I had a long conversation with some of my favorite musicians last night about taking gigs for crap money. I’m against it, some were for it, I’m curious what everyone thinks.
My position is that part of a bandleader’s job is to make sure you have money to pay your musicians what they deserve, regardless of expected turnout, and even when hiring your friends (I think ESPECIALLY when hiring your friends). There’s money out there to support music (How much did KEXP’s new building cost? How much did folks raise to save KNKX?), it just requires making the case to get it. Grants, fundraising, negotiating with venues, seeking out money gigs, merch, etc. It’s not easy and it takes effort and creativity, but it’s doable. Aside from making sure you have money to keep for your own effort, there are a ton of positive side-effects to having this attitude. Continue reading Bandleaders: Pay Your Musicians→
The Happy Orchestra record got its start in January with a day-long session of rhythm section tracks. We got foundations for about half of the record, a snippet of which you can hear at the successfully-funded Kickstarter Update Page. Check it!
Happy has also been nominated 2015 Alternative Jazz Group of the Year in the Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award poll. You can vote over at earshot.org until March 10th, and while you’re there read my Ask a Jazz Musician column from the January and February issues.
It’s been about a year of writing, rehearsing, and performing with Happy in its many sizes and flavors. Whether a trio in a tiny bar or the six-piece lineup on a venue stage, it’s been important to me that I’m surrounded with humans I love and respect both as musicians and people. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where that’s an easy reality to create, and now it’s time to document that reality and share it with all of you!
Over the next year I’m bringing these people together to make a record that paints a picture of the incredible musical landscape we live in. The record will feature the stellar musicians who have played with Happy so far including Skerik, Thomas Marriott, Andy Coe, Tim Kennedy, and Ian Sheridan, and a few who have yet to join the fold like Damian Erskine and Brian Haas.
Visit the Kickstarter Page to read more, check out the rewards, and support the music!
After 15 shows in April I’ll be taking a bit of a slower pace in May, leaving time to wrap up production on McTuff’s upcoming album (thanks Kickstarter backers!) and plan for our fall CD release shows. I’ll be calling Seamonster home in May with McTuff’s weekly and Hardcoretet’s show at the end of the month, and I’m looking forward to melting some faces in Hood Canal with Seduction and playing with Spellbinder, project of Santana drummer Michael Shrieve.
McTuff – Tuesday, May 7th @ Seamonster Lounge, 10:30pm – 21+ Spellbinder – Monday, May 13th @ White Rabbit, 10pm – 21+ McTuff – Tuesday, May 14th @ Seamonster Lounge, 10:30pm – 21+ McTuff – Tuesday, May 21st @ Seamonster Lounge, 10:30pm – 21+
Seduction – Saturday May 25th @ Brinnon Shrimpfest, 1pm – All-Ages
Seduction – Saturday May 25th @ Geoduck Tavern, 8pm – 21+ McTuff – Tuesday, May 28th @ Seamonster Lounge, 10:30pm – 21+ Hardcoretet – Thursday, May 30th @ Seamonster Lounge, 10pm – Free – 21+
I’m happy to say that McTuff’s Kickstarter surpassed its goal a week ahead of its closing date! We’ll be celebrating at our weekly Seamonster show, thanks for the support! Thursday, Tiger’s Wood reunites with special guest Art Brown.
McTuff – Tuesday, April 16th @ Seamonster Lounge, 10:30pm – 21+
Tiger’s Wood – Thursday, April 18th @ Triple Door Musicquarium, 9pm – 21+