The concert videos were filmed at restaurants, shops and iconic locations throughout Greater Cleveland and will be released weekly on social media.
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Orchestra musicians have partnered together to film a new series of performance videos throughout Greater Cleveland for their new Music Medicine Initiative.
Jessica Lee, the assistant concertmaster for the Orchestra, and her colleagues created the videos to share the healing power of music with healthcare workers, patients and those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The series of seven to ten videos will be released on a weekly basis on the Orchestra’s Facebook, Twitter Instagram and YouTube accounts beginning Monday, November 23.
“This series is a part of the Music Medicine Initiative: The Power of Music for Health and Well-Being, which is a community collaboration between The Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Clinic’s Art + Design Institute,” a new release surrounding the project states.
The Orchestra and Cleveland Clinic partner on a number of projects to explore the intersection of music and medicine in both the local and global communities. A few of their recent collaborations include the Salute to Healthcare Heroes chamber concerts for Cleveland Clinic healthcare workers by Cleveland Orchestra musicians, performances by Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s chamber music ensembles at Cleveland Clinic locations and co-hosting Music & the Brain symposia in the United States and Europe.
“As the pandemic hit us, I saw the deep stress and pain experienced by frontline workers and those affected by COVID-19,” said Lee. “There was also an enormous sense of isolation and a hunger for beauty around the world, so as I began this project I focused on the words ‘community’ and ‘connection,’ two things we are all especially longing for right now. This is what led me to film these videos in some of our beloved businesses in the Greater Cleveland community, to bring the joy of these places back into people’s lives while we are less able to visit and enjoy them. Music has the unique power to unite and heal where words cannot, and it is my hope that through these videos, we will lift the spirits of healthcare workers, patients, and our entire community.”
The first three videos in the new project include the following performances by musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra:
- Movement 3 from Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, filmed at Luna Bakery in Cleveland Heights. Performed by Jessica Lee, assistant concertmaster (violin); Yun-Ting Lee (violin); Wesley Collins, principal viola (viola); and Dane Johansen (cello).
- Telemann’s Concerto for Four Violins in D Major, filmed at Mitchell’s Ice Cream in Ohio City. Performed by Peter Otto, first associate concertmaster (violin); Jung-Min Amy Lee, associate concertmaster (violin); Jessica Lee, assistant concertmaster (violin); and Stephen Tavani, assistant concertmaster (violin).
- Barber’s Dover Beach (poem by Matthew Arnold), filmed at Alley Cat Oyster Bar in downtown Cleveland. Performed by Jessica Lee, assistant concertmaster (violin); Yun-Ting Lee (violin); Wesley Collins, principal viola (viola); Dane Johansen (cello); and guest vocalist Thomas Meglioranza
For this week’s Feature Artist, a lifelong musical love blossomed from some choice singles on her CD’s.
“I used to just buy a single CD and sometimes there would be an instrumental, so I would just rap sentences that didn’t make sense over them… I would’ve been about eleven years old or so.”
With that in mind, the effortlessness of Jesswar’s hip hop output comes as no surprise. The Brissy local’s hip hop speaks for itself, with horn sections and thumping bass forming the foundation for the proud Fijian’s piercing bars.
All are present and turned up to maximum intensity in the suitably fiery June upload ‘HEATA’.
“Jesswar’s tone and her bars are so rough and ready that she NEEDS a thick, monster beat behind her so that she doesn’t completely bury a track under the weight of her flow,” Unearthed’s EP Tommy Faith said in his four-and-a-half star review.
It was a triumphant return to Unearthed for Jesswar, who had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Not only did she lose revenue from playing gigs, but could also no longer run her hip hop workshops for the young people in her community.
With the help of one of Level Up Grants, the Brissy artist was able to fund a new music video for her next single ‘Venom’, that’s due to premiere on Unearthed’s socials this week.
The track hits harder than most, with Jesswar explaining that it’s lethal energy was inspired by when it was written.
“There was a time in my life when I was quite angry. To write this song was self-care,” she told us in a full chat you can hear up top. “Getting all of the anger out of my body and putting it in the track – ‘Venom’ for me is coming out of that. Coming out of a dark place in your life and making it to the other side.”
That’s always been the case for Jesswar. Creating music hasn’t always been a source of income, but since those days rapping over CD instrumentals, it’s been a form of self-care and release.
“For me, music was like a saviour in a sense, especially hip hop,” she said. “There was a stage when I first discovered Lauryn Hill and the Fugees and that changed my life. Hearing her sing and hearing her rap and how hard she went… That gave me hope in a sense.”
“That this is possible and that you can do this. I was just always listening in amazement.”
Just like the impact those legends had on Jesswar, the Brisbane local hopes she can find audiences in need of the same wisdom and that her music “finds the people it needs to find”.
All this week on Unearthed radio
Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee each claimed seven wins Wednesday night at the pandemic-delayed Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Bad Bunny won artist of the year, the night’s top honor, as well as top Latin album for “X 100PRE” and songwriter of the year. He did not attend the ceremony.
Daddy Yankee won six of his awards for his hit “Con Calma,” which featured the 1990s artist Snow. His honors included the hot Latin song aware, and song of the year honors for streaming and airplay and digital platforms.
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The reggaeton star dedicated the first of his awards to those who had lost loved ones due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. “Music remains medicine,” he said.
Actress Gaby Espino hosted the ceremony, which aired live on Telemundo from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The event had a red carpet, but no audience.
Mexican romance singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony. Enrique Iglesias was honored as Billboard’s Top Latin Artist of All Time.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee were also recognized for “Despacito,” which was named song of the decade.
The ceremony, rescheduled from April to October, took place in-person at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. It featured a limited audience, but had most of the trappings of a pre-pandemic awards show including a red carpet and live performances.
Billboard and NBCUniversal, Telemundo’s parent company, said they put a number of safety measures in place to mitigate risk of performers and crew members contracting COVID-19.
Five stages were constructed: a central stage for Espino and four outlying stages for performers, which allowed sets to be sanitized between acts and helped facilitate social distancing.
“It’s certainly unprecedented for us,” Jeff Mayzurk, Telemundo’s executive vice president of operations and technology, told USA TODAY. “It’s almost like producing four separate shows.”
Contributing: Gary Dinges and Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; the Associated Press