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Hey guys! I'm a student combo leader for my high school jazz combo. We wanted to start performing and we're hoping to start maybe sometime in December at some retirement homes. I was wondering when would be a good time to start contacting the retirement homes? Also is it best to ask by phone or through email? I m kind of new to this music management kind of stuff so any advice on this or even getting other types of gigs would be extremely appreciated because we would also like to expand on where we can play.

Btw out song selection is pretty much anything. We are preparing show tunes, jazz, Latin, and other stuff( mostly towards the retirement home tho) and we aren't that bad. We are pretty good (not to be arrogant or anything), just need to kind of get started in gigging.

Thanks!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009-
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First thing, good luck! Trying to get gigs can be grueling but the artistic rewards are many. Don't expect a lot of pay, except possibly for weddings.

Retirement homes are a good place to start. Most of them will have a social activities director who has a budget for performers. Call the facility, explain what you have to offer, and you'll probably get transferred to the social director or his/her voicemail. You can provide a link to your website, or at least a SoundCloud/SoundClick type of account where he can listen to your band. Ask if you can visit to look over the physical site and make personal contact. You might also want to print up some business cards or flyers which you can post on local bulletin boards. Landing gigs at functions where alcohol is served can be tricky for high school bands but playing at fundraisers and benefits can help to get your name out there.

Again, don't enter into this with the idea of making much money. There's a weird sort of balancing act that goes on. On the one hand, if you play for free or for very little, you are possibly undercutting professional bands — imagine how you'd feel if you were used to getting $150 per man and some group got your gig by playing for nothing! On the other hand, you're doing a service to the community, keeping the tradition of live music going, learning a lot, and having fun.
 
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