In the face of a rapidly worsening coronavirus pandemic, U.S. cities are declaring states of emergency, while arts centers and cultural institutions of all kinds have closed their doors. Last night in New York, as Broadway theaters went dark and museums shut down indefinitely, Jazz at Lincoln Center announced that it has canceled all concerts and classes at its Columbus Circle headquarters, Frederick P. Rose Hall at Columbus Circle, through Wednesday, April 15. This includes all concerts and public lectures in the Rose Theater, the Appel Room, and the Ertegun Atrium; nightly sets at Dizzy’s Club; WeBop and Swing University classes; and Middle and High School Jazz Academy classes.
JALC’s Annual Spring Gala, scheduled to take place on April 15, will now be a virtual gala, a “Concert for Our Culture” freely broadcast to audiences globally via Facebook Live, livestream.com/jazz, and on JALC’s Jazz Live interactive video app, available for all Apple and Android devices. The concert will feature Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with special guests in the Appel Room, performing music that celebrates the centennials of Charlie Parker and Dave Brubeck.
“Together, in this specific time of need, the bandstand becomes even more sacred,” Marsalis said in a statement. “We will illustrate the power of jazz to bring us together and lift us to higher ground.”
JALC suggests that existing ticketholders consider donating their tickets to JALC in support of the institution, its education programs, and the musicians it employs during the period of closure. If you choose not to donate, the full value of your tickets will be available within 48 hours as a credit toward future performances, or fully refundable. Ticket buyers can contact customer service at [email protected] or 212-258-9999 for further assistance. JALC also encourages patrons to visit its website and YouTube channel for free access to full concerts and other music, interviews, and more from its archive.
On the other side of the continent, San Francisco’s SFJAZZ has announced that it is postponing all shows and education events from now through April 5. And Record Store Day, originally scheduled for April 18, has just been moved to June 20.
It seems fair to say that we are only beginning to get a sense of how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the jazz and greater musical communities—but already the costs appear to be high.