“The Acoustic Engagement‘s purpose is for us to gather and create music with each other,” said Jaime DeJesus, of ALEO-music. “The same as usual, except…different.”
The COVID-19 lockdown has certainly made live music difficult, but dedicated artists are showing their willingness and ability to adapt.
“I have been working remotely with a handful of musicians who have found themselves without work—myself included,” said DeJesus. “All theaters have been shut down, all of the schools, all of the venues. We have been teaching remotely, via video chat, and performing live shows on various internet platforms.”
The established collaborative nature of the Hudson County music scene has helped keep the light shining in these gloomy times.
“I couldn’t have put anything together like this without the help of Mike Kuzan of The Latest Noise,” says DeJesus. “Among other things, his skill at organizing and knowledge of all aspects of creating an event like this is invaluable.”
Playing music is a team sport—and while the arena is a lot different, these folks know the drill.
“These musicians are friends, as well as some of the most creative and skilled players of their instruments,” said DeJesus, “and in our conversations while sheltered-in-place, came to a decision to organize and create a show, ALEOproductions-style. All of these performances are done from the safety of our homes.”
As for the gig itself, the setlist is bound to strike a chord.
“I chose to base the show on acoustically driven songs. There are electric instruments involved in a large way, but the core of each tune is based on an acoustic sensibility. It is not often that any of us or any of our audience has the opportunity to enjoy an entire set of acoustic music, so the crafting began there,” said DeJesus. “The result is a set of gorgeous music played by skilled musicians.”
The presentation will be on a live WatchShow on Facebook, where the audience can interact with each other and the musicians in a live chat.
“In our recordings, you hear our mistakes and triumphs and how we react to both, as in our live performances,” says DeJesus. “It’s beautiful.”
The show is this Friday at 9 p.m., at the end of what has been a pretty long week in America…
“On a personal note, I tend to observe the turmoils that smolder and erupt in our society, rather than share my opinions beyond my close friends. And, like many, I often feel overwhelmed,” says DeJesus. “Instead, I make it my singular goal and responsibility to bring pockets of joy and positivity. While I cannot change peoples’ minds or solve the pollution problem or lead a revolution, I am confident in our ability to create those pockets of joy and elation through our art and our craft. And we continue to counter those negative tragedies with equal or greater amounts of positivity.”
He adds, “I hope for the audience to feel better about themselves and the world as a result of our work.”
There will be a Venmo set up so that the listeners can contribute to these musicians—all of whom have been negatively impacted by the crises at hand.
“These musicians need to pay their bills, and they continue to do the thankless work of bringing joy and beauty to our society,” says DeJesus. “It’s not easy to do this!”
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