Archive for April 26th, 2010

Musicians At Work: The Economy Must Be Improving!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

As a band leader, for over a year now I have had the pick of all the best musicians – not just in my town, but within a 100 miles in any direction!

Why? Two reasons. First, I’ve been lucky that my phone has kept ringing, even if at a somewhat reduced rate. And the second reason? That would be you. You, and others like you have been the ones calling for musical entertainment.

Throughout the current economic downturn, rarely have I had to call more than one – or, at the most, two – of my favorite players on any particular instrument to fill my bandstand. My clients and their guests have enjoyed the very best drummers, guitarists, vocalists, and horn virtuosos. For me – it’s been a slice of Heaven! These musicians are so professional in every way, and so gifted at their chosen specialties, that they’ve made me a hero to many event planners. Even folks who called at the last minute were always able to count on a superior musical experience.

But, just this past Saturday night, came the first glimmer that things are about to change. It wasn’t New Year’s Eve, but it must have felt like a Happy New Year to every sideman and leader in town. For some reason, everyone was working! I know this because my client made a last minute request for me to add a trombone to our ensemble, and it took me 4 tries to find one who was available. This would have been a shock even in December, but in April?

With trombonists in short supply, other leaders trying to assemble ensembles on short notice were really in a bind. One of them called me repeatedly, picking my brain for any drummer I had ever worked with – ever (because all the usual suspects were already working.)

In most respects, this is good news. When every musician is employed, it means that the economy is improving. But there is one way in which – for both you and me – it marks the end of our “lazy period.” Simply put, it looks like those easy days of finding and hiring a great band virtually any day of the week are coming to an end. You, as the party giver, are going to have to call your favorite music providers sooner to be sure of their availability. And leaders like me will no longer have the luxury of knowing that fantastic players are just sitting by their phones, hoping we will call. Both of us are going to have to get organized and to hustle a bit.

Meanwhile, stunned trombonists across the region celebrate the dawning of a new day!