Case Study: Jazz Sideman-Bandleader


Posted on March 15th, 2012 by Jean Cook in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 2 Comments

The ARS project includes a series of anonymous financial case studies, being released throughout Spring 2012. These case studies are based on the real finances from real artists, anonymized to protect their privacy.

PRIMARY GENRE
Jazz

SECONDARY GENRES
Contemporary Classical
World

ROLES
Performer
Composer
Bandleader
Sideman
Administrator
Consultant
Teacher

YEARS ACTIVE
1999 – present

TIME SPENT ON MUSIC
100%

INCOME DERIVED FROM MUSIC
100%

Key Findings

This case study looks at the world of jazz sidemen through the finances of one Jazz Sideman-Bandleader. In addition to his sideman work, his income also comes from his work as a bandleader, composer, administrator, and teacher. Like many freelancers, his income fluctuates from year to year. Anecdotally, his gross income appears to roughly track with the growth of his reputation during this period.

We look at the income and expenses for this individual, where we learn that his teaching, admin work and sideman work makes up 70% of his income from 2004-2010, effectively subsidize his work as a bandleader as he establishes himself.

We look at his relationships as a sideman with different bandleaders over time and see 55% of his income and activity comes from two bandleaders, but he also takes on work with 81 different ensembles. He needs all of these gigs to survive. Not just from an economic perspective, but also because these other gigs help him network, keep his skills sharp, and to maintain his position in the competitive marketplace for sidemen.

We examine his per-gig sideman wages by territory and see that there is a marked difference between the income he receives outside the US and in the USA.  On average over eight years, Jazz Sideman-Bandleader’s sideman rate when traveling outside the US is approximately three times greater than what he makes in the US.

We analyze his foundation grant income and see that while this money is a large chunk of his gross income, the net take home is very small – 1%. This appears to be typical for bandleaders, that the vast majority of income for recording and touring goes to pay for expenses.

We begin to explore the complex balance he maintains between financial risk, creative fulfillment, and available time.

The PDF/printable version of the Jazz Sideman-Bandleader case study is downloadable below.

Next: Introducing Jazz Sideman-Bandleader + Table of Contents


About the Case Studies

Graphs do not have a Y-axis dollar value in order to observe the conditions of our privacy policy. In addition, graphs and visuals in case studies are not comparable within or between case studies. For more details about this, read about our financial case study protocol.

Information detailed in case studies is based on data received directly from the artist or their authorized representative. The data analysis and lessons learned here are based on individual experience, and do not necessarily reflect the experiences of all musicians in genre or roles.

Case studies are one of three ways this project is looking at music creator income.




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