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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Musicians Are Jamming Incognito For Free

Subway by Paul Cooper
One of the most interesting developments in modern music has been the sudden explosion of impromptu (sometimes completely incognito) performances given by major celebrities in strange and unexpected locations. As odd as it seems, quite a few of your favorite performers have been engaging in this activity. 

When You Least Expect It
They have been setting up as solo performers, or with an ad hoc group of friends, and performing in all sorts of odd venues, completely unannounced and without financial compensation. 

What their specific motivation may be will vary with the individual performer, but some of them do seem to be drawn to the challenge of "proving" themselves in a new and unfamiliar setting, completely stripped of their celebrity identity.

Strangers In The Subway
One of the most recent examples was the case of Boyd Tinsley, who currently performs as the violinist for the Dave Matthews Band. Tinsley and some friends set up their instruments at Grand Central Station in New York City and then proceeded to jam spontaneously for several hours while passengers whizzed by. 

Apparently, they even managed to earn a respectable amount of money in loose change, thanks to the generosity of a few passersby. All in all, it was a productive day for Boyd and his impromptu band of buskers.
Dog Dressed Vintage Photo by Karen Arnold

Not Ready For Prime Time
Frustratingly, the vast majority of these impromptu performances have not been captured on cell phone, or officially recorded by the performers themselves for release on their social media accounts. 

Perhaps these random jams are meant to be just that: One time performances done on a bet or a dare, rather than for the money or the status points. Whatever the reason behind these unexpected performances may be, they do seem to be enjoyed by the artists.

You Never Know When A Jam Might Break Out
The truth is, you can never know exactly where and when a jam might break out. Modern technology has enabled musicians to set up in nearly any location for a spontaneous expression of musical acumen. The guy honking on the saxophone at your local subway stop might just be working for Bruce Springsteen. 

The guy playing the electric piano at your son's bar mitzvah might turn out to be Billy Joel in disguise. The possibilities are endless, so don't be surprised if a superstar concert happens right under your nose without your even being aware of it.

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