With the Met and Broadway, not to mention most other performing arts venues, canceling their upcoming season, the cultural costs of COVID continue to escalate. But we are an entrepreneurial country, if we’re anything, and those stuck at home are finding virtual outlets for their cultural fixes. A wonderful, and free, concert series is being offered by the Washington, D.C.-area ensemble “Night and Day Band.” Helmed by Michael Suser, Night and Day has been entertaining Washingtonians for nearly 30 years (full disclosure: Suser is a friend). With live gigs on hold, Suser decided to take his show on the (digital) road, and Night and Day is playing their way through The Great American Songbook every Sunday evening at 7:30 PM Eastern Time on Zoom (you can find the Zoom link on the webpages or sign up for email reminders).
The series started on September 20, with an introductory show, then covered George and Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and on Sunday, the Roaring 20s. You can find previous performances on Night and Day’s Facebook page. Upcoming shows include Irving Berlin (October 18), two weeks of Cole Porter (October 25 and November 1), Rodgers and Hart (December 6), World War II (January 10), and on into the post-war period. Suser introduces the songs, giving background and context and not infrequently some old-fashioned jokes, all from his living room, while his bandmates are strategically located throughout the house for social distancing purposes.
While the quartet may be physically socially distanced, the Night and Day Band is doing a wonderful job breaking down the socially isolating barriers of the past half-year. For an hour each Sunday, it’s a lovely way to enjoy some great American music and look forward to better days.