1. #1
    Since early August, informal small jazz combos have been playing daily in the parks and monuments throughout my corner of NYC. Some evenings one can catch three or four groups playing in different spots - much to the delight of children and gracious thanks from adults.
    It seems the jazz players have a distinct advantage in that they only need a minimal drum kit and small battery-powered amps for the guitar/keys and bass, so they can set up anywhere that people are passing by. It's a low-key renaissance, and everyone really seems to need it right now. (My own informal group has been playing regularly Friday nights on my roof -- all masked and spread out -- to applause and encouragement of neighbors.)
    Of course, the flip side is all these excellent musicians are having to busk to earn money and the arts in general are facing a dire situation. And we shall see what happens when the cold weather arrives. But we should have another month of moderate temps and that means plenty more live jazz!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    And webcast concerts need to keep it coming.

    Brave new world.

  4. #3

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    That sounds wonderful!

    I am happy to hear about it, especially now and here in my area, where my favorite Jazz venues are closed until further notice. I see the following a lot:

    "Due to the restrictions on capacity imposed by the Texs Governor, we are closed until further notice."


  5. #4

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    In Brooklyn's Prospect Park where I go to exercise and maintain basic pandemic sanity, there are several excellent groups that have established residencies at certain locations, a jazz group, a latin jazz/fusion a Haitian group. One group used multiple small battery units that they were able to plug regular amps and a small PA into. Nice to see the continued evolution of outdoor busking tech.
    Some musicians fortunate enough live in homes with front yards, backyards, porch overhangs have also been playing with some regularity. Also not far from home, in Prospect Heights, on a commercial street that is shut down to traffic on the weekends for outdoor restaurant dining, local musicians have hosted an amazing multi-styled jam. Sadly, local weather will all too soon curtail this small cultural window.

  6. #5
    It's a counter-example to the constant refrains of "jazz is dying, no one listens to it, the audience is shrinking, etc," which may all be true. But I've watched a lot of David Attenborough documentaries and I like to think of it as an animal species facing threats to its habitat and its source of sustenance: Clever jazz musicians are exploiting this niche created by a radical change in the larger environment.