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How hard is it for a musician to earn a viable living in Australia?  Two articles from the perspective of musicians.

Spare a dollar for the music Maker, Music doesn't play itself an article by Kim Salmon from the age and

A thoughtful response with some suggestions by James Annesley from The Naked Giraffe

"Should venues cop more of the responsibility?
 Pubs with rock bands might be a different story, but for jazz venues, this is a tough one. I've never tried to run a jazz club, but I can imagine it would be quite a challenge. Jazz is a pretty esoteric and diverse genre, and hasn't been particularly popular since the 1960s. 

It's true that these venues can't afford to pay the artists a guaranteed fee without going broke, but should the artists really have to cop everything? Like Kim Salmon alludes to in his article, musicians are skilled professionals who work hard for their art, and should be payed properly when hired to play by a venue who depends on them for survival. 

I'm going out on a limb here, but would it not be possible for Melbourne jazz venues to invest a little more time and money into promotion, so the load is at least split more evenly between them and the artists?  Just a thought.

The music better be good

Not to name names, but I've seen some pretty half-arsed performances by some Melbourne jazz groups over the years (as well as many incredible ones), I think it's important that we always present high quality music that has the potential to really engage the audience. You don't have to be a highly experienced virtuoso to play an energetic gig either, just put some soul and pep into it, for god's sake. Yes, I know I've already stated that I've seen some of the country's best jazz musicians play to an empty room, but this will happen a lot more when the music is crap."

Please do read the full article, it seems as good a time as any to explore the issues and perhaps have all elements of the sector work together. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 19, 2014

The future of new music is at risk if we continue to undervalue composers

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
Whilst jazz commissions are not as common as those for classical music, this report and stagnant or decreasing performance fees points to it being a tough life for many musicians abroad as well as in Australia. "Professional composers are being asked to create new pieces for ‘shockingly low’ fees, Sound and Music report finds • Average fee per commission in 2013 was £1,392 • 15% of those surveyed earned more income v previous year" READ MORE… Read more
August 18, 2014

$15,000 Recording Grants On Offer

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
The PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) and the Australia Council of the Arts are jointly offering recording grants worth $15,000 to make new music. This is the second year that the PPCA and Australia Council are offering these grants. Last year’s recipients included Courtney Barnett, The Grigoryan Brothers, Lance Ferguson of The Bamboos, Ben Salter and Ainslie Wills. Dan Rosen, PPCA Chief Executive Officer said he was pleased… Read more
August 10, 2014

Liminal Jex Saarelaht Trio

in CD Reviews Victoria Posted by Joanne Kee
Rating: Four stars Formed over twenty years ago by pianist Jex Saarelaht this trio, one of the most respected Melbourne small groups, has now released a follow-up to their 1999 double album, Fiveways which included saxophonist Julien Wilson. With long term associates bassist Philip Rex and drummer Niko Schauble, Saarelaht’s trio has added these six originals to his considerable repertoire. The opening track – conversely entitled Closing – is a… Read more
August 10, 2014

Pat Metheny headliner at the Melbourne Festival

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
Pat Metheny 20-time Grammy Award–winning guitarist is returning to Australia with his Unity Band for the first time in two decades. Known for his dizzyingly complex and dynamic musicianship, he is very much a legend amongst the pantheon of prog jazz gods. The Pat Metheny Unity Group may be his most accomplished and ambitious project yet, a combination of his human collaborators – Chris Potter, Antonio Sánchez, Ben Williams and Giulio Carmassi –… Read more
August 09, 2014

Aspirations by Tom Barton

in CD Reviews New South Wales Posted by Joanne Kee
Rating: Four and a half stars This Melbourne release is a breakthrough in leading edge jazz vocals utilising original material, live effects processing, six top musicians, and the gifted approach of 28 year-old vocalist Tom Barton. A graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, Barton studied for a Masters in Jazz Voice at New York’s Manhattan School of Music. The results on this debut album introduce the creative possibilities of 21st… Read more
August 03, 2014

2014 Art Music Awards Nominations for jazz

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
Congratulations to the following artists and organisations nominated for the Art Music awards:- Work of the Year: Jazz Alister Spence and Myra Melford: Everything Here Is Possible, performed by Alister Spence and Myra Melford Quentin Angus: Happy, performed by Quentin Angus, Alon Tayar, Bambam Rodriguez and Ari Hoenig Tilman Robinson: Network of Lines, performed by Tilman Robinson, Peter Knight, Callum G'Froerer, Erkki Veltheim, Judith Hamann,… Read more
July 30, 2014

Freedman Jazz Fellowships announced

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
The Music Trust today announced the four finalists for the 2014 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, Australia’s premier award for excellence in jazz. 2014’s contenders for the annual scholarship are trombonist Shannon Barnett, vocalist Gian Slater and pianists Mathew Sheens and Aaron Choulai. The finalists will now have the opportunity to compete for the prestigious $15,000 cash prize in a live performance ‘play-off’ at Freedman Jazz at the Sydney Opera… Read more
July 27, 2014

Brisbane Festival Jazz On Sunday program

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
For 2014, Jazz Queensland and Brisbane festival continue their partnership with the Jazz On Sunday program. Featuring many of Australia’s most accomplished and multi award winning Jazz artists including, Australia’s leading male jazz vocalist Vince Jones, Elly Hoyt (Australian Jazz Bell Awards in 2011), Kristin Berardi (National Jazz Awards and Australian Jazz Bell Awards 2012) and Paul Grabowsky (AO) The Jazz On Sunday program will be presented… Read more
July 27, 2014

Artist Distribution scheme for recordings

in News Articles National News Posted by Joanne Kee
PPCA Calls all Australian Recording Artists and Labels PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) is a national, not-for-profit organisation that represents the interests of Australian recording artists and labels. PPCA is authorised by its licensors to issue blanket licences to Australian businesses so that they can play sound recordings and music videos. We currently license over 50,000 businesses Australia-wide, including clubs,… Read more

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