With New Jersey stuck in Phase 2 of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, live concerts are still prohibited.
While venues are struggling to stay afloat, so are the artists and musicians who regularly take the stage.
Weehawken resident and musician Charu Suri, known for her fusion of jazz and Islamic Sufi music, has been keeping up with her fans via social media.
While the pandemic may have everyone singing the blues, Suri maintains a positive attitude as she continues to post new performances each day.
Suri, a lifelong classically-trained pianist, has been playing virtual concerts via live streams and prerecorded videos.
She brings on the occasional vocal partner, such as Dani Rhodes.
Virtual concerts every day
The daily pieces are usually her own compositions. She’s gotten unbelievable feedback from fans, some saying her inspiring posts give them something to look forward to.
“It’s been really humbling and gratifying because there’s so many options online, and people are very loyal,” Suri said. “I get daily praise in my inbox and social media channels.”
Suri said that while the response is wonderful, “There’s nothing to compare with the energy of an in-person concert.”
She added, “I feel, almost it’s my duty as an artist to motivate and inspire people, especially when the chips are down.”
Meanwhile, Suri’s most recent album, “The Book of Ragas,” has been making waves on the international music scene.
“Your music got me through the pandemic,” a fan told Suri about “The Book of Ragas.”
Recognition for compositions
Suri has won two Global Music Awards for “The Book of Ragas.” She won the Silver Medal award for Outstanding Achievement as an Emerging Artist and for Creativity and Originality for “The Book of Ragas.”
“These achievements are going to be great regardless of which time frame they are awarded in,” Suri said, noting how the good news has been inspiring to both her and her followers in the face of a nonstop flow of dreary news.
Suri has also been accepted as a member of the Recording Academy, which votes for the winners of the Grammy Awards.
She said it was a great honor, and she is fortunate to be accepted as a voting member after surviving a lengthy application process.
Her acceptance reflects the Recording Academy’s efforts to increase the number of female voting members and members of underrepresented communities.
She’s attending professional Grammy seminars where she’s been learning a lot and making friends with musicians from around the world.
Passing the hat
Due to the loss of revenue from the cancellation of gigs and standing residencies, Suri has sought other ways of making money.
She’s supplemented her income by teaching piano and writing travel and lifestyle articles.
She hasn’t yet used a virtual tip jar, but she may start doing so in the future, and she’s started to look at venues for 2021.
Her second Carnegie Hall performance, originally slated for the fall, has been postponed until July 2021.
Suri can’t wait to reunite with her fans for live concerts in 2021.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Dan Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.