Showcase – Live Music Lives On: Chicago to Paris Zoom Piano Bar

february, 2021

23feb12:00 pm1:00 pmVirtual EventShowcase - Live Music Lives On: Chicago to Paris Zoom Piano Bar


(Tuesday) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Video

Event Details

Sami Scot and Donna Lorraine are interviewed by Carolyn Broquet about their Zoom Pop Up Piano Bar broadcast weekly from Chicago and Paris that enables singers from around the world to get together, share a tune and keep jazz music alive during the pandemic. Featuring clips from their Zoom events.


To connect with Donna Lorraine –

To connect with Sami Scot –

Link to the next Pop Up Piano Bar –

A full Zoom recording –


Speakers for this event

  • Carolyn Broquet

    Carolyn Broquet

    Carolyn is recently retired after a half-century of working in television news as an editor. When she is not on lockdown, she sings and plays guitar in her band Cowboy Choir. She has embraced Piano Bars on Zoom as her pandemic creative outlet.

  • Cristina Marinescu

    Cristina Marinescu

    Cristina Marinescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. My husband, our two daughters, and I moved to Chicago, IL about ten years ago. Being born in Europe and living now in America, I am equally in love with both cultures. Experiencing this plurality was and still is very enriching, exciting, and fun! And when music is part of this experience, life is really wonderful. I loved music since the first day of my life but did not consider singing until a few years ago. For many years, I mostly focused on my electrical engineering career, but a few years ago, I made two life-changing decisions. One was to become an educator, so followed my call and I became a computer science teacher. The other was to give singing a try, and since then, I cannot imagine life without it. These being said, the Zoom-singing sessions are absolutely fantastic! Not only do I get to sing, but I also get to be part of the most diverse community, to meet people from all over the world, to enjoy their music and talent, to exchange ideas, and share our cultures and artistic heritages. I am immensely grateful to Sami and Donna for making this happen and to Marcia for taking it to the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs.

  • Dion Walton

    Dion Walton

    Dion Walton was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago in the Englewood neighborhood and has performed in theater for over 30 years. I have also been writing and performing for the past fifteen years, my autobiography, entitled, “The Happening” as a member of The Goodman Theater here in Chicago. I’m also, a veteran of 2nd Story where I have written and directed for the past 15-years. One of my greatest accomplishment was being published in a book entitled, OUR LEGACIES, (Writings from Chicago’s Older Gay Men), I have always wanted to be a singer and for the past 10 years or so, I have been a part of Old Town Folk School of Music where I met Sami Sot and later Donna Lorraine and Marcia Parisienne, through Zoom. Speaking about Zoom, I feel it’s a wonderful tool for meeting and gathering really, close friends that you would never have ever met from all over the world, (which to me is a good thing)! A few of my other hobbies are photography, make-up and painting, and of course now, Zoom! I want to just say that I am honored and grateful by this opportunity that Sami, Donna and Marcia have given me by allowing me to be a part of the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. Thank you!

  • Donna Lorraine

    Donna Lorraine

    Donna Lorraine has been enchanting audiences with her unique brand of American jazz for a few decades. Her treatment of each jazz standard brings to life the great tradition of such jazz legends as Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald. Donna Lorraine also draws inspiration from contemporary jazz singers such as Carmen McCrae, Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson and Shirley Horn. While evoking the sultry elegance and pure swing of a bygone jazz era, Donna Lorraine’s smooth, smoky vocals and unique phrasing take the listener deep into the soul of living jazz. Her repertoire includes a few pop tunes and her shows are always about communicating and sharing with the audience. “That’s what it’s all about,” Donna Lorraine says, “exchanging energy.” “One of the many things I love about jazz is that the possibilities are infinite. Plus, there’s the dynamic between the musicians that makes every performance a new experience. We’re always trying to go a little bit deeper, to take it one step farther.” Before moving to Paris in 2000, Donna Lorraine built her skill and reputation as a jazz singer in the United States, most notably in the hotels and clubs of Aspen, Colorado, one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the United States. There she performed at several 5 star hotels including the Ritz Carlton Hotel. In Paris, Donna Lorraine is a frequent performer at many jazz venues, including Sunset-Sunside, Le Petit Journal Montparnasse, The River Café, Cafe Laurent, Cave du 38 Rives, Le Cercle Suedoise, Papa Jazz Club Saint Germain, the Lutetia Hotel and the Grand Intercontinental Hotel. She has also performed at the American Embassy in Paris and for the United States Marine Corps. Outside of France, she has performed in Belgium, Holland and hotels and clubs in Dakar, Senegal. Among many great mentors and teachers, Donna has studied with Bob Stoloff, Marion Cowings, Jan Garrett, Gary Burton, Michelle Hendricks, Sheila Jordan, Sarah Lazarus, Madeline Eastman, Larry Browne and James Moody. She has been to Jazzschool in Berkeley, and Jamey Aebersold’s Jazz Camp. Donna Lorraine is launching an Indie-A-Gogo campaign to produce her first professional studio album in Spring 2021 for a CD album release in Fall 2021. For updates, visit, duo CD available for purchase or download a live trio concert.


  • Elena Welch

    Elena Welch

    Elena Welch hails from Smithfield... a tiny town of 350 in Southwestern Illinois. She moved to Chicago at age 18 and was immediately taken with the jazz & blues scene. Elena studied voice and theater at Columbia College and holds a BFA in Voice. She began singing and performing with jazz pianist Tommy Ponce at age 21. Elena was a Gaslight Girl at the Palmer House Hilton and a house performer at both the Domino Lounge and the Underground Wonderbar on Rush Street. She has also lived and performed in Rome, Italy; San Francisco, CA; Hilo, Hawaii and currently lives and performs in Portland, OR. Elena has 4 CDs to her credit that can be found on Amazon & iTunes.

  • Marcia S. Cohen

    Marcia S. Cohen

    Marcia Cohen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Roosevelt University of Chicago, a Masters's degree in Music Composition from Northwestern University, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1984. Since becoming a member of The Florida Bar, she has practiced almost exclusively in labor and employment law to concentrate on employment discrimination and sexual harassment. She has the distinction of having had a successful case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Cohen currently serves as Legal Counsel to the National Organization for Women (NOW). Marcia Cohen has been a singer since childhood and took part in high school and college choirs. Since 2005 and thereafter, she began singing in various Paris clubs while living part-time in Paris. Upon her return to her St. Petersburg home, she joined the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association and has sung since then in several local venues, including the Monday night jazz jams at the Hangar restaurant. She misses the Hangar and Cafe Osmoz in Paris, but the pandemic has closed those music venues. Fortunately, her Paris music friends connected her with pianist Sami Scot in Chicago, whose vocal jams on Zoom have made it possible for her to continue singing before an audience of other vocalists.

  • Marie Veronique

    Marie Veronique

  • Meiya Fitzhugh

    Meiya Fitzhugh

    I was born and raised in and around Chicago. I've always loved music and singing, but a turning point in my musical journey was a chance attendance at a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music. That led to nearly two decades of vocal and guitar classes, and the opportunity to be a part of a community that has changed my life. The valuable lessons I've learned aren't only matters of technique or theory - there's also the act of challenging myself, being vulnerable on stage, and sharing something with an audience. The ability to continue to express our love of music, engage with an audience, and connect with a community of singers and musicians through Zoom during this pandemic - it has been such a lifeline during this challenging time. Our community has even grown - we now get to share with our peers all over the world. Definitely, an unexpected upside of this new reality that we wouldn't have imagined a year ago. Thanks very much to Sami, Donna, and Marcia for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs.

  • Natashia Patel

    Natashia Patel

  • Ron Kert

    Ron Kert

    was born and lived in Philadelphia, PA until age 30. Back in 1974, I moved to and still live in Tampa, FL. I’m a retired mainframe computer programmer (now known as “coder” or “app developer”). I started singing at piano bars in 1992, and that quickly became my passion. I love to sing old “Standards from The Great American Songbook” era, Blues, old time Rock’n’Roll, 1960/1970’s Rock and Rock Ballads, and a few old Country tunes and “show tunes”. Essentially, singing is my hobby, but it’s definitely my passion. The ZOOM Open Mics have allowed me to keep singing regularly, and more importantly, meet many truly lovely folks from all over the USA and the world. Thanks to Marcia, Sami, and Donna for inviting me to participate in the ST. PETERSBURG CONFERENCE ON WORLD AFFAIRS music video. It is especially fun for Marcia and I, since she lives in St. Petersburg, and I live right across Old Tampa Bay in Tampa.

  • Sami Scot

    Sami Scot

    Sami Scot was born in St. Louis Missouri and was classically trained on accordion from the age of 5. By the age of 16, she had won two national accordion competitions. She began playing keyboards and piano while performing in a band with her older sister and three boys from her neighborhood. At the age of 23, she was offered a recording contract with Splendid Music Studios in Toulouse, France. Releasing a single called Choo Choo Train for Splendid Music, she toured for 6 months for S.U.D. radio around southern France, singing and playing piano and promoting her record. Sami Scot is an accomplished singer and pianist in the “Saloon” style of playing. She has performed in San Francisco (Mark Hopkins Hotel) Reno (Harrah’s Casino) and Las Vegas (Riviera Hotel). After two world cruises for Royal Viking cruise lines, she gave performances for an extended period of time in Japan, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. In 1983, she returned to the US and moved to Chicago, where she has played in some of the finest hotels and restaurants. She currently teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music. In 2018, Sami created PopUP Piano Bar, a series of salons in the homes of clients where the guests could sing. When the pandemic began in early 2020, confining vocalists to their homes, Sami took her PopUP Piano Bar to Zoom, enabling singers to continue to sing before an even wider audience. Since then, she has created a number of “Zoom Sessions”, featuring singers from all over the US and Europe: 1. The original PopUp Piano Bar 2. Torching thru Time Zones (featuring and accompanying singers across the continent and Europe) 3. I Must Be Streaming (Virtual Variety Show) 4. Composer’s Cafe (interviewing the writers behind the songs) 5. Sami Scot is also a composer of songs, which can be found on and


  • Sonia Oyola

    Sonia Oyola

    MD is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and currently serves as the Medical Education Director, Clerkship Director and co-Director of the Culinary Medicine Programs for the University of Chicago’s Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Oyola earned her MD from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine at Chicago in 1997 before pursuing her residency in Family Medicine at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. She is an Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine Fellow and has Homeopathy Certification through the Center for Education and Development of Homeopathy. Her clinical practice is at Heartland Health Centers where she provides Primary Integrative Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine Consults. For her work to promote trauma-informed care, social justice and challenge inequities in health and health care, Dr. Oyola was recently selected as an awardee from the Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, and has been identified by Pritzker students to receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Leonard Tow Award, a nomination for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine Award and most recently, was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) Honor Medical Society (AΩA) Society in 2021. Additionally, Dr. Oyola has been the Founder and President of the Chicago domestic violence non-profit, Be Alright, since 2009. Sonia has loved to sing since she was a toddler, loves her zoom music community and especially loves to sing with her dear friend and teacher, Sami Scot.

  • Stefano Cupioli

    Stefano Cupioli

    I was born in Rome in Italy , where I spent my early age until my university. My job as telecom engineer brought me to work for Bell Labs first in The Netherland , then in Columbus OH where I lived for one year and where I bought my third guitar , and discovered country music . Nashville was not that far. My guitar is my travel friend, since I was a teen boy scout, I enjoy playing for friends and singing together , listen to others singing , in harmony, I love to sing Italian and Neapolitan songs, and English and French too. I consider myself not able to write good songs, all my works seem to be very banal to me , and my dream is having somebody writing songs for me to sing . All my free time is devoted to music. Since 2005 I ‘m living in Paris with my wife and my daughter. Paris gave me the opportunity to develop my tenor voice, studying at the conservatory, and singing in front of an experimented public. In Paris I’m part of a classical choir , having sung with it in Paris, in Rome Italy and in Edinburgh Scotland. Here I’m also part of two band groups , playing guitar and singing , performing shows in restaurant and bars. Paris is also jazz city, and as soon as I met Donna, I started to be pushed in the heart of the jazz. Being theatres and clubs closed due the covid, the Zoom piano bar is currently the only way for me to listen live music. And thanks to this multi-cultural and across the ocean weekly event with Donna and Sami I still can enrich my eclectical personality.

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