“Live, Legal Jazz Performances in Your Yard”

courtesy YardWork

“Dear PoPville,

I’m bringing live, covid-safe jazz performances to people’s yards. Restaurants and clubs in DC and MD are prohibited from having live music, even if it’s outside. But you are allowed to have musicians play in your yard at your home, and you are allowed to have a limited number of guests. So that’s what we’re doing.

I’m the music director at WOWD Takoma Radio and was bringing jazz shows back to Takoma Station when the pandemic hit. The shutdown of live performances has been very unfortunate for music fans, but it’s been terrible for the working musicians themselves who depend on live performance, along with teaching, for their livelihoods. Livestream performances are nice, but they don’t bring in much money and there’s nothing like the real thing for both the musicians and fans.

So, inspired by what Creative Alliance, the non-profit arts organization, is doing in Baltimore, we’re sponsoring YardWork Concerts.

A band arrives at your home and plays for 30-35 minutes, then moves on to the next home. All the homeowner has to do is sign up, provide some seed money, and invite their friends and family (or sponsor a show for someone else). We take care of everything else, including bringing in the best musicians in the Washington-Baltimore area. Guests are able to tip the bands via venmo or paypal if they so choose.

The only way this can work is by keeping the concerts very safe. Having the shows outside is obviously the only way to go. We also require masks and social distancing and limit the number of guests.

Performances are every hour on the hour on Saturdays starting at 12 noon. All our time slots are sold out for our kick-off on August 22, but we’re recruiting households to sponsor shows on future Saturdays.

Folks that are interested in having a YardWork concert in their yard should contact me at Jazz Kitchen Productions at [email protected]. Takoma Radio is not sponsoring this but is helping get the word out about it, and the whole initiative is non-profit and almost all the proceeds go to the musicians.”

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