Like so many others in our community, we at JazzMN are reeling from the combined one two punch of COVID-19 and the senseless killing of George Floyd. What track will the pandemic take and when will it be safe to resume large gatherings in Minnesota? What will be the long term impact on arts and culture in the Twin Cities and in our nation? How will we move forward to address issues of systemic racism in all aspects of our society?
With such pressing concerns right now, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to talk about our 2020/21 season and whether to even have a season! Our primary concern is always for the safety and well-being of our patrons, musicians, guest artists and staff of the Chanhassen. We made the difficult decision to cancel our first two concerts of the season with these factors in mind.
We hope that by April 26th of next year, when we are expecting to have our next concert, the current public health crisis will be under control and it will once again be possible to have live performances. I hope you take a moment while you are visiting this website to check out the information about this performance, featuring Grammy-nominated Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza. The artistic work and planning we have already put into this concert may make it one of JazzMN’s most exciting and memorable performances. We hope you will agree it will be well worth the wait!
During this long break between concerts, the JazzMN board will be planning even more exciting and innovative performances and educational experiences. We will explore the possibility of performing at different venues, in other parts of the metro, as a way to reach new and more diverse audiences. We will also build on our educational programs and continue our work to restart the Winter Jazz Blast, a day-long educational event for area middle and high school jazz ensembles.
Furthermore, George Floyd’s tragic death has caused us to re-examine our own commitment to listen and to remove barriers to racial equity. Our mission, to cultivate the love of jazz, must be inclusive.
As both a concert presenter and music educator, JazzMN recognizes the extraordinary contributions of African Americans and other persons of color to the evolution of jazz. Jazz is a truly American art form with many of its origins in communities of color. From Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton in the early part of the 20th Century to Arturo Sandoval, Quincy Jones and Antonio Carlos Jobim today, the imprint of ethnically-diverse artists on the jazz genre is undeniable.
They say it is always darkest before the dawn. Together we will get through all of this and come out the other side stronger, wiser and more compassionate.
With that said, I hope you continue to follow our activities and plans on this website and on social media and continue to support us with your donations. We miss our audiences and look forward to performing for you (in person) next year.