Jazz Jottings December 2021

We asked a random group of musicians what they did with their time during the 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they survived when there was no work to be had. Some of the answers were obvious. Practice! – Practice! – Practice! up to six-seven hours a day. Meet in a local park for informal jam sessions or arrange for on-line streaming sessions. Catch up on long-deferred projects. On-line teaching lessons. Part-time jobs not involving music. Go overseas where there are less restrictions. More family time. Regarding finances: draw on savings, have a working spouse, applied for unemployment insurance benefits; government COVID relief programs and checks helpful, although provided only temporary relief. As one musician said, “You have to be inventive, and it’s important not to lose your contacts.” Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi holed up in their home in St. Louis to relax after their busy schedule of touring and concerts and to catch up on a number of musical and non-musical projects. One of their projects involved adapting classical music to their four-hands piano performances. They started a YouTube channel and worked on expanding their use of the Internet, including Zoom programs. They missed “the enthusiasm of live audiences and the realization that every concert is special.” “Live within your means” Having lost 60 weeks of work on the road over th
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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag in 1989 and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we grew to become The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles of today's top musicians are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz.Volume two, Jazz Beat Encore: More Notes on Classic Jazz contains 43 more! Lew taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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