A portmanteau of “pandemic” and “music,” Pandemusic started last year with the goal of helping local musicians of all stripes not just weather the reality of venues being shuttered, but also find new opportunities and audiences. The organization offers artists a virtual space to perform — and, nowadays, also select in-person venues — along with promotional materials including professional photos, video, and audio recordings as a way to negotiate better concerts and events for the future. On top of that, Pandemusic pays every musician they take on.
Here we speak to Pandemusic founder Josue Caceres about artists’ need in this moment and ways to support the organization.
Greenpointers: Let’s start with you and your journey, Josue. You’re a producer and musician. How did you get into this career, and how long have you been in Brooklyn?
Josue Caceres: I’m from Brazil and I’ve been living in NYC since 2015; I moved here from Mexico, where I lived for 13 years. I started my music journey when I was a kid. I grew up playing in the church and then started to play in different projects, touring, producing, recording, etc.
The origins of Pandemusic seem self-explanatory, but when did you “launch” last year and what did you hope to accomplish? What do you offer artists?
Music is in crisis, and not only because of the pandemic. People might think that a jazz player in New York would make a lot of money but the reality is different, most of them heavily rely on tips to even make a living. It might sound crazy but musicians can make more money in Idaho than in New York, where the market is more competitive. And we, musicians, also have to sell and promote our work constantly, not only compose and play. So I created this project to value good musicians and also to provide them with high-quality presentation materials — like photos, video, and audio — that will help to sell their bands in the future. People are often resistant to pay a fair price for art, especially music. Pandemusic will always pay its musicians more than the average NYC bar.
You recently had a show at the start of May: where was it and how did it go?
The show took place on a secret Williamsburg rooftop, and it was sold out around 10 days before the show. We had an amazing evening with Emily Braden and her band. With the increasing number of vaccinated people, we managed to have an audience full of music lovers, the weather was perfect, and the sunset was a perfect touch to an unforgettable experience.
How can folks get involved with Pandemusic? And how can they also support you?
There are four ways people can support us:
1. With a monthly donation (we have a tax- deductible donation link on our website www.pandemusic.tv
2. Buying tickets to our live sessions
3. Sponsors (we have our YouTube channel with over 260k views)
4. Helping us with their skills (filmmaking, photography, design, audio
What are your goals for Pandemusic as time goes on and the world continues to change?
We are looking for interesting and unusual spots to be able to have
weekly concerts, to support more and more musicians, and entertain more
people with the best music in town.
Is anyone interested in having the Pandemusic experience on/in their
rooftop? Or warehouse? Art gallery? Who knows, help us keep music
alive in Brooklyn!