Michael had recently lost 21-year-old Kristen Ann Carr after her battle with sarcoma. To honor her memory, friends and family including Michael and Kristen’s parents and sister, Dave Marsh, Barbara Carr and Sasha Carr, formed the Kristen Ann Carr Fund to provide grants for cancer research seeking to improve all aspects of patient life with an emphasis on adolescents and young adults.
In an effort to give back to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where Kristen was hospitalized, Barbara and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund hosted a concert for the patients with the help of Michael. In support of his friend Michael, Vivek attended the concert in search of healing after recently losing his mother Nandini Beharry Tiwary to cancer.
Nurses carefully transported patients to the hospital’s recreation area, arranging seats and wheelchairs around a temporary stage where internationally acclaimed musician Wynton Marsalis, played in the common area at one of the units. IV poles were present throughout the audience, their bags forming a mezzanine audience overhead. It was just what the patients needed, one of the nurses said, and such a shame that some were unable to attend because they were in treatment or too sick to leave their rooms. It was clear that some of the patients who needed music the most were unable to go to the concert.
Music is this wonderful tool that can change and shape your day, your mood, your memories. Because of those reasons, there was no choice but to bring music to people that need it most.Michael Solomon, Co-Founder of Musicians On Call
Michael and Vivek immediately reached out to musician clients and friends to set up similar concerts, and musician Kenli Mattus gladly stepped up. After a couple of visits performing in the common areas, they were asked to visit some patients in their rooms. What they witnessed in the rooms was magic!
Feet began to tap and heads nodded to the beat. Smiles formed on patients’ faces and some closed their eyes in revelry. What happened in the rec room happened on an even deeper and more intimate level inside the actual hospital room. Michael and Vivek knew they had to form an organization that could bring the same inspiration to the bedsides of patients in hospitals everywhere.
And so Musicians On Call was born, right on cue.
Vivek coordinated with Memorial Sloan Kettering to create the foundation for the first Musicians On Call Bedside program. Michael worked with the Kristen Ann Carr Fund to engage music industry friends and colleagues, most notably Bruce Springsteen, as fundraising champions. Thanks to Barbara Carr, who was Bruce Springsteen’s manager, Bruce supported Musicians On Call’s first auction and event to raise funds to start the organization. And with that, Michael and Vivek’s vision became a reality.
Musicians On Call continues to partner with its sister organization, the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, and has grown from its first program at Memorial Sloan Kettering to programs nationwide.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Pete Griffin, Dave Marsh, Michael Solomon, Barbara Carr are seen onstage during the Musicians On Call 20th Anniversary Celebration Presented By Citi Honoring Co-Founders Michael Solomon And Vivek J. Tiwary Featuring Gavin DeGraw And Charles Esten at Edison Ballroom on November 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Musicians On Call)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Vivek J. Tiwary and Ed Skyler are seen onstage during the Musicians On Call 20th Anniversary Celebration Presented By Citi Honoring Co-Founders Michael Solomon And Vivek J. Tiwary Featuring Gavin DeGraw And Charles Esten at Edison Ballroom on November 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Musicians On Call)
Founders Michael Solomon and Vivek J. Tiwary at the 20th Anniversary Celebration