Jazz Musicians and Money from Music

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Jean Cook in What We're Learning. 4 Comments

1. Jazz survey respondents were from 45 states with a concentration in large coastal cities. The average jazz respondent was 49 years old, white and male.

Of the 5,300 musicians who completed the online Money from Music survey, 17% – or nearly 900 ­– indicated that jazz was their primary genre – in other words, it was the genre in which they generated the most money.

Location. The jazz respondents reside in 45 states including Hawaii and Alaska, the District of Columbia. There were five US citizens who took the survey who are currently based in Europe. Below are the top 14 cities for survey takers, and an interactive map of jazz survey respondents by zip code. The highest concentrations were in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. You can view survey respondents by zipcode in the  map below.

primary genre jazz

The AFM Factor

Approximately half of all the survey respondents – jazz or non-jazz – reported membership in the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the musician’s union. When we examined the data we found that AFM members sometimes had distinct characteristics from non-AFM musicians, and that it was worth examining AFM and non-AFM jazz musicians separately for some of the questions. This also matches what we have learned in the interviews and case studies portion of this research – that AFM members sometimes operate differently than musicians who are not members of the union.

Age. The average age for all survey respondents was 43 years old. However, AFM jazz members were on average 54 years old and non-AFM jazz musicians were 42 – a 12-year age difference. 73% of AFM jazz members had 31 or more years of experience as musicians, compared to 35% of non-AFM jazz musicians.

Gender and race. 87% of the jazz survey respondents were male, which was significantly more male than the survey population in general, which includes classical, rock, urban, country, pop and other genres. 86% of the jazz respondents were white.

The demographics of the Money from Music jazz respondents were roughly similar to the demographics of the “Changing the Beat” respondents. The RCAC study surveyed 733 non-AFM jazz musicians in San Francisco, New York, and Detroit; and 1,963 AFM jazz musicians in San Francisco, New York, New Orleans and Detroit in 2000. See the Addendum for a population comparison of “Changing the Beat” and “Money from Music.”

Next: What is their experience?

4 responses to “Jazz Musicians and Money from Music”

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