Barnum to open online concert to fight virus

  • Popular performer: Joy Barnum will sing Need to Rest

    Popular performer: Joy Barnum will sing Need to Rest

  • Song bird: Joy Barnum singing Beyonce’s I Am Here during International Women’s Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Song bird: Joy Barnum singing Beyonce’s I Am Here during International Women’s Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Grammy award: Kevin Olusola

    Grammy award: Kevin Olusola

  • Singer Joy Barnum. (Photograph by Airy Heights Design)

    Singer Joy Barnum. (Photograph by Airy Heights Design)

  • Virtual Benefit Concert for International Nurses Day, headlined by Bermudian singer Joy Barnum (Photograph supplied)

    Virtual Benefit Concert for International Nurses Day, headlined by Bermudian singer Joy Barnum (Photograph supplied)

  • Joy Barnum (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Joy Barnum (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


A Bermudian singer will headline an international virtual concert tonight to raise money to help buy personal protective equipment for nurses around the world as they put their lives on the line in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Joy Barnum said that her pre-recorded performance would be the opening act for 13 other musicians from around the world — including Kevin Olusola, a member of Pentatonix, the three-times Grammy Award-winning American a cappella group.

She added that she had collaborated with old friend and guitarist Mathew Joseph, a Bermudian doctor who now lives in Australia, to perform her first original song, Need to Rest, which she has not performed for 15 years.

Ms Barnum said: “I’m really excited to bring it back.

“Social media has brought me back into contact with people that I thought that I would never be able to speak with or even play with again.”

The relief concert will raise funds to help provide nurses with personal protective equipment.

It is also being held on International Nurses’ Day, designed to celebrate the work of the profession.

The concert will be hosted by Daniel Ramamoorthy, an emcee and international public speaker known as “DanRam” who lives in Ireland, but is locked down in India because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Barnum said that, although the performances would not be live, they were filmed in a single take to look “as authentic as it could possibly be”.

She added that the virtual concert would be the first time she had performed Need to Rest in public since 2005.

Ms Barnum explained: “The song that I submitted is one of the very first songs I ever wrote with my friend, Mathew Joseph.

“Mathew came up with this ridiculous guitar line and that’s the song that I sang to open up for Patti LaBelle when she came down for a music festival that BET was putting on in conjunction with the Bermuda Government.

“That year was the only time I performed it because Mathew was the only person I’ve played it with and I haven’t sung it since.”

Ms Barnum said that she contacted Dr Joseph to help her with the performance.

He recorded the guitar section of Need to Rest so that they could perform together, despite being on opposite sides of the world.

The concert will also include performances from classically trained South Korean violinist Danny Koo, American teen singer-songwriters Sam Chetkin and Alexa Cabral, and the award-winning 40-member Coimbatore Chamber Chorale from India.

Ms Barnum said that the concert would help keep nurses safe as they treated patients who suffered from Covid-19.

She added: “They’re not just dealing with Covid patients — they’re dealing with women who are in labour or grandmothers who have fallen down the steps.

“They’re dealing with people who are somebody to somebody and the fact that they don’t have the proper equipment is mind-boggling.”

Ms Barnum said that she had personal ties to other healthcare professionals, as well as Dr Joseph, which made the concert even more meaningful.

She added: “My mom is a government nutritionist and she’s had to go to work every single day while we’ve been at home.

“You don’t get to see it from your living room, but that doesn’t mean that she and others aren’t working for our best.”

The concert will air at 12.30pm Bermuda time.

Tickets with a link to stream the concert are available at givebutter.com/BenefitConcert. Tickets are free, but audience members are asked to make a donation

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Published May 12, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 12, 2020 at 7:25 am)

Barnum to open online concert to fight virus

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