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What can I do ? (Read 806 times)

Offline blackpianistjp

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What can I do ?
« on: May 25, 2016, 11:04:29 AM »
Hello,

I am in Japan, Tokyo, I am black, I play the piano, a bit like a professional, but I am not one.
In Japan they have a few black stars like Chris Hart, or Jero. They are singers or guitarists.

I believe I have a card to play. I am black over there meaning, when I go out anywhere I am surrounded by Japanese lol. I stick out right.

And I play the piano, classical pieces (repertoire is not large unfortunately), I can also improvise a bit (just a bit) and I compose.

What can we do in the piano world in general ? Piano bar, be part of a band, accompany a singer, being part of chamber music group,etc.. Would you have any other ideas of what it's possible to do ? And especially in Japan ?

Thanks for help.
Latest video : http://youtu.be/fquKQw6Doj8
My story in Japan : Www.facebook.com/royceinjapan

Offline adodd81802

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Re: What can I do ?
«Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 01:30:03 PM »
I think this is a touchy subject. And it sounds like that you're hoping to exploit how you look to get more attention for your career.

Maybe it will work, maybe it won't but I don't think it's something that you should focus on anyway.

I am of the opinion that piano competitions, the pianist should be anonymous during their auditions with no indication of where they are from. To much politics is involved with these things.

There are a host of options out, but in the creative arts industry such as music, drawing, writing, sculpting, it seems to either be a case of

- knowing somebody (it's who you know now what you know!)
- doing something different (that's doing not looking ;))

I think you should not try and cover all areas but focus on one if you're hoping for a career in music.
You've said yourself your classical repertoire is limited - maybe you should stop Hanon and focus on pieces :D

Find your strengths and play towards them, that's not to say neglect weakness's but a footballer is not good at rugby just because they both play with a ball!

Next know that getting yourself noticed or in a career of piano rarely stands at an opportunity falling right on your laptop.

You can work your way up, spend some time out in the public, public pianos, find charity concerts or an evening restaurant position, find a small time band, if you surround yourself in the industry you can start to open new doors.


"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline indianajo

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Re: What can I do ?
«Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 02:07:30 PM »
Stereotypically black men play jazz or blues. Actually you can play anything you want: I have a black friend who plays high church music of the European tradition on pipe organ in a high denomination church.  However, classical music is good for training but pays only at the highest level, and only people that became famous as children in most cases. My black friend supported himself as a school teacher and now plays what he want for a very low salary because he is retired. 
if you want to make a good living in music, it helps to have a hook and perform in public. Playing some popular style of music is a big plus. 
This fellow is making a living touring Europe this year in his own blues band:  www.otistaylor.com
And this woman plays blues and has played the White House: www.shemekiacopeland.com
She has a keyboard player who plays in the blues tradition.
I found these people on the KET Jubilee program.  You should download the "best of the WC Handy Festival" program from 2010 from the KET.org website and watch the various keyboard players fill and comp behiind their lead singers.  
Jazz you can see various styles on u-tube.  My favorites are Duke Ellington and Count Basie.  Mary Lou Williams of NYC was a forgotten star.  I play Scott Joplin myself but I'm caucasian-native Am mix.  
Singing your own lead pays the best, but if you don't want to do that you can hook up with a lead singer and try performing amateur nights and street corners until you develop enough following to get paid.  
Or you could try the pop route.  There are various bands around Tokyo, many very amateur that play pop.  I've seen the streetside on TV where the pop wannabees hang out on Saturdays in costume with boom boxes.   Learn some chords, learn to comp,  learn the blues scale, hook up with some amateurs that want a little visual candy on the backline. (the rhythm section is called the backline)  
Watch the PBS video series Jazz from 198? on download for a general education in what was done previously.  
And have fun.  

Offline blackpianistjp

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Re: What can I do ?
«Reply #3 on: May 27, 2016, 12:45:13 PM »
Thanks !
Latest video : http://youtu.be/fquKQw6Doj8
My story in Japan : Www.facebook.com/royceinjapan

Offline mjames

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Re: What can I do ?
«Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 04:01:36 PM »
rap

Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4