Musicians, artists, and fans are racing to save the nation’s jazz history as historic clubs face closure and master tapes of crucial recordings by African American artists sit collecting dust.
Why it matters: The pandemic has wrecked an already vulnerable jazz industry by forcing live music shows to halt. Musicians and club owners have turned to online fundraisers for survival, and point to the music’s connection to civil rights as a need to keep its legacy alive.
Driving the news: Owners of the historic Washington, D.C. jazz club Blues Alley, a venue that once hosted the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, announced this month that the club is up for sale and likely won’t reopen at its original Georgetown site.
- Birdland Jazz Club, located in the heart of Manhattan and modeled after the original club named after bebop legend Charlie “Bird” Parker, recently held an online fundraiser to keep it from closing permanently.
- New York’s Jazz Standard and the Blue Whale in Los Angeles announced they were permanently closing because of the loss of business from COVID-19.
- Other well-known jazz venues from Baltimore to Seattle have been closed since the pandemic began, placing their futures in peril.
The details: Jazz nonprofits have shut down many of their educational programs for children because of the pandemic.
What they’re saying: “There is so