The idea that your next concert may not be until next year is a horrifying one, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the case.
A band of six musicians is taking to the streets to provide entertainment for those of us stuck at home—from their cars. Concerts From Cars, by Ukranian American producer and activist Olga Morkova, is the newest project from CenterPoint Arts, aiming to offer a safe live music experience to neighborhoods while also raising money via Venmo and Paypal for struggling musicians.
Each player keeps their distance, usually staying in or near their respective cars, and they keep performances short (about 15-20 minutes) so as not to attract a crowd.
Musicians play in masks and even the saxophones have masks, Morkova said.
The musicians—Dan Kurfirst and Andrew Drury on percussion, Nick Lyons on saxophone, Ben Cohen on tenor saxophone, trumpet player Ryan Messina and Dave Sewelson on baritone saxophone—often invite guest musicians to collaborate with them and play original compositions by Dan Kurfirst and Andrew Drury and improvise on those.
Their next planned concert is on Saturday, May 2 with Claire de Brunner on bassoon.
"The idea of Concerts From Cars came to me in the very beginning of the quarantine," Morkova told us. "As someone who was born in the Soviet Union and lived through a major humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, I knew that there is always a way, even when it looks like there is nothing we can do."
"In this case, when all concerts were canceled and all music venues were closed, I realized that talent is still there, musicians want to play music together and bring it to people," she continued. "We just had to find a safe way to deliver it in the context of the pandemic, as safety is the first priority. My husband, musician and composer Dan Kurfirst, supported the idea. We invited musician friends. Here we go—the show must go on!"
If you're itching for some music on your block, you can book them to play outside your building (just be aware that not everybody may enjoy your gift). Each week, the band frees up four slots in one borough.
They've been captured on video and shared on social media:
View this post on Instagram
"We believe that music comes through us—musicians—and as it travels through us, it heals us, then it arrives to our audience and heals them," Andrew Drury said. "We also strengthen community, as we stop by houses of other musicians and they join us from the stoop."
Most popular on Time Out
- Millions of free face coverings are being distributed across NYC this month
- You can download over 200 art books from the Guggenheim for free
- The Metropolitan Opera streams a new lineup of free performances every night this week
- The best live theater to stream online
- Ellis Island will now personally help you research your ancestors