Update on Glenn Tucker

Many SEMJA members are probably familiar with Glenn Tucker — a local jazz pianist, bandleader and arranger. Tucker has had a number of medical setbacks in recent years. He recently communicated with SEMJA and told us about an event he is organizing at the Blue LLama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor on Thursday August 25 from 7:00 to 10:15.

This concert honors Tucker, who was forced into retirement at 28 by severe myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a harrowing disease the medical field has long neglected. Two recent studies found that half of Long COVID cases — those experiencing complications following a COVID infection — are actually COVID-onset ME. Another study estimates that 7 million Americans and 222,000 Michiganders are newly disabled by Long COVID. This concert, which will include a free livestream, seeks to raise awareness for ME and Long COVID, and to raise money for the COVID 19 Longhauler Advocacy Project, which aims, among other things, to provide financial assistance to Longhaulers struggling financially and to advocate for patient-led research.

While Tucker is unable to attend this concert, he has hand-picked musicians with whom he has collaborated extensively and curated a set list of music composed between 2009 and 2016, which includes uplifting music from his albums Determination and Abundances, which he completed in the early years of his illness. The concert will feature saxophonists Rafael Leafar and Jake Shadik, guitarist Ralph Tope, pianist Rick Roe, bassists Kurt Krahnke and Jeff Pedraz, and drummers Nick Collins, Jesse Kramer, Jonathan Barahal Taylor, and Alex White.