Today's Music "Business"

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WGWTR180
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Today's Music "Business"

Post by WGWTR180 »

Some of today's top performers are endorsed and paid by specific horn/mouthpiece makers. Probably the most well represented player currently is Joe Alessi. We all know he gets paid a certain amount from Eastman and previously was paid by Edwards. His current mouthpiece situation, I'm guessing, is the same. There are other players who have specific instrument models built for them specifically that are also sold on the open market. I'm leaving many out but Shires has more than a few including models named after George Curran, Blair Bollinger, Mike Davis, and Marshall Gilkes. Other makers have models as well. One of the newest choices available today is the Brain Hecht Thein model.
Each of the above mentioned refers to themself as "Shires Artist" or "Then Artist." Makes sense as the instruments they are playing were designed in conjunction with the player and the maker. And as we know the instrument maker counts on other players, no matter what level they may be, purchasing these instruments. Obviously the big names attract others into purchasing. But I see MANY other players referring to themselves as "___________ artist" when all they have done is purchase an instrument and play it.
So my question is: What does it take to today's business to be a "_______________ artist"? Are there any parameters? Is it just a do as one wants system??
I'm genuinely curious.
Thoughts?????
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by Burgerbob »

It's all just advertising for the makers. The more college kids call themselves ____ artists, the more sales they make... of course they push it as much as possible.
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ithinknot
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by ithinknot »

My guess is that nobody is getting paid paid... named artists might get a small amount on each named item. Then, from serious outfits that are spending something, it's just event/clinic sponsorship, whether that's directly covering the artist fee in return for getting to set up an exhibit table, or they're supporting the event more generally and encouraging the booking of several of their artists. (And, at the higher levels, that kind of player feedback/development relationship really is worth something to a company.)

FWIW, Edwards sets out their position for all to see: https://www.edwards-instruments.com/abo ... ction-1214

Lower down the food chain, it's clearly made-for-Instagram bs... send in a CV and tell them how many followers you have.

Eastman is one step away from signing up pets. (I enjoy seeing their child star posts, if only because I immediately think of the "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties" episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.)

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WilliamLang
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by WilliamLang »

For me it was playing/demonstrating for the companies and a having an interest in the equipment. With Stephens Horns I was a in a position to afford a new instrument for the first time in my life, basically, and I truly thought that the horn I ended up buying was the best possible fit for me. With LI Brass again I found a mouthpiece that just suited my artistic personality better than any other pieces I've been fortunate to try. After that it was a process of asking and figuring out what I could do to be beneficial to the company and making sure the interest was mutual.

Very few people actually get paid to be an artist, most get a discount on material (which is what my situation is.) Some companies, like Yamaha, have an application process and will contribute a small fee to events (like $100 towards a masterclass or so.) Neither company I work with is in that position, but since I truly do love the set-up that I play on now, I am happy to play and promote them, and it also does help me be slightly more marketable as a solo artist.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by cb56 »

I remember when being called a Conn artist was a bad thing.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by harrisonreed »

You can call yourself whatever you want. My favorite was Mike Lake calling himself the "Wizard of Moz".

The endorsing artists are the ones actually listed as such on the artist list for that manufacturer. Most endorsing artists are not paid, but might received free or discounted instruments. You usually have to apply with a resume and recent published recordings. Named artists, I guess, would be the one with their own artist model or mouthpiece. I actually really like the idea of artist model horns, if the model you get is the same as the one they helped design and play (ie not the BAC Elliott Mason rent-to-own model). If an artist that you look up to and sounds the way you want to find helped design a horn and then are using it, that is probably a ringing endorsement for that horn (the 396-A, 88HCL, 36H, and Q series alto are all very good).

For what it's worth, Edwards has claimed that it does not actually pay any of their artists. They definitely seem to give free instruments to some of their named artists.

I suspect that Eastman / Shires is able to pay some sort of monetary compensation to named artists, probably in conjunction with sponsored masterclass events and social media engagement. If you think about it it, the social media thing is pretty recent. When a lot of the famous partnerships started, say with Joe Alessi and Edwards, there was no such thing as the Internet -- can you imagine being able to project an interview or ad onto a screen in someone's house talking about how they love to play Edwards back in 1990, unlimited times, for $500? Back then you only knew about a brand if it was available at the local shop or your teacher played it, or you went to a convention. I think Shires has capitalized on this form of advertising the best, and it would be worth paying the artist $500 or whatever to do the zoom call or video. I don't know if they actually do this, but if they did I wouldn't be surprised if the Zoom interview where they show off the Q series alto contributed to the sale of 50 of those altos worldwide -- that's financially like offering a $10 coupon off the price (which wouldn't work at all as a campaign for a $3000 horn). People are watching. It's to the point where people are pixel peeping on Facebook to see what horn XYZ is playing and if they are cheating on their brand.

Conn would offer monetary compensation to their big artists by doing sponsored masterclasses and tours. Lindberg is a great example of this. He does a tour, has a masterclass associated with it, and there is a table full of Conn gear and horns. The programs on recitals sometimes advertise Conn trombones. He was pretty open in an interview about receiving $50 per CL valve sold, but I think that had more to do with his father in law holding the design secret and Conn wanting the patent. He actually demonstrated that horn for Conn with a shield locked around the rotor so they couldn't deduce the design.

For most artists, who probably do not get their horn for free even, I think the "legitimacy" they get from having their picture in the artist list is about all they get out of it, and the maker in turn shows off who is playing their horn.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by WGWTR180 »

WilliamLang wrote: Tue Oct 17, 2023 1:41 pm For me it was playing/demonstrating for the companies and a having an interest in the equipment. With Stephens Horns I was a in a position to afford a new instrument for the first time in my life, basically, and I truly thought that the horn I ended up buying was the best possible fit for me. With LI Brass again I found a mouthpiece that just suited my artistic personality better than any other pieces I've been fortunate to try. After that it was a process of asking and figuring out what I could do to be beneficial to the company and making sure the interest was mutual.

Very few people actually get paid to be an artist, most get a discount on material (which is what my situation is.) Some companies, like Yamaha, have an application process and will contribute a small fee to events (like $100 towards a masterclass or so.) Neither company I work with is in that position, but since I truly do love the set-up that I play on now, I am happy to play and promote them, and it also does help me be slightly more marketable as a solo artist.
Will it's great that you found a new instrument that you love and can make a situation work for you. At some point I'd like to try a Stephens bass-just what I need to do at this point in my career. HA!
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by WGWTR180 »

harrisonreed wrote: Tue Oct 17, 2023 4:26 pm You can call yourself whatever you want. My favorite was Mike Lake calling himself the "Wizard of Moz".

The endorsing artists are the ones actually listed as such on the artist list for that manufacturer. Most endorsing artists are not paid, but might received free or discounted instruments. You usually have to apply with a resume and recent published recordings. Named artists, I guess, would be the one with their own artist model or mouthpiece. I actually really like the idea of artist model horns, if the model you get is the same as the one they helped design and play (ie not the BAC Elliott Mason rent-to-own model). If an artist that you look up to and sounds the way you want to find helped design a horn and then are using it, that is probably a ringing endorsement for that horn (the 396-A, 88HCL, 36H, and Q series alto are all very good).

For what it's worth, Edwards has claimed that it does not actually pay any of their artists. They definitely seem to give free instruments to some of their named artists.

I suspect that Eastman / Shires is able to pay some sort of monetary compensation to named artists, probably in conjunction with sponsored masterclass events and social media engagement. If you think about it it, the social media thing is pretty recent. When a lot of the famous partnerships started, say with Joe Alessi and Edwards, there was no such thing as the Internet -- can you imagine being able to project an interview or ad onto a screen in someone's house talking about how they love to play Edwards back in 1990, unlimited times, for $500? Back then you only knew about a brand if it was available at the local shop or your teacher played it, or you went to a convention. I think Shires has capitalized on this form of advertising the best, and it would be worth paying the artist $500 or whatever to do the zoom call or video. I don't know if they actually do this, but if they did I wouldn't be surprised if the Zoom interview where they show off the Q series alto contributed to the sale of 50 of those altos worldwide -- that's financially like offering a $10 coupon off the price (which wouldn't work at all as a campaign for a $3000 horn). People are watching. It's to the point where people are pixel peeping on Facebook to see what horn XYZ is playing and if they are cheating on their brand.

Conn would offer monetary compensation to their big artists by doing sponsored masterclasses and tours. Lindberg is a great example of this. He does a tour, has a masterclass associated with it, and there is a table full of Conn gear and horns. The programs on recitals sometimes advertise Conn trombones. He was pretty open in an interview about receiving $50 per CL valve sold, but I think that had more to do with his father in law holding the design secret and Conn wanting the patent. He actually demonstrated that horn for Conn with a shield locked around the rotor so they couldn't deduce the design.

For most artists, who probably do not get their horn for free even, I think the "legitimacy" they get from having their picture in the artist list is about all they get out of it, and the maker in turn shows off who is playing their horn.
Sure you can call yourself whatever you want but once upon a time being a labeled artist for a certain company actually meant something. Now....
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by BGuttman »

Walter Barrett used to be a Yamaha artist. He said the only thing he got from it was a discount on horns.

I think it's great that the professionals get custom made instruments that make their job easier. Unfortunately, since I'm no Joe Alessi, even owning his old instruments won't help me play like him. Just like having a Jackie Robinson baseball glove didn't make me a good fielder.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by harrisonreed »

WGWTR180 wrote: Thu Oct 19, 2023 5:29 am Sure you can call yourself whatever you want but once upon a time being a labeled artist for a certain company actually meant something. Now....
Like I said, being on the list legitimately, on the maker's site, usually involves an application process in most cases. Just because you call yourself the Wizard of Moz doesn't mean the manufacturer knows you exist (sorry Mike, I just love that name!).

Now as for that having ever meant something? No. It has never meant anything meaningful. All it means is that that company likes that person, and that person likes that company. What kind of meaning did you think it had? The manufacturers don't determine what good music or artistry is. It's just a mechanism to sell horns, and in some cases design better horns.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by WGWTR180 »

harrisonreed wrote: Thu Oct 19, 2023 6:11 am
WGWTR180 wrote: Thu Oct 19, 2023 5:29 am Sure you can call yourself whatever you want but once upon a time being a labeled artist for a certain company actually meant something. Now....
Like I said, being on the list legitimately, on the maker's site, usually involves an application process in most cases. Just because you call yourself the Wizard of Moz doesn't mean the manufacturer knows you exist (sorry Mike, I just love that name!

Now as for that having ever meant something? No. It has never meant anything meaningful. All it means is that that company likes that person, and that person likes that company. What kind of meaning did you think it had? The manufacturers don't determine what good music or artistry is. It's just a mechanism to sell horns, and in some cases design better horns.
You don’t think that Urbie Green or Carl Fontana meant anything? Interesting take.
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Post by harrisonreed »

No, they meant something as musicians. Their partnership with a company was to sell horns. Your OP isn't about musicians, it's about being an endorsed artist.

Maybe you're trying to get at something more like, back in the day the were a lot less endorsed artists, so being one was a rare thing? I'd buy that. I think there has definitely been a kind of dilution, but the reason is probably that you can endorse an artist or make yourself known as an endorsing artist with a few clicks of a mouse now. You used to have to do an ad campaign or release a special model, or update your catalogue in order to show off endorsing artists. If the Internet had been around instead, they would have probably been doing the same thing as today.

The funny story about King not knowing who JJ was when he needed a new horn, lol. How about that for it meaning something?
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by kbryson »

I am one of the not-so-prominent endorsers I think the OP had in mind. I endorse B.A.C. trombones, and have been doing it for about five years. I am not paid to do so, but I do receive a discount on new horns, repairs, modifications, etc. In turn I get to be on their website and I get the occasional promotional bump every now and then from their social media feeds. A lot of other players and students ask about the horn because it has that unique B.A.C. loop counterweight, and I'm happy to say positive things about it because I like it.

I became an endorser after several years of visiting the the B.A.C. folks at every conference or trade show I was at and hanging out with them/trying horns. The interest was genuine on my part, I knew some other people who played their horns and was curious about the company. Over time I got to know a few of the employees reasonably well. One of these shows I was trying a horn and fell in love with it, it wasn't for sale but they indicated they'd would like to work with me on making a similar horn and offered me an option to be part of their artist program.

It is probably different from being an "Elliott Mason" level endorser, but I wouldn't say there is anything nefarious about it either. As another poster put, it is simply an agreement that I like their horns and they like me, and we try to help each other out when possible.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by Mikebmiller »

I had several instrument companies offer me money to never play their horns. :wink:
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by Wilktone »

Some instrument endorsement deals include helping to cover an artist's fee for performing and/or lecturing at a school in exchange for the artist bringing swag or promotional materials to hand out at the event. It's usually not a lot, but I've hired guest artists to perform at jazz festivals and gotten maybe $100 lowered on the artist's fee because their endorsement deal with cover that.
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Re: Today's Music "Business"

Post by Digidog »

Mikebmiller wrote: Wed Nov 15, 2023 6:29 pm I had several instrument companies offer me money to never play their horns. :wink:
:lol:

With today's counter culture seeking crowd, I'd think that actually could make a sell. I mean; if a company presented a list of really repulsive people whom they actively worked to keep their products away from, and discouraged and opposed from publicity, I'm quite confident that would garner a following and a market. The ethical and legal issue with that, is, of course, another matter.

Many politicians do this. Instead of talking about what they are for and what they want to do, they only talk about what they are against and what they want to do away with. In politics this seems to be quite a successful method - if not very constructive and productive.
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Post by WGWTR180 »

Today on FB, the land of truth and transparency, I saw a trombonist post something that he's currently playing calling himself a Conn/Selmer artist. Truth is he's not. But he's playing a Conn tenor on the gig.
Maybe I'm just splitting hairs but this drives me insane-well not insane but...
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Post by CalgaryTbone »

In most cases, performers don't get paid by the instrument company. Usually there is a little bit of premium service, like getting a new horn a bit faster than the listed wait-time, or perhaps there might be a small stipend to help make an appearance at a school or festival possible. There are probably a small handful of people who actually collect regular payments, but that is relatively rare, and not all companies have a budget for that.

It's not unusual for some "____ Artists" to play multiple instruments of different makers, but only advertise for the one company (trumpeters, for instance, who are Bach artists, but also have Schilke, Benge, etc.horns that they use sometimes).

I heard a story a long time ago that one of the early double trumpet cases was made for Harry James, so he could always have the horn he advertised for on the bandstand even when he was actually playing something else. Not exactly "truth in advertising".

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Post by ssking2b »

With XO, they recruited me. I’ve of course, filled out a résumé, etc. and they were pleased I was offered horns at a a big artist discount. I took the deal after being with King, then Conn Selmer for years. They used to contribute to clinics And appearances but weren’t interested in doing that anymore. So when recruited by XO, I took the deal.

I have four horns I love from them and do 4-5 clinic appearances for them a year. I appear on their American, European, and Asian websites. I get emails frequently from trombonists around the world asking questions. All is cool! And they go with me on every job because I love they way they play!
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Post by harrisonreed »

I might be having some Mandela effect twilight zone thing going on in regards to XO. I thought XO trombones were Jupiters? Is XO it's own company now? I went on the Jupiter brand website and it looks like a bunch of student horns now, while the XO page has all these slick looking trombones and endorsed artists, and says it's a Japanese based company.

Did I fall into a mirror universe?
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Post by Doug Elliott »

Honda/Accura
Toyota/Lexus
Jupiter/XO

Getzen/Edwards
Eastman/Shires
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Post by harrisonreed »

Gotcha. I thought they used to be on the same webpage.
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Post by JohnL »

harrisonreed wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:04 pm I might be having some Mandela effect twilight zone thing going on in regards to XO. I thought XO trombones were Jupiters? Is XO it's own company now? I went on the Jupiter brand website and it looks like a bunch of student horns now, while the XO page has all these slick looking trombones and endorsed artists, and says it's a Japanese based company.

Did I fall into a mirror universe?
No, but
The XO brand began with the vision of Koichi Haido, Chief Instrument Technician at the Global Corporation in Japan.
isn't exactly the same thing as saying that XO is a Japan-based company.

KHS is the parent company of both Jupiter and XO and is based in Taiwan. They apparently have production facilities in Taiwan (Republic of China), Japan, and The Peoples' Republic of China. I can't find any definitive information regarding where the XO line is manufactured.

From what I remember, the XO/Jupiter relationship used to more like Xeno and Yamaha.
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Post by Posaunus »

JohnL wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 12:27 am ...
The XO brand began with the vision of Koichi Haido, Chief Instrument Technician at the Global Corporation in Japan.
isn't exactly the same thing as saying that XO is a Japan-based company.
What is "Global Corporation" ? Do they make brass instruments? In Japan? Competitor to Yamaha?

The only thing that my search engine found was a used vehicle and equipment exporter:
https://www.gcjapan.co.jp/
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Post by blast »

Nobody gets rich being an endorsee. It can be a part of what you do as an artist. Working with Mick Rath led to opportunities that I would not have otherwise had, and I learned a lot about design and construction. I was never on the official artist list, but I have turned down endorsee offers from other makers.
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Post by Finetales »

harrisonreed wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2024 9:04 pm I might be having some Mandela effect twilight zone thing going on in regards to XO. I thought XO trombones were Jupiters? Is XO it's own company now? I went on the Jupiter brand website and it looks like a bunch of student horns now, while the XO page has all these slick looking trombones and endorsed artists, and says it's a Japanese based company.

Did I fall into a mirror universe?
XO is just "XO" and has its own website because Jupiter wanted to distance its pro models from Jupiter's reputation as a mediocre student horn company as much as possible. The pro horns used to be just Jupiters, then if I remember right they were Jupiter XOs for a bit (a la Yamaha Xeno), and then Jupiter tried to totally separate them in people's minds (which didn't work). They're still the same company.

To continue with the car analogy Doug brought up, it's a lot like Hyundai. They made a relatively upscale car called the Hyundai Genesis, then decided to make Genesis the brand name for its higher-end offerings and drop the Hyundai name entirely, so people would think of it as a luxury brand and not the same company that makes cheap hatchbacks that used to be awful. I think Hyundai's effort has been more successful than Jupiter's.
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Post by harrisonreed »

What is that, a pizza oven? Or the forge that the trombones come out of??
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Post by WGWTR180 »

harrisonreed wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:38 am What is that, a pizza oven? Or the forge that the trombones come out of??
HAHA! Not sure but I pass by this house walking my dog every day. This appeared about 1 week ago.
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Post by Posaunus »

Barbeque smoker?
Crematory?
Pottery kiln?
Oast (hop kiln)?
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It's for annealing bells.

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