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The Blue Note, Monterey, and JALC Continue the Jazz World’s Virtual Pivot

In the face of COVID-19, more club gigs, festivals, and educational programs go online

Maurice "Mobetta" Brown
Maurice “Mobetta” Brown at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

As the coronavirus rages on, with no sign of either the outbreak or the attendant lockdowns diminishing, the jazz world is increasingly pivoting to virtual activity.

On July 24, the Blue Note Jazz Club will premiere a new series, Blue Note Streaming Live, with which the venue joins the Village Vanguard and Smalls in presenting livestream broadcasts of jazz artists performing on its Greenwich Village stage (with no audience in the house). The opening act of the series, trumpeter Maurice “Mobetta” Brown, leads a sextet on July 24 at 8 p.m. EDT. Tickets are available at the Blue Note’s website.

The Monterey Jazz Festival, which had in May announced the cancellation of its 2020 edition, is also taking its presence virtual. The 63rd Monterey Jazz Festival will take place over three days in September (Sept. 25-27), with both content from its massive festival archive and exclusive new performances streaming each day on the MJF’s YouTube channel. (The exact lineup will be announced on July 21.) In another acknowledgment of the tenor of our times, during the virtual festival, MJF will be encouraging online donations—which will then be given to the artists, with contributions also going to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Donations can be submitted here.

It’s not just performances that are transferring online. Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the creation of Summer Jazz Academy: a donation-based, two-week virtual camp open to students 12 and over of all skill levels. Participants “will engage in classes to deepen jazz knowledge, develop practice skills, and strengthen performance while building a global community of peers.” They will also engage with such teachers and artists as pianist Eric Reed, guitarist James Chirillo, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Jeff Hamilton, and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. While Jazz at Lincoln Center asks participants to consider donations, registration for Summer Jazz Academy is free of charge and is currently open at https://jazzatlincolncenter.squarespace.com/sja.