Berlin Musician Welcome Guide
First steps to Berlin Jazz Scene
how to create new
opportunities to play/present your Jazz music?
This is an interview with Jazzy Berlin founder Avi Albers Ben Chamo for the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg by Yannick Ballmann
Yannick: Hello Avi, Before we start, here is a bit of context. I need to do a career plan for a class. I would like to know from you, how to create new opportunities to play/present your music. And how did Jazzy Berlin happen and how did you make it grow.
How do you go about finding new opportunities to play?
Actually 90% of the time I am spending on contacting the community, be it by talking to
people at the jam or via the weekly mail which I've been sending in the last years. The phone call or the opportunities as you call it, came to me.
How do you approach making partnerships with new venues?
When I get a call from a venue I will meet the person and will take a look at the place, but the final take on this will be, can I build a relationship with this person. As much as the venue will look cool and sexy, which is all good, a good communication will be the thing I will be looking for.
What are, in your opinion, the keys to success for long term partnerships?
Communication, reliability. As a musicians I can be very self-centered, It's my craft I'm want to refine. But if you want to go a step further, looking at the big picture is very important. Some time a venue owner will book me year after year, only because he can trust me to be on time, to send him all the papers on time, to be nice and respectful to the staff. All this has nothing to do with music but being more social and to understand the other person's side and difficulties too.
Why did you come up with Jazzy Berlin?
I was fired as a waiter and didn't have a job.
What was the vision behind the idea back when you started?
Back then there was no vision. I love Jazz, so I opened a facebook page and shared jazz concerts of musicians I liked.
What does the vision look like today?
To keep the community evolving and to be happy with what I do.
How did the planning phase look like when you started?
I would say it was a facebook page and some passion.
What were the difficulties? How did you solve them?
When I got my first call it was from a techno club. I didn't know anything about running a jam or dealing with musicians. As much as I'm myself a musician, I've always loved to organize but this was a wake-up call and a long learning process. Not just dealing with booking musicians, playing, but dealing with a big venue. I had a lot of stress because I wanted the perfect night, but I needed to gain experience, to relax, to plan more ahead and to except problems on the way, when they come, with a smile.
What resources helped you in the beginning?
What resources do you use today to keep it going?
Some facebook but mainly meeting people and personal emails. Just to point out, Jazzy mails are merely 10% about Jazzy, and 90% about Jazz events for the weekend. Same as what I did when I started.
Yannick Ballmann is an active drummer in Berlin scene currently located at Aarhus/Aalborg
Avi Albers Ben Chamo is a musician and a painter based in Berlin
Avi's Instagram - here
Berlin Musicians welcome Guide
Words, words, words,
I need a place to stay!