Summer Fun - How to host a house concert

I love music. Lots of different kinds of music. And over the years I have gotten a bit fussy about where and when I hear it live. Don't get me wrong, I love the club scene. And the bar scene. I've heard fabulous blue grass at the basement bar of the Dakota in Toronto. And I always hit the Jazz Standard when I am in New York. But there is something about being at a house concert.

We hosted a few when we were living in Toronto. And we are lucky to get in on some here in Vancouver too. Lucky to be invited. And lucky that a jazz saxaphonist here not only runs a jazz club but also collaborates with some friends who host house concerts in their home.

The organizer is Cory Weeds and he owns the Jazz Cellar.

Over the years he has become good friends with Benny Green. Benny Green who played with the following: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Ray Brown, Betty Carter. 

So when Cory heard that Benny was in Seattle for a few gigs, he emailed him and arranged a house concert here in Vancouver. It's exactly as it sounds - get a few friends together in someone's home and listen to them perform.

So how do you do this?

1. Find a house. Seriously. Find a house with a piano that is tuned.

2. Find the musician(s). Talk to some musicians that you like, whether local or not. If not local, see when they are touring in your town and email to see if they have time for a house concert.

3. Decide what to charge. Find out their fee and figure out how many people you need to cover their cost. I've hosted some where I charged $20 per person and have attended some as high as $50 a person.

4. Invites. Email your friends and their friends. Tell them it's BYOB.

5. Be kind to the neighbours. Let the neighbours know when it is starting and finishing. You'll be in a residential neighbourhood so I'd recommend 7-9pm.

6. Set the "stage". Get enough chairs and couches together.  Make some snacks. 

7. Enjoy. Sit back and have the time of your life. 

You will be hearing music as it's meant to be heard. No mikes. Intimate setting. Close up. Forget that stadium or the concert hall - this IS how it's meant to be.

Have you been to a house concert? Would you ever host one?