During the past month the world as we knew it changed drastically. The COVID-19 virus has moved with surprising speed and the norms of everyday life are now upended. I am in regular contact with Jazz lovers in Milan and as the storm broke over Italy, I learned first hand how severely their lives were impacted. I watched in horror and then an idea came to me, so I ran it past Mirian Arbalejo a Jazz writer in Madrid.
Her beautiful city had been locked down days earlier. So, Mirian (Spain), along with a number of Jazz Journalist Association colleagues like Howard Mandel (US), Alex Rodriguez (US), Bob Rosenbaum (Israel) and others developed a workable template for the above project. Our mission: to keep improvised music alive during these difficult times and to reach the places most affected. People need music as it’s a balm for the soul.
While New Zealand has effectively closed its borders and curtailed large scale events, the clubs and bars are open for now. That is not the case throughout much of Europe or Asia, and North America could soon face similar lockdowns. This JJA project is our contribution and ‘Jazz on Lockdown’ posts will be amplified or reposted on various Jazz related sites ensuring worldwide access. It could come to you in many forms and from unusual places but it will play on.
If you are a musician and you’re impacted, or know someone who is, contact me directly or email JazzOnlockdown@jazzjournalists.org. My colleagues and I will work on getting those stories to the wider Jazz community. We will also need current video content or sound clips of those artists.
Two weeks ago, Mark de Clive-Lowe gave a concert in Auckland as part of his much anticipated worldwide tour. He is a New Zealand born musician based in LA where he has lived and performed for many years. Organising such tours is a big undertaking and having them curtailed has consequences for everyone involved. De Clive-Lowe’s itinerary encompasses countries where travel restrictions are now being imposed.
The clip below was recorded in Auckland and is a fine example of Jazz hybridity. The piano provided was less than perfect, but the music hit a deep groove which pleased the sell-out Jazz club audience. Jazz fans of a certain age often turn up their noses at cross-genre improvised music, but they need to reflect that Jazz itself arose out of musical hybridity. There were no such misgivings from this particular Auckland audience.
Mark de Clive-Lowe (piano, keyboards, live samples)
Brandon Combs (drums)
Marika Hodgson (electric bass)
Performed at the CJC Creative Jazz Club @ Anthology, Auckland, March 8, 2020. De Clive-Lowe is a Bandcamp artist and his albums are available from markdeclivelowe.bandcamp.com
John Fenton ~ JazzLocal32.com is part of the Jazz Journalists Association project ‘Jazz on Lockdown’. For more info go to News.Jazzjournalists.org