HOUSTON – This quarantine, Broadway actor Ben Chavez has been entertaining music lovers by performing popular tunes from his living room in Houston.
And he turned this fun activity into a virtual piano bar on Instagram Live to help during this time of need and give back to the community.
The actor toured through Houston this past June with the Broadway musical, Disney's Aladdin and stopped travelling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The piano bar has been so exciting because it has given me another opportunity to still perform and do what I love, “said Chavez, who played the role of Omar, Aladdin's trusty friend.
Instead of having a traditional tip jar, he offers a virtual tip jar where all the proceeds made during the piano bar go to a different charity every week.
“We raised nearly 2 thousand (dollars) for first responders of COVID-19. Last week, we raised money for an organization that means a lot to me, which is Broadway Cares. They support a lot of creatives in the theater world. And this week we’re going to be supporting Feeding America. And locally they support the Houston Food Bank, so that’s pretty exciting,” said Chavez, who takes requests over live chat, performs them on the spot and has been receiving great feedback for this fun, action-packed hour.
“People who live for that thrill of being able to submit a request and have somebody play a song on the spot, especially when it’s someone like Billy Joel or Elton John; something that unites people, that makes people just raised their glasses and have a good time,” said Chavez, who had been playing the piano since he was three-years-old and has experience playing in piano bars in New York City.
Request your favorite song Saturdays at 5 p.m. on his Instagram @ben__chavez.
To see Chavez’s complete interview, watch the video above.