I just recorded the audio for a master class given by jazz pianist Richie Beirach who would certainly disagree with that.
He said that the "job" of the classical musician was to consistently play the piece "the SAME but GREAT" and a jazz musician's goal was to continue to play something "DIFFERENT but GREAT".
As for the whole "art" vs "craft" thing, I have always considered myself a craftsman, not an artist. My job is to facilitate the artist in presenting their music to an audience.
PS The more you learn about some of those German and Austrian guys 300 years ago you find a lot of them FAR from "stuffy". A lot of them were just hustling gigs and commissions, trying to make a living and MAYBE attain some degree of fame, just like musicians nowdays.
It was tounge-in-cheek
The cover bands vs original bands thing is basically a schoolyard popularity contest gone astray: Most bands feel like if they can get people to pay to hear THEM play THEIR music, they've won.
I know many talented musicians who play in cover bands. Some of them try to "sneak in" some originals during a set "to see how it works". Sadly, it's a completely different crowd. If a musician starts down the road of cover band muso it's very hard to change rails and become "known". A better bet, if one were to consider things from a career standpoint only, would probably be to work as session muso for "Bands that have the name of the lead singer" and then go solo. At least there will be a well-know name in the release-promo package...
PS. Some of the "stuffy" guys were teenagers