Folks, I’ve been in this music business long enough to see that the world is changing. It’s a fast paced, tough market out there in the world of jazz, and I’m changing with it.
In this current political and social age, it’s vital to realize how important it is to appear successful and powerful (especially if you’re not). Projection is the modern key to success, folks!
You might be asking: How does this affect my jazz career? Well, hopefully by now you’re already posting multiple selfies every day on Instagram and Facebook. That’s a good start. But for some next level exposure, I’ve devised some strategies that musicians can apply to their bios and press releases, to help bolster their image for subsequent career success.
You may be thinking: “But Professor, I don’t even play an instrument!” Have no fear! After applying a few of these simple steps, you can amaze your friends with your spectacularly successful and established music career!
So here we go with the Professor’s guide to projecting jazz success:
Let’s start with some simple yet effective ways to boost your image.
Are you just starting out? Have you just had your first piano lesson, and now know where middle C is on the piano? Then congratulations, you are a Rising Star! Did you do a few gigs when you were young, but your trumpet has been sitting in the closet for 40 years? Then you, my friend, are a seasoned jazz veteran, or a living legend!
Do you have a niece or nephew that you perhaps taught how to tie their shoelaces? Bravo! You’re also an educator.
Do you struggle to play in tune? Do you constantly squeak on the clarinet, or continually lose the beat on the drums? Then congrats, you are an avant-garde specialist.
Do you feel like you’ve never played any important gigs, but want to give your profile a little more gravitas? No problem! Let me ask you: were you ever involved in a high school play or musical? (And not even necessarily on stage: maybe you worked in lighting or wardrobe.) And maybe you weren’t personally mentioned, but a student reporter gave the show a good review in the school paper. Then, congratulations, you are critically-acclaimed.
Did you ever compete at your school’s sports day? Perhaps you got second place in shot-put or a “participation” ribbon for track and field. Good news: you are award-winning.
Now, let’s take your stardom to the next level. Are either, or both of your grandmothers still alive? Congratulations! Literally speaking, you have yourself a grammy.
Now if your grammy is on her “way out,” then no need to worry. This can actually work to your advantage. A simple cremation is both cost effective and career-boosting. Imagine a bio that reads:
“(Insert your name) is proud to be a recent grammy recipient; something that he keeps on display in his New York apartment.” (This technique will also work if you want to branch out into other areas of the performing arts, and happen to be friends with anyone called Tony.)
Now let’s take your career to international heights. Did you go to Mexico on spring break, and overdid it on cheap Tequila? Was the hangover so bad that the next day you couldn’t keep your breakfast down? Good for you. You’ve had a successful international release.
So now you have a great bio to pass out to agents and festivals around the world. You’ve worked hard on your fake career, so enjoy it. “Do I deserve it?” you may ask? Winners never ask these sort of questions, so shut your trap and get on with it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to have lunch with this old guy called Oscar. He’s actually really annoying, but what can I tell you—it’s good for my career.
“Professor” Adrian Cunningham is an award-winning and critically acclaimed jazz musician, educator and avant-garde specialist. He has had many successful international releases on all major continents. He is very proud to have two Grammies—one that he keeps on his mantelpiece in New York, and the other one at Sydney Retirement Village that he visits when he can but he should probably call more often.