BALDWIN, N.Y. - Mark Wood is used to playing on the grand stage at Carnegie Hall and to huge crowds at Madison Square Garden. The electric viper violinist was one of the founding members of the internationally acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra. Around the holidays, he's typically busy touring the world. With coronavirus, it's drastically different this year.
"Hundreds of thousands of people come to see us and they can't right now," Wood said.
But thanks to Kolstein's Violin Shop in Baldwin and the store's Musician Relief Fund, Wood along with many other artists, ranging from accomplished to up and coming, are getting a chance to perform on a smaller stage but streamed to a large audience.
Manny Alvarez and Barrie Kolstein came up with the idea to put musicians back to work, compensate them, and stream the music for free every Friday night. They started a GoFundMe back in March with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the performers.
"They're not playing out of their living rooms," Kolstein said. "They're in a true performance situation. They say we feel alive again."
Each group comes in to perform for an hour. They're booked through January. The plan is to keep going through 2021 even welcoming an audience if the state allows it.
"$600 can't cover a month's worth of expenses but we believe it'll help set the trend of encouragement," Alvarez said.
While this isn't going to replace people coming together Kolstein says for now it's a temporary solution.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!