Can You Hear Me? A Tribute To San Diego Jazz Musicians During The Pandemic

Michele Zousmer BY

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It's been an extraordinarily difficult year for the live music industry due to the pandemic. Musicians understand the importance of music as a tool to help deal with the situation we are currently in. The power of music has no limits. Music heals, it unites, it is medicine for the soul. Music is one of the universal cultural aspects of societies all around the world. We cannot underestimate the importance of music in our lives and communities.

This project is to highlight local San Diego jazz musicians who thought outside the box to help our communities come out the other side of this crisis stronger, healthier, more connected and empathetic than ever. Jazz can be seen as a reflection of the cultural diversity and individualism of this country. This project is my way of recognizing these brilliantly talented souls for giving so much of themselves to others.

I love jazz. Living in downtown San Diego I have enjoyed so many live jazz concerts. Many people are not aware of the vibrant jazz community here. I missed this so much when the pandemic forced us all to stay apart and isolated. I wondered how these talented musicians were doing through this difficult time. Performances were canceled, audiences were gone. This was their life force. How were they spending their time? I was determined to capture this so I decided I would ask them. I went on a photographic journey to tell the story of how they fared through the pandemic. I found a group of people demonstrating resiliency, creativity, and passion. Exactly what I hoped to find. These musicians need to be recognized and applauded for all they did to keep our spirits up.
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