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HomeLJS PodcastJazz Tips and AdviceWorst, Best, Most Challenging, Most Lucrative Gigs I've Played

Worst, Best, Most Challenging, Most Lucrative Gigs I’ve Played

Welcome to episode 272 where I discuss an array of different jazz gigs I’ve played over my career as a performing jazz musician. I talk about the worst gigs I’ve played, the best ones, the worst paying, the best paying, the ones where I learned the most, and I share all the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Listen to episode 272

You know, over the years, as a professional jazz musician, I played hundreds and hundreds of gigs and I’ve really experienced the entire spectrum of experiences as a gigging musician. 

I’ve experienced some of the worst gigs ever like horrible working conditions, near-disasters, or just difficult people to work with. 

I’ve experienced amazing gigs — incredible musicians, incredible experiences, maybe fancy gigs that I’ve attended or worked with. 

I’ve experienced ones that taught me a lot of lessons. I’ve experienced others that made me want to go and hang my head in shame when I got home. 

I’ve experienced a lot and I’m excited to do a very special episode where I go through a bunch of different gigs that I have played and show you the good, the bad, and the ugly and the lessons that I have learned from all of them

In this episode:

1. Best long term gig I’ve played

2. Best overall gig I’ve played

3. Worst gig experience

4. Fanciest gig I’ve played

5. Worst paying gig I’ve played

6. Best paying gig I’ve played

7. Gigs where I’ve learned the most

8. Gigs that have had the biggest life impact

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Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Hi Brent
    I really enjoyed your story, your musical journey.
    Story with Adam was particularly moving!!! You were two very fortunate lucky friends. Rare!!!!


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