Alameda neighborhood turns their porches into stages amid the pandemic

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Camilo Landau, an East Bay musician, had several live gigs planned for this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all concerts and live performances indefinitely.

"It is devastating to the music industry. We're not going out and playing and it felt important to stay creative," said Landau.

But Landau has found another performance stage...a porch. In Alameda, Calif., porch concerts are giving community musicians a new chance to perform in front of neighbors and in fact, anyone passing by.

"Getting out here and pushing sound vibrations through the air. Even if we do it once a week, just for fun, it doesn't matter. We can make music right now in this dark time," Landau adds.

"It is a really neat way to unite all of us and let each of us in our communities feel close at this time," said Irene Nexica, organizer of the Alameda Porch Concerts. "It is allowing them (musicians) a place to have an audience and build a community. I love the idea of these concerts and getting together, but we have to get together in a new way right now so everyone feels safe," said Nexica.

Beginning as a single Facebook event during the first week of the shelter-in-place order, Alameda Porch Concerts are now held every Friday.

"Music is the perfect medium to unite people," said Nexica. "These concerts really mean a lot to folks. The way that humans respond to music internally and emotionally is what can unite us in a way that is so unique."