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The New Cool: Snarky Puppy returns to the stage...two years ago

Abe Beeson
Your cat can see Snarky Puppy live in 2018 this Friday night, or not, from the comfort of your home.

Livestreaming jazz performances continue to help, in mostly small ways, musicians make ends meet while unable to perform for live audiences. To get an audience these days, you have to go back in time. Snarky Puppy's March 2, 2018, concert at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco will stream worldwide this Friday at 5 p.m.

SF Jazz's Fridays at Five series takes advantage of previous concert productions with no pandemic limitations. That difference is notable, with beautiful camera work and — most importantly — the spirit of socializing between artist and audience.

I've said it before, watching a concert on a screen at home is no substitute for being there in person. It's all we have now, and for a time to come. Let's enjoy the fantastic, on-demand content modern technology can provide.

In 2018, Snarky Puppy was riding high on back-to-back Grammy wins. They also were hard at work on new music for their excellent 2019 album, Immigrance. The band was in fine form in this San Francisco concert.

The band's live show has been a sharper focus of the group recently. Their new release, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, is an elaborate, limited edition triple LP from last month (released on two CDs last fall).

Snarky Puppy also is well known for making live concert recordings available to fans. They know how to sound great live, so this concert will be money well spent.

Yes, you do have to pay for a "ticket" to the Fridays at Five series. Really, it's a membership to the nonprofit SF Jazz organization. One month digital memberships are $5, and upcoming concert streams include a bevy of stars later in May. When you're signed up, you will log into your account to join the stream.

The streaming schedule includes saxophonist Joe Lovano on May 8 in a pair of trios, including guitarist Bill Frisell in one and pianist Marilyn Crispell in the other. A Wayne Shorter tribute concert includes young L.A. stars Kamasi Washington and Terrace Martin streaming May 22, and Chucho Valdes reunites with his early Cuban group Irakere for a streamed concert May 29.

Strict adherance to social distancing has led to an uptick in sharing pre-recorded concerts around the world and here in the Northwest. Boxley's in North Bend is hosting streams of past shows on the JazzClubsNW site each Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and many musicians are following suit on their own pages.

However, Earshot Jazz continues their Live at the Forum serieswith Northwest musicians each Saturday night from Seattle's Town Hall — with mindful limits on contact. Saxophonist Brent Jensen leads a quartet honoring his mentor, the late sax great Lee Konitz this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on the Town Hall Seattle site.

The Royal Room's innaugural Staycation Live Festival launches Wednesday, April 29. Solo streaming performances are hosted by the LiveConcertsStream platform, with a Piano Starts Here show featuring Wayne Horvitz, Dawn Clement, Alex Guilbert and Chris McCarthy for this first event at 7 tonight.

Tiptons saxophonist and singer, multi-talented Amy Denio, will share new music she wrote for 22-piece orchestra as a solo exhibition on the Zoom platform Saturday night at 7:30.

The Quarantine Sessions will reboot with streaming events May 24 and June 5 in the planning stages. Solo performances seem to be the livestreaming trend, and you'll find many more streaming events from around Puget Sound and around the world on our community page.

KNKX also is working on our first remote studio session during the quarantine. Stay tuned!

It's not getting easier to support the talented musicians who make our lives so wonderful, but it's more important every day. Listen in and chip in, and buy music directly from the artists when you can.

Bandcamp will once again suspend their platform hosting fees this Friday, so 100 percent of all purchases on the site will go to the artists. They'll repeat this effort June 5 and July 3. Mack Avenue Records will celebrate International Jazz Day Thursday by kicking off four days sending 100 percent of their online sales directly to their artists. Other streaming sites are slowly finding ways to follow suit with increased artist remuneration.

As SF Jazz puts it, we're all "improvising our way to a digital future. The music will outlive the virus."

The New Cool airs Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.