This past weekend, there was a monumental conversation with great friend, Jere B. We've known each other over ten years - and there have been other discussions like this. Full of passionate conviction. But THIS was different on multiple levels. It was about the serious help that artists need in order to make a LIVING - not merely survive.
We are surrounded by those in the music business - especially in regard to Jazz - that seem to feed off the talent and creativity of our artists. We have companies that want to pay geniuses PENNIES for "borrowing" their music. Then, they sell it for subscribers who don't think twice. Some of us view this exchange as akin to blood money. Taking the blood, sweat and tears of songwriting scholars and musical greats - and turning it for profit - but ONLY for the corporations that milk the talent dry. Where does this end? And what about the artists who attempt to market their music - paying exhorbitant fees for promoters who may or may not do a good job of conveying a sense of urgency to radio outlets. And sometimes making deals with artists to "pay for play." We had an expression for those who did this, decades ago. It was called Payola. And once reputable names were jailed for it.
How do we - as those who play and write music - as well as those who pitch the artists who DO - make any kind of living under the conditions that confront us? How do we "fix" the inequity of paying musicians what they are WORTH? Can we overturn the rules dictated by the greedy One Percent who are running the entire business? Let's talk about this! We want to be viewed as the contributors to society that we ARE - just as revered as doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. And we invite YOU to give us your feedback. Positive ways to change what IS. Let's TRY!
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