Stories From Home - Sean Pascalle

Every week, we ask a different local artist to provide their unique perspective on the pandemic experience from a musician’s point of view. Through words, video and music, each musician will share their story, along with an audio or video sample of a recent project, and a link to purchase their music so that you can support their work.

This week, we profile a club owner - a group which has been hit hard by the pandemic. Sean Pascalle from Poetry Jazz Cafe discusses some of the particular challenges he's faced, and his resolve to pivot.

"The work is/was providing a live music space to our Toronto and surrounding residents and also providing an attractive music destination and scene for our international visitors. Then imagine the unthinkable: [it was like] a new menacing neighbour breaking into your home or venue, pulling the plug on your mic and amp, with approval from the government, police and city bi-law officers, and you can do nothing.The effects of the pandemic are devastating and will have a long term, catastrophic impact for all live music venues in Canada. And, even after the pandemic is under control worldwide, the silence will be loud...

I’ve learned a deeper sense of patience, humility and resilience. I’ve also learned that the darkest depth of the agony happens at midnight - I guess that’s about the time, when the band has ended a third long set, as the audience shouts, ‘one more!'.

[So we decided] to pivot, by opening an online store featuring our merch, such as t-shirts and other POET branded clothing, [along with] band CD’s and EP’s."

We always ask Stories From Home contributors to submit a video. As a venue owner (as opposed to a performer), Sean sent along a selection of short videos, and we've chosen to post this brief clip which, as Sean says, "captures the mood during the pandemic period at Poetry Jazz Cafe. [It's] Quincy Bullen & family jamming to an empty space, but having fun..."

Support Sean and Poetry Jazz Cafe by purchasing their merch at

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