Costello will partake in a virtual concert also featuring Wynton Marsalis, Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Clinton
Elvis Costello, Sting and Billy Joel are among the stars lending their support to a campaign to save the fabled New York City jazz venue Birdland. The effort includes a virtual concert — which Costello will partake in — airing January 24th at 7 p.m. ET.
Like so many venues across the country, Birdland was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced it to shut its doors. Despite the passage of the Save Our Stages Act in last year’s Covid-19 relief bill, which will provide targeted aid to the live entertainment industry, many venues will still struggle to stay afloat until its safe for concerts to resume again. Along with the virtual concert, there’s also a GoFundMe campaign for Birdland, which has raised over $250,000.
Birdland opened in 1949, taking its name from jazz great Charlie “Yardbird” Parker. It quickly became hallowed ground in the jazz world, hosting legends like Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. While Birdland was forced to close in 1965, it was able to reopen at its current location in 1986.
In a short video, Costello recounted his deep affection for the venue and recalled a night where he, his wife, the jazz pianist Diana Krall, and the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh got to watch the pianist Cedar Walton. “That’s not an evening you can readily imagine, but that’s just one of the things that can happen when you find yourself in a place like Birdland,” Costello said.
The 2021 UK Americana Awards will take the form of a virtual ceremony on January 28, including performances by Elvis Costello and Steve Earle (with more names to be announced).
The UK Americana Music Association (AMA-UK) yesterday revealed the winners of their special awards: Elvis Costello for the AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award; Mavis Staples for the International Lifetime Achievement Award; Christine McVie for the Trailblazer Award; and Steve Earle for the International Trailblazer Award. A new category, the Songwriter Legacy Award, was specially created this year for the late John Prine.