The Corona/Covid-19 Blues

Michigan is still in the grips of the pandemic — in fact the state is leading the nation by some measures. Under an extended epidemic order from the State of Michigan (lasting through May 19) restaurants and bars will be allowed to offer indoor dining at 50% capacity with up to 100 people, and they must close by 11 p.m. each night. Tables must also be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. Indoor entertainment venues are allowed at 50% capacity with a ceiling of 300 people in attendance while outdoors the ceiling is 1,000.

Lately there has been some movement to open up more venues. Jazz at Shields / Greater Detroit Jazz Society have 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 and Baker’s in Detroit just announced that they will have music on Friday and Saturday with the Ralphe Armstrong Trio.

So the immediate future looks better than a month ago much 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 very difficult; so please, when you consume their art online, please be as generous as possible with your donations.