Pianist Lara Downes has a new project that has her closing the lid on the piano (just for a little bit), and opening a microphone. In “Amplify,” a new series from NPR Music, Downes talks with black musicians about the issues and challenges affecting their profession in general, and especially through a pandemic.

The roster of guests will include Rhiannon Giddens, Anthony McGill, Helga Davis, Davóne Tines and more. In this interview, I ask what are you learning? What does the future look like for performers, either in person or online?

(Image Areon Mobasher/Courtesy of the artists)

Daniel Gilliam is Program Director and host