DENVER — At Dazzle Jazz & Blues Club, the stage was suddenly empty. When COVID-19 shut it down last year, the club, considered the heart and soul of jazz music in Denver, was silent. Until it wasn't.
Like a lot of other places, Dazzle started producing virtual shows on social media channels. Unlike most places, the musicians got paid, mostly thanks to donations from the club's supporters.
"Giving artists the opportunity to perform again and connect, even though virtually, but to connect with an audience is really, really important," Manager Matt Ruff said. "Especially in these times."
Ruff talked to 9NEWS from the club's food pantry in the back. Yes, the food pantry. That's the other really cool thing going on there.
The pantry is jam-packed with donated food, everything from canned goods to breakfast cereal to pasta and veggies.
Manager Dwight Thompson said for many musicians in town, surviving the pandemic has come down to paying for food or paying for rent. The pantry allows them to get enough food to save money for other expenses.
The food pantry is open to any musician who needs help, on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. You don't have to be a jazz musician to participate.
While Dazzle has technically been closed, it's actually been anything but. Between a full schedule of live streams, and the food bank, the place has been hopping. And the staff has been volunteering to help feed the people who feed our souls through music.
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