Nice work, Mikail! Let’s all do it again sometime |

Nice work, Mikail! Let’s all do it again sometime

We hate to bring any misery into the life of Mikail Graham, the hardworking and now exhausted guy who created Sunday’s all-day benefit for Nevada City’s fire victims, but he struck upon magic that deserves to happen again.

The audience at Sunday’s benefit was wowed by individual performances from Nevada County’s musicians. There’s nothing unusual about that. But the power of the performances was doubled, and then redoubled, by the variety of performers who took the stage.

The nationally renowned composer Terry Riley was on stage, performing music he appeared to have captured from the dreams that accompany our deepest sleep. A few minutes later, the choir from Nevada Union High School stood on the same stage and won a standing ovation for an extraordinarily complex a capella performance. Across the way, Latin-flavored guitarist Ivan Najera had a crowd dancing. And that was just 15 minutes of a show that ran for nine hours on two stages.

We all know about the terrific musicians with whom we live. But we don’t get enough chances to see all of them. Even if we stay up late every night, chase every concert from the San Juan Ridge to the venues of Grass Valley, give up our lives to listening to new CDs from county artists, we’ll never get a taste of all the good music in our town. (And just when we get close, some kids get together in a must-see, great new band.)

While Sunday’s benefit raised more than $30,000 – an important amount to keep our musicians afloat after the loss of Friar Tuck’s – the 3,000 people who showed up experienced a sampler of music that they couldn’t get elsewhere.

That’s something worth doing again. There will be another worthy cause next year, and there always will be audiences hungry to listen to the wide-ranging excellence of the county’s musicians.

So, Mr. Graham, we’ll begrudge you a couple of days’ sleep to catch up. But how about bringing us together again next year?

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