Mad About Music

Jam-boree: Another Dimension
August 21, 2008, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hey! There’s another extremely important aspect of Jam-boree that I seem to have, inadvertently, missed. In fact, it is this aspect that sets it apart from what typical jam sessions are like in other places.

The essence of Jam-boree as envisaged by Mr. Ajay Mahajan is that it blends both entertainment and art. Entertainment because it features exciting acoustic covers of old favourites ranging from The Beatles to Eric Clapton. Art because Jam-boree is a platform for original music.

A significant slice of each session is devoted to showcasing original compositions. The young lady visitor from the US who first told me about the Jam-boree also performed some of her original material at the sessions. Later sessions featured another American man singing several of his self-composed pieces, and another young keyboardist, Tejesh, sharing his creations. And of course, Sanjo focuses predominantly on his own compositions, both in English and Hindi, accompanied by some dazzling, scintillating lead guitar played by Samir.

All this makes Jam-boree a great place to catch music that is original, creative and refreshingly different.


Jam-boree: The Next Big Thing?
August 21, 2008, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I met a couple of people from the music industry today over beer and lunch. As usual, I was on my current favourite topic of conversation — Ajay Mahajan and his innovative new music concept: Jam-boree. My guests, one, a marketing manager with a music label, and the other, a VP with a large event management company, were thoroughly impressed with the whole concept.

As we downed our beers, the conversation veered off in an interesting direction. In a situation where the music business is going through a bad patch with no signs of things getting any better in the foreseeable future, we suddenly realised that Mr. Mahajan’s Jam-boree model made enormous business sense.

We did a quick back-of-a-paper-napkin calculation that evoked some very interesting possibilities. In a place like Delhi where the live music scene and gigging circuits are almost non-existent, a concept like Jam-boree is sure to attract music-lovers in droves. Charging an entry fee of Rs. 200 would be very reasonable. After all, these folks are used to paying cover charges of 600 bucks and more, and paying 150 bucks for tickets at multiplexes.

Now with a crowd capacity of 100 people (not difficult, since Mahajan is already doing private exclusive events that end up attracting 50 people or more), the takings for a single Jam-boree session would be Rs. 20,000. If the Jam-boree were to be held once a week (Saturday nights, just like they happen now at Mr. Mahajan’s studio), the monthly sales would be Rs. 80,000. Now if one were to do deals with the sound and light guys, and manage the rest of the finances carefully, one could easily restrict monthly payouts to a total amount of Rs. 30,000. That means a monthly revenue of Rs.50,000. When you annualise that figure, it adds up to Rs. 600,000 per annum.

Now think about this for a moment. Most music labels don’t manage to generate that kind of money from their artistes. Yes, you have the biggies who bring in the big bucks, but by and large the music business is in the boondocks today because revenue streams are drying up. With the Jam-boree model, they could well end up with a healthier bottom-line.

The possibilities are very exciting…