Photographing a subway musician brings good luck!

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Today I had a very unusual (for me) gig: a gentleman who saw me playing at Times Square last time I played there invited me to perform for his “Baseball 2007” breakfast networking event.
(he wrote about seeing me in the subway in his blog)
What was unusual about it was that I had to start playing at 7:30AM, a time at which I’m usually asleep… :)
At the event, to my amazement, there were about 100 people in business suits who showed up that early in the morning. The funnest part for me was after I finished my 45 minute presentation they all stood up facing the American flag and I played the national anthem.
By quarter to 9AM (the time I usually wake up…) I was done with the gig and already on my way back home :)
On my way home I saw ‘Andes Fusion’, an Andean band, setting up at the Times Square spot in the subway, where I was scheduled to play later on. And indeed when I got to the spot at noon they were finishing up.
While I was listening to their last song the guy who plays two steel drums on the 1/2/3 trains platform hurried by on his way to his spot.
The song before last that ‘Andes Fusion’ played ended with a surprise jazz flute solo played by Jorje. It was an amazing mix with the traditional Andean style of the band. This traditional Andean song was arranged for the group by their drummer, Shinya, who hails from the Andes mountains of Japan… 😉 (explanation: he is th eonly non-South American in the group).
Shinya - Japanese drummer for Andes Fusion
Juan, the leader of the band, and I were talking while the group packed up and I set up for the day. I told him about my unusual gig this morning and so we got to talking about unusual gigs. He told me about a gig he once did for an explorers’ event where the guests ate a plate of crocodile and had turantula odervs while he played… He said it was like a scary movie.
Juan is a great musician – he even played with Paul Simon (of ‘Simon and Garfunkel).

Zana who is writing the OverLooked NY book waved as she walked by.
Painting of Natalia at Union Square by Zana of Overlooked NY

Police incident of the day:
Two policemen walked by. They looked at me.
I thought: ‘Oh, oh’…
One of them said to the other: “Look at that!”
I thought: ‘Oh, oh’…
And then I looked up and saw that they were SMILING!
Some policement are so nice.

Diana walked by. She took pictures of me on March 12th, 2006 at Times Square, when she was on her way to a job interview. She got that job. Now, just about exactly a year later, she was on her way to another job interview, so she stopped to take my photos again. I guess just like in England shaking hands with a chimney sweep brings good luck, in NYC photographing a subway musician brings good luck! :)
photo diana took in 2006

Denis the magician walked by on his way to dropping some cards at a party gig. He told me he now works full time as a magician. He also got married and has a beautiful baby boy (I saw a photo) 11 months old!

Ivon from Sait-Louis stopped to buy my CD for her sister who just got into saw playing and makes her own saws. A guy told me his father, 90 years old, is visiting him from Florida and he used to play the saw when he was younger and lived in Vermont. I extended an invitation to both these saw players to attend one of the saw players’ gatherings I organize once a year.

Joke of the day:
A guy passing by motioned at me and said to his 2 friends: “she’s got a website – she must know what she’s doing”.

Musical Saw question of the day:
A guy asked me: “A guitar has 6 strings. The saw is like one string. Is it easier or harder to play 6 or 1 string?”

At 12:50 the police gathered for what seems to be their usual group gathering at the Times Square station. Today they didn’t stay long, though.

At 1:55 3 Dianetics people went in the direction of the N/R/W/Q trains platform, carying a folded table and chairs and lots of boxes (probably full of the book they are selling).

At 3pm the Gimagua twins (who play flamenco guitar) came to see if they could have my spot. I told them I plan to play until 4pm. They decided to wait for the spot.
Soon after that the person who passes by at this spot every day around this time and every time yells “SawLady, SawLady, she’s so happy, SawLady, Sawlady, she’s so happy, SawLady”…etc. passed by doing his/her (?) usual chant.

Tzachi the puppet maker stoped to say hi and tell me that his sister is planning to attend my concert in Israel next month. He also surprised me by telling me that he wrote an article about me for an Israeli youth magazine. How nice!

At 3:45 Delphin, the electric guitar player from South America shoed up with a permit for the spot. The twins who were waiting for the spot (but didn’t have a permit) had to go look for another place to play.
As I was packing up my gear and Delphine was setting up he told me the reason GrayWolf, the homeless guy who plays flute and sells CDs for different musicians in the subway, is not around any more is because he got a hotel gig where he gets a room in exchange for playing every night. That’s great – I’m really glad for GrayWolf. He’s a really good guy.


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by Scott R Munson