On the first Monday in November, a small group of friends gathered in Sag Harbor’s Oakland Cemetery just as the last glimmer of sunlight was fading and true dusk was setting in. They brought with them candles, food and beverages for an impromptu celebration of the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead. Among those honored was Jonathan Larson, composer, playwright and creator of the hit Broadway musical “Rent" and "Tick, Tick... Boom!" which has just been released as a film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving happened to be Judy Carmichael’s birthday. But this year, Carmichael, a Grammy-nominated stride and swing pianist, wasn’t home in Sag Harbor, celebrating with friends. Instead, she was at sea as part of her latest gig, sailing aboard the luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity where she had been performing all week. And after a year and a half of canceled performances due to COVID-19 — some 200 of them — she’s totally fine with that.