New York’s Jazz Standard Announces Permanent Closure

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The Mingus Big Band performs at the Jazz Standard in New York. The club announced its permanent closure on Tuesday amid a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

(Photo: Fran Kaufman/Jazz Standard)

​As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on and further economic stimulus from the federal government remains in limbo, the fiscal realities of 2020 continue to impact the jazz community.

On Wednesday, New York club The Jazz Standard announced its permanent closure on Twitter.

In another post to the social media site, representatives wrote, “While our physical doors may be shut, our passion to serve and entertain lives on and we are optimistic about the future and writing the next chapter of Jazz Standard. In the meantime, the club is hosting exclusive artist conversations and performances virtually.”

According to the venue’s website, it opened in late December 1999, and regularly hosted local and touring acts, including weekly engagements with the Mingus Big Band. That large ensemble, as well as saxophonist Frank Morgan, trumpeter/cornetist Dave Douglas and pianist André Previn are among the artists who recorded live albums at the venue. The vocal group Duchess recorded its most recent album there, which was released earlier this year.

In an email to DownBeat, Seth Abramson, the club’s artistic director, said, “We are dedicated to exploring our options in New York City. ... This is not goodbye.”

As news of the closure circulated, some jazz musicians headed online to offer up their own perspectives.

“Shout out to Seth Abramson, also a musician and general good egg, for doing such a good job of booking the club for decades,” pianist Ethan Iverson wrote.

Saxophonist Caroline Davis voiced a call to action: “We are all heartbroken to see that the Standard is closing. Countless experiences going to see music and playing there. ... Into the memory vaults, gone but never forgotten. Y’ALL! We gotta push our local / fed officials to roll out assistance. Don’t give up!” DB



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November 2021
Joey DeFrancesco
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