GREG HENRY WATERS NEWSLETTERMusic/Jazz/Opinion/Comments/Business for your comments


Objective:  This newsletter came out of my experiences dealing in a new culture and a new history.  The purpose of the newsletter is to provoke serious thought about musical art.  What is it? Where should it be going?  In addition, what is going on in China?  I write about my personal experiences and my thoughts about them.





China, or Shenzhen, is very confused now because they want talent but they do not want to pay for it.  For some reason they have so much problem making a deal and keeping their word.  It is worse than Mexico in Acapulco.  As Randy Brecker told me one day somehow in the Latin American counties the money always disappears. I know Buddy Rich ran off with the payroll for a week and bought himself a car.  So much for the jazz business however here in China they want to move forward but do not know how, or what really to do, they are so insecure and want to protect their country in every little way.  And they think they have a right to steal from you if they can (the average businessman) the word standard has very little meaning in culture here because the local people according to Shenzhens's Mayor have not any standard when it come to culture.

The Hk China relation problem is really out there.  Two systems one country. I think both the Hong Kong People and the People from China do not understand these words.   I laugh every time I hear this why doesn't China realize they are just the same people as the people in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong People are just the same people.  I believe the leaders can create so many problems for a country if they are not wise.

The good news for Hong Kong: The Government here is very proud of Hong Kong and they  want Shenzhen to grow like HK, but they have no idea how to do it. I am explaining it to them when it comes to my music and creative art. 

I learned in New York City from the musicians union that they could care less about music.  What is really funny the musicians have no real interest in music also. Now, at the last  years of my career at least I am talking about it even if it cannot change it.  As Lester Young said. S.O.S (Same Old "You Know What"). It seems even in HK when I was dealing a little with Gecko's it got so confusing because one person said they wanted me to work there and the other owner said that he was in charge of the music and therefore did not have to pay me because he did not ask me.  He told me this after the gig was over not during the gig. Well if this is not a play on words I do not know what is.  He sent me e-mail this week asking me to take him off my mailing list.  If my letters bother you please ask me to cancel. OK!!!

Many years ago I decided I would not play sessions anymore except maybe for a small audition so guys could here me play.

The Music Business has nothing to do with the purity of ART MUSIC.

I am sick of the racism, commercialism, politics, and everything that has nothing to do with music in the States.  The David Lettermen Show is a good example of all this for me.  The sad thing for me is that for the most part everybody looks to the States for leadership. If I can be a strong voice here or in the States too for music that would make me happy.  I am trying to do that but do not know if it will work maybe they will reject me like they did in Acapulco.  In NYC I was ignored mostly, but I did my thing.  I was on TV for two years in New York talking about music development and education.  No one from the Government even try to notice my viewpoint.  What SOB as I see it. In Mexico it is written their constitution that one is not allowed to give a negative opinion about anybody.  The political in fighting is really funny because no one talks about the other candidate they just kill one another or kidnapped them.

China, The money they try to offer me is laughable because it doesn't even begin to pay for my expenses in NYC or here.  They try to pay me local Chinese wages and never even consider the expenses it takes to live here.  I think this is so disrespectful to my situation.  If it wasn't for my money I could not even be here for a minute.  But I think if I can make something really happen here for our music it will be worth it.  Some days I want to get on an airplane and go home.  But to be a free lance musician in NYC doesn't appeal to me too much either, because I would have to deal with the David Letterman mentality, but now that my daughter is with her Mother I could be free to look for work there and go out and be free to create a new life there. Anyway one year is not enough time to make real changes here.  So I will wait to see what develops.

I am trying to practice everyday and trying to be a performer on some kind of level anyway.  Trying to get my tone back on my instruments. 

The HK scene seems very small and a small group of musicians.  They all seem very nice and love their music. 

I asked a lot of musicians for form a band a create some new group but everybody is too busy and has no interest.

And opinion: Still waiting to hear something positive.  It seems when they say some things positives (my employers) it turns negative again or no action just meaningless talk.  I hope I can learn to deal with this!  I am not doing so well.   I put and hour or two of new music at my site.  Standards and Originals.  The quality is not too bad.




Music NewsMusic is an art form but there is so much materialism in music.

It took me 40 or more years to learn this.  Music is a subject that is 2000 or more years old.

Music is not entertainment but a serious subject for me.



Music Business:  I have two jobs in Shenzhen but I cannot work because the local government agent will not agree to a fare contract.  Anyway, I think She got the hotel to hire another group even though the hotel says they want me.  Another agent from HK said that the hotel should look for another agent. Can anyone tell me the truth please?  This has been going on for 6 weeks or more.  So thinking I have a job I just wasted my time.  Now I am making moves to more forward.  She also says the food and beverage manager will not be there too long because they change them so often. So why should She change her musicians? I am really burned out over this.  Plus the first question I was asked from them was “how cheap will you work?” I got called to play a gig by myself for Sunday for 300 RMB the taxi is over 100 RMB.  The agent said, “I didn’t ask you to come to China?” This is my business life here in Shenzhen.  I never was very good at business.  You should see the contract completely one sided.   May be all contracts are completed one sided!  A friend said to me today I would never deal with such people.  My friends tell me that the agent will look for ways to attack me even more if I write this news. 


It is a wrong when one cannot work because of politics and not because of ability.  It is so wrong when ability means nothing in society. Even in NYC this goes on at different levels.  Does Paul Shaffer represents real music from NYC.  I hardly think so. David Lettermen just one big commercial from my viewpoint. Anyway, just food for thought.

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