All throughout the city on Sunday, musicians participated in Make Music New York, an annual festival comprising more than 1,200 free concerts. The huge range in music genres and venues meant some performers struggled for attention, while other drew crowds. Metro is the official media partner of the festival for the 8th consecutive year.
Outside Malt and Mold, a cheese shop in the Lower East Side, Jack Ferrara set up with a guitar, microphone and amp on the sidewalk, playing quiet indie folk songs to pedestrians. He caught few listeners and most people walked straight past.
But for the owner of Malt and Mold, Kevin Heald, hosting musicians outside was an automatic decision.
“It’s just great fun,” said Heald, “Anytime artists are willing to give you a show for free, you should take it.”
Blocks away at the Abrons Arts Center performers had been relocated inside due to fear of rain. John O’Brien and Nathan Pape played improvised sets of what O’Brian dubbed “extended techniques”—experimental sounds from a drum set, guitar and collection of bells. Their audience of about 20 people seemed to be mostly friends from the Arts Center.
“It’s probably hard to get people because it’s Father’s Day,” said Lindsey Vannuil, a friend of one of the musicians.
But there was no trouble at all drawing a crowd at Columbus Park, where hundreds of people crammed in to see the Lin Sing Music and Dance Association, a Chinese singing and dancing group. The audience, mostly elderly Chinatown residents, applauded tremendously at the end of each piece.