Hey, just wondering (you dont' have to give specifics). But how much to most people here make at an average restaurant, bar, private party, or whatever gig in New York or wherever you are? Where I live, smaller town, it's a good gig if I can make a $100 for the night.
Paid Gigs?(9 posts)
restaurant: 75ish, private party 125-200ish per man. I'm in a small town as well. I feel gigs is where I really learn so I don't mind playing for 75. 75 is kinda lame but we play 3 nights a week and have for going on 4 years now. (Food and Bevs are free for us too and the food is the best in town!!) Oh, and we can play about anything we want:)
that's fantastic, i wish I could get a steady gig like that, no one here hires steady. you're steady if you get 1 night a week for a few months
Good topic. The closest thing to a steady gig for me is a supermarket chain. Sounds insane but the pay is $175 for 2 hours solo and many times you'll have an audience. It's not the Vanguard or Yoshis but for where I live that kind of bread is hard to pass on. For wedding receptions and private parties I try to get $75/hour. For a wedding ceremony, the price is $150 because that requires doing time consuming arrangements of The Four Seasons, The Moldau or whatever. For many restaurants or bookstores, they'll tell you that you can sell your cds but they won't pay - fck that.
Wow things are even worst in some parts of the world i see. Here you can get around 40€ or 50€ for a straight ahead jazz gig (75€ if you re lucky) in a bar or around 150€ - 200€ if its a jazz festival. If its more on the cocktail side (with a singer playing standards) it can go from 75€ on a bar or restaurant to something between 200€ - 500€ on private parties, art galleries, weddings , (usually its 200€ but sometimes 500€ gigs show up) ... If you play covers you maybe get a little better on bars than playing jazz.
I only know a friend who has a steady gig on a restaurant, 50 euros every night.
The other things are pubs and the like, and they mostly have a set budget (more people = less money). With a 4 piece standard band the norm is 50 per night too, but you'll be hard pressed to find enough places to be "steady-like"...
On the subject of money for gigs in New York vs. elsewhere:
I've lived in New York for the past 2 years, but I grew up in a small town. From my experience, New York is so oversaturated with musicians that it's not uncommon to see people play for less money than they deserve, and sometimes people even play for free (I've even done it myself on a few of occasions...a night of drinking with your friends < a night of drinking AND playing music with your friends...).
A drummer I play with always says "I'll never play for less than 100$". There are jazz gigs where non-superstars can make 200-300$ per night, but at that point you're competing with some pretty kick ass musicians, at least around here...and yadayadayada, I've found that playing in small towns can just be as lucrative if not more than a city like this, because it attracts so many musicians from outside, which raises the musician:fan ratio.
On the subject of how much money you should get for a gig, that's such a subjective question. But for a standards gig at a restaurant, as a "no-name" player, you probably don't want to walk out of there with less than 50$. Maybe a little bit less if it includes free dinner and drinks. Conversely, you should feel pretty good about leaving there with something near 100$.
A couple protips: - a quartet splits the money 4 ways, a trio 3 ways, a duet, 2 ways, and solo playing 1 way. (Work on your solo and duet playing!)
- One of the best ways to get weekly gigs is to be the first person to play music there. Find a place that never has music, but seems like it could, and give them your slick demo. I had a weekly duet gig for two years at a place 5 minutes down the road from me that paid 100$ each with the best italian cooking around, simply because I was the first person to approach the owner with the prospect of having music at their establishment. He never wanted to because he always figured jazz to be obtrusive banging, but then he heard what two guitars could sound like and it changed his mind.
i'm in the nyc area:
bar gig- $100
casino type of gig or park (during the summertime)- $150 to $175
private gig- $300
most jazz gigs pay nothing out here unless you're playing at the blue note, jazz standard, the vanguard, etc.... i've never made more than $50 on a typical jazz club gig in the city. i remember seeing chris cheek's band at detour a while back and he sent around a tip bucket and announced that they don't get paid by the club and rely on tips. he had many of nyc's top musicians in his band including steve cardenas, tom beckham, henry hey, matt pavolka, & dan reiser. it was sad and ridiculous that these incredible musicians were playing for tips.
I'm interested in how much musicians are getting paid in Northern Europe for jazz gigs whether playing standards or originals as I'm considering relocating to Europe some time in the future. Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris etc...
Where I live in Australia (outside of Sydney) it seems to be about $50 per person most cafes/restaurants are paying at the moment though like anything it can vary. One-off gigs (private parties, functions, art galleries etc.) I tend to get $100 - $150. (I play bebop)
The tip bucket thing I've seen happen in Melbourne with the best Australian Jazz musicians as well
There's a great youtube channel by a NYC bass player called Jonah Jonathan where he's interviewing established NY jazz musicians and getting their perspective on the current state of the NY jazz scene, in particular paid gigs and work opportunities.
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