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Tough Times Call for Sweet Measures! Jazz Forum Arts Recommends…

Mark Morganelli is the Executive Director at Jazz Forum Arts.

Nanny Assis will perform with Daniel Assis on May 2 in a Facebook Live-stream presented by Jazz Forum Arts
Nanny Assis will perform with Daniel Assis on May 2 in a Facebook Live-stream presented by Jazz Forum Arts

   We are so fortunate to live in Westchester County, home to an abundance of excellent cultural organizations, many of which are offering live or recorded music via the internet as a sort of balm for the soul.  When our normal becomes abnormal, there is still an underlying urge to connect with audiences and supporters. As such, some organizations are utilizing the internet to have great artists perform for widespread enjoyment.

     Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah is inviting folks to join them virtually for livestream concerts by various artists in its Music Room. The 32-year-old concert series Downtown Music at Grace in White Plains is affording devotees the opportunity to enjoy many past performances by accessing the archives on its website and inviting e-mail subscribers to enjoy music from previous seasons. “Coping…with Copland House” offers listeners a musical respite when folks visit Copland House’s website, availing themselves of past performances by stellar artists.

     RiverArts, the 53-year-old organization based in Hastings-on-Hudson, is providing remote music lessons during the pandemic while most of its regular programming is unable to take place. Similarly, Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains offers virtual music lessons via Skype, Zoom and other platforms, while they are also broadcasting a virtual concert for the community on May 8.

     As for Jazz Forum Club in Tarrytown, though it has been closed due to the coronavirus concerns, a weekly Jazz Forum @ Home e-newsletter features past performances, as well as previews of weekly streams on Facebook Live (each Saturday). Pianists Julius Rodriguez and Ted Rosenthal have performed from their homes, as have vocalists and keyboardists Sherma Andrews and Ann Hampton Callaway. Recently, celebrated vocalist Camille Bertault even broadcast from her home in Paris, collaborating with her dad who plays piano. On May 2, Nanny Assis, featuring Daniel Assis, will perform; on May 9, Alexis Cole.

     During these incredibly challenging times, as we socially distance so that we can return to getting together socially without the distance, it is music that has a very special capacity to heal and uplift our spirits.  Take some time out of your schedule to check out the wonderful musical offerings of many of our cherished organizations right here in Westchester – you’ll be glad you did.

A version of this article first appeared in the May issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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