Jazz Interviews

60+ industry professionals share tips & advice on booking gigs, releasing music and promoting your project

 

The Jazzfuel interview series showcases advice from a range of industry professionals including club & festival promoters, journalists, managers, publicists, record labels and even a handful of well-known jazz musician veterans.

 

Jazz Industry Interviews 

Interview with Nicky Schrire of The Jazz Session

Interview with Nicky Schrire of The Jazz Session

15,000 jazz fans a year: Interview with Vilem Spilka of JazzFestBrno

15,000 jazz fans a year: Interview with Vilem Spilka of JazzFestBrno

Focusyear, ECM & Jazz Greats 10 Questions with Wolfgang Muthspiel

Focusyear, ECM & Jazz Greats 10 Questions with Wolfgang Muthspiel

Dave Liebman – Interview with a Jazz Sax Master

Dave Liebman – Interview with a Jazz Sax Master

Talking music videos with Dan Redding

Talking music videos with Dan Redding

Interview with Jan Hocek of JazzPort

Interview with Jan Hocek of JazzPort

How I crowdfunded my debut jazz album 111% in under 30 days

How I crowdfunded my debut jazz album 111% in under 30 days

Chatting to Nick Lewis of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Chatting to Nick Lewis of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Interview with Donna Schwartz

Interview with Donna Schwartz

Interview with Michael Stückl of Munich’s Jazzclub Unterfahrt

Interview with Michael Stückl of Munich’s Jazzclub Unterfahrt

Interview with Maurine Knighton (DDCF): $1M for Leading Jazz Artists and Presenters

Interview with Maurine Knighton (DDCF): $1M for Leading Jazz Artists and Presenters

Interview with Christian McBride

Interview with Christian McBride

International Touring + Jazz PR – Q&A with Ernesto Cervini

International Touring + Jazz PR – Q&A with Ernesto Cervini

Q&A with Merli Antsmaa from the Jazzkaar Festival in Estonia

Q&A with Merli Antsmaa from the Jazzkaar Festival in Estonia

Interview with Steve Williams of UK Vibe

Interview with Steve Williams of UK Vibe

Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club

Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club

Interview with Michael Fagien of Jazziz Magazine (USA)

Interview with Michael Fagien of Jazziz Magazine (USA)

Interview with Danilo Pérez: Each Culture Has Its Own Blues

Interview with Danilo Pérez: Each Culture Has Its Own Blues

Jazz Special (Danish Magazine) | Interview with Editor Cim Meyer

Jazz Special (Danish Magazine) | Interview with Editor Cim Meyer

Digital Strategy – Q&A with Bas Grasmayer of MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE

Digital Strategy – Q&A with Bas Grasmayer of MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE

Getting the internet generation excited about jazz
(Interview with the Good Music Company)

Interview with Saxophonist, Bandleader & Producer Ben Wendel

Interview with Saxophonist, Bandleader & Producer Ben Wendel

jazzahead! 2021 (Interview with Sybille Kornitschky)

jazzahead! 2021 (Interview with Sybille Kornitschky)

“20 BEST TIPS FROM THE JAZZFUEL INTERVIEWS”

Interviewing the industry

Over the last few years we’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.

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?

We’re 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