The Corona / Covid-19 Blues

On the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, Covid-19 has only slightly lost its grip on Michigan, with most numbers moving in the right direction. Under a new epidemic order from the State of Michigan (lasting through April 19), restaurants and bars will be allowed to offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity with up to 100 people, and they must close by 11:00 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 percent capacity with a ceiling of 300 people in attendance while outdoors the ceiling is 1,000. As all Michiganders know well, our weather will probably not allow outdoor concerts until Spring is in full bloom. So, keep your hopes up by enjoying your snowdrops and other early signs of new life.

Jazz at Shields / Greater Detroit Jazz Society have cancelled all concerts until seating capacity is raised to 50 percent, and several clubs have followed similar policies. On the other hand, the Dirty Dog Jazz Café decided to open for live music as you can see in our calendar. The Blue LLama in Ann Arbor has started with a few events combining music and bountiful dinner menus and prices to match.

So the immediate future looks bleak until vaccinations have a major impact sometime this spring or early summer. 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 has been very difficult; so please, when you consume their art online, be as generous as possible with your donations.