Art & Soul: The Performance Arts - Improvising At Blue LLama Jazz Club During Global Health Crisis

May 28, 2020

Don Hicks, owner of the Blue LLama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor.
Credit Blue LLama Jazz Club /
Just as Ann Arbor's Blue LLama Jazz Club was getting ready to celebrate its first birthday, it was forced to shut down like all other clubs and restaurants in Michigan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the owner of the club, Don Hicks, about how they, like many jazz musicians, have had to improvise to stay connected with the community.

The Blue LLama Jazz Club was preparing to celebrate its one-year anniversary this year.  Sadly, like all local businesses, it had to close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Club owner Don Hicks knew adjustments had to be made to keep his business going, while still complying with Michigan's coronavirus guidelines.  Here's what the Blue LLama is offering:


Keyon Harrold playing at the Blue LLama.
Credit Blue LLama Jazz Club / Facebook

Blue LLama is providing online videos of great jazz performances.  Many great artists, such as trumpeter Keyon Harrold and WEMU favorite Ellen Rowe (video can be found below), have been streamed live from the club.  Check out the music anytime on Blue LLama's Youtube channel, and stay tuned for more online performances in the near future.


Great food can brought to your doorstep or be available for pick-up via the Blue LLama Express.  If you want expand your pallette, new pop-up menus are available as well.  They include Latin-inspired cuisine from Jibarito and Asian dishes from Of Rice and Men.  Many more pop-ups are in the works.

Blue LLama Food Delivery
Credit Blue LLama Jazz Club / Facebook

To keep up with developments at the Blue LLama Jazz Club, check out its website and its Facebook page.

Ellen Rowe at the Blue LLama
Credit Blue LLama Jazz Club / Facebook

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at