The gigs have dried up so he plays for the neighbors

The gigs have dried up so he plays for the neighbors

Michael Finkelstein plays his trumpet for the neighbors

When the shelter-in-place directive arrived in mid-March, I saw so many of my trumpet playing and teaching opportunities evaporate in the blink of an eye. I was scheduled to play at many senior living facilities and other sites, and I had a standing assignment teaching jazz to middle school students both privately and at Continental Schools in Green Valley.

Since we had the time, my wife Joyce and I started to take walks to get out of the house. During a walk in late March she and I discussed what homebound Italian musicians were doing, playing for their neighbors from their balconies. Unsure of the reception I would receive, I took my trumpet out to our patio and was gratified to get a smattering of applause during my hour long performance. The next day I played outside for the neighbors, but also had Joyce stream my afternoon performance on Facebook Live. I was amazed at who tuned in both locally and friends, grandkids, and cousins around the country, as well as Canada and Mexico.

It has been more than three months now. Every weekday at 2 p.m., I play a one-hour program inside or outside (weather permitting) and on Facebook Live. I can get up to 40 responses each day. I love to respond to requests and to reconnect with folks. It has been therapeutic for me and from what I can tell, a bright spot in the day for those who tune in.

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