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August 5, 2020

Gifts of Art Playlists


For the past 30 years, UMS has partnered with Michigan Medicine’s Gifts of Art program in bringing visiting world-class performers into medical settings for the benefit of patients, families, and staff. With the current limitations of public performances to prevent the spread of COVID-19, UMS and Gifts of Art are uniting to explore safe and innovative ways to bring the power of music to Michigan Medicine’s facilities.

One project that came out of this collaboration is a playlist series for which curators periodically gather tracks that inspire, uplift and soothe anyone who finds music a balm to the soul in these trying times. Playlists will be made available for Michigan Medicine staff on the Gifts of Art’s website and the upcoming Michigan Medicine newsletter. They can also be accessed on UMS’s Apple Music and Spotify accounts.

UMS and Gifts of Art are also exploring the possibility of offering pop-up outdoor performances on sidewalks and parking lots to create moments of healing for patients, families, and hospital workers.

Listen on your preferred streaming service:

Classical EmbraceClassical Embrace

Apple Music logo  Spotify logo

“Making a playlist of uplifting, healing classical music was a surprisingly difficult task. I often turn to music to uplift my spirits, but I was unsure whether my go-to soothing tracks would produce the same reaction in other people (5+ years shacked up in academic music spaces can really send you down some niche rabbit holes). I used artists and pieces from current and previous UMS seasons to guide me, sprinkling in some personal favorites along the way. I’m sure you’ll find something familiar in this playlist, and I hope you’re exposed to something new and exciting. For my favorite track, skip to “Shen khar venakhi” Enjoy!”

— Maddy Wildman, UMS’s Education and Community Engagement Program Manager



Soothing Cross-CurentsSoothing Cross-Currents

Apple Music logo  Spotify logo

“I wanted this playlist for Gifts of Art to emit rays of sunshine: express positivity, be uplifting, and ultimately bring smiles — and maybe even some physical groove — to the listener. The playlist selections span decades and styles, but they come together with their own flavors and spices to make a tasty meal. We start off with the tongue-in-cheek irreverent brilliance of The Kinks and move to Brazil, to Africa, to hip-hop and into familiar and unfamiliar songs and sounds. Pianist Brad Mehldau concludes this musical set with a tribute to the jazz capital of the world, New York City, as the city — like each of us — searches for hope and promise during this unprecedented historical time.”

— Mark Jacobson, UMS’s Senior Programming Manager