Mix of Soloists, Ensembles Chosen from MTA Arts & Design Music Under New York May 2016 Auditions

Classical crossover string quartet, Diverse Concert Artists, perform

Twenty-seven musical acts now have the honor of performing throughout the MTA's transit and rail system. MTA Arts & Design has invited the more than two dozen groups and performers to join the Music Under New York program (MTA MUSIC) following a competitive applications process and auditions that were held in May.

These 27 musical acts join a roster of more than 350 performers and groups that are hosted at select high-traffic areas in the New York City Transit system and at MTA commuter rail stations.

This year, Arts & Design received 233 applications, out of which 70 were asked to audition before a panel of judges and the public at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall on May 18. Finalists were scored on criteria, variety, and appropriateness for the mass transit environment. The judges included representatives from cultural institutions, music professionals and MTA operations staff.

Arts & Design typically adds 20 to 25 acts each year to the Music Under New York program. Once accepted into the program, performers are scheduled at among 30 select locations within the transit system such as Grand Central Terminal and subway station, Penn Station, the new TurnStyle marketplace at 59 St-Columbus Circle and the 42 St-Times Square station complex. Arts & Design hosts approximately 7,500 performances each year.

Editors: Photos from this year’s auditions are available on MTA Art & Design’s Facebook page.

This year’s additions to MTA MUSIC are:

Alyssa Kayhill & The Night Shift

pop & soul band


a capella pop group

Ballerina Mime & Dynamic Vision

mime and performance art

Yula Beeri

pop band

Blooming Flute Ensemble

flute quartet

Carlos Casado Project

folk, jazz & Spanish bagpipes

Erik Clarke on Sax

inspirational jazz saxophone

Mustafa Demirci

Turkish classical music

Diverse Concert Artists

classical crossover string quartet


classical and jazz trumpet

Groove Merchant

swing jazz band

Henry Johnson

saxophone player


pop electric violin

Mary & Michael

opera, Broadway and light classics

Dihann Moore

soul singer/songwriter & entertainer

Paper Anniversary

country & bluegrass band

Anthony Quarterman

rhythm & blues vocalist

Anil Salem

indie singer/songwriter

Frank Senior Quartet

jazz standards

Azusa SHESHE Dance

blues singer


country/pop female trio

Scott Test

acoustic singer/songwriter

The Field

music and poetry

The F Tones

gypsy, pop, rock duo

The Tommy Morimoto Jazz Band

straight-ahead jazz

Emily Thomas



jazz-funk remix pop band

To apply for MTA MUSIC, musicians must submit a completed application form and a performance sample on CD by March. Finalists are then invited to audition before judges, and performers are chosen based on their scores from the audition. 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 NYC Transit 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 web.mta.info/nyct/rules/rules.htm.

About Music Under New York (MTA MUSIC)

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 throughout the transit system. The Percent for Art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of public art in the world, with more than 300 commissioned works by accomplished, mid-career and emerging artists. A&D also produces award-winning graphic art, photography installations, digital art, Music Under New York, Poetry in Motion, special events and more. A&D serves more than 8.7 million people who ride Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses, subways and commuter railroads daily, and strives to create meaningful connections between sites, neighborhoods, and people through artwork and performances that engage our diverse ridership. Visit mta.info/art.