VIDEO: Peter Danish and Friends Create 'We Are New York Strong' Tribute to Frontline Workers
WE ARE NEW YORK STRONG is a musical and video tribute to the first responders, police, firemen, EMTs, doctors and nurses who have been our heroes and guardian angels during this pandemic.
Watch the video below!
Author and playwright Peter Danish (Classical Music Critic for BroadwayWorld) was feeling despondent and helpless during this pandemic and decided to do something.
"After one of my dearest friends fell victim to COVID-19, and so many of my NYC healthcare friends were fighting the virus tirelessly without proper protective equipment, I felt helpless," Danish said. "I wanted to do something. So, I wrote and recorded a song: WE ARE NEW YORK STRONG as a tribute to the frontline first responders and healthcare workers, who are putting their very lives on the line every day to keep us safe."
So he did what he knew. He called a few friends.
Like so many people, they wanted to do something but didn't know how to help. "I reached out to several friends in the music industry and Broadway to help with the song, and then to the healthcare workers to provide photos of themselves to use in the music video. The number of artists who offered to participate was overwhelming and heartwarming. Everyone has been affected by this virus and in New York we all know someone in the healthcare industry who is, as the song says: "laying it on the line each day, with courage and dignity."
The incandescent singer Dina Fanai provided a dazzlingly passionate lead vocal on the song. In addition to her solo career, Fanai has been the vocalist for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and has arranged and written for artists such as Foreigner, Jackie Evancho, Il Divo, Il Volo and the Tina Turner "BEYOND" Project.
"Dina's a truly magnificent singer and activist. Her power and passion was ideal for the anthemic style of the song." Through her company One Vision Music and the new platform Power of Music Global, she produces concerts and recordings supporting a wide variety of causes including people with disabilities, women's empowerment and equality, LGBT, homeless children, climate change and animal rights. Fanai is currently working on a new immersive musical theater project entitled "Avalona" - which was set to have a major industry showcase when COVID-19 hit. https://www.avalonamusic.com .
Danish also reached out to legendary guitar hero Alex Skolnick (of Testament, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and his own popular jazz trio - AST - the Alex Skolnick Trio) Skolnick has lived up to his legendary status providing a positively ferocious guitar solo. Broadway fans will remember Skolnick from his collaboration with Frank Wildhorn and Rob Evan on the "Jeckyl and Hyde Resurrection" album and tour.
"Alex really went above and beyond with this solo," said Danish. "His unique, virtuosic, playing perfectly captured - musically - both the horror of the disease, as well as the heroic actions of those on the front line fighting it. I can't think of another guitarist in the world that could do that."
As the song is an anthem, a big chorus was needed, and a who's-who of Broadway's leading voices have stepped up and generously contributed their talents: Eric Buckley, Peter Cormican, Dan Cooney, Lolly Cooney, Tommy Dunn, Jessica Grove, Amy Griffin, Nick Griffin, Rita Harvey, Robin Irwin, Bob Kinkel, Jan Lynch, Lorena Mann, Lily Talevsky, and John Selle.
"In this pandemic, where we are largely housebound, not everybody had access to a studio," said Danish. "So, we made due with what we had! And that meant parts coming in as mp3s from iphones, via Skype, Zoom, Facebook! Special thanks to Bob Kinkel for helping pull the chorus together! It was crazy but a lot of fun and the results were breath-taking."
The Mayor's Fund For COVID-19 Relief
"The countless acts of generosity and heroism, large and small, that we have witnessed in the last month restores one's faith in humanity. We are asking folks who enjoy the song and the video to consider making a donation to the Mayor's COVID19 Emergency Relief Fun, which provides critical assistance to our most vulnerable New Yorkers, as well as meals for healthcare workers.
This song and video are dedicated to the memory of Danish's long-time friend, CBS News Executive, Maria Mercader, who passed away from the Corona Virus.