Careers in Jazz
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Jazz Classes, in Detail

Career Professionals

Like Silver Spoons, Career Professionals have no shortage of money; the difference is that they work for it.  Although they take their “straight gig” seriously—often earning advanced college degrees and struggling to climb the corporate ladder—they still self-identify primarily as jazz artists.  This creates an inevitable disconnect between their day-to-day and stage personae.

In their suburban neighborhoods they’re accepted as hard-working citizens, lent an air of the exotic by their occasional late-night jazz gigs.  Among their jazz peers, they spin their personal narratives along these lines:  By making a living outside the workaday jazz world, they’re able to keep their music “unpolluted” by artistically compromising gigs.  The reality beneath the spin -- that they and/or their spouse simply don’t want to forgo the creature comforts that a jazz income can’t buy -- goes unstated, but is silently understood by all.

Career Professionals have tremendous admiration for Epiphytes, but are reluctant to take the corresponding vow of poverty.  On the other hand, they view Gig Whores with outright disdain; ugly cousins who have chosen the musical low road.

The biggest challenge faced by Career Professionals is maintaining their chops.  Working nine to five makes it difficult to keep up any sort of practice regimen, and insisting on playing only meaningful gigs minimizes their time on stage.  They compensate with intensive bursts of practice before each performance, shutting themselves off from their families and shortening their sleep habits.  At the same time, they insist that mere chops are irrelevant to any music of significance, which is, by definition, the only music they play.

Identifying Signs
  • Air of dignity
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Normal friends
Survival Techniques
  • None needed

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