The relationship between musicians and their audience

by M. Gauss, 2017

In the Jazz world, there has always been a special relationship between the musicians and their audience. It is important to stress this particular relationship because it has different origins. 

First, Jazz has been during a certain period of in American culture, a social factor that helped bring whites and blacks together and young people as well. It is a type of music that has always generated new and worldly form of talent in a particular class of people.

There was the example of Jazz Singapore that became the root of most social dance music and gave the first opportunities for public integration. The relationship between the audience and the performer is crucial to the success of a jazz session in many ways.

First, the audience can influence tremendously the performance of the jazz musician either positively or negatively. Secondly, the place where the performance is being presented has a great influence on the character of the exchange between the performer and the public. Last but not least, it exists also a certain disparity of opinion between the musicians and the audiences related to the criteria of relationship necessary between the two for a successful performance.

The relationship factor between audience and performer is constantly put forward especially in live performances because the success of such events is based on an equal satisfaction of both sides in particular when it comes to the choice of repertoire or new styles of compositions. Researchers state that discovering ways of educating the public as to how much they influence the success of performances can help motivate them for

live music and it will also help musicians significantly in their career. In a whole, the impact of the audience on the performers, the choice of the performance site and the opinion of the performers about the way they accept the public’s reactions can influence events positively or negatively.

In the case of Jazz, one must have a certain amount of information about the Jazz musician which makes it more personal. Jazz musicians are truly concerned about entertaining their audience satisfactorily and make it a point to please the public as a duty to themselves because they are truly attached to the music for their own wellbeing and this is the reason why Jazz is still so popular and important today because it’s an authentic music.

When a Jazz musician performs, he/she tells the story of his/her life because it’s a very personal form of composition. Jazz is constantly being reinvented by new talents all over the world because it has become international. It also continues to have an influence on other type of music and has helped develop other musical styles and because of its mixture of styles it has contributed to racial integration. It has become a unique form and a traditional style recognized as universal.

Whereas blues has its origin in America and it was mostly popular among a minority which represents the Afro-Americans but also among a white audience, especially in the South. In the 1920’s there was a great demand for blues singers mainly rather than Jazz instrumentalists.  Blues singers are still popular now and the most influential ones have been very talented professionals whose notoriety has been able to reach a small group of connoisseurs. Blues artists should be judged not by the traditional standard of authenticity but rather by the choice, ability and power of their creation.


Mason, R. (2017). Live jazz: the importance of the audience-performer relationship. 

Brand, G. (2012). The reciprocal relationship between jazz musicians and audiences in live performances: A pilot qualitative study. 

Dean, T. (2017). The relationship between Jazz and musicians and their audience. 

Frayman, J. (2015). The demographics of blues and jazz listeners in 6 graphs. 

Polese, S.M. (2002). Building an Audience for Live Jazz and Blues.

Wald, E. (2003). Respecting the Blues Makers. (published in Living Blues magazine)

More about Jazz and Blues music in this blog: 
Discussion of the emergence of Blues and Jazz music in social context

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