Contemporary Jazz, Smooth Jazz
Ken Navarro (The Meeting Place)
Ken Navarro インタビュー(The Meeting Place)
The Meeting Place
Hi Yoshi - I have answered your questions below.
Thank you for such unique and interesting questions!
Congraturations your new CD "The Meeting Place" out.
Thanks for the previous E-mail interview. This time, I already read
Smooth Views your interview article and I'm going to ask you
something different viewpoint questions from I have asked you on past
interviews. Previus interview questions were mainly your
music technical part like "your guitars how to be utilized for different songs" etc.
This time I'm going to ask you more music business side questions,
becasue you were moving from LA to Elicott City,MD long time age and continuously
successful since then. Usually, if some professional musicians do
not have own CD label company and owned copyright songs,
their major income is from someone's studio recording,
teaching music and/or performance at the live house
but not for their own songs, (this is not copyright income provided)
whichs are "hourly service" based job.
If musicians are in service based job,
they need to live in big cities becasue service based job requres more
music audience population in a city and music business companies
providing recording session job or live performance job must be
in these locations for their job.
NewYork, LosAngeles and Tokyo are typical these locations,
but if anyone live in these cities, house, food, transportation
and other misc expense will be higher and net income will not be profitable.
Ken, You have been releasing your CD from your own label company in
your home town Elicott city. However, your songs in each CDs are
always airplayed in many nation wide Smooth Jazz FM radio stations
including Dave Koz Radio Show etc.
Usually, musicians may have own CD label company and working alone,
they can get more freedom for their business but sometimes difficult to be
appeared on major FM radio airplay and USA nation wide syndicated radio show.
Recently, Japanese musicians start establishing own CD label company and having
owned copyright songs for being productive for musicians themselves.
However, we still have problem that, how to be advertized like how
to promote their CDs and songs for radio power play and others.
Maybe, many Japanese independent musicians will be intersted in
Ken Navarro's business model and appearance in radio program.
Under such situation, please let me ask couple of questions and
answer them with your oppinion.
Q1: You own your own label Positive Music. Is your own CD sales
major your income ? If yes, what percentage of whole your music
business income ?
My CD sales currently account for approximately one
third of my income. Another one third of my income is derived from
my concert appearances and another one third from royalties from
my compositions and publishing.
Q2: Your CD is available to purchase both from CD Baby and Amazon.
CD Baby is well known independent label mail order system. Amazon is now
available them to stock from each independent labels directly
but Amazon is taking more sales expense for each sales income than CD Baby.
Is Amazon's sales expense acceptable if Amazon sells more your CDs ?
Amazon's sales expense is certainly high, but they have such
strong sales of my CDs that it is worth it. CD Baby handles all of
my digital distribution which now accounts for 20% of my sales.
I also have a traditional distributor for the USA and Canada whose
sales representatives get my CD into the major retail stores,
chains and one stops throughout the US.
Q3: When you release each new CDs, are you making "Ken Navarro" introduction
brochure kit including promotional video DVD and sample CD ?
No, it is not necessary for me to do that at this point in my career.
My new CD "The Meeting Place" is my seventeenth CD and so the buyers
at the retail chains, stores and one stops are familiar with me and
my past success. I do create what is known as a "one sheet" which
sums up the content of the new CD as well as my past radio and
sales successes and also contains the catalog number and other
technical information regarding the distributor and the ordering
Q4: If Q3 is yes, are you sending them to radio stations ?
A special "one sheet" is created for the radio stations as well.
Again, the radio programmers know my work quite well and so they do
not need a thorough introduction with each new release.
Q5: I think, you are already well known to many music fans.
Regardless of you are sending brochure to radio stations, radio station
programmers will ask you if you are releasing new CD.
Ken, can you let me (us) know,
how to communicate with each radio stations having Smooth Jazz or
similar music category radio program programmers ?
I have found email to be an effective way for me to communicate with radio
programmers. It allows me to inform them of the latest news about
"The Meeting Place" and also keep them informed of the songs other
radio programmers are playing from my new CD. In turn, the radio
programmers do not feel obligated to respond to my email unless
they want to. However, many of them do respond and I feel like I
have developed very good relationships with them. Though many
artists and record companies hire independent radio promoters to
phone and email the radio programmers on their behalf, I find that
email allows me to do this myself in a way which is more natural
Q6: Dave Koz Radio Show (DKRS) is the most well known syndicated
radio program for Smooth Jazz radio program.
DKRS is available to listen from Japan via
Internet streaming from KTWV LosAngeles or KIFM SanDiego. Your
songs always airplyed in DKRS.
Do you think, this type of syndicated radio program is
very efficient for someone's new CD release advertizing ?
Yes I do. Dave has a great way of presenting new music and I always
enjoy it when he does an interview with me as well.
Q7: I think, at this moment, radio program syndication is only available in
the US radio network. Unfortunatelly, in Japan we do not have this syndication,
because most of radio program copyright is owned by radio station or it's
nation wide network company.
I know, such a old style broadcasting network system was gone
long time ago in the US.
Ken, Can you let me know your general opinion that, musician's benefit of
radio program syndication for new CD release publication ?
Radio program syndication benefits musicians in a number of ways. Most
importantly, it allows listeners in regions and cities of the US
who do not have contemporary jazz radio stations in their area, to
hear your music. And if the contemporary jazz station in a region
is not playing an artist's music, then the syndicated show is
another way for those listeners to discover it. Here in the US we
also have XM and Sirius radio. These are satellite based and you
must purchase a yearly subscription to receive them. These are
also excellent syndicated outlets for my music.
Q8: Smooth Views interview mention that, Internet radio is good
publication for new CD release all over the world.
I understand but, sometimes
(especially in Japan) Internet only broadcasting is not so trusted by general
becasue establishing IP based only broadcasting station is very easy without
big financial backgroud.
Even if, some IP only based station is very sophisticated
and recognized by audience. However, IP broadcasting and it's program
is very difficult to be discovered like if someone does not know
Ken Navarro name and his songs then, driving with listing FM radio,
incidentally Ken Navarro's new song "The Meeting Place" is airplayed,
then he/she comes like this song. IP radio system is very difficult for
such situation provided.
PodCast and other IP radio are comfortable, if someone already know
Ken Navarro. However , if someone is "Pre Ken Navarro fan",
IP based is not efficient and we still need to utilize regular FM radio music
Ken, Can you let me know your opinion for this situation ?
Well, I personally like internet radio stations and I
listen to them quite a bit. I discover new artists and their music
through some of the internet stations I listen to. If I like the
music an internet station is playing, I do not care how little
money it may have cost for them to establish their IP broadcast.
Also, many commercial stations here in the US now have an IP feed
of their broadcast and so for example, this allows me to listen to
KTWV in Los Angeles even though I live on the east coast.
Q9: I (Yoshi) recentlly acquainted one Japanese contemporary Jazz
musician having own CD label and successful in Japan nation wide CD
distribution from HMV and TOWER RECORD (still tower is alive in Japan).
However this musician is always visitting each FM radio stations located
in north to south Japan and it is taking couple of days for FM radio station
It is not efficiant especially for independent musicians and tend to live
in Tokyo where most of broadcasting network stations are located.
Ken, Do you think, if radio program syndication will be available in
Japan (or even in England or Europe. Peter White said there are no
Smooth Jazz radio in London at all.) can any musicians get more CD sales and
his or her fans ?
Yes, in my opinion, radio syndication would certainly help
this situation and create more sales for musicians like myself and
CDs like "The Meeting Place".
Q10: Finally, thanks for taking time for this interview question.
I'm listening Dave Koz Radio Show by KTWV streaming radio every week.
Dave Koz is always asking,
"Desert Island Disks" and "Desert Island iPod".
What is 10 CDs for your "Desert Island Disks" ?
Laura Nyro's "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession",
Brian Wilson's "Pet Sounds",
Pat Metheny's "Letter From Home",
The Beatles "Abbey Road",
Joni Mitchell's "Blue",
John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things",
Ravel's String Quartets,
Anything by Billie Holiday,
Miles Davis "Kind of Blue",
Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Texas Flood".
Also, What is current top 5 songs on your iPod ?
"First Circle" by the Pat Metheny Group,
"God Only Knows" by Brian Wilson,
"Texas Flood" live version by Stevie Ray Vaughn,
"River" by Sarah McLaughlin and
"Strawberry Fields Forever" from the Beatles new "Love" CD.