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I have made a difficult decision. I will not be going to New Orleans this spring. I will not be going anyplace that isn’t absolutely necessary. I fit the profile of someone at risk of dying from the coronavirus outbreak. I am ancient and have a history of respiratory illness. I could be the poster child for why we should all be careful and avoid each other until we get a handle on this new threat. Every time I turn on the radio or TV they are describing me as the person we should all be concerned about. That said, I have always considered myself as indestructible and think it unlikely that I will be touched by a tiny unseen virus. My kids and neighbors will be trying to protect me from myself. I will listen to them.

We all have a responsibility to each other. If it turns out that the virus can’t get a foothold in our neighborhood it will be because we all for a little while have personally followed  procedures that stop the virus from spreading. We may never know when or if our united stand has defeated this threat. We only know that at this moment communal separation is our only protection . Please be safe and respectful of others. This is not a hoax.

Our first task will be to defeat the virus by breaking its ability to transfer to vulnerable victims. We must also help lift up those affected by the momentary hardship our actions will inflict. I may not be able to come to the Dirty Dog. I will show my support by purchasing a gift certificate and plan on showing up when I can safely return. We must find ways to support those around us at their moment of need.

Here is how the Dirty Dog Jazz Café is approaching the threat. The Dirty Dog will be evaluating the situation and will take further actions when it is deemed appropriate. 

The jazz community is a close knit family. We may lose a little of that closeness for a while. It will return.

Dear Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe patrons and friends,

At the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, the health, safety and well-being of our staff, guests and the community we serve is our top priority. In light of the situation around COVID-19 (commonly known as the Coronavirus), we wanted to provide an update on our current actions and ways we are working to protect the health and safety of all who join us at the Dirty Dog.

In addition to following the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and local health departments, we are taking a number of steps to reinforce our internal illness prevention policies including increasing the frequency of our standard cleaning procedures.

As our patrons, we ask that you join us in following these guidelines: -Attend the Cafe only if you are well. If you believe you are ill or would like to cancel or modify a reservation please contact us at 313-882-5299 and we will be happy to assist you. Please avoid close contact with people who are sick, and avoid unnecessary contact with those around you, such as shaking hands.

-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow; immediately throw your tissue in the trash and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

-Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, such as your phone, tablets and other devices

-Wash your hands vigorously with soap and water for a least 20 seconds before dining, after using the restroom and after touching possible contaminated surfaces,

For everyone visiting our venue, we are placing hand sanitizers at the front and rear entrances of the club and keeping our bathrooms stocked with soap, towels and items necessary for frequent hand washing.

We will continue to closely monitor the rapidly-changing situation, responding to new information as it happens and preparing for all possible scenarios.

We appreciate your participation in protecting the health and safety of our community, our team and our patrons.

Willie Jones

Customer Relations Manager

Andre Neimanis

Executive chef & General Manager


I will survive not traveling to New Orleans. It will be  a momentary disappointment for one fan. However, New Orleans’ appeal to me has always been that is the home for many artists, musicians, chefs, writers and adventurers. These are people who can survive living on the edge because of the huge influx of people who arrive in The Big Easy every week to catch a glimpse of the unique spirit of New Orleans. The coming months will be one more challenge for this too often tested community. There will be hardship and new songs and stories of hardship, despair, resolve, sharing and sacrifice.


New Orleans can have some rough edges, but it is New Orleans and it will likely lift you up like nowhere else. Somewhere I read  ” When you bring New Orleans your sad story New Orleans will put a beat to it.” That is why from time to time I need to spend time in this sort of run down but wildly alive river town.



Detroit and New Orleans are both known for the ability to come back from hard times. It isn’t always easy, but both cities seem to be able to keep their unique personalities intact.

I first visited New Orleans as a tourist and it certainly lives up to its Chamber of Commerce frenzied jazz filled claims. It is one of a few American cities which has retained its unique heritage and has certainly capitalized on its constant state of celebration. There is music everywhere in New Orleans.

When Christmas approaches tourists seem to disappear in New Orleans, leaving the city in the hands of its citizens. New Orleans is a city that finds reasons to celebrate. New Orleans musicians find ways to gather. You will find them at the charitable events that pop up before Christmas. The word gets out, and the result is a lot of good music.

That is the reason that I have often opted to spend time in New Orleans in December, Detroit gets really cold and messy. New Orleans is ice free. New Orleans is a warm refuge and a friendly landing place for artists, musicians and anyone who might live on the edge. I have been fortunate to have artist and musician friends in New Orleans who have given me a chance to get to know a New Orleans that tourists don’t get to see. It has confirmed to me that New Orleans shares the same spirit that drives Detroit. Both cities seem to be able to take challenges and just get stronger. Deep in their DNA the cities have the drive, resilience and rhythms that show up in their music.

New Orleans and Detroit historically have seamlessly passed the musical torch back and forth, making jazz better in both cities.


There are always things that we can learn from New Orleans. Music plays a major role in the commercial life of the city. It powers the image of New Orleans as a city that is having a good time. Street musicians are everywhere. Music pours out into the streets from bars and restaurants, and people pour in. Out of towners bring their wallets to New Orleans and exchange the contents for being included at the party.

The city is very good at promoting itself by promoting its music. Without the music and the crowds New Orleans will be tested. We all will be tested. Sometimes this brings out the best in us.

This spring I will not be traveling south to New Orleans to visit musician friends, but my heart will be with them. 

Selflessness will be our best weapon against the virus. Inconvenience will be welcome in exchange for protecting others. Already all tour dates have disappeared and many local gigs have vanished. We are being asked to separate and to show up for one another.

We will do our best.

A few weeks ago I got a Facebook post that best describes the spirit that will be required  of all of us to get us through. There was a photo of jazz trombonist Vincent Chandler with his students from Wayne State. They were at the bedside of a smiling  Curtis Fuller. Curtis is one of Detroit’s most respected jazz legends. Vincent had his students get to know Curtis’ work and then play tunes for him in his style in his nursing home room. The smile on Curtis’ face tells us that they nailed it. I asked Vincent why I didn’t see his trombone. He answered that this was not his moment. They were there to let Curtis know that his music will live. Hopefully Vincent’s selflessness will be an example for all of us..

Stay safe,

John Osler


March 18, 19


Vincent will probably arrive early to the Dirty Dog just to warm up a little. After that the only worry we will have is if he overheats the place. With his reputation he tends to attract some hot cats to play with him. There might be some customers shifting to cool drinks.

March 20,21


Saxophonist Rafael Statin seems to be playing a different instrument every time I see him. Rafael is one of those rarest of multi-instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. He has so far established himself as a remarkable composer and musician not defined by any one particular genre.

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