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Yo-Yo Ma’s musical effort to share #SongsOfComfort amid coronavirus

Last week, the NewsHour joined master cellist Yo-Yo Ma in asking the public to join the #SongsOfComfort effort and contribute music both old and new. Chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown shares some of what we have received here -- moments of respite and zen in the age of coronavirus. You can post your own offering on social media platforms using the hashtag #SongsOfComfort.

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  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Yo-Yo Ma began his #SongsofComfort project with a performance of his own, and an appeal to our audience.

  • Yo-Yo Ma:

    We're collecting what is personal, what is true, what is trustworthy, what is community, because community is nothing, except what is based on trust.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    People of all kinds have responded, Paul Simon with his classic American tune, Hamed Sinno, lead singer of the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila. The famed folk rock duo the Indigo Girls also answered the call.

    And members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra found a creative way to perform while keeping social distance.

    Most of all, ordinary people all around the country and the world created their own musical moments. Outside Chicago, a woman played for her neighbors, as is happening more and more.

    In Omaha, Nebraska, 9-year-old Annabel Blake, her father and a family friend performed a traditional Irish folk song.

    A man played a song for his granddaughters, wanting them, as he wrote, to feel good about themselves. And they did.

    Dira Sugandi was joyful in Indonesia.

    Two friends, one in Ireland the other in Germany, harmonized on a Beatles song. And from Copenhagen, pianist Niels Lan Doky shared jazz.

    Perhaps most fitting and hopeful for the times, two Mayo Clinic doctors in a video posted by a new fan.

    Just a few of the songs now being shared.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Jeffrey Brown.

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