Since the beginning of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States and the world earlier this year, many, if not most, have put a stop to social gatherings. A shelter in place order directing all residents to stay inside until further notice went into effect in Sacramento County on March 20. A day later Governor Gavin Newsom announced a stay at home order for all of California.
In response to the call for social distancing to keep the virus at bay, arts organizations and presenters began canceling performances even before the stay-at-home orders were issued.
Artists and musicians know, however, that the idea of a life without music is inconceivable. Thus, like so many aspects of our “new normal,” musicians took to the internet and social media to begin performing for the public virtually.
Virtually is how Sacramento resident and internationally acclaimed pianist Lara Downes released her new album. In lieu of a live tour, Downes hosted a livestream performance on Facebook April 3 from her home in Sacramento, co-produced by CapRadio. Click play at the top of this page to watch back.
Lara Downes’ uplifting new album "Some of These Days" revisits freedom songs and spirituals, historic expressions of hope and courage that remind us — in this time of global unrest and chaos caused by the coronavirus — of our human capacity for optimism, activism, and unification in the face of crisis.
“For me, the motivation in creating this record has always been the relevance and timelessness of these songs,” says Downes. ‘There’s the pain, reaction to oppression, always hope, always a vision of a better place. All of those things are relevant and current today.’
With her livestreamed concert, Downes also raised funds for Feeding America in support of national relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.