10 Minutes With: La Pompe
Live Music Booking
Music may be in their blood, but it’s also their heart and soul. Max Gorelick and Zachary Ezrin, the minds behind La Pompe have begun a successful music booking business in the mere months that have passed since graduating from college. With parents like Kenny G and influences ranging from heavy metal to gypsy jazz, these two talented musicians are already bringing eclectic live sets to restaurants and events near you. We recently spoke with the pair to find out how they are sharing their love of music.
How did you begin your careers as musicians?
Zachary: I heard Jimi Hendrix when I was 7 years old and I immediately knew I wanted to be a guitarist.
Max: I began taking piano lessons when I was 4, then got bored. Then picked up the saxophone at 8 because of my father, had one really embarrassing school performance, and realized I hated it. Then picked up guitar around 9 and had a great teacher who introduced me to Ozzy Osbourne, and the rest is history.
Max, how has your father’s music influenced your own style?
Max: Well, I play heavy metal most of the time so it’s hard to pin down, but I think my melodic sense is heavily influenced by all of my dad’s music I heard while growing up.
You both recently graduated from college – what made you want to start your own business?
We are both entrepreneurial guys and we saw a great opportunity to provide a service that we realized that this city and its independent musicians needed dearly.
What’s the story behind founding La Pompe?
We were playing weekly gypsy jazz gigs together and occasionally one of us wouldn’t be available and we would have to find a substitute. Eventually we realized that these sub-ins were incredibly talented musicians hungry for work and we felt that we could help them find performance opportunities. We decided to start this company with the musicians in mind. Some of the best players in New York don’t have the business savvy or the desire to find their own gigs, and that’s where La Pompe comes in.
What sort of acts do you represent?
We represent some of the best young talent in NYC. We book many musicians that are highly proficient in traditional jazz, 30s-era swing, blues, gypsy jazz, and other styles of jazz-oriented music. We also can provide groups ranging from classical string quartets to rockabilly bands.
Photo of Zachary, Courtesy of La Pompe
Where do you and the other musicians represented by La Pompe usually perform?
We usually play at high-end restaurants, bars, and hotels in the city, and have also booked music for many private events.
What advantages do you think live music has over a DJ for a wedding?
Live music has a specific charm. It’s the idea that the music you are hearing is being created right there on the spot, exclusively for you. It’s much more personal than a DJ behind a computer and PA system. The visual aspect of a live band performing at your wedding enhances the human connection between your guests and the music. With a DJ you lose that human element.
Do you think live music at weddings and other events is becoming more popular again?
If there was ever a decline in the popularity of live music, then it is certainly over now. Music will always have a place at parties, but more than ever it seems that people are looking for authenticity in an increasingly impersonal world. The respect of craft products of all kinds has been on the rise for the last decade or so, and you can see that respect reflected in the way that people value live music.
What’s up next for La Pompe?
We want to continue to find exceptional performance opportunities for the amazing young musicians in NYC that deserve to make a living doing what they love.
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