Debbie Duncan/ Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace

Debbie Duncan/ Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace

After raising more than $25,000 to pay Minnesota musicians to live stream concerts, Crooners Supper Club in Fridley has postponed its Keep Music Live series but will pay unemployed musicians anyway.

After making an announcement last week about a series with as many as five shows a week, Crooners has decided to hold off on the live streaming concerts because of new guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The series was scheduled to start Friday with a performance by siblings Jennifer and Reed Grimm in the otherwise empty 85-capacity Dunsmore Room at Crooners.  

“We sympathize with the desire to give the stay-at-home order a chance to reduce the spread in a crucial time, while also accomplishing the objective of getting funds to working artists immediately,” Crooners music director Andrew Walesch said in a statement. “Out of respect, we feel it is prudent to delay the shows.”

Meanwhile, the non-profit Twin Cities Jazz Festival will handle payments to musicians who agreed to perform in the series that was booked throughout April. The money came from private donations.

“This way the fund is doing exactly what it set out to do -- to get immediate help to members of our thriving music community who have no income because of the closures,” TC Jazz Fest executive director Steve Heckler said in a statement.

Among the musicians booked were Robert Robinson, Joyann Parker, Debbie Duncan, Patty Peterson, Prudence Johnson, Pat Donohue and Mick Sterling.

Crooners presented its last concert on March 15 featuring Duncan and Robinson before, like all music venues, closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Keep Music Live streaming series was organized by Crooners, the TC Jazz Festival, Jazz Central music club and KBEM-FM (Jazz 88).

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