Music News: Coronavirus claims jazz great Manu Dibango


Jazz great Manu Dibango has died of COVID-19, and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien believes he is infected. Chris Thile talks about how the pandemic is affecting the musical life of New York City, while remote collaborations grow ever stranger. (MPR Video)

Cameroonian jazz great Manu Dibango has died at age 86 after being hospitalized with COVID-19. You might know any of the saxophonist's decades-long body of work, but he's best known for "Soul Makossa," the 1972 hit that was sampled on tracks including Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music." (Rolling Stone) The virus has also claimed Mike Longo, a jazz pianist best known for his work with Dizzy Gillespie. (WBGO)

Radiohead's Ed O'Brien believes he's in COVID-19 recovery

Meanwhile, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien tells Uproxx that he believes he's been infected with the virus, but is recovering from the effects — which, in his case, included flu-like symptoms and losing his senses of smell and taste. He says he's self-quarantined at his home in Wales, possibly having contracted the virus during a television appearance in Paris two weeks ago.

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Sending love and strength EDX

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Chris Thile talks about how life has changed in public health crisis

Chris Thile, mandolin virtuoso and host of Live From Here, told The Current's Jill Riley about how the show is temporarily pivoting to help keep artists and fans safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

"You know," he said, "being in the room with people who are making music in real time is so exciting. We're being deprived of that right now, but that doesn't mean that all of these people that make music are ceasing to make music. We're doing it, we're just doing it in our houses. So the idea that we would try and turn that into a stage is basically what 'Live from Home' is all about. It's become quite a boisterous little open mic in the backdrop of all the fear and anxiety that we're all feeling. It's nice that we can still work with that urge that we all have to make something and share it with people."

Listen to the full interview here.

Artists launch campaigns to support tour staff

Lots of fans have been asking how they can support musicians in this crisis, but some musicians are asking their fans, in turn, to support the people who make their tours possible. The National and Soccer Mommy are among the artists who have said they'll be putting part of their income from merchandise and other sources toward the support of their touring crews. On Twitter, The National wrote, "Our crew are the lifeblood of our touring operation and have become family through the many years we've worked together." (Stereogum)

And that's today's music news. We'll be back next time with another update. Like and follow us so you'll be sure to catch it, and in the meantime listen to The Current on the radio, our web stream, our app, or your smart speaker. Also, click in the comments to let us know what music stories are meaningful to you right now.
To send you off today, we have an unusual collaboration...

Bono,, Jennifer Hudson, and Yoshiki "Sing for Life"

This health crisis is bringing people together in an inspiring way, and it's also inspired some unusual musical collaborations. Bono has released a new version of the song "Let Your Love Be Known," a song he wrote inspired by Italians singing together from their respective balconies. Joining Bono remotely on the new version are Jennifer Hudson, Yoshiki from X Japan, and — whose Black Eyed Peas once famously asked, "Where is the Love?" The answer is: right here, on the internet. (Stereogum)

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