Home Street musicians The Upstate Beat: Free Health Clinic for Musicians Happening Sunday at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs

The Upstate Beat: Free Health Clinic for Musicians Happening Sunday at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs


USTATIC BEAT – When Saratoga Springs blues duo Mark & ​​Jill first traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to compete in the International Blues Challenge, vocalist Jill Burnham was focused on more than blues and music. barbecue.

A nurse at Saratoga Hospital in her ‘day’ job, Burnham marveled at how the Memphis festival had a pop-up health clinic, sponsored by the Blues Foundation’s Handy Artists Relief Trust Fund, which helps blues musicians and their families deal with health issues and related financial issues.

Burnham volunteered as a registered nurse at the Memphis clinic, which attracted musicians from several hours away to get their annual health checkups. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I think we have a lot of musicians in the capital region, and I would like to help provide routine health checks and wellness education to my community and my colleagues in the music community,” she says.

Burnham’s vision comes true this weekend, when the free musicians’ health and wellness day she organized takes place at Caffè Lena. The event for uninsured and underinsured musicians, Sunday, October 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is supported by Saratoga Hospital Community Health Center, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, and Caffè Lena.

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Burnham hopes the free clinic will fill an important need for area musicians, who often struggle to get affordable health care. “As a registered nurse, it became clear to me that access to health care is an issue for many Americans for many different reasons, she says.

“During the COVID shutdown, I realized that many musicians and other independent entrepreneurs were unable to access the resources available to those employed by larger organizations and corporations.”

Musicians can simply come to the clinic, although pre-registration is recommended at www.caffelena.org/health-clinic.

The first 40 people to register receive free custom earplugs for hearing protection on stage. The wellness day also offers blood pressure screening, diet consultation, HEP-C/HIV screening, Thai Chi for Musicians class, colorectal cancer screening kits, Narcan kits and information about follow-up care.

A health insurance navigator will be available for people who want help accessing affordable health insurance options.

“I hope to build community and give musicians in this area access to routine screening and basic healthcare options that they may not know they have, so they can continue to bring us their music for many years to come,” Burnham said. “We hope to do it again in the future, if we have good turnout and see there is a need in our community.

The week ahead

— Philadelphia’s Ghost Light, known for trippy improvisational songs played in “glorious synchronicity,” brings the Healing Tour to Lark Hall (351 Hudson Ave., Albany) Fridays at 8 p.m.
— Welsh alt-rock trio Joy Formidable returns to the Hollow Bar and Kitchen (79 N. Pearl St, Albany), where the band played a well-received show in 2019. Friday, 8 p.m.
— Twiddle co-founder and Vermont guitarist Mihali promises reggae spirit, flowing soundscapes and sung mantras Saturday at Putnam Place (63a Putnam Street, Saratoga Springs). 9 p.m.
– Master storyteller Said Cleaves visits Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Avenue, Albany) on Sunday. 7 p.m.
— Los Angeles duo No Age embody the spirit of early indie punk and hardcore; catch the group at No Fun (275 River Street, Troy) on Sundays. With Godcaster, Syko Friend and Sunbloc. 7 p.m.
Contact Kirsten Ferguson at [email protected]


More: Life & Arts | All Saratoga Springs-Ballston Spa


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