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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

From Donny's Desk - Reflections on Covid-19 and the Healing Power of Music

“Music is very spiritual. It has the power to bring people together.” – Edgar Winter

Friends of JOI, as I write this newsletter to provide some exciting updates on what Jazz Outreach Initiative has been up to since our last visit, I’m first struck by the reality that this finds all of us joined together by music regardless of the walls and masks in which we sequester ourselves through this difficult time. I have seen, like no other medium, music and the arts bringing meaning and fulfillment to lives. Feeding a hunger that food cannot satiate. Thirst which water cannot quench. Healing which medicine cannot cure. Artists, both professional and those who have never picked up a mic, taking to social media to give a piece of their souls to the world outside and thus bringing others outside, into their own hearts. This gives me hope, not just for a quick return to normalcy, but for a future where perhaps we don’t need unspeakable tragedy in our lives to find a common purpose, a reason to reach out and heal someone, a cause for compassion and understanding despite our many differences. Whether this reaches you at a time of grief at the loss of a loved one, illness of yourself or someone close, whether you’re a first responder, a truck driver, or a supermarket cashier, a teacher struggling to gift your passion for learning to your students without the joy of seeing them in person, a musician playing notes of uncertainty as all your sources of income have vanished, or just sitting at home wondering when you’ll experience human contact again, there is a song for you! Play it. Play it for yourself. And share it however you can with the world. Because music truly does bring people together.

May you and your families and friends be blessed with peace, health, and music.

Donny Thompson, Executive Director

Jazz Outreach Initiative

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