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Hallelujah, we have music to help cope through COVID-19

by Shane Alexander

We’re stuck in a very scary time in the world. Many have been laid off. Many are scared for their lives. We’re all locked up in our homes, or apartments, not knowing what tomorrow’ill bring. So how do we find comfort amid the tension and spine-chilling uncertainty? Music ‘cause music has always brought us together.

Music is always with us. It’s there for the good times – Weddings, parties, in the car, karaoke-ing whilst beating traffic. But it seems we really get comfort through music during the toughest days, when there’s very little to turn to. This is when music radiates its truest colours. It’s there to remind us that this too shall pass.

We’re stuck in a very scary time in the world. Many have been laid off. Many are scared for their lives. We’re all locked up in our homes not knowing what tomorrow will bring. So how do we find comfort amid the tension and spine-chilling uncertainty?

Music. ‘Cause music has always brought us together.

Self-isolating from COVID-19 doesn’t mean the music can’t go on – that’s what balconies are for


Just last week Barcelona-based pianist Alberto Gestoso brought joy to his neighbourhood performing John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from his balcony. Those living nearby walked out onto their balconies to cheer him on. Saxophone player, Alex Lebron Torrent, even joined in.

“So much has happened in 2 weeks in the name of darkness and after this we will wake up in another world,” Torrent captions a video of their performance. “But in all of this madness…me and @albertogestoso came together sharing our passion with first our neighbors, because music has the power to heal.”

“It’s nice to see people in the peak who are coming together as one,” writes one moved viewer. “This thing is here to try and destroy us. Let’s not destroy ourselves because of it.”

We’ve also heard the music played in Siena.


Over the weekend in  Montreal, locals sang from their balconies. The song of choice was  “So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen. Pop Montreal invited Montrealers to join in on the singalong. “We Montrealers are proud of our ability to work together in difficult times . We did it during the ice storm (1998) and we are ready to do it again,” reads Pop’s Facebook page .

“So as long as there are black clouds, let’s unite and lift our spirits, accompanied by our beloved son, Leonard Cohen.”



Cuddy performed a free show backed by #Canadaperforms

Another Canadian helping in combating COVID-19 this week was Jim Cuddy. He performed a free concert Thursday on Facebook Live. The show was sponsored by the National Arts Centre and Facebook.

The concert was part of #Canadaperforms – a $100,000 short-term relief fund that pays Canadian artists for their online performances.

“It was launched by the National Arts Centre, in partnership with Facebook Canada, to help ease the financial strain for artists impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19, and to lift the spirits of Canadians during the crisis. Artists who are selected will receive $1,000 and their online performance will be broadcast on the NAC’s Facebook page.” reads the National Arts Centre web page.  



‘Wash your hands and cancel your plans,’ urged Dan Mangan


When Vancouver born Dan Mangan found out his Toronto show would be postponed due to COVID-19, he and his band were already in town and ready to rock. They decided to go ahead with the show anyway and record the audience-less show. After editing and an upload, the show was finally posted on March 16th. Mangan didn’t stop there. The singer raised over $1,300 Saturday with his weekly Side Door show. All profits raised will be going to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Next week’s proceeds are for an organization that helps women move and leave abusive relationships.


Music: 1 COVID-19: 0


So, there you have it. Music wins, COVID-19 loses.  We’ll get through this and music is and will be playing a huge part in the fight against COVID-19. Closer to home, Geeks and Beats’ ace director Shaun Jette has raised (at the time of this writing) $375 for City Street Outreach by doing a live concert on Facebook live last week. Watch it below and you can still donate by going here.


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