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Quarantine Culture: Essential Jazz for Desperate Times

April 9, 2020
by Editorial Staff
Two people seated far from each other on a couch wearing masks Photo courtesy of iStock, Pixabay // Illustration by Leah Worthington

Music uplifts the spirit, so we asked soul singer Kim Nalley what to listen to (and watch) while sheltering in place. A die-hard multi-tasker, the Berkeley Ph.D. candidate took a break from cooking, writing, and keeping up with her two kids’ education (she says “Disney+ streaming has been a life saver”) to tell us what she’s into.

Continue your at-home education with our ongoing series, “Quarantine Culture,” featuring recommendations from the Cal community for what to watch, read, listen to, and cook during shelter in place.

Here’s what Nalley had to say:

1. Tuck & Patti

Photo of Tuck and Patti
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tuck & Patti, the California duo darlings who first made a splash on the Windham Hill label in the 1980s, have posted their live stream concert from last night. They are known for their strong message of love and healing and continue to sell out concert halls around the world, so this is a rare treat from these Bay Area legends. And for guitarists who have long wondered how Tuck manages to sound like an octopus on the guitar despite having two hands, here is a rare opportunity to see his chordal voicings up close.

2. Bird & Beckett Books & Records

Bird & Beckett Books & Records, a San Francisco stalwart indie bookstore and Jazz venue, is live streaming concerts without a live audience every Friday night and are still open everyday for takeout books!

3. Amazing Grace

Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Neon Rated, LLC

Also, an absolute must see is the Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace. Forget the critics, what you will witness is a work of faith and God much needed in these troubled times. Aretha doesn’t sing so much as she is sung through by a higher power. Her face is otherworldly when she reaches those ecstatic moments. One by one the congregation including the preacher and pianist are reduced to tears and carried off the stage overwhelmed by Franklin’s voice. 

4. Erin Parsley

There have been many opportunities to get streaming dance lessons from renowned instructors, such as Debbie Allen; however Erin Parsley has been the most consistent and most diverse, offering everything from point, modern, jazz, lindy hop etc. … nine classes a week! Her lessons are free, and she asks for donations only if you can afford it.

5. Live-stream Concerts

Musician playing guitar
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I have a long list of musician friends who are responsibly streaming nightly on Facebook (only cohabitating musicians), including Steve Lucky and Carmen Get-it. And SFJAZZ started Fridays at 5 p.m. live streaming concerts for $5. The first one will feature former wunderkind guitarist Julian Lage. Tammy Hall and I will be (safely) giving a free streaming concert for you courtesy of San Jose Jazz, next Monday April 13th at 7 p.m. 

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