Tips for playing jazz in a small town

Jazz = music of the city.

You typically find jazz thriving in large metropolitan areas because that’s where the music was born.

But what if you have a passion for jazz and don’t live in a major city? How do you keep growing as an artist/musician?

Some tips:

  1. Go find the music. It’s there; you have to find it! Almost every night of the week, you can find an open mic or jam night in Pensacola. If you are by yourself, bring the jazz element to the open jam. If you have a band, sit in.
  2. Create the scene; get people excited about the music. Find venues that will host an open mic, and create the jazz session. Build a musician list, and also build an audience.
  3. Get to know other players. Make friends. Be nice to fellow musicians, even if they are not nice to you! Treat them with respect. Be sociable.
  4. Be a teacher. What to do when you attend sessions only to discover the pool of “jazz” players is shallow: Help create them. There is so much to gain through teaching. Giving back is awesome!
  5. Play for free? Never. Even open mic hosts get paid.
  6. Most importantly, remember: We can actually change the feel and culture of a town by keeping the music alive.

“Give Peace A Chance”

Fred Domulot

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