Monday 18 October 2010

Patronage in jazz?

A number of recent experiences and encounters have highlighted to me the sad fact that gigs for the jobbing jazz musician are currently in short supply. As one recently said to me, the regular pub and function gigs are few and far between, although the specialist jazz gigs, though few, are better than ever. My one regular jazz gig is now under threat because the pub has changed hands and the entertainment budget slashed. What's the motivation for a promoter to put on a jazz gig. A love of the music? Yes. A desire to make money? Most definitely not.

Perhaps we need to start thinking differently about how we support jazz through these hard times. Public arts spending is being comprehensively reviewed, but there are other ways of supporting the arts. . . old fashioned private patronage. In the 18th and 19th Centuries European aristocrats patronised composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. More recently, and closer to home, Geoff Simkins mentioned to me some BBC World Service staff up in Hampstead who used to club together and get jazz musicians to perform in their homes. Perhaps we need to see more private patrons of jazz.

I came across this video of of David Newton & Bobby Wellins playing "Out of Nowhere" in a private house concert earlier this year on the LondonJazz blog. If I could afford to live in a house with those beautiful windows, I would be tempted to fund my own jazz season. Some beautiful playing from both and perhaps some inspiration for an aspiring jazz patron. Any takers?

1 comment:

Jonas said...

I would also use such a house for jazz concerts. Nice tune.