Tanana Rafters

Tanana Rafters

By John Christensen

Earlier this week, a call went out to the music industry that #TheShowMustBePaused on Tuesday, June 2. Many across the music industry took up that call, choosing to instead allow for those voices that need to be heard to speak, and to reflect on each of our individual (and communal) role in the world today and going forward. Part of that going forward is to not STAY silent, but instead go forward with renewed energy and intention. Here’s just a taste of what’s going on in local music the rest of this week:

Spenard Jazz Fest: Week 3

After 2-plus of incredible weeks of jazz, folk, blues, and some other awesome fusions you would not even believe if I tried to explain them to you, Spenard Jazz Fest’s Hunker Down Edition is finally coming to a close this coming weekend. But not before it pulls us back in again. Virtual House Concerts partnered with local businesses, workshops, and a FREE celebration weekend to close the Fest just like it opened just a few weeks ago, streamed live on Facebook, are all on the schedule this week.

Alaskans Tanana Rafters (with special guests, Michael & Matt Faubion), along with, live from Upper Manhattan, Amina Figarova and Bart Plateau, round out the Virtual House Concert schedule on Sunday (June 7th), and Thursday (June 4th) respectively. Then SJF packs the weekend with as many awesome artists, musicians, and friends as they can as on Friday and Saturday, they open the floodgates. Hours and hours of local and national, streamed acts, all streamed live, straight to Facebook. From SunDog to Quad Shot, Ingrid Jensen to Mark Manners, the closing weekend of Spenard Jazz Fest is bound to have a little bit of everything for everyone. Oh, and if you didn’t know, there’s a probability of rain this weekend, and if that’s not perfect jazz-streaming weather, nothing is.

With an ever-changing flow of reports on COVID-19 numbers here in Alaska, as well as protests and unrest in many of their virtual streaming locations (such as New York City), events schedules, like most things in life these days, are in flux. To best stay up-to-date with SJF events, check their social media (@spenardjazzfest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) or website, spenardjazzfest.org.

Virtual After Five: Alive After Five goes Virtual this summer

As Alaska watches the number of active COVID-19 cases spike significantly over the past week, Anchorage Downtown Partnership has announced that starting THIS WEEK (Thursday, June 4th), their Alive After Five summer-concert series will be going on-air and on the web. Instead of holding in person events, ADP will instead partner with KNBA 90.3FM to stream live on the radio, as well as Facebook. Now, whether you’re on the Kenai to fish or up near Chugiak camping, as long as you have a cell-signal, you can hear live music each Thursday at 5 p.m. on Facebook or 7 p.m. on KNBA.

To kick-off this virtual series, The Downtown Partnership welcomes local music heroes, Medium Build to their virtual stage. For more information about the rest of the summer, go to anchoragedowntown.org, or simply check back with this article in each week’s Anchorage Press.

...and so much more!

From Danger Money getting back out and about, finding new ways to bring community together as safely as they can, both as a band, and as hosts of three weekly karaoke sessions, under their name of Rockstar Karaoke, to the Quarantine Playhouse, still active with its weekly Facebook-streamed variety shows, and as bands and artists and venues begin discussions about what comes next, there is so much more than one column could cover.

The Forecast is bright on the horizon, but the storm is still upon us. Find out what your favorite local artists are doing, and, if you have the means, support them.

Spenard Jazz Fest has one way you can do that, on their website (spenardjazzfest.org). As written in last week’s article, SJF has set-up a COVID-19 Musicians’ Relief Fund, aimed at helping out-of-work artists recoup losses from the past months and the months to come.

Donate whatever you can. Buy merch where available. Stream, download, tip.

We are all in this together.

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