Three concerts, 15 minutes each, in three different locations.
That was musician Jan Jungden’s assignment as the first performer in the International Festival of Arts & Ideas’s Arts on Call series, which allows patrons to support artists by booking them and having them deliver a short outdoor concert at their home.
Jungden made the rounds on Friday, from Orange to East Rock to downtown, leaving dozens of concertgoers swinging in her wake.
Jungden’s first visit was to the house of Barbara Ann and Thomas Griggs, in Orange. Neighbors arrived as Jungden set up and prepared to play.
“Here we are!” said neighbors Paula and Shannon. “We didn’t bring any masks so we’ll just keep our distance.”
Barbara Ann, meanwhile, rounded up more neighbors, who were in front of their house already. “Come on over and hear the concert!” she said.
Jungden had brought a small portable keyboard, a single microphone, and a battery-powered amplifier, a setup that proved up to the task. Jungden, who lives is Storrs, is the leader of the Jan Jungden Trio, which plays jazz standards. She also plays in Fuse, which plays funk, R&B, soul, and hip hop. She heard about the Arts on Call through a fellow musician; she plays regularly all over the state and beyond — or did until the pandemic started.
“I’m so excited to be playing. It’s been a while since I played in front of an audience, as you can imagine,” she said. “This is one of my Covid-19 songs.” Without further ado, she slid into Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” with its suddenly timely lyrics.
No one to talk with
All by myself
No one to walk with but
I’m happy on the shelf
I’m saving my love for you
Babara Ann and Tom appeared to be smiling under their masks and held hands.
“Thought you guys were going to dance,” Jungden said.