Pandemic

The word "pivot" has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic and taken on new meaning as people and businesses found creative ways to thrive during the crisis. Jazz Philadelphia's pivot resulted in the 2020 Virtual Jazz Appreciation Month (VJAM Philly) launch of the popular Hometown Heros profile series, which gives local jazz artists visibility and shines a light on the region's rich music legacy.

Getty Images/Pekic

WRTI is your home for all things jazz, and you’ve spent a lot of time with us over the last year. You've told us the music is soothing, uplifting, and your connection to the outside world. At a time when everything has screeched to a halt, jazz has persisted, and WRTI continues to bring it to you.

Courtesy of the artists

Oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz and bassoonist Monica Ellis have been making music together throughout the world as members of the woodwind quintet Imani Winds since its founding in 1997. In this TIME IN interview, Monica and Toyin talk about how they've navigated the pandemic with music and related online activities, gardening, family time, and planning for the future.

March 15, 2021. With a grand stroke of prescience, NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider crafted a double album about being polarized by the demands of a digital society and longing for human connection, all before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy of Jeff Curnow

Jeff Curnow does double duty with his "dream job" as principal associate trumpet in The Philadelphia Orchestra and as a popular cartoonist whose work has been appearing regularly on NPR Classical's Facebook and Twitter feeds since 2015.

Courtesy of the artrist

When she was awarded a New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America in 2019, pianist/composer Sumi Tonooka found herself inspired by the root systems of trees; above ground they may appear self-sufficient, tall and majestic, but hidden underground there is often an intricate network of shared resources, not just within a single species but beyond the greater ecosystem.

Courtesy of the artist

English concert soloist, recitalist, and opera star Carolyn Sampson was traveling when governments in Europe and the UK began shutting down in early 2020. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about getting home to England, where she's been making online discoveries with her kids, exploring nature, and looking forward to new projects in the offing.

Courtesy of Lisa Batiashvili

Georgian-born violinist Lisa Batiashvili is usually on the move, soloing with orchestras around the world. But since March she’s has been at home with her family in Germany and France. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about the pleasures of re-creating family recipes for her husband and children, playing chamber music with friends, and finding time for yoga and meditation amongst other things.

M. Nicole Fischer

With a career as a concert soloist launched at a very young age, and then a debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic when she was just 8, violinist Sarah Chang continues to perform with world-class ensembles across the globe. She's been honored for her leadership in the arts by the World Economic Forum and Harvard University, and was named Artistic Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State in 2011. 

Courtesy of Chris' Jazz Café

When Center City Philadelphia's Chris' Jazz Café closed its doors in March because of the Coronavirus, the world-famous venue was already a couple of months into a quiet revamp, offering live streaming performances as a natural option for its patrons.

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