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Re: “Fillmore Jazz Festival's "Cattle Call" Raises Concerns About Musician Pay

Bravo Stephanie . . .

Ah those demon promoters . . . Many years ago I formed a side "union" so to speak called "B.A.C.K." > "Bay Area Coalition of Keyboardists" because of hearing some good musician friends of mine were being hired for casuals for yes ~ the dreaded "$75" by agents/promoters and told "if you don't do it for $75 I'll get someone else for $60!" > while at the same time they were making fat money themselves, more than enough to pay everyone fairly and still make a good profit.

Grrrrrrr - into action. Organized meetings with as many local keyboard players as possible and agreed we should get a minimum of $125, and more for putting bassists out of work by kicking bass. How sweet it was to simply say no to ridiculous $75 offers and just refer them to other players knowing they too will just say no. It worked!!!! And can again if players come together rather than just complain and feel victimized.

Musicians are "creative" people ~ which should include being creative when it comes to getting paid appropriately for work, as well as in knowing how to maintain self respect, and in ways to avoid under cutting each other just so we can get that local exposure.

No doubt promoters too often take advantage of artists. But for an artist to then blame the promoters for "their own" acceptance of #### pay is misguided at best. To think it's fine for us to work our local festivals for next to nothing (that is to complain and then go ahead and do it anyway) with the promise of the "E" word, exposure ... is hurtful to the art community as a whole. Just think - with that attitude accepting that poor paying gig most likely "will" lead to more poor paying gigs - not just for you but for everyone.

$75 for a festival gig? Give a lesson or two to an eager kid instead. And maybe a few more for extra $ to put towards alternative ways to get "exposure."

One of the beauties of the Internet is free self promotion . . . and FREE EXPOSURE. Now go and expose yourself . . . :)

Frank Martin

Posted by Frankly88 on 07/09/2010 at 5:55 AM

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