LONG BEACH, Calif. — The pandemic has caused many things to take on a new form, and that includes center stage.
Long Beach resident Jordan Busa plays classical music from his front porch. It's an impromptu setting, and that's exactly he's kept the music alive during the pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- Long Beach violinist Jordan Busa performs live from his front porch during the pandemic
- Everything he makes is a donation to his dream from his fellow Southern California neighbors
- What started as a Facebook post to get his name out there quickly turned into a packed schedule of gigs
While the pandemic stopped the music for most performers, Busa kept playing by offering 30-minute front- and backyard concertos.
"They’re enjoying what I’m doing, the joy I’m bringing them," he said. "A lot of these people haven’t heard live music in so long."
What started as a Facebook post to get his name out there quickly turned into a packed schedule of gigs.
Busa was performing as many as 30 times a week at his peak, but it was a welcome change for the 25-year-old musician, who some might call a journeyman.
While making a name for himself for some time, Busa didn't go the traditional route of most musicians. After graduating from Long Beach Poly, Busa dreamed of going to Chapman or USC like many aspiring musicians. But a tough junior year hurt his GPA, and he didn’t get in.
"It’s a huge risk," he said. "You put all of your heart and soul into something that might not return."
It was right around that time that something deeper was going on. Busa, who had been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in fifth grade, was struggling to control it.
Instead of choosing to give up on his dream, he doubled-down on himself and decided he'd perform on his own to make a name for himself.
"It kind of bottle-necked me to focus on the path of the violin because that’s what I knew for sure I was good at," said Busa. "And it really felt like I didn’t even have another option. I had to make this path work."
While everyone else was trying to figure out how to pivot when the pandemic hit, Busa — who has spent his life adapting — was just what people were looking for.
He doesn’t charge for his live performances. Everything he makes is a donation to his dream from his fellow Southern California neighbors.
"Whatever money I received, that’s a blessing from the universe," he said. "I wasn’t asking for money. I was hoping for it, but I wasn’t really asking for it. I was just fine with whatever I could get because anything I’d get is a blessing."
Eight years after he went the non-traditional route, Busa finally has a consistent schedule of audiences. At the same time, he wants to challenge himself and is applying to USC again.
"I haven’t had a lesson in eight years, and I know I have a lot to learn," he said. "And I believe I might have what it takes to be a soloist."