Our first day as Ensemble-in-Residence @ Jacobi Medical Center

Toomai with Camille Zamora and the wonderful Jacobi Community!

On October 20th, we gave our first of seven performances as the ensemble-in-residence at Bronx’s Jacobi Medical Center (through Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program).  We had an amazing experience collaborating with soprano Camille Zamora and the hospital staff.  This particular visit was part of a series of events for Domestic Violence Awareness month.  We performed in the Jacobi Atrium, where the theme of our concert was “creating a safe space.”  While we played, Jacobi patients, visitors, and staff worked together on a collage to cultivate a feeling of security, inspiration, and self-empowerment.  Manuel Bagorro, one of the masterminds behind the Musical Connections Program, told us that one patient reflected: “music was going through her body, making her feel happy and well…. It was therapeutic.”  At first, she hesitated to sit down, but after hearing one piece, she said to herself “where am I rushing to?…. this is where I need to be.”  While the environment of a hospital  can often be stressful and full of uncertainty, Jacobi’s mission is to make their facility feel like a safe haven where people can take major strides to heal themselves not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.  Jacobi has wonderful ideas about how music can be utilized to enforce this goal, and we are honored to have the opportunity to work in this progressive health-care facility for the entire year!

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