Dolly Dimples revisited

update June 25th followup: Thanks to the CBS story, a viewer located Dolly's uhaul trailer -most items were stolen, but at least she got some things back. Here's the story, my clip CBS used comes in at about 1:54.

Back in 2011 as I was arriving to perform in Times Square, I happened to be at the right place at the right time with my camera filming subway musician William Ruiz as two clowns passed by us. I was able to film them for my Inspiration Project. Now 5 years later, I have learned that during a recent move, Dolly Dimples had her UHaul truck stolen with all her clown costumes inside. This means $1000's of dollars of investment and what she needs to work her craft.  I was contacted by a CBS 13 affiliated station out of Sacramento, CA asking me if they could use this footage. "Certainly," was my response. Anything that can help return Dolly's items to her is okay by me. And maybe inspire people to pitch in and help re-outfit an incredibly talented clown. 

See and hear what inspires Dolly below:

Not to mention that both Dolly and Sparky won third place performance medals at the 2011 Clown convention competition!

Verbal Ase beatboxing busker

How does Verbal Ase do that?  All the sounds coming from him are natural, or unnatural as it might appear.  Amazing he can do that through his nose! He calls it beatboxing from outer space.

I met Verbal Ase = Adam Steven Evans at his gig in Grand Central and asked him how he stays warm on cold days.  I was surprised to get my own Verbal Ase shout out.  Who can say they've had someone compliment them by beatboxing through the nose!

Mitch Goldstein inspired

At the 27th annual Music Under New York auditions I interviewed Mitch Goldstein from about what inspired him to do a story on the musicians auditioning.

Here's some of the artists and interviews he captured during the auditions.

and here's the list of the musicians who auditioned and made it into the program!

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Petula Beckles MUNY artist

I walked past Petula as she was singing "I Want To Thank You" to the commuters passing by........ I had the chance to be on the judging panel when she auditioned last year and so happy to see that she is now on the MUNY roster!

Her voice so inspirational to me.

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2012 Music Under NY auditions clip

The annual Music Under NY auditions are fast approaching (deadline for 2013 applications must be postmarked by March 20th). Here's a clip I made from last year.  The audition is a wonderful NY experience and if you are available be sure to drop by Grand Central Terminal Monday May 13th from 9am-3:30pm in Vanderbilt Hall.  this clip will give you a peak into what you might find.

2012 Music Under New York auditions were held May 16, 2012.  As a MUNY artist I was asked to be a judge. I captured the event and I asked my favorite question, "what's your inspiration?" Here's what I heard:

- NY Guitar Festival artistic director and judge David Spelman: "the sounds of NY, I never wear an ipod, there's too many wonderful sounds in NYC ..the wild polyphony of mayhem that we hear all around is inspiration."

- Music Under NY violinist Ebony Hillbillies and judge Henrique Prince : "Life, …art, that music can allow you to be different all the time that you can keep growing until the last minute, and you can get better and better, how many things in life are like that except.. food."

- Music Under NY artist and volunteer Jahstix: "Life + possibility of magic at every moment, + the goodness and love."

- Auditionee and accordionist Melissa Elledge: "feeling grateful that I'm in a city that I can make a living  doing what I want to do." Update: since her audition, now now a MUNY artist.

- award winning recording artist and judge Dane Zanes: "I felt that I was part of the NY musical overground."

- Music Under NY classical guitarist and judge Don Witter Jr. "music making and the boldness of young people who believe in what they are doing and do it."

- documentary filmmaker, 78 Project and judge Alex Styermark:  "authenticity and people who are just trying to make the most out of what they've got."

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Sister Monk - Live For This Moment

I came upon Kathy Deane and Jody Rubel from the group Sister Monk performing in Grand Central. They enjoy performing with the Music Under New York program when they aren't touring around.

What inspires Kathy?  "people like you, other talented musicians, amazing women drummers"

Natalie Gelman Inspiring LIRR

It's always great to chat with another Music Under New York musician. I passed by Natalie playing in Penn Station (LIRR) singing her song Sweet July and she took a minute to chat with me about what inspires her. She's now living in California. We certainly miss her voice in the NYC transit stations.

Check her out!

edited by Dan Kleederman

Richie Kaye's Music and Mirth

Richie Kaye and Tony Lavorgna came to play after my set in the Graybar corridor of Grand Central and we chatted about their inspirations. Paul stopped to listen as he was leaving his shift working in the Graybar building, and he shared how Richie and Tony's music inspires him. A sound which can bring you right back to another time and place.

edited by Dan Kleederman

Thula Sizwe Inspired the commuters

While performing at SI ferry terminal, a group arrived with some gorgeous large African drums, colorful shirts and warm glowing smiles. They came over and performed a song for people awaiting the 3:30 ferry. Little by little the crowds drew closer until they filled the area in front of the group. This clip is an excerpt and I could only film from my vantage point (I still had my guitar on and was frozen in my feet with amazement).

I later learned the group Thula Sizwe was in America thanks to a wonderful organization Bridges Of Peace and Hope.


What's Your Inspiration?

Bridges of Peace and Hope is an international network of teachers, students, and friends collaborating on creative, arts in education projects that promote respect, understanding, and communication. You can like them on facebook

Samantha Margulies Diva Underground

Samantha Margulies Music Under New York performer (Opera, Broadway + Pop singer).

I chatted with Samantha during the 2011 Divas Underground (annual full day lineup of women performers from the MUNY program) at Union Square station.

What Inspires Samantha?  "Freedom that the subway allows."

check out the New York Magazine article with Samantha featured 

  • the 2012 Divas Underground will be held Thursday March 29 from 12pm-7pm at Union Square 14th street just above N/R platforms

Mecca Bodega Hudson Winter Walk 2011

I was performing in Hudson NY at an annual event called Winter Walk. I was happily surprised to find Paul and Marc Mueller of Mecca Bodega, my Music Under New York buddies, a wonderful duo of hammer dulcimer and percussion performing on a sidewalk to dancing children and enthralled listeners. 

Small world, Hudson is a special town and for a moment between the festively decorated main street USA, known as Warren Street and happy togetherness, there was a glimmer of what we are all capable of. 

You can't help but appreciate as you can see in this clip, that Paul and Marc had to deal with the elements, it was cold + dark, but they were rewarded with enthusiastic people on a fun night.

What inspires Paul "People who love what they do…'s a one shot deal, do it now."

Vo Era

Musician Vo Era walked by me while I was performing at Grand Central Station, I asked if he wanted to jam and he opened his case took out a sweet Ibanez and began riffing on one of my songs. On his way to catch a train, we only had a chance to chat for a brief moment, but I did film him a bit. I checked out his website and loved this comment: "Do I choose to do this or do I have to do this, but this you go the extra mile because it's so more rewarding."

What Inspires Vo? "Life."

water cooler chat NYC Subway performer style

Usually before and after I perform, there is an artist packing up or setting up in my scheduled location.  We stop and chat, across the sound and shuffling of commuters passing.  It's our own version of water cooler time.

Here's some of my latest videos served subway style: 

Irving Louis Lattin Rockefeller Center

Floyd Lee Grand Central Station Mezzanine

Delta Dave Grand Central Station Shuttle

Clips edited by Brendan Padgett