I posed this question about Jazz and here are some comments:
What do you think about Jazz? We are starting to wonder if Jazz is appreciated in Marin. We booked two fine Jazz gigs last week and the turn-out was low! As we look back our Jazz nights have not been as well attended as our Americana or Dance shows. We know it is not for lack of talent or star power. We have had.the same acts as Yoshi's where the same artist such as Frankye Kelly, Jenna Mammina, Bill Bell or Nicolas Bearde, or the great drummer Winard Harper sold out. As a matter of fact the artists call us Yoshi's north. Jazz is thriving in the City and the East Bay. Marin seems to not support one of the great American inventions, Jazz. Let us know your thoughts....
I'm writing to say I LOVE jazz and hope you don't give it the ax. My guess is that since you folks offer only a bit of jazz in your music mix, most people don't yet think of your production as a "jazz productions " I would hope things would pick up for you if you had a bit more in the jazz offerings department. It would be great for me and all my jazz friends to not always have to go to the east bay to Yoshi's. Good luck. Much appreciation for doing what you do. P.S Your sound is to die for! Jonathan
Good question Daniel.
Jazz has always been about the finest musicianship and dedication while not being the biggest draw in smaller venues. It's perplexing, Dan. True improvisation typically includes chromaticism and musical tensions (sometimes unresolved) often over the head of the average listener. Successful jazz venues are often measured (and remembered) by the quality of the players more than the size of the crowd. The places that draw the attendance usually have established some kind of long running tradition with the players and crowd. Gene
You have a great venue to promote jazz in Marin County. The problem is... Do you have the resources, patience and time? It's certainly a worthy cause, but as you know, the more progressive the artists are does not determine the popularity.
Keep up the good work. Yes we do like jazz. Thanks Elise
Jazz is a very eclectic genre. I would venture a guess that Yoshi's reputation brings part of its audience from SF as well as the East Bay, specifically Oakland & Berkeley, thus drawing from a wider fan base. Marin appears to be a Rock, Blues & Country county. Mark
I like jazz, particularly jazz vocalists Rita
Personally I love jazz. I am afraid I haven't been able to make the concerts due to other commitments. Ivory
I love all kinds of music, but I think acoustic rock and some of the stuff we grew up with in the 60's, 70's 80's 90's is what people like to hear. Just my two cents! Keep up the great work you do! Christina
Hello jazz is not appreciated in america.....george
Well, I like Jazz. But if you think about it, Marin is the country...and Jazz has a decidedly downtown, city feel. And when I go to Yoshi's, I notice that the crowd is *very* diverse -- something you don't see as much in Marin. Also, Yoshi's has been doing this for decades and has built a following and a reputation for excellence. Gregg
AS YOU POINT OUT...ECCLECTIC, ROMANTIC SO PERHAPS MARINITES LOOK TO GO OUT OF COUNTY TO ENJOY IT......JUST A THOUGHT... MOST BOOMERS LIKE ME (AND YOU GUYS) I THINK LIKE TO KEEP ROCKIN...R.W.
I do not earn enough $$ to go to shows as often as I would like to. I do think what you charge is fair though, as I understand the cost of things. I will come back when I am ready. I hope you stay in Marin! Joy
I think you should press on with being the Yoshi's of the North. That's exactly the description that came to my mind. I immediately got on your list, and upon getting the first mailing, I immediately came, with six friends! We'll be back. We saw Frankye Kelly, and I really wanted to see Jeff Titus and Michael Manring. That sounded like a really memorable event, and if you have that sort of thing (really talented instrumentalists), I'm almost always intrigued. Keep it up! Hang in there! I'm spreading the word. Bruce
I love jazz and think your spot is the ideal jazz environment. I am new to the area and didn't know jazz was happening at your place. I have been hoping to go to Yoshi's but haven't gotten the window of time to travel over the bridge. I would much rather be satisfied right in our backyard. Please keep us posted for the next Jazz event. Ann
Don’t stop booking Jazz!!! I’ll try to support those Jazz shows. Thanks, Natalie
We love jazz and have every intention of supporting you! We've both just retired. We live in El Cerrito and you may be even closer to us than Yoshi's
Just speaking for myself (demographic: 69 yr. old white male), mind you, but I'm not a huge Jazz fan. It generally requires -- to know and understand it, have a little sense of its history and genres, know the musicians, etc. -- more of a commitment of time and passion than I have been able to give it over my life John
I am a jazz enthusiast & supporter of live jazz. I attend shows at both Yoshi's and SF Jazz. I live in SF but I appreciate and l would love more small, intimate jazz venues in the Bay Area. I have been happy to see a number of jazz acts featured on your calendar in recent months. Unfortunately, those particular dates were a conflict for me.. but I continue to look for future jazz shows on your calendar. Don't give up yet! The need for intimate jazz venues (with great sound) that don't cost an arm & leg is much needed! Thanks for providing great music to the Bay Area! Erin
Hi Daniel~ I'm inclined to buy tickets for jazz more than any other genre. ~S
Daniel, my husband and I both love jazz. I think people in Marin have too many choices and not enough time.......Ellen
Re: jazz, I for one would definitely support jazz. Aside from my “day job” as an attorney/mediator, I am a jazz flutist (I occasionally played with the Jon Steiner Trio (rest his soul) at the Left Bank), and I would hope that you don’t discontinue jazz at your venue. I know that there are many jazz fans in the county, and am surprised to learn of the low turn-out for this type of entertainment. Perhaps there were other factors at play (weather, other events going on, ???). Keep up the good work, and please don’t cut out jazz from your playbook. Phil
I love jazz as do many of my friends in Marin. Sorry your attendance has been low---I'll get the word out to the music lovers I know. We typically go out on weekend nights and when we have a free night on Friday or Saturday, we come to your wonderful shows. Wish we could come more often and we're so glad that you're providing such great music to Marin! Karen
You're getting some great folks in there. I love jazz, personally, but get over to Yoshi's a few times a year at most.. I was just walking around the Fillmore area south of Market yesterday and was blown away with all they're builidng. There'll be, like, 4 jazz clubs within two blocks of each other by this summer (there are three, now, and Yoshi's is being built as soon as the condos upstairs from it are completed in a month). Amazing. Marin-ites? I just don't know. I lived in SF for 18 years, and have just lived here less than 5. It takes a lot to get them out of the house, it seems. But keep trying! Charylu
I respect Jazz, but I just can't bring myself to see a Jazz show even though I have studied music and understand it's importance, it just doesn't move me like other types of music. Ilena
Absolutely, jazz is appreciated in Marin. But it’s good that you ask. Margaret
I believe its a perception issue -- what people believe jazz to be - 'old school'. But when they hear it today, they can appreciate it because its not far off from other classifications (fusion, new age). Maybe call it something else (jazz-fusion) or have a festival to help connect to the market. Ty
There are lots of venues doing jazz acts and I don't know anyone who's a big jazz fan.There are FEW north bay companies doing world music, however - that always has a need, it seems. Folk also... Diane
Don't give up on jazz. Just take it slow Bernard
JUST HANG IN THERE . IT TAKES TIME PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW YOU HAVE JAZZ ACTS . diz
I love jazz and think your spot is the ideal jazz environment. I am new to the area and didn't know jazz was happening in your venues. I have been hoping to go to Yoshi's but haven't gotten the window of time to travel over the bridge. I would much rather be satisfied right in our backyard.Ann
i think i will make wallpaper out of that paragraph! thank you daniel. jenna
Jazz in the bay area has never really seemed to hit critical mass. In some ‘pockets’ it has, with Yoshi’s being the best example. Zeb’s did some SRO business on weekend nights with Cannonball and a few other acts, but the distinction was that each of their successful acts did / do a grand job of self promoting. When Cannonball was playing Zeb’s, the owners could basically just book the act and watch the pre-sales role in, all due to the band’s own efforts.
Baccar, in SF (3rd and Brannon) had jazz acts 7 nights a week for several years. Unfortunately, people came to hang out and flirt, and it was rare to even hear applause after each piece. Not a successful formula.
I could site a lot of other examples, but the message is the same. All in all, there’s a sizeable jazz audience of many flavors in the bay area, but they’re scattered and do NOT represent a single demographic (i.e. “The Bay Area Jazz Audience.”). Rather, they are people who like various types of music at varying times, and some like one kind of jazz (the torch singer, for example), while others like other kinds of jazz (modern, fusion, experimental, etc.).
The way to corral such a diverse crowd, especially given that jazz itself is diverse (one man’s Jazz is another man’s Dixieland), is to lead them by the nose. Sounds painful, and maybe it is. But that’s essentially what Yoshi’s does. They take a stand on what they’re doing, it’s not diluted with other material, and as one of your respondents said, ‘they’ve been doing it for 20+ years.’
What does this boil down to? You can either be a jazz club (I use the term knowing that it’s now a roving gypsy club), or not. It’s going to be difficult to be an in-between club. Maybe though, a lot less difficult, now that you’re not attached to one permanent venue.
The longer you run, the more productive it will be. A year from now, if all the local jazz buffs know that on Thursdays they can rely on seeing and hearing a killer jazz band at a Murphy Production, then you’ve won the battle. The actual location will become less relevant, though still important enough to be selective. If you set up a group of 3 to 7 restaurant/bar venues that you used cyclically, you could have this really cool Gypsy Jazz Rotation Alliance (the GJRA) that becomes well known around the bay. You might actually be able to charge the venue owners for part of the costs, as it will bring them decidedly more business on Jazz Night. Look for potential venues that aren’t already turning people away on Thursdays (or whatever day you decide to settle on). Ken