Dear A.T.J.S. Members and Traditional Jazz Fans:
The COVID Delta variant surge may have peaked in Texas. The September figures came in slightly below those for August and the statewide hospital COVID population has dropped by close to 4000 patients. This is encouraging but not exactly good news. The August and September figures were almost as bad as the January, 2021 peak, and the hospital population got close to January, too. We have a long way to go before reaching something approaching normal.
The good news is that COVID vaccines are readily available and appear to be effective. About 90% of the recent hospital COVID population has been unvaccinated. The Austin Traditional Jazz Society has resumed planning for a late start to the 2021-22 season. The Board has reserved Sunday afternoons for January 16, February 20 and March 13 at the Ben Hur Shrine Temple, 7811 Rockwood Lane in Austin. Ben Hur is a long block south of Anderson Lane near the MoPac Expressway. The first event will be the Annual ATJS Jam Session, followed by two concerts by Texas traditional jazz bands. If those events are a success, the Society is hopeful of staging concerts in April, May and June. More details will follow. We at ATJS hope that one of those details is that COVID cases continue to decline. We have three and a half months for that to occur.
In the meantime, we urge traditional jazz fans to take advantage of the events listed below. Bill Troiano and I will play with Swing Shift at Jazz and Art on Main in Cedar Park on October 22. (Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main St., Cedar Park 7 - 8 pm) It’s an outdoor event. Some of you have heard Swing Shift under its previous name, La Grosse Tete.
You can help support full-time musicians in the Austin area by continuing to support Project Safety Net, sponsored by our sister organization Austin Jazz Society. See their website at www.austinjazzsociety.org.