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 Dutch Jazz Journalist Mathijs van den Berg
Interview with Krzysztof Komorek of Donos Kulturalny
Czech It Out! Interview with Jakub Zitko of Jazz Dock in Prague
Interview with Steve Williams of UK Vibe
Interview with George W. Harris of Jazz Weekly
Interview with Don Lucoff of DL Media
Talking music videos with Dan Redding
Self-booking an international tour with jazz pianist Alan Benzie
Interview with Kurt Rosenwinkel – “one of the most influential musicians of his generation!”
Interview with jazz journalist Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther
Social Media For Jazz Musicians: Interview with Philip Freeman
Interview with Patrik Lindgren of the Swedish Lira Magazine
Interview with Danilo Pérez: Each Culture Has Its Own Blues
Interview with Eva Frost of Jazz Denmark
Interview with Michael Stückl of Munich’s Jazzclub Unterfahrt
London Jazz & Beyond (Q&A with writer/editor Peter Bacon)
Interview with Timo Hoyer, the writer of “Anthony Braxton – Creative Music”
Interview with Mario Steidl of the Austrian Jazzfestival Saalfelden
Interview with Frank van Berkel of Bimhuis Jazz Club
Interview with Pianist, Composer & Arranger Shai Maestro
Interview with Kim Macari
jazzahead! 2021 (Interview with Sybille Kornitschky)
Bringing Jazz To The Masses:
Q & A with Tina Edwards of Jazz Standard
Touring with ‘Featured Guests’
Q&A with Florian Arbenz of jazz trio VEIN
Interview with Dave Douglas – “The Unassuming King of Independent Jazz”
Why setting goals makes you a better musician
Q&A with British Jazz Promoter Tony Dudley-Evans
Q&A with jazz journalist Bruce Lindsay
Interview with music lawyer Robert Horsfall of Sound Advice
How I crowdfunded my debut jazz album 111% in under 30 days
Interview with Christian McBride
Interview with Saxophonist, Bandleader & Producer Ben Wendel
Q&A with Merli Antsmaa from the Jazzkaar Festival in Estonia
Interview with Donna Schwartz
Interview with Ray Jefford, Manager to Avishai Cohen
Interview with music journalist Charles Waring
Interview with Digital Expert & Jazz Manager Nadja von Massow
Interview with Nicky Schrire of The Jazz Session
Jazz Industry Interviews: Talking Facebook
Interview with Robert Soomer – Artistic Manager of The Metropole Orchestra
“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
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.
- 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:
- American saxophonist Mike Casey explains how he successfully crowdfunded his debut album
- Scottish pianist Alan Benzie talks about how he booked a 16-date European tour fresh out of Berklee College of Music
- Florian Arbenz from Swiss-trio VEIN talks about touring & releasing music with ‘special guests’
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