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26 Musical Acts Join MTA Art & Design’s Music Under New York Program

Stiletta, a female a cappella group and beat-box
Stiletta, a female a cappella group and beat-box

An aboriginal didgeridoo, Chinese monochord and Celtic folk are among the variety of sounds you'll soon be hearing as you make your way around the MTA system. 

The acts were among 26 groups and performers accepted into the Music Under New York program (MTA MUSIC). The musicians were chosen from approximately 70 acts that performed before a panel of judges on May 19, 2015, at the program’s 28th annual auditions in Grand Central Terminal.

This year’s candidates had five minutes to wow judges with performances that ranged in musical diversity from classical music, jazz, a cappella, Celtic folk and Chinese monochord to aboriginal didgeridoo. The musicians were scored on criteria such as quality, variety and appropriateness for the mass transit environment. This year’s panel of judges comprised music professionals, performing artists and transit operations officials.

Arts & Design typically welcome 20 to 25 acts each year to Music Under New York, which has more than 350 acts in its rotating roster of performers. These individuals and groups give approximately 7,500 performances in 30 locations around the MTA system each year.

Photos from this year’s auditions are available on the MTA’s Flickr site, and video is available on the MTA’s YouTube channel here.

This year’s additions to the program are:

Chloe Iman

steel drum player

Cory Davis

classical and modern cello

Denis & Saint-Amour

8-string guitar and drums

E.C. Salsero

Latin singer

Eric Archer

Celtic and folk finger-style guitar

G Wyll

R&B/jazz guitar & singer

Kane Mathis

West African harp-kora player

Mark Nomad

blues guitar & singer

Naomi Frank

American and British folk, banjo & singer

NYC Jazz Underground

straight-ahead jazz

Oliver Dagum

guitar/vocals

Opal El

pop/folk singer-songwriter

Receta Secreta

dance music trio

Spirit

Caribbean steel pan and mbira

Stiletta

female a cappella group and beat-box

Street Mule

didgeridoo world and tribal beat

Terra Quartet

string quartet

Thayls Peterson

Brazilian guitar

The Blue Dahlia

French, reggae, klezmer and jazz

The Queen’s Cartoonists

swing-style cartoon music

The Wisterians

French waltzes and American standards

Utopian Winds

clarinet quartet

VioliNYC

crossover classical violins

Zong Li Lu

Chinese monochord

Lost in Rhythm

Afro-Cuban percussion

The Sunnyside Social Club

New Orleans jazz band

To audition, musicians must submit a completed application form and a performance sample on CD by March. Music Under New York is one of many visual and performing arts programs administered by Arts & Design to enhance the station environment for customers.

All performers can play in the New York City Transit (NYCT) subway system as long as they follow NYCT’s Rules of Conduct, which are enforced by the New York City Police Department. To view the NYCT rules, go to http://web.mta.info/nyct/rules/rules.htm.

About Music Under New York

Through Music Under New York (formerly known as MUNY), more than 350 individual performers and ensembles participate in more than 7,500 performances in approximately 30 locations throughout the transit system annually. A variety of performers entertain the public, such as classical strings, jazz ensembles, world music bands, folk, a cappella groups, singer-songwriters and more, playing instruments ranging from Gambian kora, Korean drum, West Indian steel drums, Andean pipes, cello, Celtic and baroque harps to guitars, violins, hammered dulcimers and musical saws.

About MTA Arts & Design

MTA Arts & Design (A&D) encourages the use of mass transit in the metropolitan New York area by providing visual and performing arts in the transit environment. Its permanent art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of site-specific public art in the world, with more than 300 commissioned works by world-famous, mid-career and emerging artists. A&D also produces award-winning graphic art, photography installations and live musical performances through Music Under New York, and relaunched the Poetry in Motion program in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America. A&D serves more than eight million people who ride MTA subways and commuter trains daily and strives to create meaningful connections between sites, neighborhoods, and people. For more information, please visit www.mta.info/art.