Street pianos head to NYC


29 Responses to “Street pianos head to NYC”

  1. Spikeles says:

    Oh we had some here in Cairns.

    One got destroyed by drunken vandals

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  2. Chrs says:


    And it’ll be twelve minutes after the first one is installed that the first street artist will permanently commandeer it.

  3. Keneke says:

    The outside air and sun is going to murder the tuning and corrode the strings very quickly. This is going to get expensive.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There were half a dozen installed in Sao Paulo last year

    It was an experience to be serenaded by a ragged junkie at 6am as I emerged from the metro. A regular ivory tickler in Santa Cecilia earned snacks and meals from street food vendors as he entertained and attracted customers.

  5. das memsen says:

    now this, this is a wonderful thing.

    feel free to catch my woman n’ I performing all over queens during those weeks! Improvised duets, original songs, you name it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    RE: ASCAP suing, the city could/should pay a licencing fee for providing the venue (much as bars and festivals do) then it would be up to the performing rights societies to distribute the fees as appropriate (they could do random polling/sampling to see what songs would be played). Not too complicated and insures the artists (at least some of them) get their meager rewards for writing songs that are being performed publically.

  7. Muppetfeatures says:

    You know that picture is from York (England) and not New York, right?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Also to be found at Bath music festival in the UK May through June… :

  9. Gronk says:

    Is that the “Play me, I’m yours” crew? I was in Bristol when they had the pianos all over the town there. That was really great.

    I even saw the tune-up guy in action. He drove up, hopped out, opened up the piano and went to work right there and then. Fifteen minutes later and off he goes again. What with those old clunkers being outdoors and all I imagine he made a daily tour or something like it.

    Anyway, best idea ever.

  10. Jack Daniel says:

    This is all kinds of awesome. There needs to be a some kind of Gov. agency in charge of awesome, that would do this kind of stuff all over the country.

  11. says:

    NYC already had at least one street piano. Through the 90s, there was a guy who kept a lidless concert grand parked in front of the old NYC Coliseum. On nights and weekends, he’d wheel it around Columbus Circle–near the subway, at the entrance to the underground movie theater, the dance studio–and play for money.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I can’t tell you how many spontaneous dance parties I saw happening in London when they did this.
    Also mothers hanging out with young children letting them explore the instrument.
    This is one of the most worthwhile public art projects I’ve ever encountered. Looooove it.

  13. a_user says:

    I cab forsee two separate kinds of problems – the first being desperate attention seekers. The other is theft.

  14. wsst1000 says:

    This reminds me of Danny Kean, the Traveling Piano Guy who has crisscrossed the USA and down into Mexico doing improvisation on his piano mounted on his truck and inviting others to play as well.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yup, Denver’s got the piano’s out on 16th Street Mall this spring. I guess we’re up there with NYC and London!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Apparently, Cincinnati is about to do something similar as well.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That lad in York UK is a pretty awesome busker. Not since moving away do I realise I miss the odd sounds of a piano wafting through the narrow, cobbled streets!

    Odd that you pick a photo of a busker in York when it’s an article about London, Sydney and NYC :P

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ooooo can’t wait!
    Us New Yorkers always need a dose of playfulness on the streets. There’s nothing like a bit of dramatic flair to snap one out of the grey humdrum of the streets.
    Thanks Play Me, I’m Yours!
    gros bisous

  19. aquickremark says:

    I can imagine a bunch of people stopping and watching me play. Although I haven’t played in 14 years, so the looks may be looks of disgust.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What about rain?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Denver did this last winter. Each one had original artwork. I saw some great performances, everything from groups singing carols to concert level soloists.

  22. Kurt says:

    Cue ASCAP lawsuit for copyright royalties on public performances of copyrighted works in 5..4..3..

    (Or will these public pianos be limited to public domain music?)

  23. cinemajay says:

    This, among many other reasons, is why I love New York.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’ve started to notice a few of them throughout NYC. Snapped a shot of one near Astor Place, in the East Village:

    Very excited to see these throughout the summer!

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