Monday, July 10, 2006

SALON-a-thon: What SALON does for Musicians

Bridging the gap between amateur and professional is difficult in any profession, especially an artistic one. Because art is dependent on human interactions, moving out of the practice room and in front of a crowd is a big step. For musicians making folk music, there are coffee shops and cafes a plenty. For aspiring rock stars, there are open mic nights at clubs and bars.

But what is there for the aspiring jazz or classical musician? Most jazz musicians performing have been doing it for a long, long time, and newcomers are out of their depth. Many classical musicians aren’t given open performance spaces. Occasionally there is a string quartet in a bookstore, but you’ll never see classical pianists or an opera singer.

SALON provides what a musical artists needs most to grow – an appreciative audience. Folk musician Nick Drake often complained about going on tour in smoky bars where people would be drinking and laughing and TALKING OVER THE MUSIC. At SALON, the audience members are there to listen.

Every SALON is filled with human interaction. Not only is there music for everyone to enjoy, but there is a friendly atmosphere where people can ask the musicians questions (“Why did you choose this song?” “Who are your influences?” etc.). Musicians seem to enjoy the experience, the attention, and the donations.

Tommaso Cogato is one such musician. A graduate student at Southern Methodist University, Tommaso was gracious enough to let us record him playing Chopin Ballades. Here he is performing No. 1 in g, op23.

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