“WeSayThankYou” honors first responders during COVID-19 pandemic
As the world continues to be consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson sings and plays flute with Mandoki Soulmates leader Leslie Mandoki. Mandoki has found inspiration and a new spark of hope amidst the chaos. He has penned a powerful new song in appreciation for the heroes who have emerged in this global crisis, the nurses, doctors, and other health care providers as well as the grocery store clerks and food delivery personnel who have stepped up to serve their communities. The new song, entitled simply “#WeSayThankYou,” expresses so clearly the feelings of gratitude many of us have felt in these troubled times.
“We all thank the brave, hardworking front-line medics and care workers around the world,” Anderson says on singing and playing flute on the track. “Leslie managed to put into the lyrics references to the police, grocery clerks, supermarket workers too. I would like to add those essential worker folks who it was impossible to squeeze into a three-minute song. To all, we say, thank you.”
“As an artist, I feel it is my duty to contemplate ideas for a better world,” Mandoki explains. “Now, like so many of us, I suddenly have the time. Let us grab this uncommon moment of pause together and take a new approach to the problems of the world. And let’s take a hard look at who this crisis is casting in a heroic light, and who comes out the villain.”
The duet is part of a new EP available through the Purple Pyramid imprint of indie giant Cleopatra Records, Inc. and is Mandoki Soulmate’s first release in the recently inked partnership with the L.A.-based label. Additional Mandoki releases are set to follow later this year.
There are three different versions of the song on the EP including the duet with Anderson; a new version with Anderson and Mandoki featuring Soulmates: Supertramp saxophonist John Helliwell, multi Grammy Winner Randy Brecker (on trumpet), Chair of Berklee´s Bass Department Steve Bailey, Simon Phillips (drums, along with Leslie), and backup singers: Bobby Kimball (Toto) and Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann´s Earth Band); and an unplugged, acoustic, living-room-concert, with Andson, Mandoki, Brecker, Bailey and Helliwell.
All proceeds from the sales, syncs, and airplay of “#WeSayThankYou” will be donated to New York City’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
“#WeSayThankYou” was written in the context of Mandoki’s own isolation in Germany, where his doctor wife, Eva, is a first contact physician.
Anderson and Mandoki have worked together for over 25 years on various collaborations with his jazz-rock band Soulmates featuring the good and great of classic rock and jazz. Mandoki’s Soulmates toured North America in 2018.