Jazz Promotion

Ideas, tips & resources for promoting your project and building an audience of super-fans


Building a career as a gigging jazz musician usually takes more than just great music. With so many brilliant projects out there, it’s also important that you are standing out to the right people, in the right way.

From your website & social media, to promo photos, music videos and press texts, one of the key topics on jazzfuel.com is how to promote yourself.

This page is a quick introduction to the art of jazz promotion and how you can start building your profile and reputation faster and more effectively.

In an ideal world, people would sit and listen to your latest album to decide whether they like your music.

In reality, you usually have a much shorter amount of time to catch someones attention.

So whilst you need to make your music as brilliant as possible, taking some time to plan and produce promo content for your project will make a big difference when it comes to getting more jazz gigs, more press and more fans…



Musician Promo Materials

No video? No gigs…

As an agent, I really can’t imagine working with an artist who doesn’t have engaging, professional quality video footage of their project.

With so much competition – and with video being so affordable to produce these days – I just don’t think a club or festival organiser will take a chance booking a band they haven’t even seen before.

99% of the time when I’m trying to introduce a new artist to a promoter, the one thing I’m asking is that they hit ‘watch’ on a video.

If you’re booking your own gigs right now, I’d suggest you consider doing the same!

Within 30 seconds, they’ll have a good idea of the music, style & level of the project.

(Which, for all of you who have experience trying to contact promoters will know, is already a massive win!)

Aside from convincing a promoter about your music, a great video also shows them how they can motivate their audience to buy tickets.

Because for most promoters, it’s not just a question of whether they like the music. It’s also whether they can sell it!

So if you begin by showing them a great promotional tool like a video, it’s a good start.

There’s a page on this site dedicated to premiering new music videos. Check them out and feel free to submit one of your own.

Promo photos

You’ve probably heard the saying that ‘an image is worth a thousand words’ – and it’s kind of true!

Sometimes people just won’t take the time to read a press release or work their way through your album on Spotify.

They’ll see a photo of your project – on your website, in a magazine, via a press release – and immediately form an opinion. And, depending on what that opinion is, they might not even get as far as checking out the music in detail.

On the flip side, a distinctive and intriguing image can grab the attention of a possible supporter and nudge them towards checking out your music or buying a ticket to a gig.

With that in mind, taking some time to figure out what impression you want to give with your latest project – and how to turn that vibe into a promo photo – can really pay off in the long run.

You can read more about why great promo photos will get your more gigs here.

Your website – what does it say about you?

Your website is (or should be) your ‘home’ on the web.

Everything exciting or interesting happening with your project should be displayed there, ready to convince any promoter or journalist who passes by that they need to stop and check out your music.

These days, having an effective website doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming at all. But it does have to be taken care of.

If you’re thinking of updating or rebuilding yours – either yourself or via a web designer – I’ve put together a guide to what to include (and what to avoid) on a musicians website.

You’ll also find 9 examples of great musician websites to check out.

Personally speaking, if I come across an out-of-date mess of a musician website, it doesn’t fill me with confidence that they’re taking care of all the other important details of their career too. Or that they’d be easy to work with…

Oh, and make sure you are collecting email addresses of fans that come to your website!!


Jazz social media – a waste of time?

Social media gets a bad rap in some circles for being an ineffective self-promotion tool – not to mention as a waste of time!

But whilst Facebook or Twitter alone are probably not going to launch a career (in the jazz world at least), it is a completely free way to grow an audience for your music and show promoters, journalists, agents and whoever else you’re trying to convince, that things are happening.

You can literally connect with anyone in the world, from the comfort of your home. And assuming you’re confident about the music you’re making, there’s no reason to wait to start growing your fanbase.

Not sure where to start?

Set up your Facebook artist page first (honestly, long term, it’s more effective than using your personal account!) and check these 12 things you can do with your Facebook Artist Page TODAY

If you’re considering just using your personal Facebook page, here are 10+ reasons you should reconsider!

Networking & Career Building

Of course, nothing happens in a vacuum, and it’s important that as well as making great music and great content, you’re actively working and planning to build your network and, as a result, your career.

Here are some articles which touch on different angles of that:

DIY Jazz Promotion

So of course make your music as good as possible, but don’t forget that without some consistent and well-planned promotion of it, gaining momentum and reaching those key influencers is going to be pretty tough…

The good news, though, is that there’s never been a better time in history to connect with so many people directly!

Getting your music into the ears of thousands of people is totally doable.

As a starting point, check these ideas for creating a buzz as a musician.

I hope that the articles around this topic at Jazzfuel will help you start make progress at pulling together your promotional tools and using them to grow your profile faster and faster.

More gigs, more press attention & more fans.

Free downloadable self-promotion tool

One of the most-read and most-downloaded resources on this site is the jazz promoter one-sheet.

It helps you really focus in on the best promo text, press quotes, videos and photos for your project and present them in a super clear way for jazz promoters, journalists – and anyone else connected to your career – to use. If you haven’t already got it, feel free to head over here and grab it.

Jazz Promotion Interviews

Lastly, as with everything on this site, we’re not expecting you to just take our word for it.

Check out all these interview guests who talk about promoting yourself and developing a career as a jazz musician…

Knowing your network

Knowing your network

When it comes to building a sustainable, long-term career as a creative jazz musician, the strength of your professional network plays an important role. But whilst there's a lot of talk (from me included) on growing your network, there's something to be said for...

Audience Development for Jazz Musicians

Audience Development for Jazz Musicians

Did you see the story a few months back about the American funk band Vulfpeck? They sold out Madison Square Gardens (13,000+ people) with no manager or record label. And, on top of that, they did it with no advertising budget: they announced it to fans on social media...

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...

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...

The Lockdown List

The Lockdown List

With most of the world on lockdown - or at least severely restricted - many of our usual work-related activities are no longer an option. Gigs, tours, teaching, rehearsals... all cancelled. But for those of you who are healthy and not dealing first hand with the...

Making Spotify Work For YOU

Making Spotify Work For YOU

Spotify gets a bad rap in some circles for the percentages it pays out and the millions of streams you need to see any serious, direct, income.  But today we're going to put that aside and look at some of the ways you can get some real value from Spotify if your music...

How can you break into a new territory without an agent or network?!

How can you break into a new territory without an agent or network?!

The recent jazz musician survey I ran turned up so many common 'pain points' for musicians. From building a jazz network and reaching the right festivals, to how to find the time to take care of all the 'admin' tasks and keep momentum going, a lot of you had similar...

Keeping Momentum With Your Tour Booking

Keeping Momentum With Your Tour Booking

More than 300 musicians on the Jazzfuel mailing list recently took part in a survey to answer questions about their careers: where’re they’re at, what they've got planned, the successes they’ve had so far and the challenges they face with tour bookings, releasing...