Hello – My name is Matt Fripp and I’m the host of Jazzfuel.
Depending on who you are, there are a couple of different ways you might want to get started with this website, so click the one which best applies to you and you should whizz to the right part…
“I’m a jazz fan”
I started out as a musician, studying a 4-year degree in jazz music at London’s Guildhall School of Music.
I went on to become a booking agent and manager, booking clubs and festivals for a range of artists in Europe and North America and sharing tips and resources for professional musicians looking to build their careers, through the Jazzfuel website.
Then covid hit.
Sat at home with no concerts happening, I dived back into my favourite classic jazz recordings and started writing articles about the history of jazz.
Fast-forward to today and there are almost 500 of these (and counting) online – including many by guest writers – and a super community of jazz fans around the world who receive weekly email stories.
If you’d like to join them in getting the best of jazz (old and new) to your inbox, you are very welcome to join the free mailing list by clicking the button below.Join the newsletter
Already on the list, or don’t want to get emails?
You’ll find the latest articles on our Discover Jazz page here.
You can also search by category to find articles about your favourite instrumentalists, or ‘gear’ tips if you’re learning to play jazz.
“I’m a professional musician”
Despite starting out as a musician and studying a 4-year degree at the UK’s Guildhall School of Music, I switched over to the dark side in my early 20s to become a booking agent and manager.
Since then, I’ve booked 2,000+ gigs, co-ordinated press campaigns for more than 150 album releases and worked with artists signed to a range of record labels from small independents to majors like Sony Music.
I started this website back in 2016 to try to provide some extra support for all the brilliant musicians out there who have to take care of so many different roles in their careers today.
What started out as an occasional article snowballed into free downloads, resources, online courses and coaching programmes for a community of 4000+ jazz musicians around the world.
If you’re looking for a little extra insight or support with your project, you’ve come to the right place!
Firstly, take a second to join the free newsletter here.Join the newsletter
I’ll send you a series of emails to highlight the most popular content and keep you posted on upcoming events so you don’t have to wade through 100+ articles by yourself!
Once you’ve done that, I’ve outlined some of the key topics covered on this site, with links, below.
As you’ll see, they all fit into one of three categories:
Getting ‘gig ready’
Having a great project is only half the battle.
I see examples all the time of musicians who play amazing music, but are not really in a position to get a lot of gigs or press attention because they’re not taking care of the non-playing side of things to a similarly high level.
If you really want to speed up your progress, there are some things you should be aware of…
1) Getting Your Tools Together
First impressions are important when it comes to winning fans and convincing industry people to book you or write about you.
Attention is short and, especially online, there are a lot of people trying to get heard.
So, it’s important that you have some key ‘tools’ together to convince people to check out you or your latest project. How many of these do you have already?
- High quality video footage of your project
- Music available to check out online
- An up-to-date & effective website
- Professional press photos
- A well-written biography
- A collection of press quotes
2) Raising your profile as a jazz musician
So you’ve been doing some great gigs or you’ve just launched an album that you’re particularly proud of.
If you want to keep building your career, it’s rarely enough to make good music and hope for the best. You need to have a plan for creating news and then spreading it, consistently.
How many of these things do you have in place?
- Focused target lists of the clubs & festivals you want to play at
- Clear ways of communicating with fans (and finding more of them!)
- 12+ month plan for what gigs, press & other ‘wins’ you are aiming for
- An idea about when you’ll next be releasing music (this doesn’t have to be a full album. It could also be an EP, a single, a video, a livestream…)
- A gig you’re working towards in your home city
Get started (with all that!)
I know it might seem like a lot of work when you see it written down like that! But the most important thing is to start making some progress, no matter how small.
Assuming you’re planning on a long-term career as a jazz musician, there’s time to work through all these things.
So don’t get caught up on creating all that content before you start actually putting yourself out there.
Try this as a very simple starting point: Ask for at least 5 gigs each week.
By email is fine.
It seems like a small task, but over the course of a year, that’s 250+ clubs or festivals you’ve connected with…
If you’ve ever taught music, I’m sure (like me) you’ve preached the benefits of ‘little and often’ – it’s same with this.
Taking care of the non-playing side of your career may seem like a massive task but working consistently on the right things, a few minutes every day or so, will make a big difference to what’s going on with your career.
And, as I said before, if you’d like me to take you through a few of the key concepts on booking gigs for your project, just join the free Jazzfuel mailing list and I’ll start sending!
If you have any questions or feedback, you’re welcome to get in touch. I reply to all personal emails that I receive.
“I work in the music industry”
Hello – Matt here
Whilst the majority of content on this site is aimed at helping independent jazz musicians with their careers, we do work with managers, labels, agencies and other industry organisations on a range of services.
I’m also very interested to hear from people in the industry about what their biggest challenges and successes are.
Have a different perspective on something we’ve published? Feel free to get in touch; I’m always open for interviews as part of this series, or curated guest articles.
Looking for some extra support for either you or the artists you work with?
Drop me an email and we can discuss the various services that we do around press, promotion, marketing, social media, database & newsletter management and more.