Nanaimo musicians host cul-de-sac concerts to lift spirits during pandemic

Nanaimo musicians host cul-de-sac concerts to lift spirits during pandemic
WatchWhen COVID-19 hit, concerts were cancelled worldwide ending a dream run of performances for a Nanaimo jazz singer before it even began. So that's when Narissa Young decided to bring her band and their music to her Nanaimo neighbourhood and as Skye Ryan reports, it's turning into more than she ever imagined it could be.

Neighbours from a Nanaimo Street arrived with lawn chairs and friendly waves Friday for a concert they’ve been looking forward to all week.

“This brought everyone together,” said Nanaimo resident Liz Leahy.

“And it’s so nice.”

“Such a wonderful thing to be able to connect with our neighbourhood,” said Nanaimo resident Leann Crook.

“And of course listen to amazing music.”

Nanaimo jazz singer Narissa Young decided to offer concerts in the cul-de-sac after a dark turn in her career.

“I began to realize there’s a choice to have a lemon or have lemonade,” said Young.

The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly led to cancelled gigs of Young that were booked and sold out, including an opening night concert for a four-month long booking in Greece that should be happening right now.

“It was very, very jarring,” said Young.

“Just gone, just no you can’t go out and earn the money you thought you were gonna make.”

So like the best jazz performers are taught, Young improvised with her band.

For some of the neighbours, it’s their first time meeting, even if it’s from two metres apart.

“We’re getting to know people a whole lot better now,” said Nanaimo resident Debi Smith.

“We’re so friendly,” said Nanaimo resident James Pham.

“We have fun together.”

“You know playing in a cul-de-sac, could be just as moving as playing in a major stage somewhere around the world,” said pianist Scott Arkell.


Skye RyanSkye Ryan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!