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COVID-19 Impact on Seattle Jazz Community Survey Responses

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Illustration of two men sitting at a bar. They are alone and facing opposite directions.

We know the mounting concern around COVID-19 has already had profound effects on our community that will continue to be felt for a long time to come. Below are a selection of survey responses, offering individual experiences and recommendations for how the public can offer support during this time. Thank you to all who provided responses. We’re here, and we’re listening. Please Note—This survey was created on March 9, 2020 and we realize the current situation and public health recommendations—as well as the situations of the individuals who provided responses—may have changed since that time. Responses have been edited for clarity and length.


How has your work been impacted by mounting concern around COVID-19?


One of the schools I teach at has been closed, and although I will be paid for my time, it involves some creative restructuring of my teaching plans. I will also be losing (so far) roughly $900 in performance income, not to mention decreased tips due to decreased attendance. –Kate Olson, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

90% of my gigs are cancelled for March and first week of April. I also had a weekend cancelled in May already. –Marina Albero, Artist/Musician/ Performer

I recently performed a church service that was livestreamed, there were 5 people in the audience. Many of my peers have had cancelled gigs and are/have lost a substantial part of their income. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer

Performances have been cancelled. Cannot commit to gigs in the foreseeable future. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/Performer, Venue Representative

So work at all levels in general just feels totally unfocused and ungrounded

The uncertainty of whether to hold events and shows or not has destabilized my grounding. Particularly in April and May as well. Though I am not in immediate danger of financial instability unlike many of my peers, the reorientation of what should and should not be practiced/held/worked towards, on the balance between the physical health and health of the mind/ spirit of not just myself but broader communities, feels in constant flux. What should one’s work go towards in the future? How far out should we actually be planning and what should we be letting go of that is upcoming? Everyone’s banging their head against a wall. No good solutions. We just try and take everything one step at a time and keep oneself and other folks calm in the process. So work at all levels in general just feels totally unfocused and ungrounded. Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Venue Representative

All gigs out of town have been canceled. I’ve had to eat the cost of hotels, airline tickets, and in some cases sidemen fees. I’ve lost nearly all the promotion for my new album as well as thousands of dollars in income. I’m effectively out of work until April 20th with no income until then. –Thomas Marriott, Artist/Musician/ Performer


How have you responded to social distancing recommendations?


I wash my hands often and aggressively, and I am avoiding physical contact (hugs, handshakes, etc). –Kate Olson, Artist/Musician/ Performer and Educator

Keeping hand sanitizer in my purse and taking more supplements. –Marina Albero, Artist/Musician/ Performer

Trying to do live streaming of music, which does not generate income, but it keeps the music alive. –Anonymous,Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

Working half days in clean environment, half days at home. –Anonymous, Radio Promoter/ Presenter

Basic precautionary measures and a positive outlook are my go-to antidotes. Music is important to our health so we should look to maintain it in mindful ways through it all. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

During the early stages of this quarantine-esque and its resulting isolating environment, I have felt it necessary to be very proactive in maintaining my mental health, and the way that looks is being outside my apartment with my friends/ community and the general public. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Venue Representative

Keeping a low profile, but not a no profile.–Thomas Marriott, Artist/Musician/ Performer


How can individuals—especially those practicing social distancing—support you during this time?


Buy online merch. I’ll be releasing a digital album of music composed for dancers specifically for this purpose in the next few days. –Kate Olson, Artist/Musician/ Performer and Educator

Listen to the radio! –Anonymous, Radio Broadcaster

This is something we are discussing but do not have the bandwidth to pursue. Not requesting a ticket refund would help, if a show is not cancelled but you do not feel comfortable going. –Anonymous, Venue Representative

Attend rescheduled shows when they happen later. –Steve Peters, Promoter/Presenter, Venue Representative

Follow on social media, contribute to funding campaigns. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

Support the public radio station during upcoming (delayed) fund drive. –Anonymous, Promoter/Presenter

Consider reaching out to the artists you know and support

Consider reaching out to the artists you know and support. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

Invent more ways to stream and connect online. Find ways to replace artist and venue revenues. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Venue Representative

I will be creating some new jazz videos to post online. Keep in touch through social media and be ready to resume live jazz attendance as soon as it is safe. –Francesco Crosara, Artist/Musician/ Performer

Emotional support goes above and beyond, honestly. –Haley, Artist/Musician/Performer, Educator, Promoter/Presenter, Venue Representative

By remaining calm and understanding of the variables in constant flux. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Venue Representative

Buy albums, pay money for live streams, buy a musician lunch. How can institutions help during this time? Wherever possible, increase wages for local musicians when the shows come back, even if that means canceling highdollar / high profile guest artists or headliners to make more budgetary dollars available to local artists. –Thomas Marriott, Artist/Musician/ Performer


What else would you like us to know?


Music is a healing tool. Panic is not. –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

Music is a healing tool

There is a real emotional and psychological toll when musicians and artists aren’t allowed to practice their craft in the communities to which they’ve become accustomed. Yes, the financial strain is real, but there is also a higher level of anxiety, stircraziness, and general frustration at what we feel is out of our control. When your identity is tied to your craft, not being able to practice your craft is very depressing. –Kate Olson, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

My loss as today is moving around $5,500 and counting. That’s why I’m trying to launch an emergency plan of live-streaming for the quarantine times. Hope we all find the connections to keep connected and working. –Marina Albero, Artist/Musician/ Performer

Take this situation seriously to preserve everyone’s health to avoid escalations like in China and in Italy, where I have family and friends who are going through a very tough period, where uncertainty is the order of the day. Better safe than sorry, this is not a media hoax. –Francesco Crosara, Artist/Musician/ Performer

Support out of love, not fear! –Anonymous, Artist/Musician/ Performer, Educator

Support out of love, not fear!

Can’t stop the music: Livestream Connections
We live in a remarkable time where we can find connection even while social distancing through technology. These are just a few of many livestream initiatives. Are you planning a livestream event? Add it to our Jazz Around the Sound Calendar online at earshot.org/events/ community/add. Enter venue “Livestream Event.” You can also tag us @earshotjazz and we will amplify your event on our social media channels.

The Quarantine Sessions
Sundays, 7pm
Facebook Live

An initiative created by Marina Albero. Available to the public with “tip tickets” to support the artists.

LiveConcerts Stream
Various dates and times
Facebook Live and Twitch

With the motto “Direct to you, Direct to Artists” LiveConcerts Stream offers high quality streaming to you with a built-in donation platform that goes straight to the artists. Recent concerts include livestreams from Vito’s featuring Kiki Valera, Joe Doria, and more.

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Posted on

April 3, 2020

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