Musicians create fundraising cookbook to help them through COVID

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A professional flutist with no place to perform and earn money to support her family during the pandemic came up with a novel idea to help her fellow struggling musicians suffering through the pandemic: a fundraising “Musicians Cook” cookbook.

The idea came to Reva Youngstein, a member of the American federation of Musicians Union Local 802, when she saw food posts on social media.

“It was our escape, our therapy during this difficult time to save us all,” she said. 

There are more than seven thousand Local 802 union musicians who play in concert halls, on Broadway, in Lincoln Center, at jazz clubs and for late night TV shows. While restaurants and movie theaters are reopening, it’ll be the fall at the earliest when many of these musicians can receive a paycheck for playing . 

Metropolitan Opera Violinist Joanna Maurer jumped on board with the idea of a cookbook to help the union’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“I was excited,” Maurer told PIX11 News. “I was part of the Save NYC Musicians campaign when Reva came up with this idea. We thought it was wonderful because it’s true: musicians went from the stage to everybody cooking. Reva got it right.”

The $42.99 Musicians Cook Cookbook just came out with 283 recipes and stories submitted by New York area musicians. It features a range of recipes: maple banana muffins, risotto with saffron, fried gefilte fish, sourdough bread, chocolate toffee almond cookies and so much more.

Beside recipes, musicians also submitted drawings, videos for a YouTube channel and even a jingle.

And so many musicians are just waiting and hoping to be back in the orchestra pit by the fall because they say it’s what New York City needs.

“You think about what makes people want to come to New York and want to live in New York,” Maurer told PIX11 News. “It’s the arts and culture that makes New York City so incredibly magical.”

You can order the book on the website. They also have a YouTube channel.

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