24 January 2010
Savvy musician drums up a Steady Jazz Gig in toronto
Before each Thursday night gig at the Azure Restaurant and Bar, in the InterContinental Toronto Centre, Dan Bodanis of Local 149 (Toronto, ON) goes to the Black Forest Pastry Shop and picks up a box of gourmet dark chocolate Belgian cookies for the members of his band and the restaurant staff. ?You know how Italian mothers can never feed you enough?? says Bodanis, drummer and leader of the Dan Bodanis Band, who has had the Azure gig every weekend since April. ?That?s how I try to treat my musicians.? It?s not just the decadent cookies that make working for Dan Bodanis a sweet gig?it?s the benefits. Musicians that work with Bodanis receive full pension contributions and work dues, are paid higher than scale, get fed at every gig and rehearsal, and they even get free valet parking worth $35 a night. Bodanis makes sure every gig is up to contract and files jobs with Local 149 (Toronto, ON). Regular bandmates include Local 149 members Bernie Senensky on piano and Steve Wallace on the bass. Sometimes sax player Pat Labarbera and trombone player Russ Little, also of Local 149, play with the group. In a time where regular gigs for jazz bands are few and far between, the Dan Bodanis Band performs Thursday through Saturday nights, every week, and was recently offered a five-year contract with a six-month option at Azure. ?The hotel?s general manager, Renaud Payette, is a tremendous jazz fan and loves the band and treats them well,? says Bodanis. ?We are so blessed to have this gig at Azure and work for people who truly understand jazz, are fans of musicians, and treat us like royalty.? Bodanis, a senior financial advisor at Dundee Private Investors Inc. and certified portfolio engineer, says his background in business and marketing helped him land the Azure gig in the first The original dampit is crafted with the fi nest materials. MADE IN THE U.S.A. We have wholesale distributors and dealers all over the world. If you are looking for a dampit or would like to become a distributor visit our website www.dampits.com call or write:
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place. Bodanis is also the author of, Drumming Up Referrals: How to Build a Successful Business by Word of Mouth. ?Business people used to be called drummers, so I am a drummer,? says Bodanis. ?Drumming is a metaphor for my business and my life.? When Bodanis submitted his band?s business proposal to Payette, along with a detailed ?return on investment? plan for the restaurant, right off the bat his numbers were much higher than other bands Azure was considering. ?I told him what we bring to this gig are the best quality musicians in Canada and a marketing strategy,? says Bodanis. ?You pay for what you get; you don?t expect a Rolls Royce for the price of a Volkswagen.? Payette ultimately decided that, although the Dan Bodanis Band would cost more, the group would pay off in the end. Growing up, Bodanis found his love for music through his father, a sax player from Macedonia, who led the Tommy Bodanis Orchestra. Bodanis joined the union when he was 12; at the time, he was Toronto?s youngest member. His first gig was a Greek Macedonian wedding where the pay scale was $10 an hour, but they received $830 in tips. Tommy Bodanis, 84, also of Local 149, always made sure his son had the best music teachers and demonstrated to his son how to treat his musicians well. ?That is the genesis of the model; how I lead my band now came from watching him,? says Bodanis. It also didn?t hurt that his Italian mother always made sure he was treated like a king. While Bodanis doesn?t do his band members? laundry or make them heaping plates of pasta, he learned a lot from his parents about showing appreciation to musicians. On top of the competitive pay, pension contributions, and free food, small gestures like gourmet cookies go a long way in creating a positive working environment. Dan Bodanis of Local 149 (Toronto, ON) uses his music and business chops to land jazz gigs. Not surprisingly, Bodanis is a big advocate of the Federation. ?I believe union membership provides one of the best pensions in Canada,? says Bodanis. ?And when you network with other professionals, there is an atmosphere of higher values and higher production value that comes of it.?