Whether renowned violinist Lucia Micarelli plays toe-tapping fiddling, intense classical concertos or her singular blend of jazz and pop, she expresses each note with her whole body rocking and swaying.
That’s why it was a shock for Micarelli to face a battle with her body nearly a decade ago.
While backstage during a performance with Grammy winner Chris Botti, Micarelli fell on a glass she was holding and severed three arteries in her left hand.
“I just remember getting so emotional and thinking, ‘What if I don’t play again? Or what if I don’t play well?’” she says.
Following surgery and months with her hand in a cast, she was relieved to find she could still play – even though she no longer has feeling in three fingers in her left hand.
“My muscles are fine, it’s just the sense of touch that’s gone,” she explains. “I notice it most when I’m folding laundry or drying my hands, that ‘Oh yeah, this feels different.’”
Micarelli has more than rebounded from her injury. Beyond costarring in HBO show “Treme” a few years ago, she just taped a national PBS special airing this month and has a new album to release this year.
Not to mention, Micarelli will perform at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz this March.
“My injury gave me a newfound sense of gratitude of being able to play and how much this instrument has given me,” she says. “I feel like a lot of my dreams are coming true.”
Breaking Beyond Classical
Micarelli’s journey as a violinist has led her to shatter the boundaries of what a classical musician can be.
Playing violin since age 3, she started training at Julliard at 11.
“I really never listened to anything but classical until I was about 16 or 17,” Micarelli remembers.
That is, until she started attending the Manhattan School of Music. She suddenly met performers from a wide scope of musical tastes that left her “totally shocked,” she says.
“I wanted to explore those kinds of music, so I would sit in with bands and try to play,” she says. “I remember getting really upset because I didn’t know what to do if I didn’t have any music in front of me.”
She adapted quickly, however.
Micarelli gradually applied her classical training to developing bold stylings spanning a broad range of genres, earning her global acclaim with hits like her cover of “To Love You More.”
Sharing Herself on Stage
Micarelli promises to perform a wide variety of songs at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz.
“Whether it’s classical or jazz or folk tunes or me singing, I’m really just trying to compile music I feel very connected to,” she says. “A lot of the songs have a personal significance to a time or person or experience in my life.”
Her show will only be enhanced by the world-class multi-instrumentalists performing with her, including artists who have shared the stage with Sarah McLachlan and Gnarls Barkley.
“We’re always adding things and trying things in different ways, so no two shows are ever the same,” she says. “When I present a song to an audience, I think I have a better chance of getting them to like it if I love it, myself.”
Go See the Show
Lucia Micarelli performs at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on March 6-7. For tickets, click here.
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