JAZZ INTERVIEWS

Interviewing the industry

Over the last 3 years I’ve interviewed people from all areas of the jazz industry to get their insight and advice on how you – a gigging jazz musician – can grow your career faster and more effectively.

I’m happy to share my advice and experiences from 10+ years as a jazz booking agent & manager with you, but I’m a firm believer that when it comes to something as important as your career, we should all try to get as many different points of view as possible.

So, I’ve put together this ever-expanding series of jazz interviews and written specific questions for each person – based on their work and experiences – to try to dig out their most useful tips. As always, the goal is to help you:

  • Get more gigs
  • Release your music successfully
  • Promote your project as well as possible

Who’s involved from the jazz industry?

I’m regularly adding new interviews here, but I’ve already persuaded some great guests from the jazz industry to take part.

1) The Jazz Press

On the press side, there are Q&A sessions with the editors of both Jazziz in America and Jazzwise magazine in the UK.

The various journalists featured have written for a whole range of jazz publications, including AllAboutJazz, The Arts Desk, London Jazz, Jazz Journal and many more.

2) Gig Promoters

A BIG focus of this site is on how to actually get more jazz gigs. So, there are plenty of promoters from all around the world in this interview series.

In fact, a while back, I did a survey with more than 40 international jazz promoters who gave some great insight into what they’re looking for when booking bands.

This, along with interviews with bookers for the likes of Cheltenham Jazz Festival in the UK, Jazzkaar in Estonia and Jazz Fest Brno in the Czech Republic provide actionable advice on topics like:

  • How to better pitch for gigs by email
  • What promoters are looking for (aside from great music!)
  • How & why to grow your personal network
  • The promo tools you need to have

3) Booking Agents

I’ve also spoken to a bunch of booking agents who work specifically with jazz musicians. They talk about the things they look for in new signings, as well as how they approach getting through to promoters and actually confirming shows.

In particular, Dutch agents from the Good Music Company discuss their role in developing artists like Snarky Puppy & trumpeter Avishai Cohen and Danish agent Kat Jarby talks about booking avant-garde & contemporary jazz.

If you’re focused on booking gigs for yourself, really figuring out what people are looking for – aside from killer music, of course – can give you a big advantage… and I hope some of these agency perspectives will help you do that!

4) Other musicians

The most-read interview on this site is actually with a musician: the great Kurt Rosenwinkel. He talks about his journey from music student through to international touring, a major record deal and then launching his own label.

I’ve featured pieces from a few other musicians along the way too, who had some very specific advice to give:

I hope some of the things these musicians – and others like them – share, will give you some extra insight and motivation for your own project!

A few highlights from the jazz interviews

You’ll find all of the interviews available below, but if you want a quick overview (or something to check out later) you can download a free copy of my ‘key interview takeaways’ PDF by clicking here.

Here are a couple of quotes I pulled out to get you started…

“There are not anywhere near enough press outlets covering jazz to make it without doing your own outreach directly to fans” – Philip Freeman (USA), jazz journalist & digital marketing expert

“To get international recognition I think it’s important to, beyond obviously presenting great music, invest your time and effort into establishing a following outside of your country” Ernesto Cervini (Canada), jazz publicist & drummer

[on pitching for gigs] “The best thing is having a live video so I can check what the band is going to look like on stage” – Jakub Zitko, booker of Jazz Dock in Prague

[on breaking into a new scene] “Get in with some well-connected local players… Once you have raised your profile by association, you will likely have the contacts and the opportunity to gig in your own name” – Peter Bacon (UK), writer/editor for London Jazz News

Interview with jazz journalist Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther

Today's interview guest is German-based journalist Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther who currently writes for the Jazz'Halo magazine. He's been a active on the European jazz scene since the 1970s and, as such, has seen firsthand the influx of talented musicians performing on...

Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club

Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club

Despite its relatively small size as a country, the Dutch jazz scene presents an impressive array of music featuring both homegrown and international artists. In this interview we caught up with Frank van Berkel who is the programmer at Bimhuis in Amsterdam - one of...

Interview with music journalist Charles Waring

Interview with music journalist Charles Waring

Today's interview guest is Charles Waring, a British music journalist who is co-founder of the website Soul & Jazz & Funk and freelance writer for a host of magazines including MOJO & Record Collector. Over the last 2 decades he's written liner notes on...

Interview with Kim Macari

Interview with Kim Macari

From Kurt Rosenwinkel talking about his early days phoning Spanish jazz clubs to pianist Alan Benzie running through how he booked a 16-date European tour, some of the most-read Jazzfuel interviews and guest articles have involved musicians who've done the industry...

Why setting goals makes you a better musician

Why setting goals makes you a better musician

This is a guest article by Danish music manager & coach Kat Jarby of Kaja MANAGEMENT As jazz musicians navigating in the modern-day music landscape, you are often required to be your own booking agent, tour manager, publicist and strategist in order to run a...

Interview with Wulf Muller | Jazz A&R and marketing

Interview with Wulf Muller | Jazz A&R and marketing

With over 35 years of experience in the music business, Wulf Muller started out as manager for the Miles Smiles jazz club in Vienna in 1980, before joining PolyGram Austria as a Product Manager. Since then, he's held roles at major record labels including Sony and...

Talking music videos with Dan Redding

Talking music videos with Dan Redding

Great video content is one of the most effective 'tools' a jazz musician has when it comes to convincing a promoter, winning a new fan or motivating a journalist. As a jazz booking agent I've experienced first-hand the effect a simple but well-produced video can have...

Interview with Christian McBride

Interview with Christian McBride

Over the last 3 decades, Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride has become one of the most requested, most recorded and most respected figures in the music world. On top of a busy touring & bandleader schedule, he also works as a radio host, producer, educator,...

Interview with Jan Hocek of JazzPort

Interview with Jan Hocek of JazzPort

For today's interview I'm handing over to Maggie Samkova, Czech booking agent and publicist who I've worked with for several years now. As an expert on the local jazz scene, she's adding to her existing catalogue of interviews (Jakub Zitko of Jazzdock & Vilem...

“20 BEST TIPS FROM THE JAZZFUEL INTERVIEWS”

CHECK OUT ALL THE JAZZFUEL INTERVIEWS

Interview with jazz journalist Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther

Today's interview guest is German-based journalist Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther who currently writes for the Jazz'Halo magazine. He's been a active on the European jazz scene since the 1970s and, as such, has seen firsthand the influx of talented musicians performing on...

Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club

Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club

Despite its relatively small size as a country, the Dutch jazz scene presents an impressive array of music featuring both homegrown and international artists. In this interview we caught up with Frank van Berkel who is the programmer at Bimhuis in Amsterdam - one of...

Interview with music journalist Charles Waring

Interview with music journalist Charles Waring

Today's interview guest is Charles Waring, a British music journalist who is co-founder of the website Soul & Jazz & Funk and freelance writer for a host of magazines including MOJO & Record Collector. Over the last 2 decades he's written liner notes on...

Interview with Kim Macari

Interview with Kim Macari

From Kurt Rosenwinkel talking about his early days phoning Spanish jazz clubs to pianist Alan Benzie running through how he booked a 16-date European tour, some of the most-read Jazzfuel interviews and guest articles have involved musicians who've done the industry...

Why setting goals makes you a better musician

Why setting goals makes you a better musician

This is a guest article by Danish music manager & coach Kat Jarby of Kaja MANAGEMENT As jazz musicians navigating in the modern-day music landscape, you are often required to be your own booking agent, tour manager, publicist and strategist in order to run a...

Interview with Wulf Muller | Jazz A&R and marketing

Interview with Wulf Muller | Jazz A&R and marketing

With over 35 years of experience in the music business, Wulf Muller started out as manager for the Miles Smiles jazz club in Vienna in 1980, before joining PolyGram Austria as a Product Manager. Since then, he's held roles at major record labels including Sony and...

Talking music videos with Dan Redding

Talking music videos with Dan Redding

Great video content is one of the most effective 'tools' a jazz musician has when it comes to convincing a promoter, winning a new fan or motivating a journalist. As a jazz booking agent I've experienced first-hand the effect a simple but well-produced video can have...

Interview with Christian McBride

Interview with Christian McBride

Over the last 3 decades, Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride has become one of the most requested, most recorded and most respected figures in the music world. On top of a busy touring & bandleader schedule, he also works as a radio host, producer, educator,...

Interview with Jan Hocek of JazzPort

Interview with Jan Hocek of JazzPort

For today's interview I'm handing over to Maggie Samkova, Czech booking agent and publicist who I've worked with for several years now. As an expert on the local jazz scene, she's adding to her existing catalogue of interviews (Jakub Zitko of Jazzdock & Vilem...

Interview with Russian Jazz promoter Roman Khristyuk

Interview with Russian Jazz promoter Roman Khristyuk

As the internet makes the world a smaller place, savvy musicians are looking not just at building the number of fans & industry people they're connected to, but at whether there are new territories they could try to develop their career in. A place that has, until...

Interview with music lawyer Robert Horsfall of Sound Advice

Interview with music lawyer Robert Horsfall of Sound Advice

I don't know about you, but there was a time when I assumed you only needed a lawyer if you were in some sort of trouble. I certainly didn't consider one being particularly necessary or viable in the independent jazz world. But in fact, as I've learnt through various...

Hope you got some useful ‘takeaways’ from those interviews!

If you’d like to get updates when new interviews are posted – as well as other content and tips not published on the website, you can join the Jazzfuel mailing list here.

About Matt Fripp & Jazzfuel

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