Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

Curse of the Day Job

There are more people living today than have ever died in all of history.  That also means there are more musicians than ever.  With an over-saturation of musicians all over the world, it's harder and harder to make a living off of playing music.  Back in the teens and 20s, jazz musicians in New York would through "Rent Parties", where guests would come to jam sessions in jazz musician's apartments and pay a small cover that would be used to help the musicians pay their rent.  There were also full size big bands (5 saxes, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, piano, bass, and drums as a minimum) who were touring the US and even the world and making a good living at what they were doing.  Without the advent of television, I'm willing to bet that people were more likely to go dancing to the great big bands of the day, paying for alcohol and cover charges, which would pay the musician's wages.  But since then, there have been so many advancements in music technology and connectedness that it's easier to get our music out there, but also easier for everyone else to get their music out there, too.  So there's a hunger that younger musicians have to get known, so they are willing to play for less and less money (or none at all) and club owners and venue bookers don't see why they need to pay a good wage to someone when they can find someone else to do it for much less.  Que the need for a day job.  Musicians do what they can to get out there and get to be known, but they are not making anywhere near enough money to make a living, so they have to get a day job.  It is so common that people in heavily saturated areas don't bat an eye when they meet someone who is a musician that also works at a coffee shop, restaurant, Trader Joe's (that's me), or even an office job (me when I was in New York).  Money doesn't buy happiness, but we need it to survive.  I don't care who you are.  If you live near any sort of civilization, you need money to do the things you want to do, whether it's money that you make yourself or money that your parents make to give you for your bills.  I would love to get to a place where I'm only doing my music for a living, but just not sure how I'll get there.  Sad face. :(