The Corona/Covid-19 Blues

Michigan is still in the grips of the pandemic, but of a different sort than in the spring. The major concern is now the spread of new variants of Covid among the unvaccinated who are now filling up hospitals. The rules for mask-wearing differ depending on where you live and which establishment you frequent. A new dividing line might become between the clubs that require proof of vaccination and those that do not. Kerrytown Concert House has just instituted a vaccination rule for indoor concerts.

Since early summer there has been movement to open up more venues. Jazz at Shields / Greater Detroit Jazz Society has opened up for a number of concerts as has the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Grosse Pointe. The Blue LLama in Ann Arbor has started with a few events combining music and bountiful dinner menus and prices to match. Cliff Bells in downtown Detroit is open. The Zal Gaz Grotto and Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor are presenting performances in their back parking lots, weather permitting, and the Cadieux Café in Detroit and Bert’s have a similar policy.

The Detroit Jazz Festival over Labor Day will go ahead with a live festival on a smaller number of stages than in 2019 and higher admission charges for reserved seating.

So, the immediate future looks somewhat better than a month ago thanks to increased vaccinations. Fortunately, many venues have put resources in beefing up their digital presence. The Kerrytown Concert House and UMS in Ann Arbor and the Dirty Dog and Orchestra Hall in Detroit are some of the relatively lucky ones, and we hope and pray that the less fortunate venues will survive this rolling disaster. But the end result for musicians who rely on live music is still difficult, so please, when you consume their art online, be as generous as possible with your donations.