27th annual Music Under NY auditions May 13th

Today Tuesday May 13h is the big day of the annual Music Under New York auditions held in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal.  It's a wonderful event.  Musicians will audition to be accepted into the program, 9am-3pm

I'll be there as a judge and having a good time.  Come on by.

check out the City Room article by Annie Correal in the New York Times today.  I had my moment in the Times being quoted, but alas they spelled my name as Cathy Grimes, not Grier,and they're correcting it.

Here's a clip I made from 2013 auditions:

Annual Music Under NY auditions May 13th

A cool thing to do in New York is the annual Music Under New York Auditions held each year in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central. Mark your Calendar for May 13th.

From 9am-3pm 50+ musicians will vie for the coveted slot of being able to schedule performances in MUNY sanctioned locations throughout NYC.

Hope to see you there, and it's FREE

Here's a clip I made from a previous Audition 

Diva's Underground Weds March 26th Union SQ

Yes that's right, Diva's Underground.  Every March the Music Under New York program brings together the women of MUNY to perform throughout the day in Union Square station.

From 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Here are some clips that I have made over the years of the women of Music Under NY:

DIVAS UNDERGROUND Wednesday, March 26, 2014

08:00 - 12:00    Leah Coloff         
          
12:00 - 12:45    Cathy Grier             

12:45 -  1:30    Samantha Echo     

 1:30 -  2:15    Nadine Simmons    

 2:15 -  3:00    Martina Bruno        

 3:00 -  3:45    Petula Beckles       

 3:45 -  4:30    Arlethia                   

 4:30 -  5:15    Marcella Louise Adame     

 5:15 -  6:00    Heidi Kole              

 6:00 -  6:45    Wendy Sayvetz      

 6:45 -  7:30    EVEONVOX            

 7:30 - 10:00  SisterMonk             

Last Day to Apply Music Under New York program

HAPPY SPRING

Today is the Deadline to send in applications for the annual Music Under New York auditions.  

Applications must be postmarked today.  There's still time…

Here's a link for the application form found on the MTA website.

All applications info:

Send Audition Application and a CD or DVD (no tapes or videos accepted) by regular mail to the address below postmarked by March 20thDo not drop off your package.

MTA/ MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK 341 Madison Avenue, 5th Fl. New York, NY 10017 

The auditions are held in Grand Central Terminal in May and are only held once a year.  If you've ever wanted to give it a try now is the time.

Good luck.

You can always find more info about busking in NYC in my section above entitled For Buskers 

Below is a clip I made from a past MUNY audition

Deadline For MUNY application March 20th

It's that time of year when Music Under New York auditions musicians to join the program.  The application process is simple.  Here's a link for the application form found on the MTA website.

All applications info:

Please send your Audition Application and a CD or DVD (no tapes or videos accepted) by regular mail to the address below postmarked by March 20thDo not drop off your package.

MTA/ MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK 341 Madison Avenue, 5th Fl. New York, NY 10017 

The auditions are held in Grand Central Terminal in May and are only held once a year.  If you've ever wanted to give it a try now is the time.

Good luck.

You can always find more info about busking in NYC in my section above entitled For Buskers

Music Under NY applications end March 20th

It's that time of year when Music Under New York auditions musicians to join the program.  The application process is simple.  Here's a link for the application form found on the MTA website.

All applications info:

Please send your Audition Application and a CD or DVD (no tapes or videos accepted) by regular mail to the address below by March 20th. Do not drop off your package.

MTA/ MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK 341 Madison Avenue, 5th Fl. New York, NY 10017 

The auditions are held in Grand Central Terminal in May and are only held once a year.  If you've ever wanted to give it a try now is the time.

Good luck.

You can always find more info about busking in NYC in my section above entitled For Buskers

 

Here's a clip I made from the 2012 auditions

annual Music Under NY applications due 3/20

Just a reminder to musicians interested in applying for the Music Under NY program. The auditions are held once a year and applications are due postmarked no later than March 20th.

For more information

Here's a clip I made from judging last years auditions.

Save the date for the 2013 audtions held in Grand Central Monday May 13th 9am-3:30pm, it's a wonderful event worth attending.

Mariachi Flor de Toloache

A recent member of the "Music Under New York" community, Mariachi Flor de Toloache is the only female mariachi group in NYC! They are awesome! Check them out at http://www.mariachinyc.com/.

Intro and Outro music by C. Grier "Comin' Back to Me" and "Noodle #1(Question of Desire" singerfish publishing SESAC

edited by Dan Kleederman

2013 MUNY applications due March 20th

It's that time again for the annual Music Under New York auditions held once annually.  

Follow the information and applications postmarked by March 20th

Music Under New York

Auditions

Every Spring, Music Under New York (MUNY) presents a day of auditions in Grand Central Terminal to review and add new performers to the MUNY roster. This year, MUNY held its annual auditions in May on the Northeast Balcony of the Grand Central Terminal. Here are some photos captured during the audition.

Application Process

To obtain an Audition Application Form, which is available January through March, please contact MUNY at 212-878-4678 or print it from the MUNY website.

To join MUNY, musicians and performers must apply for the auditions and submit a package of information, which includes the MUNY Audition Application form. To obtain an Audition Application form, which is available January through March, please contact MUNY at 212-878-4678 or print it from the MUNY website. For consideration, please prepare a package with the completed Application Form, a sample of your performance on CD or DVD and/or optional items such as a bio, resume, press clippings or reviews and mail it to:

MTA MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK

341 Madison Avenue, 5th Fl.

New York, NY 10017

The Audition application packages are due in the MUNY office no later than March 20th.

All performers are welcome to apply for the audition. Packages will be reviewed and approximately 60 eligible performers will be contacted and invited to perform at the auditions, which are held live, one-day only, and open to public. A panel of professionals, consisting of representatives from the music industry, cultural institutions, MTA station operations, fellow musicians and others, will judge each of the five minute performances during the audition based on the criteria of quality, variety, and appropriateness for the mass transit environment.

here's a clip I made of the 2011 auditions:

Times Square real life in split second frames

every once and a while a photographer comes along and captures perfectly the experience of an underground performer. November 29th happened to be such a day. Maybe it was that odd scenario where in the midst of so many strangers, a few friends passed by at just the right moment.

images by Nousha Salimi:

2012-11-29 - Times SQ - Nousha Salimi  - Jorge Vargas - *** - IMG_9216.jpg

singing for friend Jorge Vargas (Broadway + film make-up artist)

2012-11-29 - Times SQ - Nousha Salimi  - Tim Higginbotham -  IMG_9278.jpg

a surprise visit by Music Under New York Coordinator Tim Higginbotham

2012-11-29 - Times SQ - Nousha Salimi -  Roger Rees -  IMG_9283.jpg

a chance hug from friend Roger Rees (exceptional actor and director)

2012-11-29 - Times SQ - Nousha Salimi - Yesnoyes jam -  IMG_9337.jpg

On rare occasions, I have the joy of a spontaneous jam with other musicians. The next group scheduled after me to perform was Music Under New York group Yes Noyes, and they happily joined in to the delight of those passing by.

It's these moments captured here that show the real time life of the underground captured in split second frames.  I especially like the couple kissing off to the left.

Thank you Nousha

Day 3 No subway gig today

with only some transit service running and my apartment still without power I am unable to perform again today.  Here's more updates from MTA be safe.

MTA Service Advisory

Nov 1 subway lines 1st day back.jpg

Limited Fare Free Service To Be Restored On Subways, Full Service Rolls on Buses

Subway service will be limited Thursday, due to ongoing water remediation, infrastructure repairs and power related problems. Limited service will operate along parts of several routes between The Bronx, Upper Manhattan and Midtown. Other lines will run in parts of Queens and Brooklyn, with service terminating in Downtown Brooklyn. Shuttle Bus service will be available at Jay St - MetroTech, Atlantic Ave - Barclays Center and Hewes St in Williamsburg to 57th St and Lexington Ave in Midtown Manhattan. See Bus Stops in Manhattan.

The restoration of subway service was made possible by the hard work of hundreds of Transit Workers who inspected miles of track, removing debris that washed into the system, dried out components and made necessary repairs. In other parts of the system heavy duty pump trains continue to evacuate thousands of gallons of water that filled 7 underwater tunnels. Station Environment crews removed and repaired canopies on elevated stations ripped off by Sandy's strong gusts, while cleaners removed debris. Track Workers checked rails for damage while Signal Maintainers inspected and tested equipment that was submerged under water. Electronic Mchecked critical electrical systems, including crucial communications equipment. 

Late Wednesday night, the system was energized and 3rd Rail power was restored. During the night crews will begin running trains throughout the system to polish rials and ensure there are no track or other component defects before service begins.

Because subway service will be limited to roughly half of the system's subway lines, waits will be longer and trains will be more crowded. Customers are advised to consider changing their normal routines to travel later in the morning or later in the evening.

See Hurricane Recovery Subway Map

Bus service will be operating on a near normal weekday schedule.  Some routes may be operating with minor detours due to street conditions, customers are advised to look for signage at bus stops. Customers should also expect longer waits and crowded conditions.

Click Borough names for PDF maps:

Manhattan

Bronx

Brooklyn

Queens

Staten Island

MTA service down


October 31, 2012 update, no trains or subway until further notice.  MTA website is only available for service information

 

-Stay Tuned: We'll be back stronger than ever, that's what New York is all about.  Resilience!

 

follow these links for important information from our municipalities and state government:

 New York State official website

 New York City website

 New Jersey State website

 Connecticut State Website

no subway service Storm Sandy aftermath

UPDATE Tuesday 11:50 AM: The latest on MTA and NYC transportation:

Some bus service will begin at 5 p.m. on a Sunday schedule.

There is no timetable yet for subway service resumption. Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said in a joint press conference Tuesday morning they hope to have full bus service restored Wednesday morning. No fares will be charged through Wednesday.

Portions of subway service will return in pieces as it is able. Buses will be used to connect fractured sections.

Flooding could keep east river crossings shut for some time. The Clark, Steinway, Rutgers and Strawberry Street tubes under the East River are all flooded. Lhota said pumps are clearing the Joralemon Street tube and will have it dry in a few hours.

No buses or trains were damaged because of effective shut down preparations. Assessment of the extent of the damage on the tracks “will take a little bit more time than we thought,” Lhota said.

Lhotoa said flooding at the South Street subway station was “literally up to the ceiling.”  this is the station I go to to get to Staten Island Ferry terminal for my gigs.

Pumping is underway in the Battery Tunnel.

Metro-North has no power from 59th Street to Croton.

 

Female Subway Musicians a Rarity

This article is by Laura Hankin and published in Galo Magazine (Global Arts Laid Out)

Female Subway Musicians A Rarity

June 29th, 2012  by Laura Hankin

For subway commuters in New York City and other cities around the world, subterranean musicians are a near-constant presence. These performers range in age, race, and talent. They play everything from the classical violin to the pan-flute. But look more closely at the demographics and it becomes clear that, at least in one category, the numbers are wildly unbalanced. Where are the women?

For some reason, males seem to have a lock on underground music. While stumbling across a woman playing or singing on the subway isn’t unheard of, it’s rarer than one might expect. Still, despite this discrepancy, according to former busker Anna Stefanic, often “girls make more money than guys.” Stefanic thinks it’s because “they’re less threatening” so people might be more willing to stop and listen, and sometimes “people are less likely to assume that a girl is a homeless pothead and more likely to be like, ‘Oh, you’ll make it, sweetie.’”

Money is only one of the tangible benefits performers get from playing in the subway. For musicians who need to practice their craft anyway, busking provides a way to rehearse with the added energy and encouragement of an informal audience. Some performance just sounds better in the subway. According to Natalia Paruz, more widely known as the “Saw Lady” for the oddly entrancing sounds she makes on a musical saw, “the subway has better acoustics” than some of the best concert halls in the world. She has played in these concert halls, but still felt when she started busking that, “in the subway, the sound was so beautiful that I never wanted to go upstairs ever again.” In addition, the busking community can be incredibly welcoming to newcomers. Renée de la Prade, who played rousing accordion songs on the Boston T before moving on to the San Francisco BART, describes in a blog post how she “met other musicians on the subway who taught [her] dozens of tunes” for free because “they want to keep the music alive.”

So why is it that so few women can be found playing underground? The most commonly cited explanation for why women pass up this unique financial and artistic opportunity is safety. Many female musicians worry that stationing themselves underground makes them vulnerable. We live in a world where women often deal with sexual harassment just walking down the street. Worries abound that such harassment can worsen if the woman is standing still in a location that can abruptly empty out, and both offering herself as a performer to and implicitly asking for money from all who pass by. Paruz has received her fair share of lewd comments while performing in NYC subways. “Men have said to me, ‘Oh, you want to make money? Why don’t you come to my hotel room with me?’” she says. “They see a woman working on the streets and their mind goes to that other old profession.”

No one messes too aggressively with Paruz, who does after all have a saw in her hand. Still, the prospect is enough to deter some musicians. Rhiannon Schmitt, a violinist who plays in public spaces in British Columbia, Canada, refuses to perform in subways. “Guys have pinched my butt while I was playing in a beautiful open-air park,” she says. “I wouldn’t feel safe in a subway.”

To combat such concerns, women who play underground often give thought to how they present themselves. That consideration in and of itself may act as a deterrent: no one wants to feel constricted in how they can dress, for fear of attracting dangerous attention. When considering playing in public, Schmitt was told by an older female teacher to dress modestly. She knows female buskers who put on fake wedding rings before they go out and play. Many wear plain outfits like jeans and T-shirts.

But when a different kind of outfit, one that appeals to the male members of one’s audience, translates into making more money, it may be difficult to resist putting it on. Stefanic, who busked her way through college with a portable keyboard and a winning singing voice, frankly lays out the types of people who would and would not give her money. She never received money from couples, unless they were elderly or with their young children. Women by themselves hardly ever paid her either. “Guys are the ones who will give you money,” she says, “so you have to appeal to that. It was kind of striking a balance.” She eventually settled on flowy skirts and red lipstick as a type of work uniform. And Renee De La Prade purposefully wears eye-catching costumes like tutus and corsets. After receiving her first $20 tip while wearing tutus, she wrote in a blog post, “There’s something very nice about getting more money for the same amount of work.”

Issues of presentation can extend beyond dress. Cathy Grier, who has sung and played guitar in NYC subways for years, woke up one morning in 2008 to find a picture of herself performing on the cover of AM New York. Although she was the cover woman for a story on buskers, the newspaper did not mention her name. In order to facilitate people finding her (she has a strong online presence), she identified a need to brand herself. Ultimately, she chose the moniker “NYC Subway Girl,” because it implied a levity that she hoped would draw people to her music. This moniker, now emblazoned on a banner, hangs behind her whenever she performs on the subway. However, she worried for a time about the feminist implications of calling herself a girl when she is decidedly a grown woman. She made her peace with it partially because, as she says, “there’s something about the girl that’s so in need of being cherished and supported. We all have a girl in us… You ask a girl in fourth grade what she wants to be when she grows up and she says, ‘The president.’ You ask her again in seventh grade, and she’s lost that. Somewhere along the way, we have failed her.” Grier hopes that, through performance in public spaces, she can encourage this kind of girlish dreaming to grow and last.

Beyond safety and presentation, female buskers had a number of other theories to explain their lack of cohorts. Some mentioned the difficulty of lugging around heavy equipment, like amplifiers and keyboards. Others pointed to smaller numbers of female instrumentalists in general. Grier believes it’s a larger societal issue, asking, “Where are the women in music today if they’re not bootying themselves up?”

Despite these deterrents, most female buskers love what they do. The ability to interact with an ever-changing audience provides moments of joy and connection. After busking in the subway, the audience in a concert hall may feel too far removed. The Saw Lady sums up the sentiment felt by many buskers when she says, “I fell in love with playing in the subway. I’m basically addicted to it.” Hopefully someday soon, a new wave of women will join her in her addiction.

read it online

Laura came to hear me at Grand Central earlier this month. I made a clip of her for my Inspiration Project.

Natalia - female-subway-musicians-a-rarity Galo Mag.jpeg

Natalia Paruz SawLady

NYCSubwayGirl_Lilian Haidar_Shuttle logo - M.jpg

NYCSubwayGirl

newbies of MUNY announced

this year's auditions in Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central were full of musical talent. I truly enjoyed judging this year.  Here's who got in, so when you pass them on your way to work or play say Hi and congratulate them. WNYC our amazing public radio station is calling for video and photo submissions of your favorite subway performer.  I know of so many fantastic performers, you pass them every day, next time take a clip or a pic. follow the link and submit

Welcome new Music Under New York musicians

here's a nice recap of the auditions from WNYC's Abbie Fentress Swanson

and check out the great pics of auditions by Rob Wilson on the MTA tumblr page

2012 AUDITIONS New MUNY Members

Acapella Soul Male acapella

Afrikumba Utibe Drummers Drum ensemble

Aria Eclectic vocal & guitar duo

Petula Beckles Gospel/ jazz singer songwriter

R. M. Bridgewell Guitar, Mozart to Metallica

Allan Chapman Guitar & vocals, originals & covers

Chicken Barn Heros Bluegrass trio  

Jason Cordero Piano, romantic classical 

Keith Dorgan Vibraphone & bass duo

Melissa Elledge Accordion, classics to originals

Holliewood Ft. Venor Alternative hip hop duo

Emily Hopkins Harp, classical to pop

Atsumi Ishibashi & Robin’s Egg Blue Guitar & duo, pop/folk

Richie Kaye Music Jazz duo

Karikatura Latin, gypsy, ska, reggae fusion band

Leah Laurenti R&B/ jazz singer

Buster Marengo Piano, classical 

Mariachi Flor de Toloache Female mariachi band

Jeff Masin One man band

Caesar Passée Steel drums

Matt Pless Singer songwriter

Ryutaro Shibuya Guitar, contemporary jazz

Nadine Simmons Pop/ Gospel singer

Charles Tighe Handpan player

Washington Square Winds Wind quintet