I am trying to stay positive but…

Prepare yourself for negative Jen. Here is a giant fluffy bunny to counteract any negativity.

I am struggling after hearing the news that The Jazz Standard, one of the best jazz clubs in NYC, is closing.

I’m asked a lot by friends how I’m doing. How I’m surviving. “Can’t you teach?” I’m expected to keep my chops up and be ready for…..what exactly?

Musicians are a hearty bunch. We weather all sorts of storms. We pivot when we must but always drop anything for a gig. We are constantly chasing success… and the happiness is in the chase. The hang. Even the slog. When you’re on you’re fourth Radio City show of the day or the first show of the week or the 10:30 set at the Django, the familiar faces and prospect of making music is enough to get us through most situations.

COVID has robbed us of our chase. And now it’s robbing us of our space. The Jazz Standard closing felt like a gut punch that you knew was coming but still couldn’t brace for. I heard so much music there, played so much music there, ate so many meats there.

Imagine something taking your career away and having to watch while pieces are slowly dismantled and destroyed.

It’s death by a thousand cuts.

Last night, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting was on TV. I wanted to scream. How dare they pretend like ANYTHING is normal? How dare they stand there without masks on? How dare they live like my world isn’t on fire?

I know. The entertainment industry will survive in some form. As the Broadway League of Producers salivate over being able to chip away at our contracts next year, I’m sure we won’t be on the winning side.

As you all consider what you want to spend money on this year, think about where your life would be without music. If you had no Spotify or Apple Music or Amazon to stream. What would you think about in that silence?

BUY MUSIC. If you have a job, BUY MUSIC. And if you buy music already, please support causes that are helping live music venues and artists right now.

My industry is dying and the only people that can save it are the fans.

Read Emily Olcott’s love letter to The Jazz Standard here on Medium.com
Read NPR’s article about the club closing

Here are some worthy causes to donate to:
LOGO Save NYC Musicians #1.pngSmallsLIVE Foundation logo

Here are some projects you can support:
Andrew Gutauskas Look Out! | Andrew Gutauskas (bandcamp.com)
Artemis Artemis – Artemis – Artemis – Amazon.com Music
Uptown Jazz Tentet Uptown Jazz Tentet – Store
South Florida Jazz Orchestra South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza – Amazon.com Music
Black Art Jazz Collective BLACK ART JAZZ COLLECTIVE – Ascension – Amazon.com Music
Marshall Gilkes CDs and Downloads (marshallgilkes.com)

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