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Laila Biali tours from home / MACLEAN'S

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It was a pretty good plan, back when people were still making make plans. In March of 2019 Toronto singer-pianist Laila Biali won a Juno award for jazz vocals. A year later she was all ready to follow up with a new album, Out of Dust, and three months of touring in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Then the world went into pandemic lockdown. Out of Dust hit the market on schedule on March 27, but a series of high-profile gigs were wiped off the calendar. So was the chance to share her new music with audiences, so Biali and her bandmates took to the virtual stage. It's a story that's being repeated in countless variations across music and the performing arts. But Biali chose to view the crisis as a challenge. "Because we can no longer bring this music to physical stages around the world, I thought I would create a virtual stage," Biali told Maclean's.