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.




       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!”

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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)





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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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