Announcing the Livestream Hub From WBGO, Your Guide to Online Concerts Big and Small

Mar 25, 2020

Many of us have recently spent an inordinate amount of time experiencing live music through our screens.

The Livestream Hub from WBGO was created in response to this moment. It’s an up-to-date way to help musicians connect with audiences, whether through solo recitals from a Brooklyn apartment or broadcasts from an audience-less club. (Find it at wbgo.org/livestreamhub.)

With stay-at-home orders in effect across the country and around the world, the musical landscape has been upended, and it will clearly be some time before we regain equilibrium. In the meantime, the livestream has quickly emerged as a stopgap solution: not a perfect substitute, to be sure, but a means of bringing artists and audiences together without running afoul of social-distancing decrees.

Perhaps you’ve been tuning in to Fred Hersch’s regimen of brief solo piano recitals, every day at 1 p.m. ET. (During his first one, last Sunday, he played Billy Strayhorn’s “U.M.M.G.” — dedicating it to doctors and hospital personnel. “They are what stands between us and who knows what,” he said.)

Or perhaps you were one of more than 1,000 people who tuned in to a lively set by the Emmet Cohen Trio, which he beamed from his living room in Los Angeles, with help from the Lied Center of Kansas, where the band had been scheduled to play that night. (I enjoyed that one from my couch, with a bit of bourbon.)

If you were lucky, you tuned in to the first of a planned series of living room concerts by Cécile McLorin Salvant, last week. Joined at the piano by her frequent partner, Sullivan Fortner, she sang everything from Bessie Smith to Mel Brooks, taking the odd request from the comments bar. (For now, she has left this extraordinary session live on her Facebook page.)

More examples of this trend are emerging all the time, which is why we created the Livestream Hub. This service is designed for utility, with the aim of providing a comprehensive survey of livestream offerings.

We’ve got our antennae up, and will be adding events as we see them. But if you are an artist (or an artist or venue representative) and want to be certain that your upcoming event gets listed, we encourage you to complete this form online, and be sure to select the category marked “Livestream Hub.” Your submission will be reviewed and published in a timely fashion.

The Livestream Hub stands apart from some organizations’ efforts to release archival content; we’ll cover those in another form. What we hope to do is spread the word about real-time performances, wherever they may be. And we encourage anyone tuning in to consider supporting the artist or organization when you do.

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