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Sammy Stein, author of Gender Disparity in UK Jazz and Women In Jazz, is back with another thought provoking text about the impact of Covid-19 on musicians.

pause play repeat SAMMY STEIN book review

Who is Sammy Stein?

Sammy Stein is a columnist, author and reviewer. Her ‘Women In Jazz‘ book won Jazz Times awards and was Phace Magazine’s Music Book of The Year. She was nominated by the Jazz Journalist Association for Book of The Year and is a regular contributor to 3 important music review columns. She ran a one-day festival sponsored by JazzBites radio and has scripted and co-hosted radio shows.

Book Description of Pause, Play, Repeat

What was the real impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives and careers of musicians?

In candid interviews, 18 musicians at the top of their game, including Ray Gelato, Tony Kofi, Ivo Perelman, Emm Gryner, Collette Cooper, Adrian Cox, Tara Minton, Champian Fulton, Graeme Flowers, Chris Bestwick, Camilla George, Alex Ward, Elise Morris, Grace Garland, Esther Bennett, Jennifer Lauren, Claire Cope and Beatrice Betley, discuss the impact of Covid-19 on their music, careers and lives.

They discuss the sudden loss of work and income, the closure of venues and rehearsal spaces, the effect on their emotional well-being and the sense of being caught up and overtaken by events completely out of their control. Access to reliable advice, funding and grants as well as support through the music community is also discussed. The musicians explain how they continued to be creative, how new collaborations were formed, the negatives and the benefits of lockdown.

The musicians are based in different countries, of various ages and each has their own take on their experiences before and, during the pandemic. They also give their views on the long term effects of the pandemic.

These interviews describe the true effects of the pandemic on their lives and how they felt as a musician caught up in a global disaster. Most are jazz musicians but many play across genres. The interviews are profound, open and revealing.

With a foreword from Ivors Academy and support across the music industry, the importance of documenting the effects of Covid-19 on musicians is important and necessary.

Review of Pause, Play, Repeat: The Real Impact of Covid-19 on Musicians

Sammy Stein has pulled together a wide and great assortment of players in the jazz community to talk about the impact Covid-19 has had on their lives and careers.

The book reads as an anthology of interviews and Stein takes the time to find out how musicians were impacted whether they were a recording artist, touring headliner, local player on the London scene, in rehearsals for a stage musical, or etc. Stein prompted the performers all to delve deep to admit their own fears and worries that came with the sudden closure of the known world. She also managed to highlight different ways that each musician was able to get creative and bring their arts to the masses on a digital landscape – whether it was on-line streaming or setting up new recording studios in their own homes.

I really enjoyed this book and the opportunity to look outside my own small world at how so many others have been impacted by Covid-19. Also, I loved Sammy Stein’s angle and how she and her musicians were interested in turning a negative into a positive.

And of course, it was fun to see Collette Cooper (friend of The Joyous Living), featured in the second interview of the book. You can catch her album, Lost, that was released in December 2020 during the height of the Pandemic here.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Ms. Stein for review purposes but all opinions are my own. Enjoy!

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