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Gregory Page, one of San Diego’s most prolific singer-songwriters, says he plans to stay put even as many artists leave town for New York and L.A. “It seems that we have an exodus. If everybody moves away, our scene will go to shit. The city needs me. It needs all of us.” Page says he is about to release his 21st album. “It’s in the spirit of old jazz, like Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.”

He just returned from a two-month tour of Australia. Some dates were with Steve Poltz. He headlined the others. “I got to play Tasmania and other parts of Australia I had never been to before.”

Page agreed to play November 9 as part of the Acoustic Evenings at the Athenaeum series. Last week, he backed out because he found out the Athenaeum asks for a $2 cut from each CD he would sell at his show.

“The CDs cost me $6 each. It seems like [taking a cut] is such a conflict of what they stand for. The Athenaeum is such a beautiful space. I wouldn’t agree to give any venue a nickel of my CD sales. CD sales are my bread and butter. Nobody gets a cut of my lifeblood.”

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library was La Jolla’s original public library and is now run by a nonprofit organization. Its mission statement says it is “exclusively devoted to music and art,” presenting concerts, exhibitions, and lectures.

The Acoustic Evenings series pays artists at least $50 per performance for about a half-hour set. The series has in the past featured Jack Tempchin, Mike Keneally, Eve Selis, and Robin Henkel.

“We’ve always done that with all our artists,” says Kristina Meek, the Athenaeum’s public relations director. “We take a portion of their sales to cover our costs for the cost of the person selling [CDs] and for the space. We give the artist the option to raise the cost of their CDs $2 [to cover the venue surcharge].… [Page] is the first person who has ever expressed a problem with it.… We are a nonprofit.”

The November 9 lineup at the Athenaeum is now Sara Petite, Lisa Sanders, and Chris Zach.

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Comments

Josh Board Aug. 26, 2009 @ 3:41 p.m.

Any line-up with Page and Sara Petite is worth seeing.

On another note: I got this email from a friends son that is doing a benefit that involves Gregory Page. So, if anyone wants to see Page before this Nov 9th show, here are the detials, directly from the email I got --

Our Youth Group at Good Shepherd is planning a benefit concert to help St. Kizito Children Foundation of Southern Uganda (Africa). The concert will be on Friday, August 28 at the Epicentre and will feature Gregory Page and other performers. The St. Kizito Children Foundation was started by Father Kizito Kirenga in 1997 to help impoverished and orphaned children in Uganda acquire an education. The foundation also provides medical help and teaches self sufficiency in agriculture. The public education system is extremely flawed due to corruption within the Ugandan government, therefore the St. Kizito Children Foundation helps sponsor kids to go to private schools in Uganda.

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k_fleming1904 Aug. 26, 2009 @ 4:51 p.m.

Keep it up man. I don't fully agree that there is a full on exodus. SD's scene is great for the little guy, aka emerging artists as well as a broad range of local talent. With the increasing number of venues, festivals, showcases and events, local musicians should have a veritable plethora of opportunity to get their name out. The better thing is that all these changes will keep the interest of the people that really have the biggest effect on the scene, the fans. Our bands will always be looking for a break into larger fan bases and more profitable venues but we appreciate the loyalty to the finest city. +

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DoktorDave Aug. 26, 2009 @ 5:51 p.m.

I agree, San Diego NEEDS Gregory Page. He's an amazingly talented, diverse songwriter and performer. He's had a major impact and influence on everyone that's ever taken the chance to attend one of his shows.

What few seem to understand is that it takes money to be able to continue performing and/or producing CDs. Sometimes a LOT of money.

I applaud Athenaeum's policy of paying artists...a rarity in San Diego. But, because of the rarity of pay and the very close margin artists operate on, I don't think a commission for CD sales is appropriate or in keeping with their general policy of support for local music. Part and parcel of that support is to attempt to keep the artists able to continue producing their art.

It amazes me that the majority of people I've seen buying CDs at a show, balk at $10...and walk away at $15. If an artist raises the price of their CDs to cover your commission, they will surely lose overall sales.

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