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Entries Tagged as 'Subway Entertainers'

Baruch Student Drumming to Success

December 14th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Baruch Student Drumming to Success

Making yet another discovery at the usual spot by Union Square where many musicians I came across usually perform, I found a young man named Steven Bartashev, 23, of Brooklyn with drumsticks in his hand rocking out.

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     Bartashev showing off his skills on the drums!

To my shock, Bartashev happens to be a Senior at Baruch College just like me. “I don’t perform as often as I like, I’m majoring in philosophy and minoring in math,” he said. “Sometimes I go play the piano at the school. It’s so nice to sit there, I tried cello once in high school though and that was hard!”

Since we were in the Union Square train station, I decided to ask if he plays here a lot. “This is my first time even performing in Union square,”says Bartashev. “I go to the subways to play because I can’t play at my house, so this is where I go to play. The cops can’t stop me and my mom can’t stop me either.”Growing up Bartashev used to play drums alongside his brother, but with his brother already being a guitarist for another band it didn’t work out and that’s when Bartashev realized he wanted to go solo and do his own thing.

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    Pure focus as he drums to the beat of one of his songs. 

“Currently I’m in a band called Rhino House band, its indie rock, pop type of music, but I play a lot of stuff different genres outside of that also” he said. “We get paid sometimes, but other then that I work at a print and design company too.”

For the past couple of years being with the band, Bartashev talks about all the places he has played music at “We performed in Rockwood Music Hall, I’m also trying to throw my own shows at somebody’s loft it’s really rinky dink but it’s getting off the ground so we been playing there,” he said. Being friends with the front-man of his band since they were just 15, and playing the drums when he was about 10 years old Bartshev shares some of the struggles he had to endure as a drummer in New York.

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Bartashev’s first time performing at Union Square was a success!

“I have been stopped and threatened with a ticket or arrested by police, In some places you can’t make any noise and they have rules on top of the city rules, you need to be quiet and its annoying because the zone is residential, their rules are definitely a lot stricter than city rules,” he said. “Also one time a homeless person tried stealing my money, he didn’t get physical but he was verbally trying to convince me it was his and take it from me. Then there was a saxophone player who asked me to join him play and he saw this feud I had with the bum and he was super hard about it and told him to leave us alone. His name is Dusty he was a good guy.”

After graduation Bartshev plans to make a career in music a goal of his, until then it was good to bump into a fellow Bearcat and get to know the person he is behind the drums.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Indie Rock · Music · Personal issues and the Musical World · Pop · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

Baruch Student Drumming to Success

December 14th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Baruch Student Drumming to Success

Making yet another discovery at the usual spot by Union Square where many musicians I came across usually perform, I found a young man named Steven Bartashev, 23, of Brooklyn with drumsticks in his hand rocking out.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

                                                      

       Bartashev showing off his skills on the drums!

To my shock, Bartashev happens to be a Senior at Baruch College just like me. “I don’t perform as often as I like, I’m majoring in philosophy and minoring in math,” he said. “Sometimes I go play the piano at the school. It’s so nice to sit there, I tried cello once in high school though and that was hard!”

Since we were in the Union Square train station, I decided to ask if he plays here a lot. “This is my first time even performing in Union square,”says Bartashev. “I go to the subways to play because I can’t play at my house, so this is where I go to play. The cops can’t stop me and my mom can’t stop me either.”Growing up Bartashev used to play drums alongside his brother, but with his brother already being a guitarist for another band it didn’t work out and that’s when Bartashev realized he wanted to go solo and do his own thing.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Pure focus as he drums to the beat of one of his songs. 

“Currently I’m in a band called Rhino House Band, its indie rock, pop type of music, but I play a lot of stuff different genres outside of that also” he said. “We get paid sometimes, but other then that I work at a print and design company too.”

cd            Check out Bartashev’s band when you get a chance! (photo credit              goes to Rhino House Band.)

For the past couple of years being with the band, Bartashev talks about all the places he has played music at “We performed in Rockwood Music Hall, I’m also trying to throw my own shows at somebody’s loft it’s really rinky dink but it’s getting off the ground so we been playing there,” he said. Being friends with the front-man of his band since they were just 15, and playing the drums when he was about 10 years old Bartshev shares some of the struggles he had to endure as a drummer in New York.

 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

Bartashev’s  first time performing at Union Square was a success!

“I have been stopped and threatened with a ticket or arrested by police, In some places you can’t make any noise and they have rules on top of the city rules, you need to be quiet and its annoying because the zone is residential, their rules are definitely a lot stricter than city rules,” he said. “Also one time a homeless person tried stealing my money, he didn’t get physical but he was verbally trying to convince me it was his and take it from me. Then there was a saxophone player who asked me to join him play and he saw this feud I had with the bum and he was super hard about it and told him to leave us alone. His name is Dusty he was a good guy.”

After graduation Bartshev plans to make a career in music a goal of his, until then it was good to bump into a fellow Bearcat and get to know the person he is behind the drums.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Indie Rock · Music · Personal issues and the Musical World · Pop · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

Latest Scoop on Music Concerns: Above and Below Ground

December 11th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Latest Scoop on Music Concerns: Above and Below Ground

Andrew Kalleen,  A musician performing in Brooklyn was arrested after he refused to stop playing his music, causing a feud with the cops caught on video.   (nydailynews)

Many New York subway performers come together to take a stand towards the police after the incident with Kalleen occurred to show their support.   (huffingtonpost)

Concerning reasons why so many subway performers are getting arrested. (columbiaspectator)

A little girl lets loose and dances along with a crowd of people to the beat of a fellow subway musicians music causing excitement. (aol)

A look into this years annual 2014 Music Under New York Program competition held in Grand Central Station.  (mic)

U2 star Bono becomes a street musician for the day as he does a free performance for charity in Dublin as he does every year for the holidays. (nytimes)

Two young street performers show off their creativity as they perform with their homemade guitars made of brooms and shovels. (ultimateguitar)

 

 

 


 

Tags: Music · Music Under New York Performers · Personal issues and the Musical World · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

In The News- Round up

December 11th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on In The News- Round up

Andrew Kalleen, A musician performing in Brooklyn was arrested after he refused to stop playing his music, causing a feud with the cops caught on video.   (nydailynews)

Many New York subway performers come together to take a stand towards the police after the incident with Kalleen occurred to show their support.   (huffingtonpost)

A little girl lets loose and dances along with a crowd of people to the beat of a fellow subway musicians music causing a riot. (aol)

A look into this years annual 2014 Music Under New York Program competition held in Grand Central Station.  (mic)

U2 star Bono becomes a street musician for the day as he does a free performance in Dublin as he does every year for the holidays. (nytimes)

Two young street performers show off their creativity as they perform with their homemade guitars made of brooms and shovels. (ultimateguitar)

 

 


 

Tags: Music · Music Under New York Performers · Personal issues and the Musical World · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

From Bike Messenger to Busker

December 3rd, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on From Bike Messenger to Busker

Timothy Rusterholz, 32, of La Crosse, Wisconsin plays a variety of instruments, sings and writes his own music. String instruments are not the only thing he does. He also plays the keyboard and writes music for bands in the electronica, electronica dance as well as experimental electronica genres.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA                     Rusterholz concentrating hard on his music .

After moving from Wisconsin to New York, Rusterholz’s first job was becoming a bike messenger but had noticed street performers and musicians made more money than he was.

 “After seeing how much money the performers were making I thought that I could try it and thought that as long as I’m dedicated to what I’m doing I can make money. Competition doesn’t really matter to me it never did,” said Rusterholz.

  With his bike messenger days long behind him, Rusterholz has managed to take his career to the next level and is now cellist, composer, as well as an instructor. With all of this talent, Rusterholz states that his talent dates back to when he was just a kid visiting his Grandparents.

 Spotted in New York City Subway Station,  Fellow with a Cello! 

“I been playing for a really long time, actually its in the family I used to spend hours at home practicing on our families piano, My Grandma herself played the Cello which I currently been playing. We used to join together and just have fun,” he said. “This is what sparked an interest in me to keep on playing especially with string instruments.”

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA              Sated with his cello in hand, Rusterholtz performs for the people.

With his hands full, Rusterholtz  also plays for many different types of events for parties, weddings, and underground shows. Although, his main inspirations are classical artists such as Bach and are less appreciated nowadays by the younger crowds, Rusterholtz  still believes that the type of genre of music you choose to play is not what decides if you stand out or not regardless if its cool or not. He believes that its how you choose to perform it to a crowd that makes you stick out from the others.

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“I think its more of about how genuine and dedicated you are to it and offer it to the people, rather than worrying about who’s paying attention to you or not and constantly trying to compete with all these other subway musicians,” he said. “I have my own unique style and I know it, I can tell because even if they aren’t into classical pieces or covers of a song I perform they can still easily connect to it the attitude that you put into the music is appealing to people and shows a lot.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Classical Music · Electronic Dance Music · Music · Subway Entertainers

‘70s Musician Forest Apple Then and Now

November 10th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on ‘70s Musician Forest Apple Then and Now

“I started off in the ’70s and it become a life long journey since,”  says Forest Apple, 63, of Westchester, County. Playing the harmonica and seated with his xylophone on his lap, along with a custom- made xylophone at his feet, he can be seen in the narrow tunnels leading to the L train at the 14th Street subway station. There, he entertains busy subway riders as they hurry him by.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA         Apple shows off his talent at playing three instruments at once.

Apple kicked started off his career as musician when he was a teenager in the 70’s, his first steps were playing the guitar and banjo for fun as a street performer. Once becoming able to understand the basics of performing, he was able to travel to the city at 17 to pursue being a musician after realizing it was the only thing he enjoyed doing.

Forest Apple Showing Off His Skills!

“I was young, and knew I wanted to go pack up and move to the city to further my career as a musician, but at the same time it was hard because of my disability,” he said. “I got tennis elbow, from always holding the guitar and banjo around especially when I perform acoustic songs so because of that I settled for the xylophone.”

   GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA            The xylophone displayed on Apple’s lap that he uses to perform.

Despite the struggle of not being able to properly perform due to his disability, Apple happily embraces the sound of the xylophone to capture the crowd’s attention with its unique sound.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA        Creating his unique sound, here he is using two of the xylophones. 

“I knew I needed something loud, to cut through the large crowds around here and the xylophone seemed to get the job done, actually performing this way is my only job so I’m happy with it, ” he said.

 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA         Trying to entertain busy New Yorkers  is a daily part of his day. 

Being familiar with the Music Underground Program, It was interesting to find out that Apple absolutely refused to become a part of  to help out his career or to promote himself more to people.

“I understand its big competition, and its limited space and besides the police will let us play here in the subway anywhere anyway but to a certain degree, it depends if you use an amplifier for electrical instruments, then they will decide if you can or not,” he said. “ I’m not part of it, it works for some people but I’m fine with how things are going for me just as things are now.”

   GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA      Apple once again showing off his talent as people walk past him. 

While most musicians seek fame and fortune, Apple makes it clear that in his case he just simply enjoys shedding light with the the sound of his music through the train tunnels, the songs he sings were written to raise awareness for problems we don’t normally pay attention to such as environmental concerns  and other issues involving anti-war for instance and poverty.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA       Someone stops to drop some money appreciating Apple’s talent.

“I’m a major hippy, I’m Eco-friendly and care about issues that many people ignore, I’m not the best performer because of my disability getting in the way of things, but I do my best to sing songs that will make people understand where I’m coming from.”

 

 

Tags: Music · Personal issues and the Musical World · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

Karikatura, the Growing Sensation

October 19th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Karikatura, the Growing Sensation

     Karikatura, a six man band, was conceived in 2009 in South India. Also becoming one of the bands to perform in the New York City subway system thanks to the MTA Music Under New York program, they are able to expose people to their music.

Composed of vocalist Ryan Acquaotta, guitarist Dima Kay, bassist Eric Legaspi, drummer Morgan Greenstreet, trombone player Ric Becker and woodwinds maestro Joe Wilson, Karikatura makes body shaking beats and exhilarating music.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Karikatura causing a scene through their subway performance at Union Square.                                                                                                                                            

Transcending music genres and style, Karikatura plays Latin, Gypsy, Ska, Reggae, Pop, and creates a organic synthesis of music heard blasting from cars passing by and shops, from all over the world. They call this genre of music Transglobal Soul.

“Currently we are playing in the subway just to perform and make some extra cash, we’ve been picked up by Ropeadope Records and our next show is gonna be in Cafe Retro in Copenhagen, Denmark.” says Acquaotta. “We’ve been on the road for a while now. We have been to Europe, Asia, and South America but New York is our home.”

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA    More of the band members performing for the passerby’s for their daily dose of  entertainment for the day. 

“We have many crazy experiences on the road, we do a lot of songwriting while touring and it can be stressful at times, we like to tell stories in our songs to make our fans perceive the feelings we feel with all the commotion we endure as a band.” Greenstreet said. “Our album for instance called Eyes Wide is based on these experiences, but we dedicate it to New York because the city is what got us to where we our now.”

Since the release of their album, Karikatura has been blowing up the spotlight, and gaining an even bigger fan-base. Throughout all of their adventures, they have come a long way to where they have first started. Their debut EP launched them on a world tour during 2011 beginning in Japan on New Years and going to Europe during the spring. Performing in shows in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast and to Austin, Texas for SXSW and have participated in Red Bull Sounderground Festival in Sao Paulo.

“I never knew I’d be so thankful to be the singer for such an amazing band, it’s a great experience.” said Acquaotta. “Just like all bands want, we only wish to get further and push our limits to gain even more success along the way.”

“The judges are tough in the music program, they are really intimidating, but once we actually get on stage and perform my fear fades away” says Kay.

Besides the nerve racking reactions that the band has to undergo, they can also be found doing various performances all over New York in small venues.

“We like the whole party scene, we bring life to it or at least we hope that’s what our music does when people hear us” said Acquaotta. “We are doing things one step at a time, as cliche as that sounds it’s the truth we help each other out, that’s why we have so much confidence as a band and maybe exactly why we got all of this luck with tours lately, it takes a lot of dedication and effort.”

Tags: Music · Music and Culture · Music Under New York Performers · Pop · Reggae · Soul and Jazz · Stories On The Road · Subway Entertainers

Music is in the Blood

October 19th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Music is in the Blood

First inspired thirteen years ago by Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker, Maya Miele, 51, a solo artist from Brooklyn, NY spends his time playing guitar in Grand Central Terminal.

Becoming so moved by the sound, Miele decided to become a street musician after being motivated by a teacher who taught him the basics of classical music. This made him get involved with the MTA’s Music Under New York program in order to provide a better life for his son.

guitar player                       Maya Miele smiles for the camera with his guitar in hand.

“The program been around since the 70’s, I can stop performing in the subways for a while to go on trips and when I come back I can just go back to them and they’ll give me new days to perform. Once you’re in it you are for life.” he said.

Being a single dad, Miele states that his biggest priority is being able to take care of his son, despite spending four straight hours a day trying to make a career in music for himself. It’s his only job that helps provides for his family. Being far away from his son to long though, is something he isn’t willing to do right now.

He also sells CD’s full of composed classical pieces of hits that he covers that people are familiar with that helps with his musical career.

“I faced many problems since I started performing and just getting to work on time even, then many personal problems with getting out of a bad relationship and the birth of my son which changed things,” Miele stated. “I have many major hurdles to face before I can just hop on a plane and do my own thing.”

Maya continued to talk about some of these hurdles that he is still trying to overcome such as health problems with his hands and not being able to perform as well on the guitar. Thus delaying time that could be spent making money towards his son’s future. Even more so, his transition from male to female that he has to deal with on a daily basis.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA               Miele strumming on his guitar and getting back to business. 

“My son is only seven, and still growing up I had him listen to a lot of classical music and Bob Marley since he was a baby, but he insists on rap music now,” he said. “I can tell he understands music though, he doesn’t just bang on the piano for instance, he actually sits there and thinks about how to play it.”

Being involved with the Music program for so long now, Miele insists that no genre of music ever really dies out, but kind of lives as more of an underground type of music. In addition with the hopes of one day being able to travel with his son to perform other places out of New York.

Tags: Classical Music · Music · Music Under New York Performers · Old School Rock and Roll · Personal issues and the Musical World · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

Is Rock Really Dead or Just Evolving?

October 19th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Is Rock Really Dead or Just Evolving?

Just off the 6 train, two young men are playing the guitar on the streets of Times Square. John Khan, 20 and Alexander del Giudice, 20, make up a band called Morningside Lane. In order to fund their upcoming tour to the U.K. later this year, these two young men travel from Fort Lee, New Jersey in order to sell their CD’s in the city.

MorningSide Lane  John Khan (left) and Alexander del Giudice (right)  sing their hearts out     on the streets of  Times Square. 

“We’ve been performing for a while, like for five years and we’ve been on tour three times. We came back from the Midwest, Canada and the Boston East Coast area,” Khan said. “But we have way more fans in the U.K.”

Although the city is full of diversity and welcoming new things, musicians who perform different styles and genres of music in the streets of New York are for the most part ignored, and looked down upon. Many metal or rock and roll, alternative rock and punk bands similar to Morningside Lane have a harder time gaining fans in New York than other performers who play jazz, or rap which makes competition that much harder to gain fans in the states.

As musicians play their music in the streets or in the subway, they get exposure in more than one way. Just being seen playing music is one way and posting videos on Facebook or YouTube is another way that can get them exposure. It is easy for musicians to grow their fan base and fame on social networking sites as many people use them and often share videos. It is possible to partner up with YouTube and make money that way, or they can get picked up by a recording label when they see your music videos.

Khan states his feelings on the subject. “Competition is what we want, the best thing is the fast revolving internet to target people because before that it was big labels and big corporations with specific bands but now you can get it anywhere.” He also says that the best reason to come to New York is because there is so much money the state has to offer, that making money for tours and selling CD’s betters their odds here.

a4227155285_10         Check out Morningside Lane’s  latest music video for their                               song “Mellow Drama” featured on their YouTube page. (photo                     credit goes to Morningside Lane.)

Playing the guitar, Mike Groisman, 29,  a 1980’s rock guitarist who performs solo in the subway at 14th St. – Union Square. He currently resides in Brooklyn, where he spends hours putting together videos on YouTube for his fans performing heavy metal and rock inspired songs by bands like Led Zeppelin. Likewise, he also agrees with the fact that metal and rock performances are a little more of a challenge to get noticed by people.

Mike   Mike Groisman rocks out to entertain passing subway goers spotted at Union Square.  

“Sixteen years ago my father asked me if I wanted to play guitar. At first I said no because I thought it would be boring classical music. Then I said yes when I became inspired by bands like Guns N Roses, Metallica and AC/DC,” he said. “I came all the way from Israel, and I thought that here in the United States, I can be more successful.”

Every year the staff of the MTA’s  Music Under New York program manages who plays music in the subway systems. Choosing a limited amount of people each time, the music artists gain exposure and earn some money for themselves. Groisman is familiar with this, and has participated in this program himself but he does not only have to play in the subways. Out of all the applicants who apply to be in the program, about 300 are picked at a time and allowed to play their music in the subways.

“Competition is tough, they choose the best, it isn’t easy of course. It’s like 30 judges, so you need to be really good to make money,” he said “I think in New York  it’s hard for metal and rock because the people like jazz, rap, reggae and hip hop music more, I can play a little of everything in rock but they still make more money than me.”

Groisman says it’s a great challenge just to get noticed, but believes that his fan base will build on as they become more familiar with his style. “I think I can only get better from here, everyone will always have something negative to say. People point out that rock and roll is dead,” he said. “But I enjoy performing this way and think otherwise, I know others will learn to accept this too.”

 

Tags: Heavy Mental · Music · Music Under New York Performers · Old School Rock and Roll · Punk · Soul and Jazz · Stories On The Road · Street Musicians · Subway Entertainers

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