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Old 23-04-2017, 06:22   #1
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LIve Music In The Carribean

Hey Guys, I am full time musician living in Florida. I have this dream of one day getting on a boat and cruising the Carribean while performing. I am one of the best in my area. I do some regional stuff as well (key west, etc...), but playing the same songs to the same crowd gets a little painstaking even when the money is pretty good.

My question/request is this. How often do you come across live music? I play coastal country and island music but not Reggae.

Also are there spots in the Caribbean with a lot more music? And are there places where it would be hard to get paid? Meaning illegal for me to work?

If you know of places and would like to share, I'd love to hear about them. My plan is to build relationships (fly and play) for several years before I get on a boat. If you keep this thread in the back of your head and add to it as you come across places, that would be great. I'll share my next album with the group if you want to hear what I do. Thanks!
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Old 23-04-2017, 18:23   #2
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Techincally illegally for you to work most anywhere that is not a territory of your home country, but...there are plenty of cruisers who do play the occassional gig...maybe not always for hard cash. They are usually playing at cruiser bars so I think are mostly ignored by local officials.

I know the W Carib best and there is a lot of local/cruiser music. Belize: Punta Rock and Garifuna music mostly (look up Andy Palacio...good stuff), also a few local rap like artists and lesser known local styles. Guatemala: Garifuna drumming in Livingston, Mayan music in the highlands. Honduras has a smattering of Garifuna along the coast. Panama has Trubadores...rural origins...high pitched almost yodelling vocals...sounds better than the description.

Jerry Jeff Walker does concerts in Belize....see "Just Another Gringo in Belize".

Barefoot Skinny does sort of Tropi-Rock and writes some very funny suff...like "Chicken Bus" about Guatemalan chicken buses...funnier after you've ridden them.

Have seen local cruisers mostly playing in the Rio Dulce, Belize (Ambergris, Caye Caulker, Placencia), Bay Islands, Bocas del Toro...some of them quite good.
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Old 24-04-2017, 06:17   #3
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Yep. The problem is not going to be finding beach bars that feature live music. They are all over the place. The problem is that, as a citizen of the United States, it will be illegal for you to work anywhere except Puerto Rico and the USVI. That is, of course, unless you put in the time and expense to get a work visa for the other islands.

That means that, in all those other islands, YOU will be the "illegal alien" taking jobs away from locals. Some places they don't mind that too much, and tend to look the other way. Some places they take that sort of thing VERY seriously. A lot of places it just depends on who you run into, and how you go about it.

In any case, working off the books like that, I certainly would not expect to be able to earn much more than just beer money.

Good luck.
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Old 24-04-2017, 06:37   #4
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Okay. That makes sense. Does it also apply to selling things? CD's, stickers, etc......I've spent a bit of time in the Bahamas and I know that resorts down there will bring in state side artists. I wonder how they get around the legalities. I'll have to do more research into which islands have the most opportunities and see how hard it is to get a visa. Proabably more trouble than it's worth. But a dream is a dream. So worth looking into. Thanks again!
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Old 24-04-2017, 07:13   #5
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

You can only work legally if you meet the local requirements to register the activity and pay their taxes.

Without that you are working illegally. What happens next depends on where you are and what local attitude (people, police, administration) have to what you are doing.

If all you make you spend locally, there is little harm to the society. But little or no harm does not mean a nasty government will let you bypass their laws. The more public servants visible, the worse for you.

There is no rule set in stone and you quickly discover what goes in any new place you visit. Play safe.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 24-04-2017, 07:29   #6
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Your best bet, as stated, is to look into Puerto Rico and USVI. Otherwise, you're not going to be billing the venue directly. Hook up with a local band. The local band books the gig, collects the payment from the venue, then they pay you cash (under the table), as a musician. (If they're willing to do so).
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Old 24-04-2017, 09:00   #7
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoriginalak View Post
Hey Guys, I am full time musician living in Florida. I have this dream of one day getting on a boat and cruising the Carribean while performing. I am one of the best in my area. I do some regional stuff as well (key west, etc...), but playing the same songs to the same crowd gets a little painstaking even when the money is pretty good.

My question/request is this. How often do you come across live music? I play coastal country and island music but not Reggae.

Also are there spots in the Caribbean with a lot more music? And are there places where it would be hard to get paid? Meaning illegal for me to work?

If you know of places and would like to share, I'd love to hear about them. My plan is to build relationships (fly and play) for several years before I get on a boat. If you keep this thread in the back of your head and add to it as you come across places, that would be great. I'll share my next album with the group if you want to hear what I do. Thanks!
Please do share.
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Old 24-04-2017, 09:14   #8
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Can't make any money, except busking wages. That might be OK for you. Did that myself once in Paris constantly running from the Flicks in the Metro. Fun though. Maybe getting gigs on the big yachts for private parties. Not easy but possible. Best music I found was on the French islands. Getting work permits not worth it. I did that once in the BVI and was a real pain. Do everything under the radar. Nobody really cares but probably need to work with locals.
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Old 24-04-2017, 10:24   #9
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Find a tour ship, a bar, or restaurant that will let you have a tip jar or hat. They are totally out of it that way. Good music and a good personality might pay well?

For lack of a better term, a piano bar. I've see a guitarist make out pretty well that way.
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Old 24-04-2017, 12:44   #10
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Good advice.....

But, how are you planning to survive, do you have a travel kitty ? Where will you live, how will you be eating...you sure cannot pay resort prices by singing for your sustenance.

USVI are a lot of islands, as well as puerto rico. But, personally, we would probably head for the USVI.....maybe do some research on the boards...

There may be openings during the off season, or fun entertainers need a break or new territory from their seasonal gig. Or, one partner is heading back to the mainland with a blonde beauty. Who knows.

Living on an island.

We have done that, but not in the Caribbean. This was on Kauai island, Hi, for nearly 10 years. And we had savings and nice retirement incomes.

We lived in a maybe three star resort, across from Kalapaki Beach. I worked part time, for the first four years or so. Not flying or sailing which had been my careers, but in the visitor industry selling activities.....but the best was working at the Kauai Athletic Club. We also became part of the island, volunteering for beach and river clean ups, and acted as Sierra Club Hike Leaders, etc. etc. We love Kauai and the people.

Still, even tho we had a nice condo for our hale, Island living was not cheap. And we praised COSTCO when they began operation. Prices for groceries became much more manageable.

There is a lot to island living, USVI or where ever, that is quite different from visiting.

We bbq'd at home and ate out on the view lanai, drank Costco Wine, or Local Koloa Rum . We also went out on sat. date nights, some times local spot, some times Resort priced places. We also know the best real happy hours, for food and drink, and the local places as well as the resorts. We bbq'd at the beach parks .

We have sailed the Caribbean over lots of years, and it really does take some due dilegence and investigation about a wide expanse of what it takes to live in the islands.

Plus, we gave everything away, before we moved, after 12 years of visits and learning the island and making friends. We started out brand new on Kauai. Same for when we recently moved back to the mainland. Not many people wish to do that.

However, there are yankee entertainers at some of the beach bars and resorts in the caribbean. Mostly familar with the BVI. Do not know if they have work permits, but they are well known, and bring in lots of customers who are looking to party and drink rum. Music might be Boat, Bars, Buffet, Caribbean, Pirate, sing alongs, and drink a lot, types of good times .

If staying yankee, USVI, you might look up places that have entertainment with your style, and send off a resume to see if anything might be opening up. Ya just never know , till ya try.

Find the names of the bands, and even the solo entertainers, maybe contact them. Possibly , they know someone on island who is planning to leave the area, or got a real job. Never know, when something could pop up in the USVI .

Bartending, Maybe get some experience, and add that to your resume might help as well. You need to be able to bring is some money, and having two possible job situations to offer might help. Or whatever you might enjoy doing for work. Especially if you can make work...FUN !

You have lots of other suggestions. Also, be prepared to have a ticket home. Just in case.

Oh, one other thing that I am sure you are aware of. Island people do not care a wit about mansions, or BMW, or bling. What counts is Respect, kindness, smiles, and it is what in your heart and your attitude that counts. Patience is another value that you will learn to practice.

Living Island Style.....
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Old 24-04-2017, 21:43   #11
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

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Originally Posted by bvisailing32 View Post
Good advice.....



But, how are you planning to survive, do you have a travel kitty ? Where will you live, how will you be eating...you sure cannot pay resort prices by singing for your sustenance.



USVI are a lot of islands, as well as puerto rico. But, personally, we would probably head for the USVI.....maybe do some research on the boards...



There may be openings during the off season, or fun entertainers need a break or new territory from their seasonal gig. Or, one partner is heading back to the mainland with a blonde beauty. Who knows.



Living on an island.



We have done that, but not in the Caribbean. This was on Kauai island, Hi, for nearly 10 years. And we had savings and nice retirement incomes.



We lived in a maybe three star resort, across from Kalapaki Beach. I worked part time, for the first four years or so. Not flying or sailing which had been my careers, but in the visitor industry selling activities.....but the best was working at the Kauai Athletic Club. We also became part of the island, volunteering for beach and river clean ups, and acted as Sierra Club Hike Leaders, etc. etc. We love Kauai and the people.



Still, even tho we had a nice condo for our hale, Island living was not cheap. And we praised COSTCO when they began operation. Prices for groceries became much more manageable.



There is a lot to island living, USVI or where ever, that is quite different from visiting.



We bbq'd at home and ate out on the view lanai, drank Costco Wine, or Local Koloa Rum . We also went out on sat. date nights, some times local spot, some times Resort priced places. We also know the best real happy hours, for food and drink, and the local places as well as the resorts. We bbq'd at the beach parks .



We have sailed the Caribbean over lots of years, and it really does take some due dilegence and investigation about a wide expanse of what it takes to live in the islands.



Plus, we gave everything away, before we moved, after 12 years of visits and learning the island and making friends. We started out brand new on Kauai. Same for when we recently moved back to the mainland. Not many people wish to do that.



However, there are yankee entertainers at some of the beach bars and resorts in the caribbean. Mostly familar with the BVI. Do not know if they have work permits, but they are well known, and bring in lots of customers who are looking to party and drink rum. Music might be Boat, Bars, Buffet, Caribbean, Pirate, sing alongs, and drink a lot, types of good times .



If staying yankee, USVI, you might look up places that have entertainment with your style, and send off a resume to see if anything might be opening up. Ya just never know , till ya try.



Find the names of the bands, and even the solo entertainers, maybe contact them. Possibly , they know someone on island who is planning to leave the area, or got a real job. Never know, when something could pop up in the USVI .



Bartending, Maybe get some experience, and add that to your resume might help as well. You need to be able to bring is some money, and having two possible job situations to offer might help. Or whatever you might enjoy doing for work. Especially if you can make work...FUN !



You have lots of other suggestions. Also, be prepared to have a ticket home. Just in case.



Oh, one other thing that I am sure you are aware of. Island people do not care a wit about mansions, or BMW, or bling. What counts is Respect, kindness, smiles, and it is what in your heart and your attitude that counts. Patience is another value that you will learn to practice.



Living Island Style.....


Wow! That was more than I expected, but encouraging and enlightening. I do make a pretty good living (believe it or not) playing music. My adventures would likely be seasonal and my hope is to venture by boat. Head down, travel around, perform as often as possible, then head back. I wouldn't be doing it for the money, but, making money at it would allow me to extend my time and not have to recoup so much. It seems like taking a flight and building some relationships in the BVI or USVI Would be a good start.

I Really just wanted to start a catalog of some of the better live music experiences that exist in the Carribean. I am happy to play for tips or do some busking. But ideally would like to entertain for the fun crowds like I do back home. Even if it doesn't pay, playing music for party people in the Caribbean? Doesn't get a lot better than that in my
Opinion. I've always picked my venues by location. Best spots, best people. I play at 2 Caribbean knock offs here at home. A "Nippers" and a "Pussers". Also at Margaritaville. It's just what I love. Palm trees, guitars, sun tans and dancing.

"I don't do it for the money but the money lets me do it" thanks again
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Old 22-05-2017, 18:27   #12
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

Hey,

This is a bit off topic but we have a sailing VLOG and if you ever want to send some of your music through we could feature it in the videos
Just contact me through the website if your interested! And if your ever in panama, or when we are in the Caribbean, we will have to get you on board!
Good luck!

Dr Sheridan


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Old 07-06-2017, 07:43   #13
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Re: LIve Music In The Carribean

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Originally Posted by VetTails View Post
Hey,

This is a bit off topic but we have a sailing VLOG and if you ever want to send some of your music through we could feature it in the videos
Just contact me through the website if your interested! And if your ever in panama, or when we are in the Caribbean, we will have to get you on board!
Good luck!

Dr Sheridan


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Chuffed Adventures - wwww.youtube.com/ChuffedAdventures
www.vettails.com
Hey! Just read your blog. Awesome story. I would love to write you guys a song. You could sell it to raise funds. It's easy for me and I can do a simple recording of it and send it to you. Maybe one day I will take you up on your offer. It not, no worries. Send me an email sharing with me the heart of your story. You have to go deep. Anything about your current story that is worth telling about. It only takes me about an hr to write and not much longer to record. aaronkoernermusic@gmail.com. One of my plans is to sell my recorded music to create income while I am out on the water. Love to see if it works. Call it an experiment. If you like it you can turn your followers on to my page. If not, no worries. Let me know if your interested.
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