89.1 WEMU

Local Musician Considers Community Health In Pausing Outside Public Music Performance

Oct 30, 2020

Mark "Mr. B" Braun (left) performing at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Credit Mark Braun / Facebook

Ann Arbor area jazz and blues pianist "Mr. B" Mark Braun has adapted to pandemic life playing music safely distanced outside every Friday night for the past few months.  As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Washtenaw County and around the state, he has decided to stop performing outside for now out of consideration for community health.

Lisa Barry talks to Mark about his decision and the impact of the global health crisis on his musical career.


Here is the message Mr. B shared on Facebook about his decision:

With HEAVY, HEAVY HEARTS, we have decided it’s not in the best public interest for us to encourage congregating, and thus, until further consideration and further notice, our CHERISHED time TOGETHER every Friday is on hold.  This is NOT a function of weather- I’ve been giving pep talks to encourage us to defy the oncoming cold, to LIVE while we can, and to CHERISH músic making in LIVE settings. Steve Bergman even offered to have “Polar Piano Party” sweatshirts made, and Mary Ann Trainor has already investigated and purchased heaters... This little gathering is the brightest spot of my week- every week, with almost ALL other safe, live, professional opportunities gone I can’t wait for Friday to come.  Not to mention that many generous souls have contributed to our tip jar, a REAL HELP during these times.  But still, it would be selfish to assume that we should be the exception to good policies and protocols that are needed to protect ALL OF US.  So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all for coming and being part of a small, but beautiful experience.  For now, please stay tuned for our every Wednesday “ Live at the Hive”, 5:30 pm livestream- maybe more in need now than ever.  Please feel free to share your thoughts with me, here or otherwise.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu