Business-focused Q&A for jazz musicians and students. Once a month, Cory Weeds and your host Will Chernoff take questions about working in music, from the career side right down to the personal. Skip the BS, find out how it all works, and avoid the mistakes we’ve already made.
Will’s Top Learning Highlights from Every 2022 Episode
In this solo episode by Will, let's kick off the year in style and run down a highlight from every 2022 episode. Each highlight involves Cory teaching a lesson to, lighting a fire under, or provoking new thoughts from Will. We cover five episodes in under 20 minutes.
From Ep. 1 - Establishing a level of care (1:18), Ep. 2 - Comparing venues (5:35), Ep. 3 - Cory didn't have any recording experience (10:20), Ep. 4 - Being in control vs. being picked (12:44), Ep. 5 - Does Oliver Gannon need to apply to the jazzfest? (15:45).
Jazz at the Bolt 2023 is coming up at the Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby, BC! Learn more here on Cory's website.
Anxiety, The Venue Incident, Jazz Festival Applications
In this episode:
Cory went to Pittsburgh, went on tour with Michael Weiss, and brought Jeremy Pelt out here for some big gigs (00:51), The venue incident (11:43), When people say "We can't make a living as full-time musicians in this city" (25:29), Not saying yes right away (0:32:04), The power of the checklist and setting up venue promotions (35:41), What you need to know when you apply to jazz festivals in Canada (43:21), Best-of-2022 highlight: Does Oliver Gannon need to apply to the jazzfest? (46:51)Getting nominated for the Grammys won't change your life, and no gig is career-changing (56:43).
Too Many Albums & Names, BC Music Grants, Being a Brand
In this episode:
Cory doesn’t know half the people in the house when he emcees Frankie’s, and interest in live gigs is up! (4:50), Is the Cellar Music label releasing too many albums? (9:00), Why monthly listeners is a bad statistic for comparing artists (22:35), The “keeping the lights on” view of social media (27:25), The danger of having multiple names for your projects / bands on streaming platforms (32:55), First question: Music grant organizations to follow as a Canadian musician in BC (38:15)What’s it like being on a grant jury? (44:05), Best-of-2022 highlight: Being in control vs. being picked (48:24), When you get rejected, it’s so often circumstantial, and so rarely a judgment on you (49:35), Second question: Thoughts on being a brand and branding for musicians (58:42).
Shout-outs to James Danderfer’s Monday Mid-Day Instagram Live and Jamie Lee’s fall 2023 community mentorship round!
FACTOR Artist Development grant: how I won it twice - Will's two applications to the programJuried Sound Recording program: FACTORExplore and Create: Canada Council - Includes Research and Creation, as well as Concept to Realization, programsAmplify BC Career Development grantMusic BC Travel GrantsWhat is the Spotify monthly listener figure? - Will's breakdown of what the often-misunderstood stat meansLegibility - Will's Rhythm Changes Update on what happens when you have many streaming profiles with slightly different names for your group
The Pitch Gone Wrong, Stage Presence, Listening to Mixes
In this episode:
Cory uploaded never-before-seen footage of Hank Mobley and Dexter Gordon to YouTube (0:49), First topic: "I once booked an amazing pianist at a club in the UK where the promoter told me 'I honestly don't think I can sell more than 30 tickets for him but I love it and I can book on that occasionally.'" (4:28), Cory shared a pitch gone wrong and received over 150 comments back on Facebook (9:42), What do I need to know about how to present myself on stage? (15:09), I'm in jazz school, but I want to learn about audio production, recording, and mixing. How can I go about this, without having to go to audio school? (20:37), Best-of-2022 highlight: Cory didn't have any recording experience (21:41), How do you learn to hear what makes a good mix or master recording? (25:00), The Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund is offering scholarships now to instrumentalist students in BC (30:59).
Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund - Apply for scholarships if you're an instrumentalist student in BCNew Jazz Underground - YouTube channel of three people just going for it and having fun recording themselvesHow to approach a jazz bar or club owner as a musician - written by Cory from our websiteHank Mobley video - Cory's YouTube channelDexter Gordon footage - Cory's YouTube channelThese 110 words just went 4-for-4 on local gig bookings - Will's Rhythm Changes Update on his local gig pitches
Fear in Gig Booking, Draw, Overplaying, Low Student Turnout
Fear. It shows up throughout our musical lives as we book gigs and work to bring people out. But too often the attention drifts to numbers like, 'What's your draw?' while the meaning rests in the music's impact.
Maybe promoters aren't as cynical as you think. And it's not all about results from one show; you can always get the promoter excited for next time, too.
First question: Fear of playing badly, and of not drawing enough people to your gig (2:24), Will breaks down how much easier it is to tour in this era than it was decades ago, but also how much harder it's gotten in the past few years (19:43), Playing too many local gigs in a short period of time (29:31), Best-of-2022 highlight: Comparing venues (31:23), Next question: Presenting workshops for students but getting low turnout (43:44), Getting past attendance numbers to focus on impact (54:06).
Getting Known for What You Do: Match Your Music to Venues
It's summer! We're on vacation, so please enjoy this top highlight clip from episode one.
In this answer, Will & Cory discuss the secret to connecting with local music venues and booking agents: know what you want to do!
It breaks down into three steps:
Clearly define what you think your band is. Look at venues and figure out which ones you could potentially fit into. Make your best demo, and make a statement of how you feel you should be treated by the venues.
After that, you can shift your focus to getting known for what you do, which is as simple as spending time at the venues you want in your musical life.
This clip originally appeared in episode 1: Making Albums, Expectations, Demo Recordings, Distribution.