George's Journal

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Passion Party #591 - Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted: 10 December 2019, 9:48 am - Passion Party

About 25 years ago, when digital music streaming was in its infancy, I remember thinking "wouldn't it be great if someone created a 'universal jukebox' that had every song ever made on it, and you could just plug into it and listen to whatever you wanted whenever you wanted?"
Then about 15 years ago I remember asking the Recording Academy to set up a free listening platform so that Grammy members could actually HEAR the music they are supposed to vote for, rather than just vote based on the name of the artist or what record label the person recorded for. They told me at that time it could not be done because there was not one platform that all the companies could agree upon to use and the technology was beyond their ability.
Now the "universal Jukebox" has arrived. Actually we have many of them, from Spotify, Amazon, Apple, etc. And we don't need the Grammys to allow us to listen to whoever we want for free (or close to free).

But has this improved the quality of music? Or improved my ability to enjoy listening to music?

It has improved the QUANTITY of music out there, and the amount of time people are streaming music (the video of Old Town Road has now been viewed over 400 Million times).

But along the way the idea of liner notes, concept albums, the actual musician performing the music, album art and packaging, all have been lost to the pursuit of the single, the fast hit, the rush for "virality".

A 19-year old from the Netherlands known as YoungKio created the “Old Town Road” beat, incorporating a sample from the song “34 Ghosts IV” by rock legends Nine Inch Nails. Lil Nas X purchased the beat in 2018 for $30, which came with limited distribution rights. He crafted a lyric, crossing country music cliches with rap, opened it up for sharing on Tik Tok, and..whoa.

But as my music professor in college used to say, "It's interesting...but is it music?"

And Billie Eilish, the 17-year old nihilist Goth-Pop prodigy of Interscope Records, is up for a slew of Grammys. She just signed a $25 Million dollar deal for an Apple+ TV documentary. Today in the LA Times she is quoted saying "Last year was maybe the worst, I felt like I missed everything...I wasn't enjoying it and I lost all my friends."

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Come Join The Party on December 8

Posted: 17 November 2019, 2:59 pm - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

Secret Location Revealed!

Sunday Dec. 8 The George Kahn Jazz & Blues Revue Annual Holiday Party has changed venues! - $25 cover plus minimum.  Tickets are on sale now, so mark your calendar for the best holiday party of the year, not to be missed! We will be doing a set of holiday tunes, plus our Tribute to Aretha Franklin.
This year we will be having the party on the rooftop of the Kimpton La Peer Hotel,  27 N La Peer Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069. If you only go to one holiday party this season, this is the one. More info when tickets go on sale later this month
Here is the link to buy tickets: CLICK HERE

Big Annoucement: Jazz Is Not Dead!

Posted: 7 August 2019, 9:09 pm - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

When was the last time you treated yourself to a night on the town?You start with a lovely Sunday Night drive to Studio City to a famous Italian restaurant with a newly renovated show room, with comfortable tables, a great sound system and lighting.  The waitress gives you a menu that covers everything from pizza and salad, all the way to New York Steak.  After a drink (or two) the music kicks in at 8:00 PM and you are hearing some of the greatest musicians in Los Angeles, creating inspiring music that makes you smile and tap your feet.  This can be you on Sunday, August 11 when you join the George Kahn Quartet at Vitellos for a rare performance.

Vitellos is recently remodeled, and they totally redesigned the upstairs performance room, with new stage, lights, sound system and piano(!).  You can come for dinner at 6:30 PM, or just come for the music at 8:00 PM, but either way you will have a wonderful night of food, music and friends. 



Posted: 1 August 2019, 7:13 am - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

Join George for a swinging night of West Coast Cool Jazz with his All-Star quartet, Pat Kelley, Alex Acuña and David Hughes. We will be featuring songs from the "STRAIGHT AHEAD" album.  Feinstein's At Vitellos has been redesigned and is now the coolest jazz room in town. tickets are $20 - 30, and are available at:

Doors open at 6:30, show is at 8:00 PM, see you there!

Its Spotify's World, You Just Stream It

Posted: 30 June 2019, 2:51 pm - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

Pulling the Curtain Back on Jazz Sales and Streaming

After 20 years of releasing jazz albums and getting airplay on jazz stations across the US, having my own Pandora station (George Kahn Radio) as well as getting tens of thousands of streams on Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music I still get little royalty checks, but I have watched the sales diminish over the years. Is it just me? Not according to the latest Nielsen/Soundscan statistics, released this week for mid-year 2019.

Back in 1999 Jazz Album sales were just under 3% of total album sales (pretty much tied with Classical music).  A recent annual report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) states that in 2000 the total worldwide revenue from album sales was $23.3 Billion dollars. Now physical sales of jazz albums are  still 2.7% of total sales volume for albums, but the total revenue from album sales in 2018 was $4.7 Billion dollars - an 80% drop! (album sales dropped another 20% in just the last year 2018-2019).

According to the Neilsen study the combined US albums, digital sales, and streaming the total volume for jazz is now 1% of the total volume.
This is pretty dismal.

There are two issues here: 1) the drop in number of sales and 2) how much the artist is being paid for this "Consumption of Product" (which is the new definition of music on the internet.)
25% of jazz sales still take place with physical product (as opposed to Rap/Hip Hop where physical album sales are just 5% of the total). I guess this is good news, as the artist gets paid way better for physical sales and downloads. 60% of jazz "music consumption" takes place through streaming services.

I have read various articles about how little the different services pay the artist for streaming music. Note or Concord, etc.) Here are my recent numbers, as reported on CD Baby, my distributor:

And here are some recent payments from the streaming services: 
Jun 27, 2019
Jan 2019
Google Music Store
George Kahn
Straight Ahead
Can't Feel My Face
Jun 26, 2019
May 2019
iTunes - Apple Music – US
George Kahn
Straight Ahead
Rumour Has It
Jun 17, 2019
Apr 2019
Pandora Plus
George Kahn
Straight Ahead
Wonton Kelly
Jun 17, 2019
Apr 2019
Pandora Radio
George Kahn
Straight Ahead
Wonton Kelly
Jun 11, 2019
Mar 2019
George Kahn
Straight Ahead
Red's Riff
Here is a recent month total from Pandora:

Streams Total:

Income total: $6.64510000
(Yes, that is less than 1/10th of 1 cent per stream)

THE TAKE-AWAY: If you are an artist, you have to either focus on getting people to buy the product with great music AND creative packaging and marketing, or you have a figure out a viral-hit that will get millions of streams. And if you are a jazz "consumer", please buy or download the album, and go see live jazz often. Otherwise we'll just be left streaming "Kind of Blue" for the millionth time.

THIS SUNDAY! George Kahn - Pat Kelley - Alex Acuña - Lyman Medeiros

Posted: 3 June 2019, 8:01 am - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

and special guest vocalist Diana Zaslove Kahn!
One set only - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Call to reserve seats
Buy tickets online ($25 per person)
(psst: discount tickets also available for $15 on

By Popular Demansd - we are Back In Hollywood!

Posted: 29 May 2019, 11:20 pm - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

We are back from our No Cal tour, having killed in onoma nad Berkeley, CA, and now we are back In Hollywood. Come join us!

Path Ventures And Pianist George Kahn 2018 Jazz Night Fundraiser For The Homeless Raises Over $120,000

Posted: 27 December 2018, 9:31 pm - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

In the last 11 years PATH Ventures has built over 1,100 affordable housing units, and PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) has helped over 7,500 individuals 'make it home.'
George Kahn
On Thursday, October 18th, 2018 PATH Ventures celebrated their 11th year by hosting their 11th Annual Holiday Jazz Night, an unforgettable evening of dinner, music, and fun at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA. The event featured Jazz Pianist and Composer, George Kahn with his all-star Jazz & Blues Revue. The 8-piece band features Courtney Lemmon, Gina Saputo and Crystal Starr on vocals, Robert Kyle on saxophone, Nolan Shaheed on trumpet, Gary Wicks on bass, Grammy-nominated MB Gordy on drums, and George Kahn as pianist/musical director.

With the help of a sold-out crowd, plus generous corporate sponsors including City National Bank, over $120,000 was donated to directly support affordable housing developments and support services in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego and San Jose. In the last 11 years PATH Ventures has built over 1,100 affordable housing units, and PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) has helped over 7,500 individuals “make it home”.

There are over 52,000 people living on the streets of Los Angeles County on any given night (based on the 2018 Los Angeles Homes Services Authority annual count). They are women with children, people struggling with serious health issues, war veterans, seniors, emancipated foster youth, and families who lost everything because of the recession or were displaced by rising rents. PATH Ventures’ housing models aim to prevent and end homelessness by integrating supportive services, community development and permanent housing for people in need.

When asked to explain why he does this annual event Kahn explained, “I am so honored to be a catalyst for this event, and I am so proud of my band for giving their time and energy and creating amazing music for the evening. I have friends that have spent time living on the street, and I know the feeling of being one paycheck away from being evicted. This is the least I can do to give back to the community that I have lived in for 40 years.”

For more information about PATH and PATH Ventures, please visit their website.

One of the Top 100 Jazz ALbums of 2018!

Posted: 27 December 2018, 9:04 am - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

So excited to discover that I made it onto the JazzWeek Top 100 Jazz Albums of 2018 for my release "Straight Ahead"! Thank you to Groov Marketing, my radio guys, great job! And thanks to all of you that checked out the music To see the complete interactive chart, go to


Posted: 27 November 2018, 9:37 pm - SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO

There is nothing like a cool jazz Saturday Night at Vibrato Grill.  The George Kahn Quartet returns for another night of fun

George Kahn – Piano
Pat Kelley – Guitar, Gary Wicks - Bass, Dick Weller - Drums

Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill, Jazz, & Etc. 
2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90077
(310) 474-9400
Saturday December 8
Three sets: 7:009:00 and 10:15 PM
No cover for the 7:00 dinner show; there is a $20 cover for the late shows
RSVPs for the early shows a must – we sold out last time we played here
For reservations, please call or make your reservation  by clicking HERE.  

Click here to see older SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO posts.
Click here to see older Passion Party posts.