The COVID-19 vaccine rollout may have gradually (if inconsistently) begun across the world, but that doesn’t mean relief efforts are not still desperately needed. Thankfully, relative newcomer multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer Zach Tabori is doing his part to help out. The LA-based artist on Thursday released an energetic, high-octane visual concert video, “Pandemic Performance” on his website and YouTube channel, while simultaneously debuting a variety of new merch items, 100% of the proceeds from which will benefit the non-profit World Central Kitchen, who have tirelessly worked to combat mass hunger during the pandemic.

We’ve all missed the live music experience during lockdown, and having been devoid of a proper live scene for almost an entire year now, the world is clamoring to once again feel the serotonin that comes from seeing local talent up close while they pour their heart out on stage; the rush of sonic energy flowing through the crowd. Tabori himself agrees: “It’s devastating to think of a world without live music. When concerts disappear, we lose a crucial part of our culture. I hope this film allows others to experience something similar to the energy of a live show that we all want to return to as soon as it becomes possible.”

Zach Tabori and his live band and team for “Pandemic Performance.” Photo courtesy of Sarah Pardini.

While were are still certainly a ways from being back to the norm, Tabori and his team do a fantastic job replicating the chaotic, organic energy that comes from attending a live, local rock show, while still managing to maintain a high standard of artistic production; all with a flashy orange motif that keeps the whole affair remarkably visually upbeat.

After a delightfully quirky overture rendition of the 20th Century Fox theme music, the virtual concert’s setlist consists mainly of songs from Tabori’s 2020 album, appropriately titled Pandemic Ballads, as well as a searing cover of the Allman Brother’s “Whipping Post.” The roster of talent certainly has quite the pedigree as well, featuring fellow LA-based musicians from rock and hip-hop acts like Phoebe Bridgers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Leven Kali.

Tabori utilized the live video concert to promote a new array of limited merch items, the full proceeds from which he will be donating to the World Central Kitchen. WCK is a non profit organization whose mission is to use “the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond.” In direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WCK started the Restaurants for the People program, which works twofold by compensating local restaurants to provide meals to communities in need, stimulating local business and combating the hunger crisis. Speaking on WCK, Tabori mentioned that “Jose Andres (WCK’s founder) is both an artistic and humanitarian visionary and I deeply respect the work he has done for years. I’m more than happy to do what I can.”

Hand-dyed t-shirt, one of the merch items on sale to benefit World Central Kitchen. Courtesy of Zach Tabori’s Shopify page.

As for the merch items themselves, they range from t-shirts hand dyed by Tabori himself with a few friends’ help, to bright orange branded face masks and lighters. Just call “Tabori orange” the new “Livestrong yellow.” Tabori’s Shopify page also helpfully includes options for various levels of donation directly to World Central Kitchen.

Zach Tabori, heavily inspired by the likes of Frank Zappa and freeform jazz musicians, has co-written music and provided instrumentation for the likes of Jaden Smith and ¿Téo?, as well as scored films like the Cannes-featured short Midnight. Find his music on Apple Music and Spotify, and follow him on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Connect with World Central Kitchen on Instagram and Twitter, and Donate to the cause.

Zach Tabori. Courtesy of the artist.

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