Jazz on Lockdown ~ Hear it Here

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


(1) A link to Jazz on Lockdown Jazz journalist, Bob Rosenbaum, Jazz Moments, Tel Aviv.  Pianist Hila Kulik flees home to Israel amid the chaos.                  

(2) A link to Jazz Freelancer Philip Booth from Tampa Florida: Tampa’s Acme Jazz Garage on hiatus. 

(3) From Indianapolis, Leslie L Fuller writes on the closure due to COVID-19 of the iconic ‘Chatterbox’, a place of stories like when Cannonball Adderly discovered Wes Montgomery.

(4) Spains Mirian Arbelajo who blogs as ‘Missing Duke’ writes about Pablo Martin Caminero and the unease and emotion in Madrid’s improvising community. 

(5) The Jazz Journalists Association Editor writes a piece on learning to stream and offers a selection of pandemic early adaptors.  To those, I would add SFJazz (San Francisco Jazz Centre, who are streaming concerts every Friday.

(6) Tel Aviv’s Bob Rosenbaum on saxophonist Amit Friedman and tours curtailed.                       

(7) America’s Jordannah Elizabeth on the unfortunate cancelation of the Irreversible Entanglements tour and how other free improvisers are faring.  ‘Who Sent You’ indeed?  

(8) John Fenton’s Bandcamp article can also be found on the main page of this blog   

(9)  A Bay Area piece by Andy Gilbert, who talks about Dobson V who caught the virus.   

(10) The president of the JJA Howard Mandel writes about the effect of the lockdown on the Chicago Jazz community and in particular diva Dee Alexander.  

(11) Journalist Nikos Fotakis writes about the situation in Australia (part 1)

(12 Journalist Nikos Fotakis on Australian musicians under COVID-19 (part 2)

(13)  An Easter lockdown report from British Columbia by Nichola Walkden

(14) Mirian Albelajo updates us the lockdown situation in Madrid, Spain     

(15) John Fenton on German Jazz musician Florian Ross, Köln

(16) John Chacona writes on Petros Klampanis, Athens, Greece, 

(17) Pengwen Chen writes from China of Jazz under lockdown

For more go to https://News.jazzjournalists.org/category/jazz-on-lockdown/