A recent study on the income streams of musicians by the Future of Music Coalition reveals a variety of interesting facts, i.e. the differences in income streams between musical genres and of course the recent changes due to the downturn in the recording industry. There is a detailed case study of a jazz musician/bandleader with the following conclusions:
- Jazz musicians have more formal education than most musicians, play many different roles, and have simpler support teams than musicians in other genres.
- The mean gross estimated music income (EMI) for jazz musicians who took the Money from Music Survey was $23,300 for a non-AFM member. On average, jazz musicians made less money than classical or other musicians who took the survey.
- While jazz musicians who are AFM members make a higher percentage of their total gross income from music than jazz musicians who are not AFM members, AFM-members also reported greater decreases than increases in various income categories over the last five years than non-AFM members. The income composition of AFM and non-AFM musicians is more similar than it is different.
- Most jazz musicians who completed the survey are comfortable using technology as a creation, collaboration, promotion, distribution and fan cultivation tool. Classical respondents were less comfortable, while respondents from other genres had a higher comfort level
- A higher percentage of jazz musicians surveyed have graduate degrees than they did a decade ago
- Jazz musicians are getting less airplay on terrestrial radio than they did a decade ago
- Surveyed AFM members are making 15% less than they were a decade ago, while non-AFM musicians are making 15% more
- The use of technology has gone up across the board among survey respondents, but non-AFM musicians now have a higher comfort level using technology to promote and distribute music online than AFM musicians, a major shift from a decade ago, when non-AFM musicians appeared to be less tech savvy than AFM musicians.
So in summary – jazz musicians are over-educated, underpaid, with little support from media, and constantly on the road. In addition, the chart shows that most of the income from the performances actually gets paid out to the band members with very little left to the bandleader. What are the rewards then of doing grueling road trips, staying in cheap hotels with little sleep and little income? For me it’s meeting new people and sharing my music in different environments interacting with many different musicians and audiences. I’m going for another road trip in May and I look forward to seeing old friends, making new friends, playing music with new friends, and this time reuniting with my recording companions in New York. Below is the performance list with links on how to get there and join us – seeing you there will make it all worthwhile!
Clarksburg, WV • Wed May 13, Monika Herzig and friends • Washington Square • 8pm – looking forward to be back with my friends from the WV Jazz Society featuring Adam Loudin, Kyle Adams, and Joey Hosenogle
Washington, DC • Thu May 14, Monika Herzig and friends • Twins Jazz • 8 & 10pm – hope to get to celebrate with all my DC friends showcasing Graham Breedlove from the Army Blues with Nathan Kawaller and Todd Harrison
Essington, PA • Sat May 16, Kaleidoscope of Sound Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry Live Event • Clarion Hotel • 6pm – this is one of the coolest events far and wide, jazz and poetry and food and good company, all organized by Clay Corley, host of Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry – get your tickets here!
New York, NY • Mon May 18, The Whole World in Her Hands • ShapeShifter Lab • 7pm – the first live event with this amazing group of NY ladies, please support with your presence and make it extra special, featuring Jamie Baum, Reut Regev, Jennifer Vincent, Lakecia Benjamin, and Rosa Avila!
New York, NY • Tue May 19, The Whole World in Her Hands • Zinc Bar • 8pm – if Brooklyn was too far away for you last night or you just need an Encore – let’s do it one more time with Jamie Baum, Reut Regev, Jennifer Vincent, Lakecia Benjamin, and Rosa Avila
Cincinnati, OH • Fri May 22, Monika Herzig with Mike Sharfe • Washington Platform • 9pm – Mike invited me to join his regular nights at Washington Platform in December and we had a fantastic time together, we’re planning on having even more fun this time!