If you went to our MySpace site [www.MySpace,com /Lanceamartincom] , there is a blog for musicians to share stories on how they are treated on the road, or on a gig.

There should be more respect for musicians in this country. The term "I'm going to play music" throws alot of non musicians off. They understand the word "playing" but they don't understand that you are actually "working" when you are playing on a gig. Back in Pittsburgh, as a flutist, I remember waiting to get paid, and the client looked at me and said "But you only play the flute" I think I eventually got paid, but those are some of the things you take with you in life. I've heard that line alot more with vocalists "But you were only singing". Bass Players you've heard the joke about the couple who were going to marriage counsoling for not speaking to each other, until the counsoler brought in a bassist to play a bass solo and presto! they're talking to each other again. Drummers were the punchline of the joke Who is always hanging out with musicians? [ouch!] Trombonists have heard many jokes made about them, and let's not talk about flutist jokes, they are down right disgusting. (lol)

These may sound like rants, but I'm just having fun with it now. Have you ever been on a gig, wearing your "black & whites" (tux) and while you're on break standing outside, a guest will come by and give you their car keys. What do you do? Go on a joy ride during your break, or just hand them their keys and tell them you are not the valet.


to be cont.

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Comment by allthingsbarbara on March 23, 2009 at 7:22pm
Great rant and what a great jazz flute! I don't think anyone should be giving you guff! I'm grooving to your music as I write.
Comment by Stan The Man on September 6, 2008 at 8:54am
When i was in high school, i took a class called music appreciation
that class taught me how to listen to all types of music, and to respect what my teacher was trying to teach at that time.
I had to sit and listen to all genres, for an hour each day at school
The schools should have a class like this for students as a mandatory class, that would help
Comment by Stan The Man on September 6, 2008 at 8:45am
Man, that tux joke is absolutely right!, i've had that happen to me
but, it wasn't with the keys, people were always asking where something was in the building, like i work there or something, lol.
Comment by Steven Charles on August 29, 2008 at 1:23pm
Quite a true situation, which is why I'm always stoked when a playing situation proves to be an attentive, respectful, & appreciative one!
And they are often in the most unsuspecting places, a corporate affair, a shopping mall, a small group of visitors having lunch (altho being from Europe, they carried that appreciation & love of American Jazz & musicians with them), or even a mainly rock 'n roll bar, where we were "the first jazz band ever".....

I believe that it is a progressively worsening situation, as more generations are raised with ADD-like "multi-tasking" as their normal 24/7, so even when they do "listen" to music, they are never really quite "LISTENING"! When I was younger, hell, we would spend hours & hours hanging out, ONLY listening to the happening albums of the day! Without ever actually "experiencing", or "soaking" up the music, and all it's aspects, it's near impossible to develop a true appreciation for the music, & the artistry of those expressing it....

For quite some time, with the advent & proliferation of "music videos", which unlike my initial expectations, rarely show the artists performing it, but instead relegate the music to nothing more than a soundtrack for the often lame, superfluous, or even degrading story-line & actions of the video.
Comment by Trish Shandor on June 2, 2008 at 4:54pm
Unfortunately we still allow smoking in Michigan. Of course when I am gigging... whenever that will be... when I get one. The cigar smokers always sit in the front tables. I've been fired from places where I have asked for the smokers to sit in the back or go to an area where I can't breathe their cancer. I'll clunk em over the head with my shoes. that is why I always wear a fout inch heel or higher. LOL
Comment by LANCE MARTIN on June 2, 2008 at 4:02pm
Trish, you are so right. (I don't remember the source) I was reading, or watching something about The Cotton Club. We're always romantically told about the acts, like Cab Calloway, '
Snake Hips, etc., the entertainers were always competing for attention. People were into their conversations, people were eating their dinners, singing happy Birthday,etc. The entertainers had to think of more ways to "grab" their attention. So what I'm trying to say is that you should find a way to "clunk" them over their heads (in a nice way) and teach them (I do it with slight intimidation)

I remember seeing Betty Carter in Boston (when smoking was allowed in clubs) She stopped in the middle of her set because a man was smoking a cigar at the front table. She said to him "Naw, naw, I've been in this business so long, when I had to sing in smoke filled joints. Now that I don't have to do that anymore, would you mind not smoking that in here?" It was a little rough, but she got a big applause over that. R E S P E C T sing it, girl!!
Comment by Trish Shandor on June 2, 2008 at 2:24pm
Well where does the respect come from? I perform and public speak at Elementary and secondary schools all over the midwest. I can tell you why people don't respect us. They were never taught how. Our children don't know how to act or behave during a performance. Furthermore no one teaches them or prepares them on how to act. Can I say this is every school? NO. I have done 88 performances at schools in the last 2 months. Out of those 88 schools I would say may be 10 of those schools had students who were prepped to be attentive; not talk, not tardy to the performance (and walking in during a performance), don't fall asleep (yes, we have many students who fall asleep and are not corrected by an adult). Some kids make derogatory remarks at, about, or toward the performers, get up when they felt like it... it's terrible. But the teachers just sit there they don't correct the students. I think it is because those teachers were also raised in a society where they weren't taught how to act either or are in a society where they are scared to correct someone else's child. It is a serious domino effect. We can't teach people how to behave if the majority of society can't step up to the plate and figure out or even try to learn.

Now I actually have to do a pre-show presentation working with the children on performance etiquette. Not that they listen but again no one corrects them for not listening and not paying attention. I get student's mumbles, groans (the "Oh God, is she gonna shut up and perform something" or "God this is so lame" or "Mr or Mrs. Teacher do we have to stay" true quotes... not kidding), and the tsk tsk's and the eye rolling... like teaching simple virtues and proper behavior is some kind of violation to them.

But the way they act is not far off from any lounge/club atmosphere I am forced to endure. I can be singing a very tender and lovely ballad and I am able to hear 4 different conversations that drown ME out over a sound system and it doesn't matter what I am singing either. I can be singing Jazz, classical, R&B, Pop, hip hop, country... doesn't matter. It all gets the same response.

So, how do we as a people help this situation? I am at least trying to do my part. I know my private students are required to see 5 professional "classical" performances each year. I teach them all performance etiquette and I take them all to their first symphony concert where I can explain to them how to act properly before we get seated and before the show starts. I am not touching thousands but I am making a small dent.

Remember these words of wisdom passed to me by a dear friend: "Each one, teach one"... my ultimate goal is to reach one.
Comment by dNessa on May 27, 2008 at 3:10pm
Thanks for the compliment too!!!







Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams


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