I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Location: Central Illinois, United States
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Monday, November 21, 2005

another one bites the dust

Another gig, that is. The Creole Cafe, Bloomington's home to jazzchocolat's monthly Tuesday night gig, is now closed Mon-Wed. That means the gig is defunct. I'm not sure exactly how long this gig lasted--I didn't begin playing in the group until last spring--but I'm pretty sure it was under 1 year.

Sadly, there just aren't that many long-standing gigs around these days. Many clubs decide that they want to have jazz, try it for a period of time, then decide it's just not for them. Some either switch to blues/rock after a while or discontinute music entirely.

One exception is Panache, which is a fabulously tolerant coffeehouse/cafe owned by Peoria's illustrious John Valentine. I say tolerant because of this: I've got to give kudos to John, who has supported musicans such as myself and other locals for 8 years now. When he first decided to have music, John made a committment. "I'll do it for one year," he said. "Then we'll see how things are going."

It's a good thing he offered a year's worth of gigs, because just because a venue has music doesn't mean it's guaranteed an instant crowd. It takes time to build a following. It won't happen in a month, or even three. But with a consistent schedule and some patience, live music can indeed draw a crowd. We have regulars who come out on Thursday nights. We've seen folks come and go, new groups of patrons form, disband, and others that begin to take their place. And there are still people in town who don't know about the music schedule at Panache, but when they come out and catch us by accident they're pleasantly surprised. And many of them come back again and again. We appreciate all of them. Thanks, y'all. Thanks, John & staff.

On a different, completely unrelated note...I just ate an entire sleeve of graham crackers while typing this. The little one must be hungry! Now I need more milk...so I'm off to pour myself a glass. Be good, and I'll see you back here soon.


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