CHECK OUT WHAT OJN HAS BEEN DOING DURING COVID TIMES...
(See this video in a larger version on our home page!)
Like all performing arts organizations, our ability to bring live music to our audiences came to an abrupt halt in early March. So, we asked ourselves: "How can we continue to connect with our four audiences as well as COVID patients and medical workers right now?" While online music is less than ideal, OJN decided to jump in and did our best with this format. It wasn't perfect, but there was so much beauty brought by a cadre of fabulous musicians. We also expanded our mission of bringing beauty and joy to include food and art, as you will see below...
PHOTO: Violinist HYE-JIN KIM performs online for patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center
OJN brought a series of live, online concerts to the UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER in Baltimore City in May, June and July. The hour-long concerts were streamed through devices placed at the bedside of COVID patients as well as for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. The concerts featured singers, pianists, cellists and violinists sharing their beautiful talents in a most heartfelt and moving way! This project was presented in partnership with Project: Music Heals Us in New York. You can read about their wonderful work here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/03/nyregion/coronavirus-doctor-musician-rachel-easterwood.html
PHOTO: Pianist DIANE WALSH performs online for patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center
We are excited that OJN has started presenting live, outdoor, "social distancing" concerts for the men during the summer. Our first concert took place on June 12, 2020 and featured the beautiful duo pianists SUSAN ZHANG and NICK LUBY from their wonderful creation, THE CONCERT TRUCK.
Our second live, outdoor, "social distancing" concert featured the amazing singer and guitarist
FRED MOSS on July 3, 2020.
After performing at the Baltimore Station on July 12, the fabulous folk singers DAN + CLAUDIA ZANES moved a few blocks north and played for an audience in a beautiful park outside of the residents' apartment complex. This concert was presented in collaboration with the South Baltimore Partnership.
We loved having the fabulous singer and guitarist FRED MOSS back with his friend, the wonderful bass guitarist YAWN JONES, JR. Before COVID, Yawn was teaching the men as part of OJN's new Instrumental Lesson Program. Yawn was reunited with some of his students, who were so happy to see him again.
OJN founder MARIA LAMBROS brought her viola and backing tracks from favorite artists and played music from Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, The Beatles and more for the men on 9/22/20.
The fabulous duo of singer/guitarist KRISTEN TOEDTMAN and CHRIS PUMPHREY singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Pumphrey graced West West Street in front of the Baltimore Station with a healing and soulful program of music from around the world on 9/22/20.
We got our Clavinova piano up and running and the marvelous trio of BILLY PRICE, TAM SULLIVAN and PETER KANARAS brought a rousing and soulful program of blues, jazz, soul and more to the veterans on 9/30/20. They absolutely loved it!
The first OJN October Outdoor Music Festival at the Baltimore Station was kicked off with fantastic jazz from the heart brought by DAT FEEL GOOD with CLARENCE WARD III, EDDIE HYRBYK, AARON HILL, and QUINCY JONES on 10/6/20.
The beautiful duo of cellist LACHEZAR KOSTOV and pianist ANDREA BAUTISTA performed a program of gorgeous classical music for the veterans on 10/8/20.
The wonderful double bassist YOSHIAKI HORIGUCHI brought an engaging and eclectic solo bass program featuring classical, jazz, blues, flamenco and more on 10/12/20.
RODNEY KELLEY, JR., EDDIE HYRBYK, CLARENCE WARD III and QUINCY PHILLIPS of DAT FEEL GOOD gave another phenomenal performance for OJN’s “MUSIC IN THE AIR” concert series for a South Baltimore neighborhood. People opened windows, listened from their stoops and stopped by on the street for the concert on 10/15/20. This concert was presented in collaboration with the South Baltimore Partnership.
CRAIG ALSTON, QUINCY PHILLIPS, CLARENCE WARD III and RODNEY KELLEY, JR. of DAT FEEL GOOD came back to the Station- by popular demand- for another concert on 10/16/20.
THE CONCERT TRUCK (Duo pianists Susan Zhang and Nick Luby) with storyteller and percussionist DAVID FAKUNLE performed a stunning concert of American music for Sharp Leadenhall neighborhood in South Baltimore on 10/21/20.
THE CONCERT TRUCK (Duo pianists Susan Zhang and Nick Luby) with storyteller and percussionist DAVID FAKUNLE drove down the street just three blocks to the Baltimore Station for another concert of the above program on 10/21/20.
The festival continued with a fabulous performance on 10/22/20 with the amazing jazz singer GABRIELLE GOODMAN with DAVID ALAN BUNN, REGINALD PAYNE, JESSE MOODY, CRAIG ALSTON, and ROBERT DUPREE.
In celebration of Halloween, THE CONCERT TRUCK (Duo pianists Susan Zhang and Nick Luby) and storyteller DAVID FAKLUNE brought a fantastic evening of scary stories and music to the Baltimore Station on 10/28/20.
The marvelous jazz ensemble from Howard University, AFRO BLUE, was scheduled to sing two OJN performances in December of 2020. Because of COVID, of course, they could not come in person. Instead, they produced a wonderful holiday video with a variety of solo and ensemble pieces. The veterans at The Baltimore Station absolutely loved watching it on 12/24/20.
When we reached out to our Azure families to see if they wanted online concerts, the response was a resounding "YES!" We are excited present live, online AZURE CONCERTS FOR FAMILIES LIVING WITH AUTISM. DAN + CLAUDIA ZANES performed on 5/31/20 and 8/9/20. For more info, go to: azurebaltimore.org.
We loved having the wonderful flutist LOUNA DEKKER-VARGAS, on OJN favorite, present her enchanting "Musical Forest Walk with Louna" for an AZURE CONCERT FOR FAMILIES LIVING WITH AUTISM on 7/12/20.
The beautiful cellist MAFALDA SANTOS played live from her home in Portugal on 10/18/20. Her program featured the WORLD PREMIERE performance of Steven Crino’s stunning “A Gateless Garden,” written especially for Azure Family Concerts Baltimore!
The wonderful duo of singer/songwriters KRISTEN TOEDTMAN and CHRIS PUMPHREY gave a beautiful performance of music from around the world, soothing souls and lifting spirits on 12/13/20.
The exquisite artist HYE-JIN KIM performed music from her beautiful project "Lullaby Dreams" (which brings music to babies and their families in her hometown of Greenville, NC) for our Azure audience
When THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY HOPE LODGE generously opened its empty lodge to medical personnel from University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma Unit, Chef DEMETRA LAMBROS prepared 120 individual containers of chili, lentil soup and penne pasta. The food was delivered on 5/5 and 5/19 and we heard many kind words of appreciation.
THE SPECIAL FOOD PROJECT IS SPONSORED BY THE LAMBROS AND KANNEN FAMILIES
Hope Lodge Food Delivery!
Pictured (l to r) Chef Demetra Lambros,
two nurses from the University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma team, OJN Executive Director Maria Lambros
At our final OJN concerts in March, CHEF DEMETRA LAMBROS prepared two fabulous dinners for residents at The Baltimore Station shelter and The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, adding special nourishment and beauty to the evening.
THE BALTIMORE STATION had to close the shelter to volunteers the day after our concert, but was very grateful to still be able to receive donations of food. Again, Chef Demetra Lambros has prepared a number of beautiful dinners for the men.
Chef Demetra Lambros and her son dropping off her dinner at The Baltimore Station shelter on 5/12/20. THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH!
THE SPECIAL FOOD PROJECT IS SPONSORED BY THE LAMBROS AND KANNEN FAMILIES
Our fourth venue, the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, cannot have any online content, of course. But we still wanted to find a way to stay connected with the women. On 5/15/20, 8/10/20 and 2/4/21 (valentines!), OJN mailed 650 cards to the women with encouraging messages from OJN. The nine music-themed artworks on the cards were created by children with autism, another nice tie-in with our mission.
CARD PROJECT SUPPORTED BY AN ANONYMOUS DONOR