Arts & Culture Newsletter: Carnegie Hall’s ‘Be the Light’ livestream keeps things upbeat

Good morning, and welcome to the U-T Arts & Culture Newsletter.

I’m David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all things essential in San Diego’s arts and culture this week.

Are we starved for positive messages or what? I found some, appropriately enough, during the just-completed Easter/Passover season in a virtual offering from the free “Live with Carnegie Hall” livestream series. Producers Ray and Vivian Scott Chew hosted an hour of R&B and gospel music titled “Be the Light: A Joyful Celebration” that’s intended to uplift, inspire and bridge the sociopolitical and cultural divides tormenting us as a nation.

Reflecting that mission is the opening video performance in the show: six-time Grammy winner Israel Houghton’s collaboration with Azi Schwartz, cantor of New York City’s Park Avenue Synagogue, on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” That’s followed by singer-songwriter Kenny Lattimore and a gifted college student covering Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me,” then Ray Chew, on keyboards accompanied by an electric violinist, doing Yolanda Adams’ “What About the Children.” Also seen and heard on video are R&B/soul artist Cory Henry covering Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” gospel duo Kierra Sheard Kelly and Karen Clark Sheard, and, in a rousing Zoom segment, the House Gospel Choir of London.

The “Be the Light” program can be streamed on YouTube.

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