fbpx

Checking on Our Musicians!

Checking on Our Musicians!

By Claudia Vallejo

Click aqui para español- > ¡Apoyando a los músicos!

We need music today more than ever. In stressful times, there is nothing like it, and musicians have not stopped playing.

However, the pandemic has greatly impacted artists. With festivals canceled and gatherings restricted, musicians have

been trying to figure out how to do what they love. They also need to survive. From virtual concerts to front porch

performances, they have been reinventing themselves. Viva Nola Magazine interviewed six New Orleans’ musicians about some positive outcomes and challenges during this time.

 

Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown

Grammy-award winner. He enjoys performing but believes the message the act of performing during the pandemic sends is more important than the music itself.

How have you reinvented yourself during the pandemic?

By deciding to be more prolific as a songwriter and artist. I have used this time as the world stands still to write and release more music.

What are some of the advantages of virtual concerts?

It is an opportunity to empower musicians and artists to have sole control and responsibility for their performance earnings after decades of complaining and bickering with venues for fair pay.

What are some of the disadvantages?

The most obvious is not having that up close and personal interaction that we are used to having. It has been awkward trying to represent the vibrations that we would usually conjure at a live show through a virtual Livestream. Those vibrations are the whole point of performing live. It does not just come from us. It comes from the audience too. 

*Check out Leon “Kid Chocolate” on Instagram @Kidchocolatejazz and Facebook @ Kid Chocolate Jazz.

 

Brent Rose

Saxophonist, and founder of the Latin group “Muevelo.” He has been doing porch concerts where musicians and bands get together and perform in front of their house to play for tips.

How have you shifted your performances after lockdown?

I do a concert for my neighbors every Tuesday.  We bring different bands, and we play music. I have become the owner of my music club, right on my front lawn.  But it is not enough.  It is just something.

Any new outcomes to this new way to perform?

Maybe when New Orleans and the world gets back to normal, I can still do these porch concerts. I have gotten to meet so many more neighbors. These concerts have helped create a real sense of community.

Any disadvantages?

I feel like a lot of musicians are currently progressing as individuals, but the bands are not progressing at all.

Rene Coman

A bassist, and long-time member of the band Iguanas, Rene Coman, says that musicians had to figure out how to continue to play since the lockdown.

How have you reinvented yourself as a musician during this time?

It has been a million different things to add to the toolbox of all the things we have already learned to do as musicians. I have a weekly podcast, The Troubled Men Podcast, that I continue to put out. It is one way that I could consistently stay engaged.

Do you see any advantages for virtual performances?

Once we figured out how to successfully have products that sound good on the internet, then every job and performance going forward, I can be available to fans in any country. It was kind of a revelation.

 

Robin Barnes

Jazz singer Robin Barnes has been live-streaming a show with her husband and her baby daughter every Monday since the lockdown started.

How have you adjusted your musical career during this time?

Venue closures have forced us in a positive way to being more digital and having a more substantial online presence.  It will be great that our fanbase may not be only in New Orleans, but because we are digitally updated, we will have those people involved, even if they are not here physically. Once we can work again, we will have the best of both worlds.

Any disadvantages?

Most of us have been full-time musicians. We lost our work and all our income.  It is challenging to find ways to make income and ways to navigate through this time of uncertainty.  In the beginning, people were donating, and now people do not contribute as much to the live stream.

*Follow Robin Barnes on Instagram@neworleanssongbird and Robin Barnes Music on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Mario Abney

Mario Abney, a jazz trumpeter, was frequently traveling to perform in Chicago and New York. But when the pandemic hit, he started to work more on his video presentation, making more music videos and composing new songs.

How have you reinvented yourself during the pandemic?

I noticed that my following began to grow because I was video streaming myself on the street. People from all over the world were watching because of New Orleans’s gravity for music and culture. Some other musicians wanted to fight over a street spot that I was playing on. I have been going online from the house since December.

What are some of the disadvantages?

You get the people’s energy, but when you play online, you only read the comments.  I have started a new band, Mario Abney’s Quintet, and the idea is to stream weekly jazz concerts with green screen with technology, pretty much like live videos. We are still working on the sound.

*You can follow Mario Abney every Tuesday night live on Facebook, Instagram, and letsliveradio.com

Oscar Rossignoli

Oscar Rossignoli, a Honduran-born piano player, had to learn how to live stream his concerts. He points out that “the first challenge was to make sure that the internet connection, the sound, and the camera were all working well.”

How has your career changed since the pandemic?

I have been working lately as a solo piano artist.  Before the pandemic, I did not have too many solo concerts.  I was very busy playing with different bands. To make a living and because of Covid-19, my solo playing has forced me to study, practice, and compose songs differently.

Have there been any benefits?

I felt that I needed time to rest, but at the same time, it is very stressful not to have more work.  I have done other projects, and I have focused on my individual growth as a musician.  Another advantage is that we are pre-recording our concerts and sending them to different jazz festivals and jazz clubs like Blue Note in New York and Milan.

*Follow Oscar Rossignoli’s announcement about his live stream shows on Instagram and Facebook @Oscar Rossignoli

Last modified onMonday, 08 February 2021 11:40

VIVA NOLA February-March 2021 You can support VIVA NOLA’s mission of connecting communities by donating here. Your support, in any amount, is very appreciated.
Claudia Vallejo

Writer/Escritora

Colombia

Economic Development

Better Business Practices During Uncertain Times

Better Business Practices During Uncertain Times

Better Business Practices During Uncertain Times By Alejandra Guzmán Click aqui para español- > Mejores Prácticas de Negocios...

Food

The País Grape, Our Heritage in America.

The País Grape, Our Heritage in America.

The País Grape, Our Heritage in America. By Rebeca M. Pinhas, CSW, CSWS   Instagram @vinomomnola Click...

Pacos Tacos: The New Kids on the Block

Pacos Tacos: The New Kids on the Block

Pacos Tacos: The New Kids on the Block By Cristy Cali     Instagram @drcristycali Click aqui...

Summer Sippin' in new Orleans

Summer Sippin' in new Orleans

Summer Sippin' in new Orleans Bartenders share cocktail recipes to make at home Bars have been one...

Quality: Cheap vs. Expensive Wines

Quality: Cheap vs. Expensive Wines

Quality: Cheap vs. Expensive Wines By Rebeca M. Pinhas, CSW, CSWS    @vinomomnola Click aqui para español-...

The story behind the food we eat on Easter Sunday

The story behind the food we eat on Easter Sunday

The story behind the food we eat on Easter SundayBy Marcella Escarfuller @bubblegumcatering Click aqui para...

Mezcal

Mezcal

Mezcal By Marcella Escarfuller @bubblegumcatering Click aqui para español- >Mezcal Tequila is inarguably one of the most popular spirits...

Chocolate

Chocolate

Chocolate By Marcella Escarfuller Click aqui para español- >Chocolate One thing comes to mind when I think of...

King Cake

King Cake

King Cake By Marcella Escarfuller Click aqui para español- > King Cake The King Cake, named for the three...

Tamales

Tamales

Tamales By Marcella Escarfuller Click aqui para español- >Tamales Aside from family, the one thing synonymous with the...

New Orleans Premier Multicultural Magazine