How do I find musicians to play less popular forms of music?

I am a guitarist who mainly likes these forms of music:

  • Jazz Fusion
  • Latin Jazz
  • Gypsy Jazz
  • Celtic

Obviously, the former three have much more in common than the latter one does. I got into Celtic music via Dusty Strings in Seattle.

However, what they all have in common is that they are not all that popular. I have never met another student here at the UW who is a Gypsy Jazz fan, and Fusion and Latin Jazz fans are fleeting.

How does one go about finding musicians to jam with when the music forms aren’t that popular?

The easiest route might be to find good musicians who are open to the idea of exploring new cultures and styles in general, and introducing them to the stuff you like. And they could probably introduce you to a few new things, too.

Pt an ad in The Stranger.

Is that UW(isconsin) or UW(ashington)?

If it’s Madison, I can definitely hook you up with some Gypsy Jazz folks - there’s quite a presence here.

If it’s Washington, I don’t know what to tell you.

Thank you very much for your offer, but I am a University of Washington student.

Not that popular?!? In Spokane? Surely you jest?

Give a call to KPBX and advise them of your plight.

UW has a school of music, right? They probably have a board for postings like “Bass player needed” and “Guitarist looking for group” that you could put an ad on.

If you’ve got a LiveJournal account and you’re willing to risk major snarkage, you could post in the Seattle community. But lurk for a few days first to get a sense of their humor/hate so you don’t get mocked too much.

Have you tried Craigslist? I haven’t used it myself for that, but I know it has musical ads. You could browse ads or post your own.

I can’t imagine that it’s hard to find fusion jazz if you live anywhere near a big city. It’s not some obscure art form. If you’re at a college, doesn’t it have a jazz ensemble of sort? In my high school the marching band and the jazz band overlapped. They mostly did straightahead jazz, but they would sometimes do something Latin or fusion-y. I’d imagine at least some student jazz musicians must be interested in different kinds of jazz outside of school.

Here are two that might interest you:

Or you could try the yahoogroups Jazz Guitar List, Classical Guitar List, and for all I know, there could well be a Fusion Jazz Guitar, Latin Jazz Guitar, Gypsy Jazz Guitar and Celtic Guitar List. I’ve found them extremely useful over the last few years.

Your local music shops can be a good source of information. Hang around for an hour or so, buy a couple of picks, talk to the guitar tech, talk to anyone who comes in, try out a guitar or two and play some licks in the style you’d like to work with someone on. Guitar shops are like bait and tackle stores - guys go in as much for the talk as for anything else.

Local university, esp. if they have a music school. I’m confused - I thought University of Washington was in Seattle; what’s with the Spokane? Am I being whooshed? If it’s Seattle, there’s got to be an equivalent to the Chigago Reader/Georgia Strait/Now Magazine/Eye Magazine with the want ads in the back advertising for ‘musicians wanted’.

Hell, if you’re that stuck, I know some folks in Victoria and Vancouver to set you up with, if you don’t mind a ferry ride or a road trip.

Yeah, UW is in Seattle. Spokane has Gonzaga, Whitworth, branches of WSU and Eastern, and community colleges.

Seattle has two biggish independent weeklies, The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly. I think both might have relevant ads, but I never read the classifieds closely.

Brain fart, I guess I was thinking WSU. Seattle ought to have even more opportunity to find someone to play with. You really need to check out the Northwest Folk Life Festival over Labor Day. Amazing variety of music everywhere you turn.

Check out some of the pubs and coffee houses for jam opportunities. Or just google Seattle open mic to find extensive lists of places to go.

bare, WSU is in Pullman, just across the border from Moscow. It’s about 75 miles from Spokane.