Here we are, three concerts into our eight-concerts-in-seven-days run in Boston. One year ago, I left Boston on a cross-country adventure, and it’s strange and wonderful being back. I keep thinking how grateful I am to music — it turns even the most difficult cities into these skylines of buildings swelling with the music we make and the friends we love.
I’m back to play with Shelter Music Boston, one of my favorite organizations that has attracted some of my favorite musical colleagues to date. We are playing seven concerts in different homeless shelters across Boston, and Rebecca and I figured that we ought to just add on one more recital because who needs a day off?
While these concerts may seem like we’re giving back, it’s the performers who are coming away with full and spilling hearts. I’ve never performed for audiences who consistently are gunning to ask questions, exploring the nature of my expression, and who affirm that performing music live has a value that they feel and appreciate.
Playing in homeless shelters, you enter into the middle of their chaos. They come to build a very small, temporary home in these places. I’ve done Keiko Abe solos while a man settled at a makeshift desk, writing numbers down from his flip phone and matter of factly popping his dentures into a glass of water. Women have padded by in their robes while I’m thinking through Bach’s chords. And weirdly, in the middle of these moments, this music feels exactly right.