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I grew up in East Berlin, so I’m familiar with the feeling of being walled in and separated from family and friends. Back then, music helped me connect with the world outside my half-city. After the wall came down, music, friendship, and love drew me to New York and its great freedoms.  

Now that New York has entered a city-wide lockdown, a different kind of confinement and isolation is our new normal. During this time, I believe that music can once more help us connect, can provide a palliative. Along with many of New York’s greatest musicians, I plan to test that hypothesis. This Friday, I am organizing a novel experience: a 24-hour, live-streamed music festival.  

Music Never Sleeps NYC will feature more than 50 exceptional New York musicians. In our music, we will share our feelings during these difficult times. More important, the festival will allow people throughout the world to encounter the creative force of the city that never sleeps. My hope is that families and friends who are miles or even just blocks apart can watch and experience together. Through music, we can connect with and encourage one another despite our physical separation.

Music Never Sleeps NYC will begin at 6 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 27.

Jan Vogler is the Artistic Director of the Dresden Music Festival, as well as a classical cellist and Sony recording artist.

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