MTA Arts & Design's Music Under New York Program Adds 28 Musical Acts to Roster

Hey New York: Are you ready to hear some new music?

MTA Arts & Design has added 28 musical acts to Music Under New York, the performing arts program presented by MTA Arts & Design in the transit network. These talented musicians were chosen from a highly competitive applications process and auditions that were held May 15 in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall.

This year, MTA Arts & Design received 309 applications and 82 finalists were invited to compete in the program’s 31st annual auditions. Finalists had 5 minutes to impress a panel judging them on quality, variety, and appropriateness for the transit environment, among other criteria.

“The newest additions to the Music Under New York roster meet the very high expectations of New Yorkers who have come to expect incredible musical experiences in the New York subway,” said MTA Arts & Design Director Sandra Bloodworth. “We continue to be amazed by the unique talents who audition for us each year and we’re excited to host these newest members of MTA Music at our 30 locations throughout the transit network. We hope the riders will be as excited as the judges who selected them.”

MTA Arts & Design typically adds approximately 20 acts each year to the MTA MUSIC roster, which includes more than 350 performers representing a wide variety of musical genres and cultures as diverse as New York City itself. Once accepted, MTA MUSIC performers are hosted at approximately 30 high-traffic locations such as MTA subway stations and commuter rail terminals. Schedules are revised every two weeks, and riders can spot MTA MUSIC members by their bold pink Music Under New York banner, which has the name of each act.

As with all performers in the subway system, they must abide by MTA New York City Transit’s Rules of Conduct, which are enforced by the New York Police Department. 

This year’s additions to MTA MUSIC are:


Drew Anderson . . .  New Orleans trio
Bazaar . . .    Middle Eastern music
Nina Blue . . .   Singer-songwriter 
Bluegrass Collusion . . .   Bluegrass band 
Joya Bravo . . .   Electric violin with looping 
Charvyl Martinez Calvo . . .   Trova music  
Nirmal Chandraratna . . .    Cello and vocals with loop pedal
Lee England Jr. . . .   “The Soul Violinist” 
Eyeglasses Electric   . . .  cello, pop & classical
Flute Swept  . . .  Flute quartet 
Goin Local Duo  . . .  Jazz 
Matthew Jamal  . . .  Bass and looping  
Dijwar Karaman  . . .  Kurdish music 
Lauren Magarelli & the beBhakti Band  . . .  Inspirational music 
Metropolitan Horn Authority   . . .  Modern French horn quartet
Mezzo  . . .  A capella ensemble 
Nasim Siddeeq  . . .  Rhythm and blues guitar and vocals 
Sheriff and the Deputy   . . .  Country and bluegrass group
Eliya Siani  . . .  Pop violinist 
Spellbound Strings  . . .  String quartet 
John Streetz  . . .  Rhythm and blues, rock and blues
The Beautiful Distortion . . .   Heavy acoustic rock
The Ladybugs  . . .  Dreamy Latin cowboy jazz 
The New York Nightingales  . . .  Vintage jazz trio 
Toni Ann Semple Trio  . . .  Neo-jazz Native American 
Ukulele Time Machine  . . .  Ukulele pop covers 
Underground Drummers  . . .  Drumming duo 
Sharon Yung  . . .  Classical violin


If you or someone you know is interested in joining MTA MUSIC, applications open each January with a deadline for completed submissions online in March.