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Thread: Looking for lucrative program ideas

  1. #1
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Looking for lucrative program ideas

    I'm opening a new thread because I'm looking for the next direction to explore with our band. Although we started as a Dixieland band, over the past 6 years we quickly branched into numerous other areas including:

    Popular Music of World War I
    World War I Era hot Jazz
    Roaring 20s hot jazz
    Music of the 1930s and 1940's (swing and other standards)
    Oktoberfest/ Polka Theme (Central European polkas, marches and waltzes)
    Mixed International Music (mixed German, Italian, Jewish, etc.)
    Broadway and Hollywood Standards
    1960s Commercial Music and Instrumental Rock (Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini, Herb Alpert, Al Hirt)
    Holiday music

    Interestingly the most lucrative of these has become the Oktoberfest list. We basically turn completely into a polka band for late-September and all through October and bookings for this program are very strong with 7 polka gigs already booked this year. The genre seems to sell itself.

    However, I'm struggling to find another program type that we can put into production that has bang for the buck like the polka program has. I've kicked around lists with Irish, Italian and Jewish music, but I don't want to build a list you can only play 1 day a year, like St. Patrick's Day because it is not a good use of band time. For something like that you could sub in 2 or 3 Irish songs and people would be happy with it.

    I would love to get some suggestions from the forum members if you have any great idea that could turn into lucrative programs (especially DW).

  2. #2
    Axellent Member Mreilander's Avatar
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    Maybe an Ol' Blue Eyes set?
    Russian traditional folk dances maybe?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    We have a lot of Sinatra-style music for sure (but no singer)

    Russian Folk dances would fit into the international book but probably not enough demand for a stand-alone program...

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    How about Gershwin music? I know that actually overlaps into several genres, but I'm referring to the more modern compositions.....Rhapsody In Blue, Summertime, Someone To watch Over Me, etc.

    I'm sort of thinking of pop standards - Stuff like Willie Nelson's Stardust LP.
    Last edited by spellcaster; 06-21-2017 at 09:12 PM.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  5. #5
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    New Orleans style Jazz?
    Not just for Mardi Gras--although that would be one time for it.
    (That may overlap with your other Jazz styles though)

    I know a number of people that love older traditional Latin music--any call for that in your neck of the woods?
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Ah some good suggestions there, thank you!

    I have thought about assembling a list specific to Gershwin, Cole Porter and/ or Irving Berlin. It would be very easy to assemble and would simply require me to take songs from other set lists and consolidate them into another list. This might be a good one that would require no new music to be learned at all- really it is a shuffle from existing Broadway lists and standards.

    New Orleans jazz is something we already do in a big way although we would call the programs Dixieland or tie it to a decade.

    Now traditional Latin is one I had thought about and I actually wrote down some ideas for a set list but never assembled it into a book. In the conceptual list are things like Tico Tico, Perfidia, La Paloma, Cherry Pink, Girl from Ipanema, Day in the Life of a Fool and Cielito Lindo. This could be a very marketable list because it is commercially appealing to people who grew up in the 1940's and 1950's. Our experience to date is that unless someone specifically calls for music from the 1960's, the audiences we play to do not typically identify with much music from the 1960's and beyond. Burt Bacharach has wide appeal but reactions to 1960's rock is mixed- and polar. I'll ask the band members about the Latin set- I'm sure they would love to do this one...

  7. #7
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post

    Now traditional Latin is one I had thought about and I actually wrote down some ideas for a set list but never assembled it into a book. In the conceptual list are things like Tico Tico, Perfidia, La Paloma, Cherry Pink, Girl from Ipanema, Day in the Life of a Fool and Cielito Lindo.
    My boss back when I taught guitar would love that song list.
    Especially Tico Tico--I think he always had at least one of his students working on that one.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Yeah it is an appealing concept and it might actually open up the field for more gigs.

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    Axeaholic Teleblooz's Avatar
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    Mmm - Polka. The sacred music of my people.
    I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Wow I haven't seen you for awhile Blooz!

    We play a LOT of polkas!

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