Blogging the News

Entries Tagged as 'Soul and Jazz'

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

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