May 16, 2020
If we were not living through the nightmare of COVID-19, promoter Danny Melnick of Absolutely Live Entertainment would be busy with jazz shows across the world, and would be gearing up for presenting the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival. But these are strange days indeed, and Danny finds that all of his hard work has gone for naught. At least for the foreseeable future, there will be no live music to hear and see in person.
Podcast 742 is my conversation with Danny, as he talks about the state of live performance, music streaming and the futures of jazz clubs and musicians. In addition, he is working on two projects worthy of attention.
The first is participating in the creation of the Jazz Coalition. Jazz Coalition aims to unite the global jazz community by welcoming industry professionals, musicians, and supporters into an inclusive network. In an effort to boost collective morale during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jazz Coalition is mobilizing to support artists by awarding juried $1,000.00 commissions for the creation of new works. Members of the Jazz Coalition - and anyone can become a member for the cost of $100.00 - can nominate artists for commissions. Artists like Terri Lyne Carrington and Joshua Redman will serve on a panel to make the awards.
Melnick has worked with Justice Aid for years, assisting the social justice fund raising organization by curating benefit concerts. In the absence of live shows today, he is helping with their first online benefit concert, "Voices to Protect the Vote," with proceeds going to the nonpartisan Election Protection organization. The concert will take place on Monday May 18 at 7:00 on Justice Aid's YouTube channel and feature artists from varying genres, including David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Paula Cole, and Blue Note vocalist Kandace Springs. The show is hosted by Rita Houston, NYC’s WFUV (90.7) Program Director
There is no new music to feature in the Podcast, so on a note of optimism, I end with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt performing "On the Sunny Side of the Street." Enjoy.