A Message from Yoko Miwa

Hello fans and friends and the entire jazz family!

I’m still playing live from home via Facebook Livestreams on Fri & Sat nights. I’ve been so gratified by how many of you have tuned in. Thank you. It means the world to me to still be able to share music with all of you. We may be physically distanced, but we can still share music together! I can’t read your comments while I’m playing but say hello in the comments so I’ll know you dropped by. For those who’ve been asking about how to leave donations, I have these accounts:

I’m passing on 20% of all proceeds to the Jazz Foundation of America COVID-19 MUSICIANS’ EMERGENCY FUND.

Downbeat recently did a feature on streaming shows and I was happy to be mentioned.

We were supposed to be in the studio this week recording my new CD for the Ubuntu label but the recording session has been postponed to June. I’m teaching my normal private schedule at Berklee but doing it online with Zoom; it’s going well. Personally I’m just trying to practice piano, listening to a lot of music, trying to exercise, cooking a lot, and catching up on Hulu shows I’ve been meaning to watch. It’s nice to have the company of my cat, Edamame, although I think she’s confused wondering when we are going to leave the house.

I hope all of you are well. Take care of yourselves, and take of each other.

With love and thanks,

Yoko

http://www.yokomiwa.com/2020/04/15/supporting-musicians-during-the-pandemic/

Live Streams work to fill the gap

As the world goes into further shutdown mode, we artists do what we always do best, create! The effort to keep our voices flowing to the eyes and ears of the audience is during troubled times is part of the job description we never talk about. During the greatest calamities of the years past, artists filled in the gaps left by governance leaders. This time is no different.

Across the country, live streams are taking place but one town knows best how to keep the entertainment going, Nashville. It was an honor to boost the signal of our friend Michael Weintrob, photographer extraordinaire and his Instrumenthead Studios debut. But we weren’t alone in watching these fine musicians. Roots radio station WMOT tuned in and gave us a nice write up about the event. Read more.

Launching The Unity Stage

Dear friends,

I have spent 25 years supporting artists in their effort to entertain. Most never see the behind the scenes efforts needed to fill the stage with entertainment or to pack a room for a workshop. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the finest musicians, writers, comedians and more for over two decades and know what they go through in hard times. In the recession of 2007, I had to help many artists by lowering hosting fees, navigate options for creating digital offerings that cut their costs and remind everyone that when we don’t spend any money on entertainment while we tighten our belt, we all feel it eventually. I want to thank many of those artists who always helped me keep the boat afloat including Howard Levy, Jamey Haddad, The Cooperman Drum Company and a range of behind the scenes friends including the amazing Otis Maclay who never loses sight of why we do this.

The Unity Stage may only make a dent in the problem we face with coronavirus, but we’ll try anyway. We’re going to find all the available streaming performances and feed them into our Facebook page and other platforms as this continues. We ask that you donate directly to the artists when we post their Paypal and Venmo links. Any funds sent to us intended for a specific artist will be passed to them in total, no exceptions. There are some who have already said they want to support this project directly and we appreciate your considerations.

We’ve got a long way to go until this catastrophic pandemic subsides and life returns to something that resembles normal. Thank you for your patience with each other, with us and please stop and count blessings. While you do, join us on Facebook to enjoy the creative offerings from the entertainers who join us at The Unity Stage.