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OK, I’m an old geezer. I can easily make up a playlist for the retirement homes - after all, their music is my music. And it’s not too hard to come up with a ‘coffee bar’ list - quiet, non-obtrusive stuff. But - What kind of stuff do I need for a noisy bar with a younger crowd? (Younger being 25 to 35). Yeah, some of the older jazz numbers are loud and ‘swingy’ enough, but they are dated for the younger crowds. So, any suggestions?

Charlie
 

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Instrumentation: alto sax and Band in a Box. If very lucky, a house combo - drums, bass & piano.

Bar type: Crowded and noisy. Genre would be mostly jazz - recognizable songs with only a little improv.
 

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Charlie: I could be wrong, but in many cases, the crowd is not there to listen to the band as much as they are there to socialize. The music is secondary and probably should not overwhelm the crowd. At least that's been my experience. I used to play in a jazz band on raucous State Street in Santa Barbara to a packed house of college kids, with hardly any room to even play instruments. Yet, the band was well-received, even it was music way older than any the kids' grandparents!

Lately, my wife and I have gone to bars to listen to my daughter play in a hugely amplified rock/jazz band. WAY too loud and many in the crowd weren't paying THAT much attention to it even though it was hard to ignore. I've always contended that the type of music (within reason, of course) isn't as important as to whether it is played well. I've actually captured a whole audience and the wait staff, even to having the kitchen help come out and listen when my band played a VERY trad-jazz tune (ORIENTAL STRUT by Johhny St. Cyr) and these folks were not moldy fygges. My point is that maybe you should stick to the stuff you play best and see what happens. DAVE
 

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Dave - Thanks. I think you nailed it well. I've been listening (Youtube) to some of the latest musical artists and there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between what they are doing and some of the 'golden oldies'.

Charlie
 

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Noisy bar with younger crowd? Play "under" the noise. You're there to add to the ambience and not compete with the noise level. Anybody that wants to hear you play will sit closer to the band. Good Luck!!
 
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