The shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic hit musicians hard, with concert halls and rehearsal spaces shuttered and silent. But a new music initiative from the Library of Congress embraces the constraints of COVID-19. The series is a collection of 10 videos of 10 different original compositions that will premiere online starting Monday, June 15. It's called the Boccaccio Project.

Miami Songwriter Behind ‘Despacito’ Sings Of Quarantine-Relevant Themes

Jun 9, 2020
Courtesy of Erika Ender

Miami singer-songwriter Erika Ender penned her latest single, “Back to the Basics,” months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But the heartfelt ballad seems even more relevant since the quarantine.

Inspired by “observing how nowadays everything that you have is more valuable than who you are,” Ender says the song is about “the things we miss – the essentials of life, the real relationships, the real communication, connecting with others and understanding what we’re here for.”


In early April, Tobi Baisburd logged on to Zoom for her music theory class at the University of Miami. Her professor, Laura Sherman, had said there would be a surprise that day.

Seminole Theatre On Thursday To Present Virtual Open Mic Night

Apr 29, 2020
Courtesy of Ricky Valido

Having artists livestream their performances is certainly nothing new these days. But can it be done as an open mic night?

The Seminole Theatre is taking the open mic concept online on Thursday, April 30, with an intriguing mix of known and unknown acts teaming up for an eclectic and unpredictable two-hour tour through music, spoken-word and other genres. The show can be seen free of charge on its website,

Grammy-Nominated Jazz Musician Raul Midón Has A Message For You

Apr 28, 2020
Courtesy of Blair Allen

Fed up with being cooped up in your home? Raul Midón has a message for you that might change your perspective: Embrace it and go with the flow.

“This is a time for us to slow down and reflect,” says the Grammy-nominated jazz singer and guitarist, who graduated from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in 1990. “We’re always complaining about not having enough time. Well, now we’ve got time.”

Some people respond to suffering by turning it into art. That's true even with the harrowing experience of a pandemic.

In the early 1400s, an Englishman named John Cooke composed Stella celi, a hymn to the Virgin Mary referencing the Black Plague which, according to some sources, wiped out half of Europe. Its text speaks of the "ulcers of a terrible death" but also the assurance that "the star of heaven ... has rooted out the plague."

How South Florida Musicians Are Getting By During The Coronavirus Crisis

Apr 9, 2020
Photo courtesy of @danny_beard

“Please don’t stop the music,” implores the chart-topping, Grammy-nominated, 2007 dance-pop hit by Rihanna.

Don’t worry, South Florida, our local musicians have no intention of doing so.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Tommy Strangie has played the drag character Shelley Novak at South Beach bars for decades. Now he’s performing karaoke songs from his kitchen, singing into a can of baked beans.

WLRN is committed to providing South Florida with trusted news and information. In these uncertain times, our mission is more vital than ever. Your support makes it possible. Please donate today. Thank you.

Alexia Fodere / Miami Herald

The coronavirus pandemic has forced closures of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concert halls and theaters -- the places that would've taken up our weekends.

Country music icon Kenny Rogers, whose hits included "Lucille," "Lady" and "The Gambler," died late Friday at his home in Sandy Springs, Ga., his family said in a statement. He was 81.

The Houston-born country star had 20 No.-1 hits and three Grammys and performed for some 60 years before retiring from touring in 2017 at age 79, according to the Associated Press.

Rogers didn't write most of his hits and often said he didn't consider himself much of a songwriter. But he told NPR in 2012 that he had a knack for picking songs that could draw in the listener.

"I just want you to know," Raveena told the NPR office, "that in this space that we're in, you're extremely, extremely loved." I get chills when I think about it now.

Yes, washing your hands provides excellent protection against coronavirus (and other pathogens).

But you do need to scrub with soap for 20 seconds to remove those pathogens. That's what the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and many hand-washing experts recommend.

Twenty seconds is a long time when you're standing at a sink. The common advice is to wash as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice or the ABC song. If you don't rocket through the lyrics, you should get about 20 seconds of scrub time.

The Classist History Behind Bad Bunny's 'Bichiyal'

Mar 17, 2020

When Bad Bunny released his sophomore album YHLQMDLG (an acronym for Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana, or I Do Whatever I Want) on February 29, he also introduced a new word into the world: bichiyal. It's the title of one of the album's songs—a nostalgic love letter to the old school perreo of the '90s and early 2000s—featuring the veteran reggaetonero Yaviah.

Claire Schneider / NPR

The novel coronavirus has upended our lives. Here are some stories that we hope will help you cope:

Why is all this happening? To try and stop the spread of the virus. So we all need to make our spaces as clean as possible: The New Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For 2-3 Days. Here's How To Clean Them

Every year, NPR's Stephen Thompson compiles The Austin 100 — a playlist of his favorite artist discoveries ahead of the SXSW Music Festival. Though this year's festival was canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus, The Austin 100 will still publish on Monday, the day the music performances were supposed to begin. NPR's Renee Montagne spoke to Stephen Thompson about a few of the artists featured in this year's roundup.