Numerous jazz musicians are reluctant to use social media, and yet, those tools are crucial to their careers. “A lot of the artists I work with are very reticent with this technology. They feel it’s child’s play,” publicist Michael Crowell said.
A lot of musicians think Twitter and Facebook are hard to understand. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, who tours with Jeff Beck and Sting, said social media is toxic.
Crowell is based in San Diego and mostly represents jazz musicians such as violinist Regina Carter and saxophonist Dave Liebman. He said social media is essential to musicians’ success because it allows them to build loyal audiences. And social media is very inexpensive.
“To not have that is a wasted opportunity,” he said. He said it is “not too dissimilar from talking to your fans getting out the bandstand.”
Crowell also said these networks allow musicians to reach several thousands people a week – people who may otherwise not have an opportunity to know about the artists.
“If you’re really trying to push the music forward, the music press isn’t going to cover you,” Crowell said. “So how do you reach your audience with what’s available to you? That’s social media and touring. The goal is to be able to perform and to live as a musician, or as a creative artist.”
This year, singer and songwriter Neil Young raised more than $6 million with a crowdsourcing project. New York- based DJ Sid Vaga said he has different Facebook pages which help him get the word around.
“Social media is a new medium that has developed and is not going to go away anytime soon,” Crowell said.