Longstanding and Highly Popular Program, on Hold During Pandemic, Returns After More Than 14 Month Hiatus
At Least 15 Acts Resume Performing Beginning Today; More Expected To Follow In Coming Weeks
Musical performers affiliated with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) popular Music Under New York program resumed performances today for the first time since the start of the pandemic more than 14 months ago. More than a dozen musical acts took to stations throughout the city to mark the first day of the program’s rebirth. Music Under New York dates back to 1985. Prior to COVID, MTA Music featured 350 musical acts and put on roughly 12,000 performances annually.
"I am so thrilled we’ve finally reached this moment," said MTA Arts & Design Director Sandra Bloodworth. "The last year has been so challenging for all of our artists and to see this special program return underground is a testament to the hard work and sacrifice of so many New Yorkers. Public art and music are such a vital part of this city’s cultural landscape and going 14 months without these performances has left a void in the city’s artistic life. Today, that void ends and we begin to return to the beauty and joy that has always defined this model public arts program.”
This morning’s performances, which are featured in this video, come from across the musical spectrum. The classical and pop violinist Susan Keser played Union Square, while the dynamic New Orleans blues keyboardist Gabriel Aldort performed at Herald Square. Eganam Segbefia, meanwhile, regaled audiences with his talents on the trumpet at 42 St-Port Authority. Shogo Jubo, a classical guitarist, impressed the audience gathered at Grand Central near the lines. Sean Grissom, a cajun cellist and longtime MTA Music performer, rounded out the morning’s performances with an inspired cajun cello performance.
TODAY’S PERFORMANCES BY TIME AND LOCATION:
8 a.m.-12 p.m.
14 St-Union Square, near : Susan Keser, Classical, pop violin
34 St-Herald Square, near : Gabriel Aldort, New Orleans blues keyboard
42 St-Port Authority, near : Eganam Segbefia, Classical and jazz trumpet
42 St-Grand Central, near : Shogo Kubo, classical guitar
12 p.m.-2 p.m.
28 St Southbound: Sean Grissom, Cajun cello
12 p.m.-3 p.m.
14 St-Union Square, near : Grupo Wayno, Andean pan flute
3 p.m.-6 p.m.
14 St-Union Square, near : Raices, Andean pan flute
34 St-Herald Square, near : Natalia Paruz, Musical saw
42 St-Times Square, near : Jason Green, Latin, bluegrass, swing guitar
4 p.m.-6 p.m.
42 St-Port Authority, near : Troy Weekes, R&B vocalist
4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Atlantic Av-Barclays Center, near : Underground Drummers, Drumming duo
72 St : Anthony Carrera, World music, sitar, handpan, guitar
6 p.m.-9 p.m.
42 St-Port Authority, near : Afrikumba Utibe Drummers, Drum ensemble
ABOUT MTA MUSIC
Music Under New York is one of the many visual and performing arts programs administered by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design that enhances the transit environment for customers. Music Under New York began as a pilot program in 1985 and became an Arts & Design program in January 1987 with the enthusiastic support of the commuting public. More than 350 individual performers and music ensembles participate in over 12,500 annual performances in approximately 35 locations throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s transit system. Through Music Under New York, these performances encompass classical strings, jazz ensembles, world music bands, folk, a cappella groups, singer songwriters and more.