[JPL] Yoshi's S.F. changes its repertoire

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 10 16:39:25 EST 2009


Yes Fred and I'm sure you know that their management usually determines fees...particularly in festival situations... based on seating capacity and ticket price. So as an example if you have 2500 seats their fee will be based on that and the amount of the ticket. If it's a free event they more then likely will ask for a higher fee because they know there is sponsorship or it's underwritten. It's crazy man for real. This is a "potential" gross situation in my view but many act as though it's fact...as premature as it is. It's like putting the cart before the horse.  

I've seen too often that many of these same artists come into small venues...with much less seating capacity and try to make it up with ridiculous cover charges...usually for one set. It seems to me in that situation the artist could care less about the venue. They just want to make their cut. Also, in festivals many of these high profile artists fees are so high that there is little left to bring in other lesser known artists to give them a shot at exposure and this is ONE of the reasons why so many great jazz artists aren't getting the exposure they deserve on these festivals.

Very few jazz artists today have the avenues in front of them to develop into a marquee name. Have you noticed over the past...say 20 years that you can probably count on one hand the number of marquee names jazz has produce? I'm not talking about great players because there are many but just the market value of the name. Doesn't seem to be anyway out of this situation. Pretty soon all of the remaining jazz "stars" will be gone or not performing anymore and then what? 

The artists aren't the only ones responsible for this. It's across the board. Presenters, media, etc... This is why more and more "jazz"  fests are turning towards non jazz artists because the jazz artists they've focused on for years are just about gone now. Now there is a generation and a half in place underneath them that few know much about. It's only going to get worse unfortunately.

Jae Sinnett   


--- On Sat, 1/10/09, Fredejazz at aol.com <Fredejazz at aol.com> wrote:

> From: Fredejazz at aol.com <Fredejazz at aol.com>
> Subject: Re: [JPL] Yoshi's S.F. changes its repertoire
> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> Date: Saturday, January 10, 2009, 3:57 PM
> Jae, I think you're right, but this started back when
> high profile artists  
> started getting higher fees at big festivals, (a good
> thing), but priced  
> themselves out of the small clubs, ... F Jacobs
>  
>  
> In a message dated 1/10/2009 2:47:56 P.M. Eastern Standard
> Time,  
> jaejazz at yahoo.com writes:
> 
> "Last  year, jazz stars like Chick Corea and Wayne
> Shorter played both rooms
> over  the course of a week, sometimes featuring different
> bands. It was  a
> promising plan, but the audience wasn't big
> enough."
> 
> My first  thought to this statement was that if these guys
> don't draw enough 
> folks for a  club then the rest of us are toast. Jeez. Then
> I thought perhaps 
> the artists  fee's were too much for the venue. Or the
> cover charge not high 
> enough but  that falls into the too high fee thing. 
> 
> I've performed at clubs all  over the place for years
> and one of the things 
> that has happened too often in  jazz are artists...with
> marquee 
> value...charging a fee that in reality is too  high for the
> venue to pay. Then you have to 
> look at the presenter that is  willing to pay that fee.
> Most in jazz 
> unfortunately don't make the return that  is necessary
> in this situation and what happens 
> is the downward spiral of the  venue losing money...then
> claiming that jazz 
> doesn't cut it. I don't hear many  folks talking
> about this. I truly believe 
> that many established artists are  hurting live jazz
> opportunities and for other 
> artists trying to establish  themselves by charging
> ridiculous fees...ending 
> up in many cases with the  promoters or presenters losing
> money then not 
> wanting to book jazz again.  There is a level of greed in
> jazz believe or not that 
> is hurting this  music.  
> 
> One thing I learned from Charlie Byrd...I worked with 
> Charlie for 
> years...was that he NEVER over charged to play and the
> venue he  played in ALWAYS made 
> money and brought him back...time after time again. 
> Charlie knew this and 
> consequently worked as much as he wanted and made good 
> money. It's a theory 
> like...well I'll ask for $3000 instead of $7000. Then 
> $6000 comes in. Enough to 
> pay the artists and the venue makes some money. Then  they
> bring you back for 
> $5000. I haven't seem many venues that bring artists 
> and in many cases jazz 
> back...when they lose money. 
> 
> Jae  Sinnett   
> 
> 
> 
> --- On Sat, 1/10/09, Jazz Promo Services 
> <jazzpromo at earthlink.net> wrote:
> 
> > From: Jazz Promo Services 
> <jazzpromo at earthlink.net>
> > Subject: [JPL] Yoshi's S.F. changes  its
> repertoire
> > To: "jazzproglist at jazzweek.com" 
> <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> > Date: Saturday, January 10, 2009,  1:42 PM
> > 
> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/09/DDK9155U1B.DTL
> >  
> > Yoshi's S.F. changes its repertoire
> > Jesse Hamlin, Chronicle  Staff Writer
> > Saturday, January 10, 2009
> > 
> > Like  everybody else, Yoshi's has been roughed up
> by the
> > recession and  credit
> > freeze.
> > 
> > The Bay Area's premier jazz club,  which opened an
> > elegant San Francisco
> > venue in late 2007 to  complement its longtime Oakland
> > operation, has seen
> > its music  and restaurant business drop 20 percent
> over the
> > past year. In
> >  addition to losing several hundred thousand dollars,
> it
> > couldn't get  private
> > funding to pay off the huge cost overruns on the
> >  construction of its
> > Fillmore Street project.
> > 
> > Things  looked pretty bleak until last month, when the
> San
> > Francisco
> >  Redevelopment Agency gave Yoshi's - a centerpiece
> of
> > the city's  ambitious
> > plan to revive the once-swinging Fillmore District - a
>  $1.5
> > million
> > emergency loan. It came on top of a $1.3 million  loan
> the
> > agency gave the
> > club in September, and the original  $4.4 million
> long-term
> > loan it provided
> > to Yoshi's to develop  the 28,000-square-foot
> space on
> > the ground floor of
> > the  Fillmore Heritage Center, a 12-story condo tower
> that
> > also houses  the
> > 1300 on Fillmore restaurant and a small jazz museum.
> >  
> > "We're hanging on, and we're going to
> hang
> > on," said Yoshi's  owner Kaz
> > Kajimura. Getting the new loan "was a tremendous
> >  relief." He admits that the
> > thought of closing one of the locations  had crossed
> his
> > mind, but he was
> > encouraged that big crowds  turned out last month at
> both
> > clubs. Kajimura
> > expects to pay  off creditors - including some who
> have
> > filed lawsuits
> > against  the club - as soon as the city cuts him a
> check.
> > And to bring in  a
> > wider audience, Yoshi's is diversifying its
> musical
> > program;  rather than
> > showcasing jazz at both clubs, Yoshi's San 
> Francisco
> > will feature a broader
> > mix of contemporary and  traditional music from around
> the
> > world, regional
> > American  roots music and genre-crossing artists who
> draw on
> > rock, soul  and
> > other sounds.
> > 
> > Last year, jazz stars like Chick  Corea and Wayne
> Shorter
> > played both rooms
> > over the course of a  week, sometimes featuring
> different
> > bands. It was a
> > promising  plan, but the audience wasn't big
> enough.
> > 
> > "It wasn't working.  Yoshi's San
> Francisco was
> > cannibalizing Yoshi's in
> > Oakland,"  said Kajimura, who has hired Bill
> Kubeczko
> > from Minneapolis'  Cedar
> > Cultural Center to program the San Francisco club.
> Peter
> >  Williams will
> > continue booking jazz at the Oakland venue.
> >  
> > Kubeczko, who programmed a wide range of music and
> dance in
> >  nightlife-rich
> > Minneapolis, had been hearing musicians like guitarist
>  Bill
> > Frisell rave
> > about Yoshi's for years. "It's got  an
> > international reputation," said
> > Kubeczko, a 53-year-old  from Chicago who knows his
> blues
> > and jazz but also
> > grew up on  the San Francisco sounds of the Dead,
> > Quicksilver Messenger
> >  Service and Mother Earth. Since moving here a few
> weeks
> > ago, he's  plunged
> > into the local music scene, ears open to fresh talent.
> >  
> > Kubeczko, who wants to shift the programming
> gradually, has
> >  booked the
> > Portland-based Irish musician Kevin Burke for Tuesday 
> and
> > the French
> > Gypsy-klezmer band Les Yeux Noirs the next  night.
> Next
> > month he's bringing
> > in Morocco's Master Musicians  of Jajouka, led by
> Bachir
> > Attar, and Nation
> > Beat, a Brooklyn  band that mixes up Brazilian
> grooves, New
> > Orleans funk,
> >  Nashville fiddling and whatever else strikes it.
> Other
> > artists he'd  like to
> > book for multinight runs include Bruce Hornsby, Doc 
> Watson,
> > the dancing
> > Senegalese singer Baaba Maal and the  Langston Hughes
> > Project.
> > 
> > "We're still going to be  doing jazz at
> Yoshi's
> > San Francisco, but it won't
> > be the main  focus," said Kubeczko, who aims to
> widen
> > the musical scope but
> >  "respect the jazz history of Yoshi's and
> this
> > neighborhood." He wants  to get
> > to know the people who run Slim's, the Fillmore,
> Cafe
> >  Du Nord and other
> > local venues and work "in the spirit of 
> cooperation
> > rather than competition.
> > My hope is that given the  economy, we can all survive
> and
> > flourish."
> > 
> > E-mail  Jesse Hamlin at jhamlin at sfchronicle.com.
> > 
> > 
> http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/10/DDK9155U1B.DTL
> >  
> > This article appeared on page E - 1 of the San
> Francisco
> >  Chronicle
> > --
> > 
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