Virtual Jazz Concert at Carlton’s Oldenburg House Raises Thousands for Area Hospitals

Donations from the livestream were distributed equally to four Northland Hospitals.

CARLTON, Minn.-  A popular music venue in Carlton decided to take their annual jazz concerts online, to help out healthcare workers in the Northland.

While normally crooning through the estate of the Oldenburg house, songs like “Make Someone Happy” were livestreamed from one room Friday and Saturday night.

The “Cookin’ at the O” Benefit Concert raised over $7,500 over the course of the two nights for Cloquet Memorial Hospital, Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake and Saint Luke’s in Duluth.

“The healthcare people said they are so grateful that we are taking such good care of them by staying home and doing masks and staying apart,” said Emily Swanson, Executive Director of the Oldenburg Arts and Cultural Community.

Healthcare workers also hopped on the livestream to share a few words. An important part of the event, organizers said.

“They’re the frontline, they’re unfortunately dealing with more than any of us are and they see all the bad, and it keeps it real,” Scott Lillo said.

Meanwhile musicians said it was important to play for a good cause–doing what they love while staying at home. “There’s always the aspect of playing for the spirit of the music and it does feel good that we are able to do something at least,” said Glenn Swanson, Artistic Director for the Oldenburg Arts and Cultural Community.

Technicians who worked on making the stream happen said it was worth the hard work to bring the healing power of music to people in these tough times.

“The biggest values of art is its ability to take noise and bring order to it, to find order in the chaos,” Daniel Benoit said, “and things are so chaotic right now and so making sure that people can still connect.”

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