're going to need to talk to as many local musicians as you can find. Is your girlfriend making a preliminary trip to Seattle to set up housing, etc.? Because the best way to learn if you can fit into the place, in my opinion, is to go there, look around, talk, figure out the consequences of success and failure and how much fun/work the striving will be.

Of course, the only way to really know if the scene there works for you is to throw yourself into it. And if you're in love that might be pretty easy to do. I was in a position similar to yours a million years ago about living in L.A. Made the choice to risk everything and do it and have never regretted the outcome. (But Seattle isn't L.A. The level of professionalism and the business attitude there are no where near as demanding as in L.A. or N.Y. But neither is the level of professional opportunity.)

Man, I wish I was young and just starting out. Envy you, man, no matter how this situation goes.

Good luck!


Junior Member
Though Capital Hill and Belltown are the obvious choices for nightlife, you might try checking out some of their nearby neighborhoods for better prices and more parking options. Queen Anne, Wallingford (you'll have to bus into downtown from there) or Eastlake have good downtown transportation options with their own (limited) amount of nightlife nearby.