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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Friday May 24

Afternoon

Jazz

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Giles Strong Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Dave Kelly & Christine Collister - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA . Tel: 03000 266 600. 8:00pm. £18.00.

The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

Groove-a-matics - Lindisfarne Club, West St., Wallsend NE28 8LG. Tel: 0191 262 4258. 9:00pm.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jazz and Hoochie no longer Coochie.

It's looking as though the Thursday night jazz at Hoochie Coochie is drawing to a close. Owner Warren Thompson has announced, with much regret, that the failure of the "Jazz Community" to support these free admission sessions give him no alternative but to throw in the jazz towel at the end of May.
This is quite sad and difficult to explain. Hoochie has booked and paid local bands since it opened a couple of years back. No Arts Council grants or local authority money as back up - just the owner's belief that North East jazz fans would support the music and the musicians in an attractive city centre venue and, hopefully, draw more people to the music along the way.
This didn't happen and I think those so-called jazz fans who failed to show their support might wonder why their own gigs aren't supported. Surely we should be doing our best to keep jazz alive? This can only be done by showing our faces and planting our bums on seats with a drink or two in front of us - particularly when entry is free! So if it's going let's try and make it go out with a bang - show your faces - let the world and Warren know there is a Jazz Community in Newcastle.
Paradoxically, on my recent trip to London both Ronnie's and Pizza were sold out and the punters were shelling out £25-£45 on top of their drinks and eats. 
It's a funny old world...
Lance.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be a good idea on your blog if you asked in some form of poll/whatever why people in the North East have not attended Hoochie Coochie, at least not to the level that the owner expected or required. This would probably help other promoters get an idea of how to maintain, increase and develop the remaining jazz venues. There must be hundreds of "jazz fans" in the North East that read this blog but don't attend venues, they could give you the answer to your questions. Perhaps also, the owner of Hoochie Coochie has not had the financial returns he gets for example, from his "black music" funk/soul nights, someone should have explained that jazz is a minority music and will never succeed on a commercial basis, it never has and never will. By the way, we don't have venues of the pedigree of Ronnie Scott's (which has also struggled over many years, and still is, financially, according to a recent documentary). And the population of London is 10 million, Newcastle around 170,000 with a much lower standard of living, higher unemployment and much less spare cash per capita. If venues are not succeeding in what they do, they are generally either doing it wrong, or it doesn't appeal to enough people in the immediate area. My own opinion is that jazz is mainly a musician's music, and that has been borne out by recent "jam sessions" where attendances have apparently trebled in some cases - and that is probably because the audience contains a significant number of musicians being given the opportunity to play in public, an increasingly rare occurrence these days. So, as I suggested, it would be a good idea to ask people why they didn't go to Hoochie Coochie, or the other venues en masse. Then if the promoters tuned in to the answers, we might start to get somewhere. Alternatively, they can accept that jazz audiences are never going to increase, and then at least the venue owners can contribute their facilities without financial expectation to musicians who like to get out and play.

Lance said...

A very good comment and full of pertinent points although, I must confess that I prefer on such vital issues to be replying to a name rather than an "Anon".
I agree that jazz is a minority music as so many musics are apart from say pop/rock etc. (don't ask me to define etc.!)which is why I think people should support local gigs. Most are free - even higher profile gigs are rarely more than a tenner (apart from The Sage where price doesn't come into it!)
Jam sessions are great although the players make little out of it. Which brings me to mention that, with few exceptions, musicians tend not to support each other's gigs. In my youth - I think Good Queen Bess was on the throne - we hung out to listen to other players and pick up on what they were doing. The greatest academy in the world. Now the kids today have been to music college and graduated and know it all - until they do a gig at say, their local CIU club - back to the drawing board!
But yes, I agree with you. Will you tell us why you don't go to live jazz venues whether it be Hoochie, The Bridge, or any jazz venue. Assuming, by reading this blog, you are a jazz listener. Pref. not Anonymous!

Warren Thomson said...

Understand the comment about lower standard of living that's why we made gigs free. It's not news to me that Jazz is a minority music. I noticed this when attending the Jaz Cafe every Friday for years with half a dozen other punters. We paid musicians every week & some weeks we were taking less money @ the bar than paying them. We then have all the usual costs like staff, lighting, heating rent, rate etc. We were not loking to make money from Jazz, just have a good night out & we did have some, as many musicians will testify. Unfortunately though you can't lose money ad infinitum, out of your own pocket, not the taxpayers.

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