Creative Alliance | WYPR

Creative Alliance

This pandemic’s been a tough time for musicians. Clubs are closed, and gigs are cancelled. But our friends at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance had a lightbulb moment. They thought: These musicians that we usually book on our stage, what if we start booking them on stoops and porches? They’d be outdoors, the crowds would be small, just the neighbors on the block. People would be masked up and socially distant. But it’d be a little moment of community, and it’d give these musicians some work.

Midday On Music: Adapting To An Online-Only World

Aug 13, 2020
Photo by Pawel Loj/Flickr Creative Commons

Today, Midday on Music: conversations with musicians across musical genres, to see how they are faring in a world where to gather in a large group is to put your life at risk. Instead, artists and arts organizations are adapting to an online-only world. 

Later in the show, Tom speaks with three pianists with local roots whose work has taken them to venues around the world:  Classical pianist Lura Johnson,  composer, producer and pianist Wendel Patrick and virtuoso jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut.

We begin with a look at Maryland’s largest arts organization, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The BSO’s performances, of course, have been put on hold -- except its online offerings. Brian Prechtl is a percussionist with the BSO, and the head of the Players Committee. Peter Kjome is the orchestra’s president and CEO. They join Tom on Zoom, like all our guests today.

During the show, we mentioned the following happenings by local performers and arts organizations, all of which are reaching audiences from a distance:

Cyrus Chestnut is appearing at Keystone Korner tonight through Sunday -- and helping NEA Jazz Master Todd Barkan celebrate his 74th birthday. The onsite concert is sold out. Virtual tickets are still available.

Sidewalk Serenades from Creative Alliance: Have a short performance delivered to your sidewalk, or send one to a friend.

Craig Alston and Friends Birthday Celebration: Streaming live from An Die Musik tonight at 7 pm!

Ken and Brad Kolodner and Friends: Streaming live this Saturday at 8 pm, part of the Creative Alliance’s Virtual Front Row series of concerts. 

The Social Isolation Song Series by Baltimore-based Dan and Claudia Zanes. For more than 150 days, they have posted a daily song.  Here’s their adaptation of “Which Side are You On?"

The Daily Dose 4-21-20

Apr 21, 2020

Baltimore’s Mayor announces a new COVID-19 testing site. In Baltimore County, more than half of businesses surveyed say they’re hurting. A second round of relief funding is on the way, but what can small businesses do to stay afloat now? And a local arts organization is finding ways to keep the community engaged and pay its artists and performers.

SCREENSHOT VIA EMILY SULLIVAN/WYPR


Jessica Hyman, a Baltimore artist who performs under the name DJ Trillnatured, started off her Saturday night set like she would any other: by playing a cascade of feel-good beats designed to get her audience moving.

But unlike most nights, that audience wasn’t flanked around her. Instead, they were dancing on Zoom, a free video conferencing website that’s hosted scores of virtual happy hours and celebrations, and now, makeshift Baltimore clubbing. 

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Stories from a Dominican barbershop, a tattoo parlor, a lawyer’s office, a coffee counter, and a collaborative arts hub, all neighbors in the melting pot that is Eastern Avenue in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood.   

SORI

The sitar of India. The bouzouki from Greece. The West African sherkere  … Traditional instruments of all shapes, sounds and sizes help define music from cultures across the globe. But the percussive rhythms of the drum are universal … there is something about the primal beat that echoes the heart and beckons the soul. The Korean Shamanic percussion group, Noreum Machi plays upon that instinct. Using instruments and vocalizations, they perform music known as samul nori. Shawn Choi, founder and director of SORI, a New York City based artist agency that specializes in Korean music, tells us about the group and its music.

For information about Noreum Machi's Creative Alliance performance on Sat. March 3, visit this link.

Still lifes and landscapes, watercolors and oils. Artist James Hennessey came to Baltimore in 1965 to teach painting at MICA. Works from his five-decade career go on display at this weekend at the Creative Alliance--an exhibition called “Enduring Concerns”. Click here for information about the show.

Artist David Plunkert takes us inside his job as a professional illustrator; outgoing director Megan Hamilton remembers her time with The Creative Alliance; and novelist Robert Stucky talks about A Complicated Legacy, the story of a Southern plantation owner’s effort to emancipate his slaves, who were also his family.