Lydia Ansel

Wade Vandervort

Musician Lydia Ansel has been live streaming performances from Hawaii.

Violin player, DJ and model Lydia Ansel was between work trips when the COVID-19 crisis struck, travel became more difficult and most people were instructed to shelter in place. The bad news is she was unable to come home to Las Vegas. The good news is she’s stuck in Hawaii.

The versatile entertainer has been making the most of her circumstances and taking advantage of her beautiful surroundings to relax and reset. And she continues to perform and hone her craft via livestream performances every week, as she explains on the latest Sun on the Strip podcast.

“I’m really grateful to be able to do so many corporate events and the residencies in Las Vegas, but I really love being able to connect with so many people. That’s the beauty of doing Instagram Live this past month on Fridays,” Ansel says. “Immediately you see so many people you can reach out to and share smiles with and take requests from. And the playback is great, too, [with] eight to ten thousand views on a video. Playing in one spot in Vegas, you don’t necessarily get that in one performance.”

Ansel was most recently playing the Strip at Luxor and she can’t wait to get back to that gig. “I’d come every week and there would be something new. I had this lighted platform they built, and then it was a new sound system. It was really a pleasure working there and every day was so exciting to come in and see what magic we could make together.”

She developed her unique musical act before she moved to Las Vegas, all starting with the idea of re-creating her favorite guitar solos from rock songs on the violin. Now her sets incorporate all different types of music and lots of interaction with the audience. That’s something she can’t get in the same way on Instagram Live, but Ansel says she’s taking this time away from the stage to focus on finding new ways to connect and staying in a creative mindset.

“I’ve been able to challenge myself. How can I make the sound better with what tools I have?” she says. “I don’t have the effects pedals I like, so how can I adjust? And what is a great location to change it up and maybe show some palm trees in the background and make it more interesting for the audience? All these different things are coming together and they’ve got me almost bouncing up and down when I know Friday is coming.”

Listen to this and more on the Sun on the Strip, also available at Apple Podcasts.

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