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The 'Social Distance Piano Lounge' Is Like A Cabaret In The Safety Of Your Own Home

Steve Rogers
Ammon Taylor at the piano

In the new reality we’re all living in now, heading over to the local bar and/or going out to see live music isn’t really a thing anymore. So pianist and musical director Ammon Taylor is doing what he can to bring a cocktail lounge directly into your own home.

Looking for some way to encourage people to stay inside, he’s created the Social Distance Piano Lounge, a sort of virtual cabaret show performed live in his apartment and streamed to anyone who wants to tune in from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

“I went out for a walk on Saturday [March 14] and I noticed that there were a lot of people who were out and about and it made me a little worried to see everybody grouped together in the bars and the restaurants,” says Ammon Taylor. “I didn’t know what I could do to encourage people to stay in, but I made a post and mentioned that I would be willing to play for people.”

Using Facebook Live, Taylor put on his first Piano Lounge this past Tuesday (“It was St. Patrick’s Day so I did ‘Danny Boy’ ala Tina Turner,” Taylor says) and now plans to do a live show every Tuesday night at nine as long as this situation lasts. 

“It’s like a cocktail lounge in everyone’s own living room,” Taylor says. “I wore a nice button-down and a sparkly bowtie, but I wore pajamas on the bottom. It was a very nice, loungy atmosphere.” He’s taking requests but also indulging his own fondness of mashing up genres, creating medleys, and putting new spins on standards (see the above Tina Turnerized version of ‘Danny Boy’).

“Social distancing does allow for a different kind of intimacy in the show,” Taylor says. “I’m really making the show from my living room directly into your living room. And there is something that’s very DIY about it – it’s very rough around the edges, but it’s also very real. This is our reality. I’m not trying to make this super-polished. I’m trying to keep this entertaining and inspiring and supportive.”

The Social Distance Piano Lounge is every Tuesday night at nine on Facebook Live.

Mike is the production director at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, and the Sonic ID project, and also produces videos and cartoons for When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.
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