In Music

What is life like for a jazz musician while they’re touring? Is it full of plush, 5-star restaurants with valet services, or is it a life of hole-in-the-wall clubs that you get to by taking a cab? Well, the answer may surprise you.

Any jazz musician today, Grammy winning or not, is actually living between both of these lifestyles. There will be some months filled with touring through some of Europe’s most prestigious hotels, playing for large, high paying crowds, filled with many who have seen our musicians perform in the past. Other times one of our guys could go back to playing in a small town night club that seats, at most, 40 patrons. It all depends on the time of year and what the venue owners are looking for at that moment.

The one thing that never changes about where our musicians perform however, is the fan base. Whether it’s the Ritz-Carlton or a club that can barely afford Ritz Crackers, the love for jazz music is the same. That’s what keeps them playing and gets them excited for the next tour coming up.

Touring life itself is filled with quick meals and even quicker travel times. A successful jazz musician who’s “on the road” has to be both incredibly quick and flexible in regard to their schedules. Anything can change and anything can certainly happen while touring; from sudden room changes and traffic backups to even instruments breaking or losing pieces. Any musician will tell you they keep a bottle of super glue on them for a reason!

When it comes time to eating while on tour, jazz musicians tend to eat around 5, as most of their shows don’t start until 6:30 or 7 at night. This does not mean, however, that these same musicians don’t eat after the show; oh how wrong you would be! Any musician, jazz or not, will tell you that the post-show cravings for food is nearly unmatched by any other activity. Due to the fact that most sit-down establishments are closed by the time the show ends, many jazz musicians have found that an after performance diet consists of visiting the nearest hamburger or pizza joint!

A quick moving, life of luxury and fast food. This is the life of a jazz musician while they’re touring. Performance halls may change in their pedigree, but the fast happening, crowd loving jazz life is the same anywhere our guys play.

Have any touring stories of your own? Let us know down in the comments below!

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