Making a living
I just spent a week in New Orleans at the New Orleans Trad Jazz Camp (I play sax and clarinet), run by Banu Gibson and Leslie Cooper. As part of our welcome gift, they gave us a copy of the July issue of OffBeat magazine. I did not read your blog [Jan Ramsey, Making Music For A Living is Harder Than Ever] in that issue until I got home Sunday night, but was blown away by the topic of musicians making a living (or not) in New Orleans. The study being commissioned by GNO, Inc. was especially interesting—I was going to do that kind of research myself, in anticipation of my next career phase in a couple of years.
I wanted to reach out to you, as someone who is passionate about local musicians in New Orleans, and who has had a finger on the pulse of the city for a long time. I have an affinity for the musicians there, and want to become a resource to make sure the music scene is sustainable, and at more than a hand-to-mouth level. I certainly do not have the answers, but hope to help make progress.
—Jonathan Olson, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Okay, okay, I’m behind on a lot of reading. However, there was a letter in this issue [Jazz Fest Bible 2018] that was critical of Alex Galbraith’s review of the Toonces album. The writer spouted some nonsense that “Toonces already has their own genre: retroglaze.” What? There are so many ridiculous nonsensical music labels. I’m sure this is meant (I hope) to mean nothing. But if not, how about an OffBeat scorecard someday for what all these monikers mean? Confused in Cali.
—Jim Rauh, Santa Clara, California
Inconsiderate and disappointing
Was just reading the Jazz Fest Redux in my June issue of OffBeat and thought of a change at this year’s Fest that seems worth mentioning. At past Fests, one could always visit the grandstand for some cool air, clean potties and cold water from several water fountains. This year, still plenty of cool air, and the potties were still as clean and well cared for as always, but every water fountain had been removed from the building.
I don’t need it explained to me that you sell more bottled water if you don’t provide any drinking fountains. Still, an inconsiderate and disappointing move, in my opinion.
—Jay Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma
I’m real glad for New Orleans that all the young musicians who moved here since Katrina got into the town’s old time jazz heritage. And I couldn’t be happier with all the styles that make this city so rich musically. Now, I’ll be truly happy when there are also kids on Royal Street singing Allen Toussaint, Lee Dorsey, Betty Harris, Irma Thomas, Fats, K-Doe, etc. The New Orleans R&B legacy is such a beautiful thing.
—Sunny Duval, Montreal, Canada
Meschiya Lake moves to Ireland
A sensible, obviously well thought-out and yet wonderfully romantic move, Meschiya! Your old NYC fan.
—Seán Mac an Ultaigh, New York, New York
Greazy Alice is more than a greasy fire in my skillet. They are the grease that is stuck inside my heart.
—Tristan McGie, New Orleans, Louisiana
I just read the July issue of OffBeat, I “dog ear” pages as I read. We now have a list of at least eight musicians to hear, places to eat and places to drink on our next trip. Thank you Jan [Ramsey] you are a primary information resource for our annual trips back to New Orleans.
—Seven and Linda Steinhoff, Palmyra, Wisconsin
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