One of the reasons I first came to NY was music. I knew that if I happen to want to see a particular artist, New York City is bound to be one of the stops on his or her tour. What I didn’t know then was that NY will offer me much more – and for free.
There’s not a day here (and maybe not even an hour) without a few (or rather few dozen) places playing live music of the highest quality. Why is that? I always knew that NY was a city of dreamers, coming here to „make it happen”. What I didn’t know was that most of those dreamers happen to be musicians. I spend a lot of time in Lower East Side, where both the flavor of „old, raggedy Manhattan” and that of rock and roll are very much present – together with the everyday view of musicians carrying their instruments on their backs. I often talk to those guys and attend their gigs. They play both in small and in larger bands, they attend auditions (sometimes four-level ones), they take additional singing and piano playing lessons, they practice all the time – sometimes they even sing on the subway in order to make an extra buck. First and foremost, they perform wherever they can (often for very little pay). They stand for all this, because: (1) they know there are thousands of their likes in this town; (2) they know that they lose by being picky, which diminishes a chance of earning recognition, and finally (3), music is like breathing to them and you can breathe perfectly well (in fact, you need to do it) even with an audience of a couple of people in a tiny club.