Several readers and friends have expressed concerns about my idea of rewarding the musicians whose video performances I post on JAZZ LIVES. And in the interest of what Andreas Kagedal calls “transparency,” here are a few clarifications.
They are not idly stated or chosen. I understand that — even in the best economic times — asking people to part with any money is something serious. And JAZZ LIVES is in the odd / intriguing position of public radio or television: I will keep doing what I’ve been doing even if the plan to recompense the musicians is not a success (in ways I can’t yet predict).
So here goes.
1. I am not taking a cent of the money I collect — not for “administrative expenses,” not for a salary. I am not asking readers to pay me for what I do.
2. Rather than being a reward for the most popular band or “the best band on JAZZ LIVES,” which seems fraught with hurtful possibilities, I propose that my model is a profit-sharing scheme. At the end of the year, I will tally up the videos I have posted of outstanding jazz performances — videos I have created myself (not YouTube clips from other sources). I will divide the proceeds according to the frequency with which each musician appears. (I believe that for this to be reasonably workable a player will have appeared with some regularity.) A player who has been featured in twenty clips will get a larger percentage of the monies collected than a player who has appeared in one. And although the math is potentially annoying, I think this system rewards the musicians rather than “bands,” which sometimes have fluctuating personnels.
3. What does this mean in practice? Let us assume that you have been moved by the videos I have been posting. And let us also assume that if you were on the spot you would reach into your pocket and put some money in the tip jar. The PayPal DONATE button is the way to send some tangible love to these gifted men and women even if you are far away. It doesn’t have the same immediacy — but how many of us are willing to find out a musician’s home address and send her / him a check for the pleasure we have received? Many of us would like to but find the lack of immediacy a drag . . . . I am trying to use cyberspace to accomplish what is (on one level) physically impossible — that you could BE THERE, watching and enjoying the sounds and the scene. My hope is that the same machinery — mysterious and wonderful — that makes it possible for you to watch TIGER RAG or BODY AND SOUL even when time and space seem to make it unreal, will make it possible for viewers to give something back.
4. Here’s the button! Try it out . . . .
ALL THE MONEY GOES TO THE MUSICIANS! PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW!
For the musicians, JAZZ LIVES thanks each of you in advance.
And tomorrow I would like to post some videos rather than discussing them!
Late-breaking news: it seems that the button above does not work when the blog comes through email . . . but it does work if you look for this entry or the preceding ones by visiting http://www.jazzlives.wordpress.com.