Saving our stages means keeping afloat places where people can hear the magic of live music.
On one of my last voyages out before the lockdown last spring, I went to New York City for a couple of days to give a talk. New York is one of my favorite places and I had one night free, all to myself. I wanted to hear some jazz and I wound up downstairs at Birdland, one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world, listening to a talented cabaret singer named Marissa Mulder. She did a really nice set of Lennon and McCartney songs backed by guitar, bass, piano, and drums. The crowd was knowledgeable, appreciative, and responded really well.
Just a few weeks later Birdland was closed. I felt like I’d been on the last plane out of Casablanca.
In a grim cascade from coast to coast, all music venues great and small closed within a few days. The group I play with here had a gig cancelled on March 12 and there’s been no place to play since. I would like people to understand that places that host live music represent a crucial piece of the art scene in any town, from Waco to New York City; and, beginning last spring, the question quickly became how, and if,