Make Music NY Saturday. Live Music Everywhere

Make Music New York:  1000+ Concerts. One Day. Five Boroughs. Above + Below Ground.


Today's blog is what I'll call the unofficial Music Under New York - Make Music New York listing, because at Music Under New York, we celebrate live and free music (price of a subway fare) 365 days out of the year. I love the idea of one crazy day with so much free live music, that I also wanted to share where to find the Music Under New York musicians on this special day

On June 21, 1989 I flew from NYC to Paris, France. When I landed, I found myself in the midst of an uproarious yet melodic commotion that I'd never known. It was the "Fete de la musique,"  an outdoor festival of music held on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. I am happy to be a part of the festivities this year on this side of the world. 

New York City is always full of music, life and song, to imagine it more magical is nearly impossible. However, for the past eight years, Make Music New York has taken our magical chaos to whole new level. 

This Saturday, June 21, Make Music New York returns to celebrate the beginning of summer with over 1000 concerts and music performances throughout the five boroughs. Public parks, sidewalks, venues, block parties and music schools, are just some examples of where you will stumble into a magical musical experience. And as always, the underground will be bustling with music. 


For the above-ground schedule check out Make Music New York's website.

For underground schedule, Here's the list of Music Under New York performances this Saturday! Please pass along to your friends.

                                        click on above image for a larger format

I'll be using #MMNYBuskers to share spontaneous performances from the underground throughout the day.

Here are a couple of busker friends with above-ground gigs on Saturday!

SisterMonk performs @ 6:15 PM at the East River Park Bandshell-Music all day, (SisterMonk a Music Under NY member, will perform at three different venues during the festival in Brooklyn and Manhattan) Here's a clip I recorded of them in the underground at Grand Central Station Mezzanine.

Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the all female mariachi band, will perform at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza- 346 E. 47th St at 1pm. Below is a clip I made of their Music Under New York audition. 

And here's a little something for aspiring musicians and future buskers!

    •    Free Guitar Lessons at some NYPL branches. Guitars for lessons provided. Sponsored by GAMA and Little Kids Rock (sponsored by Yamaha and Godin

Summer Solstice- MUSIC Underground June 21

Times Square/42 Street/Upper Mezzanine

  • 12-3__Grupo Wayno, S. American music
  • 3-6___ El Vaté, Andean pipes
  • 6-10__ Eric Paulin & the Meetles, jazz & tribute band

Times Square/41 Street/ Mosaics

  • 8am-12__Susan Keser, classical/pop violin
  • 12-3____Mecca Bodega, world music
  • 3-6_____ Tony Pots & Pans, percussion

42 Street/ 8 Avenue

  • 12-4__Nadine Simmons, Gospel, pop singer
  • 4-7___Raices Group, Inca music

34 Street/6 Avenue

14 Street/ Union Square

Columbus Circle/60 Street

Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street (Barclays Ctr)

  • 12-4__Maetro Moses Josiah, saw player
  • 4-7__Delta Dave, blues guitar & singer

LIRR # 2 (next to McDonalds)

  • 12-3__Acapella Soul, doo wop vocals
  • 3-6__Rober Anderson Jazz Band
  • 6-9__Lawrence Rush & Underground Harmony
  • 9pm-12am__”The Sugar Bear” Kahn Hightower R&B, soul singer

LIRR # 3 (8th Avenue)

  • 12-3__Sammie C. Davis “Mr Melody”, pop, soul singer

Whitehall Ferry Terminal

Grand Central Terminal/Lower Level

  • 10am-1__Maya Miele, solo guitar

Grand Central Terminal/Graybar


Music is such an important part of all of our lives whether we realize it or not. I hope you get out and enjoy all that Make Music - Fete De La Musique has to offer where ever you live. 

Subway holds it's Charm on me

My first performance back from my summer break was at Columbus Circle, uptown 1 platform.  This spot is great. The crowd builds in between trains, but it's also quite noisy with express trains passing in both directions on the inside tracks.  I learn how to pause to save my voice. When the train arrives and the doors open, I love to see people inside look out in my direction, seemingly surprised to hear live music. I see a lot from my vantage point where I set up, and the colorful Sol Lewitt mosaics are behind me.

I met photo journalist Nousha Salimi who discovered my website and found where I was playing. She came to my gig the following day where I performed in Brooklyn at the LIRR station. It was interesting to have Nousha spend the entire gig with me 2 days in a row and each of the locations couldn't be any more different.  To be able to see what I witness, the humanity, the intense experience of being in one location for 3 hours at a time, while everything and everyone else is speeding by on their way to somewhere.

Columbus Circle:
by Nousha Salimi
Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, LIRR station
by Nousha Salimi


Cathy Grier aka NYCSubwayGirl sings

The best way to show why I perform in the subway and in public spaces, is to share some of my experiences.

I am usually the one performing and filming so I don't get a chance to show you what I do.  These clips were taken in various locations around NYC above and below in public spaces. With some surprise spontaneous guest performers.

Performing songs Question Of Desire, Dedicate, Cool Trick, Comin' Back To Me, What Fools Do- words and music Cathy Grier Singerfish publishing SESAC with Amazing Grace-traditional, Love Is In Need Of Love Today-Stevie Wonder

Columbus Circle happiness

I'm inspired by a fun day performing at Columbus Circle yesterday, must have been Spring in the air.  People danced, many smiled. I sang full out for almost 3 hours.

I love singing on the uptown 1 platform because I can actually see light from the outside and watch people coming in and out of the station.  I can also perform for the commuters across the tracks waiting for the downtown trains.  What that also means is I am completely at the mercy of the 2/3 uptown and downtown express trains and their rumble and screeching wheels.  Of course doubly noisy if uptown and downtown trains pass at the same time.  I work with it.  I mark my time, pause my vocal and vamp through the chords.  The game I play is to return to the point where I left off so listeners won't miss part of the song.  It's the express train musical bridge!

A guitarist friend who also lives upstate stopped by and we chatted.  He commented on how amazingly loud it was.  I said it takes me a few minutes to Zen into the sounds and then I'm set for my 3 hour gig. Many people took pictures and stood close to listen. It was a big kid in stroller day and I love watching their reactions.  Their societal filters aren't up yet. They move to it or they don't. My favorite is to watch how many times a child looks back when leaving, and then a perfect moment of joy when one spontaneously waves.

Why do I do it? Music and Art in public spaces is integral to a city's soul. We can't stop artistic expression just because it costs too much to either produce or to experience. Live music in this almost frenetic environment is truly honest, there is nothing timid about it.  There is nothing commercial about it. It's pure, sometimes imperfect, but always real.

It was a good day.


Thanks NYC.

easy ease-in at Grand Central

My return to subway gigs after a long summer break couldn't have been better. I performed in the Graybar corridor at Grand Central Station (it feeds into the main hall) and has a great people watching vantage point.With amazing warm acoustics naturally created by great architecture, I sang with ease and enjoyed what only time off can provide, the ability to hear myself with fresh ears and ideas. I noticed many people taking an "audio" tour of the station. There's a funny juxtaposition of tourists casually looking up at whatever is being pointed out from a voice in their headphones and the racing commuters who always seem to cut their next train close to within seconds.It's truly a dance, albeit clumsy at best.
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