Open Letter to the UK Jazz Community Pt IV – No More Sidemen!

photo of Steve Lawson and Michael Manring on stage together at the Brookdale LodgeAnother thing I touched on in part II was the issue of ‘sidemen’ who have no sense of ownership of a project. This is a big problem when a large part of the cost of any particular gig is paying the musicians. If only one of you is doing the work to get an audience, but four of you are getting paid for playing the gig, something’s wrong.

So, my suggestion is that band leaders need to stop thinking in terms of ‘sidemen’ when booking players – stop hiring people just to play on the gig. This works well all round – when we start thinking like this, we end up having the opportunity to bring a whole lot more to a gig than just playing – we bring with us an audience, some marketing ideas and a whole load of enthusiasm. Continue reading “Open Letter to the UK Jazz Community Pt IV – No More Sidemen!”