For those of you who are not on island during these times, there is a new way for you to bring the sights, sounds and people of St. John into your living room twice a week! Silver linings in the midst of a pandemic.
As you know, when the stay at home order began at the end of March, it left most people in the ranks of the unemployed (or underemployed). Musicians are not exempt from these unfortunate circumstances. The music industry, like the majority of the economy, has been rocked (pun intended) by this shut down. But, musicians of all genres and levels of stardom all over the world have developed creative ways of sharing their magic. And some of our St. John musicians are resiliently plowing through this pandemic in similar ways.
Have you ever been to the Thursday night open mics at Miss Lucy’s in Coral Bay? This long standing open mic has changed location several times….Most recently it was on Thursday nights at Pickles in Paradise. If you have been lucky enough to happen upon this weekly event over the years, you know St. John has some unique and musically talented characters in attendance!
The Pickles open mic grew into something really powerful post Irma recalls Lauren Jones Magnie, hostess of the open mic and amazing songstress of St. John. “People needed a reason to let loose. To be together. To enjoy life.”
And, in another difficult time, music is bringing artists together again. This time, in a virtual platform that lets everyone…on or off island…participate in and appreciate the collaboration.
Lauren started a virtual open mic that airs via Facebook on Thursday nights at 5:30-ISH. She coordinates the ENTIRE thing…collecting and editing the videos, coordinating the artists and even creating a virtual dance floor for the weekly event with dancers submitting their videos from afar for inclusion. Featuring the talents of many St. John residents, this weekly video has become a creative outlet for those performing and a St. John fix for those watching from home.
Tune in on Thursday evenings on Lauren and her husband Bo’s facebook page or tune in now to check out the archived performances. Lauren wanted to give some love to the regular contributors who have helped to build this amazing weekly event. Her husband Bo Magnie, Otis Magnie, John Magnie, Pam and Broheem, Laz Liburd, Charlie, Rich Greengold, Joy, Ken Betts, Ital, Kerrin Buckley, Johnny B and Channing are just a few of the faces you will find familiar throughout these streams.
A few highlights I’d recommend are
- ELENA!!! Lauren and Bo’s daughter is ten years old and performs her original music with a fire inside her little soul! –Check out the May 21 (open mic #7) for her performance of her original song “If I Could” with her grandfather
- Allegra Miles- finalist in “The Voice” submitted a video for the May 7 episode!
- May 14 – Pamela Leverett-Love and Broheem on the Sax with Lauren and Bo!
IslandGirlMusic- Erin Hart is another ambitious STJ based musician who has taken her talents to to the world wide web. If you have ever wandered through the park in Cruz Bay on a Friday evening, you may have had the pleasure of hearing the sweet island tunes of Erin Hart ringing through the courtyard from Cruz Bay Landing. Erin has played Friday nights in Cruz Bay for the past ten years, beginning at Rhumb Lines and began her weekly stint at the Landing in 2018. When live music was cancelled everywhere this spring, she continued this tradition with a Friday Night Sunset Concert Series from her deck overlooking Cruz Bay and St. Thomas.
Both Erin and Lauren reported overwhelming responses from their online followings. Erin said “I didn’t anticipate that the shows were going to be as impactful to the people watching as they were to me. It gave us all something to look forward to. For an hour and a half every Friday we could tune out the chaos together and just soak in some good feeling music and a beautiful St. John sunset.”
You can tune in for a private living room concert with a LIVE St. John sunset every Friday night at 5:15 on her facebook page. If you need a Love City fix now, the performances are archived on her new feed as well!
Both of these lovely ladies plan to continue these virtual traditions at least until the live music ban (what is actually happening right now?) is lifted.
I hope that you can find a little time to tune in and enjoy a slice of St. John in your living room this week. The Governor’s recent orders have stated that while he is relaxing the social distancing protocol for bars and restaurants, live music will still not be permitted quite yet. So we will be enjoying these streams right along with you.