[Jazz Musician]: Duane Holmes
Duane Holmes has been playing jazz and classical improvisations on the platform of Columbus Circle on the A/B/C/D lines. When I used to work for Macmillan Science and Scholarly, formerly Nature Publishing Group, I switched trains from the "1" to the "A" and cut my commute by approximately half, from 35-40 minutes to 15 minutes (i.e. 5 stops at 3 minutes apiece). I would listen to Duane play, and wanted my husband, a music composer to go here him play. Btw, I used to see some high school kids in a Trio play "Careless Whispers" by George Michael -- awesome and talented musicians playing in this station.
Anyway, I have since been taking the "A" in the mornings and able to catch his music again. Sometimes he plays new unique music, or sometimes he plays Carlos Jobim's pieces. I saw the cutest photo... a kid slowly engaged in the keyboard. Duane sort of hinted for him to play, but he didn't bite. Now, you know he's good if a kid is interested.
I'm surprised a music agent hasn't discovered this guy. If you are interested, here's his contact info (he's on sound cloud too):
youtube: duaneholmes "as" Duke Ellington
There is so much talent here, it's intimidating. That's how I met my husband. I saw a photo of him playing on one of the "Piano in the Parks" installations (i.e. now "Sing for Hope"), in Long Island City. I have been teaching myself Pachelbel's Canon, some works from the film The Piano [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107822/], and Once. I had been practicing for 6 weeks. I hadn't played for ~20 years, so reading treble and bass clef notes was challenging. I would practice with the right hand, then the left hand, then simultaneously. At the time, I asked my husband what he played, and he said "Baroque." I didn't believe him, but he really did play Baroque. It's like everywhere there is a piano, there are flocks of professional piano players following you. I've seen even kids, ages 10 play Bach.
So if you see those pianos in the future, you better practice, and play in a recital as practice. And whatever you do, do not play the violin in Central Park... I'll save that as another story for another day.