I’m a jazz musician and lead an all-female group – Monika Herzig’s Sheroes – with some of the world’s best instrumentalists. Our new CD Eternal Dance was released on February 28 and our two-week CD release tour started on March 6. The first weekend was amazing as we celebrated Jazz Girls Day and had 20 girls with us on stage and a packed theater. We traveled eastward and just a few days later things came to a screeching halt as venues were not sure they should open, audiences who already had bought tickets stayed away and by March 15 we played the last concert at Baltimore’s Keystone Korner before they closed down and we returned to our homes. It’s difficulty to see especially this album that features music created during a year of healing from cancer and dedicated to many friends lost lose its momentum as there are obviously larger concerns now. It’s also heartbreaking to see my fellow freelance musicians lose their livelihoods. Our drummer had to give up and return home to Mexico as she ran out of funds, the others are struggling to find ways to teach online. But we did have one bright moment – when we performed at the Bop Stop in Cleveland to an audience of 5, all of them bought all our CDs and one audience member left us with a $1000 tip to support the musicians – beyond the financial benefit, the encouragement and emotional uplift of this gesture was priceless!

Submitted by Monika Herzig, Jazz Pianist/Composer/Author, Senior Lecturer Indiana University