Date: January 25th, 2016
Location: CA Music Room (NY)
7:08 – Meeting opened. Sohrab described MFM to attendees.
7:10 – Attendee asked how MFM will implement the plan to insure musicians get paid. Sohrab replied that before strategies are discussed, the idea of installing the concept of music as a profession into the psyche and zeitgeist of musicians must happen first. Sami Shumays interjected that people are the resource of this strategy.
7:12 – Sami provided musical performance, asked for audience participation.
7:20 – Two more people arrived. Sohrab reiterated MFM’s mission, and gave a personal anecdote about how he was inspired to form MFM. He then offered and update of MFM’s activities and developments since last meeting December 8, 2015, such as:
- Two members joined
- $100 contribution by Braithwaite & Katz (publicist)
- MFM t-shirt
- Sohrab attended December 14th and 15th, 2016 APAP’s pre-conferences WAVELENGTH world & JazzConnect. Promoting MFM and this meeting
- New content in members portal: one recording studio and one health service
- Sohrab contacted the retailers Sam Ash and Zabars, soliciting for contributions
- DooBeeDooBeeDoo NY reviewed Sami Shumays’ ZIKRAYAT concert December 17th, 2016
- February 7th MFM fundraiser event cancelled postponed to later during this year
Sohrab defined “professional musician” as “creative workers” who produce value – which means that their work has value and is not to be undersold. They’re not different from other workers when it comes to being paid for their work. He proclaims again that making music is a profession.
7:40 – Jimmy Owens asked if a business plan was written to make the MFM goals happen. Sohrab responded that this has not happened yet, but it’s on the list of high priorities. Attender asked if MFM’s 501(c)6 can get grants. Sohrab wasn’t sure, he promised to look into it.
Jimmy Owens asked Sohrab for three MFM goals / objectives.
Sohrab’s response: 1. Advocating MFM and #MakingMusicIsAProfession; 2. Recruiting musicians, as many as possible (because the main income for a (c)6 are membership dues); and 3. Soliciting money contributions from “rich” musicians and corporations.
Attendees were not very happy about Sohrab’s goal.
7:49 – Sami reworded the above question as what is the MFM program (as opposed to vision). Asked for specifics / clarity on what exact goals MFM has established, and exactly how the organization plans on accomplishing this.
7:51 – Michela Musolino shared her own experience with taking matters into her own hands (i.e. producing her own events / concerts). Emphasized operating independently. Dawoud Kringle publicly agreed with her, mentioning that he also use that business model.
7:57 – Attendee mentioned that we are faced with a supply and demand issue: there is a surplus of musicians who are willing to play for free. Emphasized that there is a problem in creating a demand for what we do.
8:01 – Another attendee said that regardless where we come from ideologically, we are facing the question of the surplus of musicians, non paying venues, and substandard music.
8:05 – Joe Petrucceli of Jazz Foundation of America, said that he was in agreement that music and live music experience is devalued. They provide assistance to musicians, and attempt to create gigs for musicians.
8:07 – A conversation started among attendees. Wassen mentioned when he was a kid, that as a kid, when the Beatles came, he knew jazz was in trouble. He mentioned that when fusion came, it revived a new spirit into jazz. His point being that both the music and it’s presentation must evolve and keep up with the times to survive. Another attendee, Andrea Erachfeld, responded that she, a friend of hers, and Winard Harper created a program introducing jazz to young children.
8:11 – Hans Tammen asked if MFM is like a union, or is it an organization like Vision Festival. Sohrab explained that MFM is not a union and doesn’t work like VISION, but an organization representing musicians as a group of professional musicians. The question of a lack of a solid business plan was raised again. Sohrab responded that MFM is a work in progress. Attendee asked how musicians who have been working as independent entities their whole life would find motivation / incentive to work as a collective. Another asked the same question: what’s in it for me, and how will you make it happen? This question was explored from a variety of angles and perspectives.
8:23 – Stephan Andemicael (of Meridian 23) said that from the perspective of the venues, they’re being overwhelmed by operating costs and reduced income. He said that the state of promotion for venues and musicians is in a state of flux. There are no specific business models that that are working in a consistent manner.
8:30 – Attendee mentioned that a big part of the problem is the attitude of the public, and the question of how to reach the public. The need for MFM to formulate and eventually implement a solid business plan was again passionately reiterated.
Attendees filled out a questionnaire passed by Sohrab.
8:47 – Sohrab closed the meeting.