115 – A Sit-Down with The Bosses: Equinox Orchestra’s Bandleader, Lead Singer, and Musical Director/Tour Manager on Getting a Band on the Road
At the helm of The Equinox Orchestra are tenor saxophonist and bandleader Jeremy Davis, lead vocalist Clay Johnson, and trumpet player, musical director and tour manager Tommy Brinson. Their combined efforts have gotten the 11-piece group on the road for a 2 month, 18,000 mile U.S. tour, the most ambitious undertaking in the band’s 15-year history. The three talked with their drummer and Working Drummer Podcast co-host Zack Albetta about their individual roles, the drummer’s role, their perspective as leaders of a group and owners of an enterprise.
Equinox began as a traditional 18-piece instrumental big band playing performing whenever and wherever they could, but has evolved into a multi-faceted group with line-ups ranging from three to 25 playing everything from restaurants and bars to theatre shows and private events. Jeremy and Clay have recently sought to use Equinox for philanthropic causes in addition to their regular for-profit gigs.
In this podcast, the guys talk about
The types of gigs Equinox has played and what their goals are
How Tommy ascended the ranks from regular sideman to musical director and tour manager
Jeremy and Clay’s musical background leading up to Equinox
The outsized role and responsibility of the big band drummer
How bands and musicians can use their talents for causes they believe in
Jeremy’s strategy to keep the band working – the more leads you chase down, the more will pan out
How to create a band identity and monetize it, and how to attract multiple funding sources
How to eat well on the road