BWW Feature: For Broadway Pit Musicians The Music Goes On While In Quarantine

Article Pixel

BWW Feature: For Broadway Pit Musicians The Music Goes On While In QuarantineMichael Olatuja just lost his job. Actually, he lost his job working as a bass player in the pit for the Broadway musical FROZEN when the city of New York shut down in order to flatten the curve. For a while, Mr. Olatuja was holding out hopes that his job awaited his return to The St. James Theater when Broadway re-opened, but last week it was announced that the original production of the famed story would not survive the Manhattan lockdown, and everyone connected to the play was on their own. Mr. Olatuja has suffered the fate of many a gig worker during the global health crisis, as talented artists of all natures find themselves furloughed, seeking an income, and with too much time on their hands. He decided to make the most of newly free time and do some quarantine creating. The result was a music video to the famous DEAR EVAN HANSEN tune "Waving Through The Window," which made this writer ask: "What are the other pit musicians of Broadway doing?" A quick email exchange with publicist Lydia Liebman, president and founder of Lydia Liebman Promotions, and a call to arms to the community turned up a wealth of musical entertainment from some of the most gifted unsung (or at least unseen) heroes of Broadway. Read about these artists and experience their artistry below. Now, more than ever, it is time to support the arts and the artists who light the way.


Name: Richie Goods
What show were you working on when the quarantine started?
Tina Turner (As the 1st Bass Sub)
What is an upcoming or newly released project you would like people to know about?
Richie Goods and the Goods Project "My Left Hand Man"
Where can people see your work or find you online?
www.richiegoods.com
Do you have something you've created during quarantine you would like to share with the world?


Do you have a personal message you'd like to send out to the people?
We should always look for the silver lining in every situation in Life. There has been a lot of creativity being shared during this time. Music helps soothe whatever we are going through. We will get through this together.
Press on Richie's new album: The consummate bassist's third album as a bandleader, My Left Hand Man, is a tribute to Goods' late mentor Mulgrew Miller. Over the course of ten fresh takes of ten compositions by jazz luminary Miller, Goods achieves a clean, cohesive and unified sound wrought with thoughtful interplay from this large ensemble thanks to his mindful arrangements and the talented personnel that he carefully selected. The album features Goods on acoustic and electric bass, along with Lil John Roberts on the drums. Mulgrew's vacant piano bench is shared on this tribute by two remarkable pianists, Shedrick Mitchell and Mike King. The release features the guitar work of Tariqh Akoni and David Rosenthal. A slew of notable artists make guest appearances on this release, including vocalist Jean Baylor, vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, percussionist Danny Sadownick among others.

Name: Michael Olatuja
What show were you working on before the quarantine started?
I was working on Frozen on Broadway as the Bassist.
What is an upcoming or newly released project you would like people to know about?
I'd love people to know about my New Single "Soki" (feat. Dianne Reeves & Lionel Loueke). Released on April 28th. It's a great blend between Jazz, Broadway, and film music. I call is Cinematic Afrobeat. Joseph Joubert (Broadway maestro) conducted the Orchestra. Jason Michael Webb (Tony Award Winner) did the orchestration. Concert Master Hiroko Taguchi. The String orchestra on this are my friends from Different shows on Broadway. The "Soki" video was Edited and Completed during quarantine.
LISTEN: Download/Stream Link
WATCH: "Soki" Official Music Video below


Where can people see your work or find you online?
IG: @michaelolatuja FB: Michael Olatuja & Lagos Pepper Soup
Website: www.MichaelOlatujaMusic.com
Do you have a personal message you'd like to send out to the people?
I'd love to encourage my fellow artists and everyone in general. We are all in this together. We're going persevere till we reach a brighter day. This difficult season will pass and we'll come back with a roar. Sending love and positivity to everyone.
Press on Michael's new CD: On his third release as a bandleader, bassist and composer Michael Olatuja presents his spectacular blend of West African Afrobeats and jazz, with the support of a string orchestra - arranged by iconic film score orchestrator Dave Metzger - alongside an international all-star cast which features Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, Brandee Younger, Lionel Loueke, Regina Carter, Joe Lovano, Laura Mvula, Gregoire Maret and Becca Stevens. Lagos Pepper Soup is out June 12th on Whirlwind Recordings.

Name: Jennifer Wharton
What show were you working on when the quarantine started?
West Side Story. I am a bass trombone player. Bass Trombone is a type of trombone and not two different instruments. I also play tenor trombone, euphonium, and tuba. These are all technically referred to as "Low Brass".
What is an upcoming or newly released project you would like people to know about?
I lead a band called Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm - 4 trombones with rhythm section. We released our first album in February 2019 to critical acclaim. We are working on our second album, supported in part by the 2020 NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre grant program. The project is called Not A Novelty and will feature new compositions by incredible established and up-and-coming jazz composers.
Where can people see your work or find you online?
www.jenniferwharton.com
Instagram @jenniferwharton
Facebook: LINK
YouTube: LINK
Do you have something you've created during quarantine you would like to share with the world?
YES! This is our quarantine quarantune (the soloist is Nate Mayland from Beetlejuice)


Do you have a personal message you'd like to send out to the people?
These are dark days so be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the space to feel the mourning and loss of the work and then try to find a way to shine a light on yourself or others.


BWW Feature: For Broadway Pit Musicians The Music Goes On While In QuarantineName: Charlie Rosen
What show were you working on when the quarantine started?
I had a few things in the works; my orchestrations could be heard each night in Moulin Rouge on broadway, and I had just finished orchestrating a few musicals which were premiering in NYC or out of town that had their sights set on Broadway for the near future, as well as in the development of some other new shows looking to start their journey to a Broadway theater as well.
What is an upcoming or newly released project you would like people to know about?
I have a personal project of mine called The 8-Bit Big Band which is a full-sized studio jazz orchestra of around anywhere from 35-60 members which is dedicated to performing my arrangements of classic video game music. I recently created an arrangement for this orchestra and asked our fans from around the world to submit themselves playing and ended up with a massive 664 person orchestra!! Currently working with my creative team on editing and mixing this massive arrangement of the main theme from Super Smash Bros: Ultimate called "Lifelight" into an epic video as an amazing collaboration between all of the fans who have supported our live shows and albums in the past few years
Where can people see your work or find you online?
My personal music can be found online on Spotify and Soundcloud, by listening to any of the number of cast albums I have contributed arrangements to, or by following me on social media @CRosenMusic
The 8-Bit Big Band can be easily found on all major streaming sites including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or downloaded on Bandcamp. We have many music videos and other great content on our 8-Bit Big Band YouTube Channel. We were on a steady stream of performances before the shut down so the best way to hear about news from this group is to also follow us on Instagram or Twitter - @The8BitBigBand
Do you have something you've created during quarantine you would like to share with the world?
All works in progress so far, but if you follow me on social media you'll hear about that massive orchestra video I was talking about earlier.
Do you have a personal message you'd like to send out to the people?
I don't really have much to add that hasn't already been said, try to keep busy and stay sane as best you can. Musicians, now is the time to get into learning how to record/produce yourself from home if you can, those skills will continue to be crucial even after this is all over.

The video that started this whole story:


Next on Stage

Related Articles View More Cabaret Stories   Shows


From This Author Stephen Mosher