Live music in NYC’s subway stations back for first time since pandemic

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New York’s “underground” music scene is booming again.

Official live musical performances in the city’s subway system resumed Friday after they were halted for more than a year because of the coronavirus crisis.

Dozens of songmakers played everything from ragtime to rock to celebrate the revival of the MTA’s Music Under New York program, which was put on hold in April 2020.

Official subway performances had stopped during the beginning of the pandemic.
Robert Miller
Violinist Heather Cole takes her talents to Grand Central.
Violinist Heather Cole takes her talents to Grand Central.
Robert Miller
Eganam Segbefia played his trumpet at the Port Authority at 42nd Street.
Eganam Segbefia played his trumpet at the Port Authority at 42nd Street.
Robert Miller
There were about 350 musical acts as part of the MTA's Music Under New York program pre-pandemic.
There were about 350 musical acts as part of the MTA’s Music Under New York program pre-pandemic.
Robert Miller

There was Eganam Segbefia, who played the jazz trumpet at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, along with show-stopping violin and guitar acts.

“Almost every subway rider can speak to a time when the beauty, power, and joy of a particular MUNY act has stopped them in their tracks,” New York City Transit Executive VP for Subways Demetrius Crichlow said in a statement.

“[Music] serves as an immense source of joy and inspiration to the millions of people who ride our system each day. I’m thrilled it’s back.”

The program featured 350 musical acts and 12,000 performances annually before the pandemic.

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