Why I will never play at the Luthier's Co-op (or other free music venues in the Pioneer Valley)

I am a professional musician.  I started studying violin in 1966.  I went to the conservatory and studied very hard.  I practiced several hours a day.  I went to college and majored in Music.  I have three music degrees and several certifications.  I have published several of my own compositions and have recorded on over 50 others over the years.

I am a professional.  Professional means I get paid.  Passing the hat is not getting paid.

If you frequent these free places where you can hear music for free, please offer to give the band a tip.  I suggest $50, but then that's just me.

It's a shame that these venues make money off the backs of musicians.  I won't give them my business.  Not now, and not ever.  I won't tell my students to shop at their locations and I won't recommend their services ever to friends, colleagues or family.  Not now and not ever.

You shouldn't either.