Happy International Jazz Day!
Remember the anticipation of waiting for the band to go on? Hugging friends hello when you bumped into them? The tantalizing smell of dinners being carried out from the kitchen? The rattling of ice for cocktails? (And I just knew the bartender would later shake up another round of drinks in the middle of a quiet song but hey, that’s life.) I’d be listening to the murmur of the crowd and making last-minute changes to the setlist. I always loved peeking out into the audience, trying to see if I spotted any familiar faces.
It’s different this year. Times are tough for performing artists as well as many others who are out of work due to the pandemic. It’s nerve-wracking watching the bills pile up with no gigs in sight, but I also see a lot of good. I see you out there, finding ways to help others. I see you volunteering to get groceries for your elderly neighbors. I read your tales of frustration when trying to get your technophobe parents to successfully connect to the family Zoom call. I hear you reconnecting with old friends you haven’t talked to in ages because you’ve both always been so busy.
The best way I can help out is sharing music that brings people together. Even though we are physically apart, I love that we’ve still been gathering every Friday and Saturday night at 9pm EDT. It feels like a reunion.
For this Jazz Day, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and tune into the International Jazz Day concert hosted by Herbie Hancock. (I might not even bother changing out of my pajamas!) You can watch it from home at https://jazzday.com starting at 3pm EDT. Or watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C54ape_UfwY
And then Friday and Saturday at 9pm EDT, I hope you’ll join us on my Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/yokomiwapiano/live
I’ve been leaving the concerts online so you can still view them later. Again, you can watch even if you don’t have Facebook. When it asks you to log in, click on the small words “Not Now”, and then you can watch the video.
Hang in there. Be kind to yourselves and each other. Thank you for being here.