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A 40+ year Omaha tradition nearly ended, but these musicians are keeping it alive amid coronavirus

A 40+ year Omaha tradition nearly ended, but these musicians are keeping it alive amid coronavirus

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For decades, there was always Mr. Toad's on a Sunday.

Sunday isn't exactly a happening night for nightlife. Many bars are closed, especially in the Old Market.

But Mr. Toad's was always open, and there was always jazz. For years, the late Luigi Waites performed there. Since he passed away, other musicians have performed every week. 

But with bars closed, there's been no Sunday evenings at Mr. Toad's. There's been no jazz ringing out into Howard Street. 

Neal Duffy and Keith Rodger didn't want that tradition to end. The two DJs (who are multitalented audio engineers and music producers, too) wanted to make sure it continued, so they started teaming up to DJ a jazz night.

It's been going on for weeks, and they're celebrating their 10th Sunday with a few special guests: Spanish artist Lau Noah (who performed an NPR Tiny Desk concert), guitarist Andrew Bailie and an as-yet-unnamed guest from Los Angeles.

"This started as a way to see and ‘hang’ with our friends on our typical Sunday," they said.  “I never anticipated this, we have people from New Zealand, NYC, Cali, South America, Asia…..people from ALL OVER.”

“We just want to provide a soundtrack to ‘your’ Sunday," they said.

The event will kick off at 9 p.m. tonight and run until midnight. You can watch on Zoom with the meeting ID 236-821-2418.


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Reporter - Entertainment/music/concert

Kevin Coffey is the music critic and entertainment reporter, covering music, movies, video games, comic books and lots more. Follow him on Twitter @owhmusicguy. Phone: 402-444-1557.

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