Chamber Music America
National Arts Organization Chamber Music America has funded Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. for a digital residency by the duo of Vibraphonist and composer Cecilia Smith and pianist and conductor Lafayette Harris, Jr. The events are comprised of three “thank you” concerts and talks celebrating the COVID-19. The audience for these events are medical and non-medical staffs, individuals and families served by Centra Health - Community Health, Lynchburg General Hospital, Virginia Baptist Hospital, Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living, all of Greater Lynchburg; the Arts in Healthcare Program VCU Health, Richmond, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, South Hill, and VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital; and the Gifts of Art Program, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. All events are free.
The Digital Residency by Amherst Glebe Arts Response, organized in partnership with Cecilia Smith and Lafayette Harris, Jr. has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America through its Residency Endowment Fund.
Cecilia Smith, a leading four-mallet technique vibraphonist, and Lafayette Harris, Jr., a New York “pianist’s pianist,” are veteran jazz musicians who have known each other and played together in freelance settings for 30 years. They’ve lived in the same Brooklyn neighborhood for 15 years and both play straight-ahead jazz. Both have had success in recording and performing around the world. Lafayette was conductor/pianist for "Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk" and played on "The Color Purple" on Broadway. Cecilia Smith’s research project as Artistic Director of the Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project took her from the New England Conservatory to Morgan State, and twice to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has received commissions from the Joyce Foundation and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Cecilia and Lafayette formed their duo ensemble in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown to continue exploring aspects of duo vibes and piano.
Cecilia and Lafayette’s musical approach for these three concerts with lectures in the digital residency will be constructed for hospital and convalescent settings where patients and workers need a soothing yet inspiring environment to work and recover during this very unusual time in our world’s history, streamed music for hospitals and homebound individuals during a world pandemic.
Director of AGAR, Lynn Kable, Director of Gifts of Art Program, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan Elaine Sims, and Director of Arts in Healthcare for VCU Health Richmond, Philip “Muzi” Branch have been active in the arts and health movement since the 1980's first in Society for Arts in Healthcare, later for Global Alliance for Arts and Health, now in the National Organization for Arts and Health (the NOAH). The presenters are enthusiastic at the idea of presenting duo ensemble Cecilia Smith and Lafayette Harris, Jr. in a series of musical concerts meant to calm audiences of patients and staff in COVID-19-stressed hospitals, giving them opportunities to watch and listen to music filled with historical significance, joy, and relaxation using methods from livestream to projected YouTube or Vimeo, hospital Facebook page, and individual devices such as phones, IPads, and GrandPads for Seniors.
Concerts may be viewed free by anyone who has access to a link.
The Digital Residency by Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc., organized in partnership with Cecilia Smith and Lafayette Harris, Jr., has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America through its Residency Endowment Fund. These concerts are delivered online as a “thank you” during the COVID-19 times to medical and non-medical staff and to patients at Centra Health and CVACL, Lynchburg; Virginia Commonwealth University Health, Richmond; and to Gifts of Art, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
AGAR’s concert programs in 2021-2022 are also funded by National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, Virginia Commission for the Arts and Greater Lynchburg Community Trust.