A Listener’s Manifesto
After spending the past week performing in jazz clubs around the East Coast, I ‘ve come to understand that some people go to live music venues for reasons other than listening to live music. Although the booze and food could certainly be found cheaper, the ambiance of a jazz club apparently makes the wining and dining experience a bit tastier, and the omnipresent buzz of musicians creating magic on the spot must have some sort of intangible charm, even if you’re not really listening.
But like doctor’s taking the Hippocratic Oath, non-listeners need first do no harm. For those of us who attend live music venues to listen to live music, paying a cover charge to hear strangers gabbing (loudly) about their mortgages, cars, and favorite television shows is not what we came for.
We ask those who are not hip enough to appreciate fine music to display their absence of taste quietly, if not in complete silence. The musicians — and the people who have come to hear them do their thing — appreciate the courtesy.