This isn’t another rant about the NEA cuts, but about live music right here in our community. Last night, I got to witness a reprise of Four Women: A Tribute to Nina Simone. The vocals were exquisite, the musicians creative, tight, exciting, amazing. But there are two parts of the evening that can’t be replicated: I could do a full blown review and you might “almost” feel like you were there. But no. You truly have to experience it in person.

One is to observe these artists in motion: it’s not just what they are singing but how they sing: interacting with each other, with the audience, their hands flying up to the heavens…or down.. or out to embrace the audience. Observe the bass player with the huge grin, loving fully every minute of the evening as he bounces up and down, connects with the drummer…the drummer, only 24, female, showing confidence beyond her years, her sparkly pendent highlighting her rhythyms. The violinist playing so hard his bow is shredding–the keyboardist and music director using eyebrows to direct, his large hands coming off the keyboard while still appearing to make music!

So what other reason to be there in person? To experience the warmth of the crowd, large or small, as we all share in this incredible music experience. We clapped together, occasionally sang together, shouted out, laughed, and stood collectively in awe and admiration. This is why the arts are important. These are why #artsmatter. This is why every child from 1 to 100 should have access to live music. Because it brings us together. And that, my friends, is priceless.