What Not To Do At A Jazz Show
Just like there’s good naked and bad naked, in a jazz venue there’s good Untitled-8 1 noise and bad noise. Chatting with a friend is bad noise. Of course you’re smart and amazing, but nobody is paying to hear you talk. Don’t confuse a jazz show with a pub crawl.
Clapping after a solo, on the other hand—or appreciative hoots or whistles when the band is cooking—is good noise, part of your job in keeping the energy up. But be tuned into the energy of the room, and if the players ask the audience to hold applause till the end (which a few occasionally do) then of course be mindful of that.
Don’t necessarily expect to get up and dance, no matter how many kir royales (or joints) you’ve had, unless you’re at a dance-suitable venue and with an artist who is clearly about that. There are several at this year’s fest who will get you on your feet, like Coco Jafro, or the Ayrad and François Houle Trio.
As one local aficionado put it: “Conduct yourself like any good jazz musician. Keep your eyes and ears open, read the mood of the venue. Listen, be respectful of the players, and don’t get in the way.”