As cities lift pandemic restrictions and more offices are having employees return to work, that also means the return of the commute. For New York City, commuters know there is a soundtrack to their travels and it’s now returning to the Big Apple.
“I tell you it feels good. Ask these guys. You know it feels very good to be out here and to play out here again,” said Robert Anderson with the Robert Anderson Jazz Band.
His ensemble is one of more than 350 musicians and groups who participate in the “Music Under New York” program. The program, run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was shut down more than a year ago amid spiking COVID-19 infections and stay-at-home orders.
Now, as commuters return to the buses, trains, and subways, the music is returning with them.
The program adds more than just background noise for busy commuters - it’s a lifeline for artists to connect with audiences.
“We usually get gigs from down here too. They hear us playing out here and they want a wedding, ‘Can you guys play for my wedding?’ or something, something - yeah, that’s a part of it, too,” Anderson said.
He says he loves participating in the program so he can play for children as they pass by.
“I always say, children, I do this basically for the kids so they can hear the jazz.”
For children and for adults, getting the sounds of the city to be something that sounds a little more normal.