What are the ways to involve an audience during a solo performance? And what do you do if you feel they are not interested in listening?
Talk to them.
Tell some jokes.
Give them some anecdotes referring to the song sung.
Choose an audience member, and talk diectly to them.
Be self- deprecating.
Make eye contact with some members of the audience.
Do not stick to a set list - choose various different styles/songs to suit what you think they may appreciate.
Try segueing several songs.
Stop playing at some point, and ask them what they would like - you may not get constructive answers, but at least you'll know!
If all else fails, find a different venue, with a different audience. It might just be the square peg in the round hole.
Perform well, to an audience interested in your type of music. Or, sometimes, accept that you're just background, they quite like the noise you're making but also want to drink, talk etc. Just carry on, and don't try to force attention by turning up louder! You got the gig, which suggests you may be doing what the management requires.
Oh, and don't take prolonged jazz solos, unless you're a guitarist playing to a guitar club. Even then, don't kid yourself. They're just pretending interest until it's THEIR turn.