A Unique Kind of Gig

Simon Gronowski Brussels, Belgium. Credit…Ksenia Kuleshova for The New York Times

Music has magical power, for listener and performer alike. Attending a live show is a way to connect audience and band so as to share in a mutual blend of energy. But not all live shows are held at nightclubs, bars, and similar venues. In fact, in the days of Covid-19, we’ve seen DJ’s in Miami spin songs from balconies to neighboring buildings to create a party atmosphere. And now there’s Simon Gronowski, an 89 year old Holocaust survivor living in Brussels, Belgium, who plays his keyboard from an open window for his neighbors. For him, performing live music is a sort of therapy, a way to deal with the pandemic and provide joy for the listeners, some who stand directly outside his window. It’s become therapeutic for both Mr. Gronowski and his neighbors.

As Mr. Gronowski says, “music is a means of communication, of connection”, and he has literally used his keyboard to bring his neighborhood together. This is a perfect example of the ultimate local gig, and why musical artists covet playing live for audiences, particularly in intimate settings. There’s a connection and energy between people that serves as a form of unspoken communication, one can literally feel it pulse through their physical being. The pandemic has led performers to back to the roots of local music, playing for people in their immediate surroundings.

The next time you experience a live music show think of Mr. Gronowski and his mission to use music as a way to give people joy during a time of extraordinary challenges. He has used his musical gift in a way to create a unique listening venue for his neighbors, something they look forward to on a daily basis.

Here is a link to the article featuring Simon Gronowski that appeared in the New York Times, November 21, 2020. https://nyti.ms/397uiMi

What’s the most memorable live intimate musical performance you’ve ever experienced? Where was it? What made it so special?

2 thoughts on “A Unique Kind of Gig

  • First of all, thank you for your post. I know how hard is this time for everyone in the world and I admire all those people who struggle to keep on their passion such as music here. I watched a lot of video of people doing live concert on their balcon or living room and post it on Youtube in order to send some harmony and relax moments to people who need it.
    I think that the most beautiful live performance that I’ve ever experienced was at the wedding of one of my mom’s friends. Her brother started to play piano and sing an overwhelming song… That was so special and beautiful… Everyone was crying, it was very emotional !

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