Concerts at One: Subway Series

Watch video of our Fall season.

Thursdays at 1pm at Trinity Church, Trinity continues its tradition of presenting incredible talent and serving the downtown community with its free Concerts at One. This series has a long history of bringing an array of musical styles, including jazz, pop and chamber music, to Lower Manhattan since the 1920s.


This Fall at Concerts at One: Subway Series

As part of its ongoing effort to support the arts at every level, Trinity’s new Subway Series will feature talented NYC subway musicians at a series of concerts throughout October and November. Each concert will feature three of the best acts from the city subways selected by Julian Wachner with help from the Trinity community. Come in person or tune in via webcast to be treated to the original voices of local singer/songwriters, bluegrass bands that put their own twist on the genre, a beatboxer with a surprising array of talents, and more.


Third Thursdays

Every Third Thursday during the music season, NOVUS NY, Trinity’s contemporary music orchestra, performs at Concerts at One. This fall, in keeping with the subway theme, NOVUS NY Trinity’s contemporary music orchestra, will perform Aaron Copland’s Quiet City and Steve Reich’s City Life on October 20. The latter is a composition that incorporates actual subway sounds among other city audio samples. On November 17, NOVUS NY will feature percussionist Andy Akiho, who used to play steel drum in the subways and is now in high demand as a new music composer.


Thursday, October 6, 1pm | Trinity Church
Hosted by NOVUS NY Concertmaster Katie Hyun
Performances by:

Najah Lewis, Singer Songwriter
Najah Lewis performs once or twice a week on the subway platform. Her visibility and unique pop-soul, jazz/folk sound has helped her establish loyal supporters and friends. Lewis was the singer in a commercial for The Smithsonian, recently featured in Time Out Magazine, and VH1 and Jet Blue featured her as part of their "Save The Music" campaign and advertisement.

The Ebony Hillbillies
As one of the last black string bands in the U.S., the Ebony Hillbillies keep an important legacy alive with a rootsy, homegrown style played a key element in the genesis of much uniquely American music—jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock and roll, and country. Bringing a fresh urgency to the genre, the ensemble creates an untamed and joyful vibe that echoes across the generations and transcends racial and cultural boundaries.

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Thursday, October 13, 1pm | Trinity Church
Hosted by NOVUS NY principal bass Doug Balliett
Performances by:

Sean McCaul, Vibraphone
Sean McCaul is a highly skilled vibraphonist known for his frequent performances in New York City subways as well as higher-profile work with Philip Glass and Yo-Yo Ma. McCaul played vibraphone on Naqoyqatsi (2002), and later worked with indie rock duo Dean & Britta and singer/songwriter Lucy Woodward. While most of McCaul's music has only been available as self-released recordings, his debut studio album, Midnight at the Purple Palace, was issued by Underwater Peoples in 2016.

M. Salieu Suso, Kora
Salieu Suso was born into a family of farmers and traditional musicians/historians from Gambia, West Africa that extends back nearly 1000 years. He was trained to play the 21 stringed Kora (West African Harp) at the age of 8 by his father, renowned Kora player of the region, Alhaji Musa Makang Suso. He is recognized to be a descendant of JaliMady Wulayn Suso, the originator of the Kora instrument. Before settling in the United States in 1989, Suso performed extensively throughout Africa and Europe.

Verbal Ase, beatboxer
Verbal Ase, sometimes called Spongebob Beatbox, calls himself a beatbox from outer space. His subway performances not only feature his impressive beatboxing, but are also interspersed with impressions of Spongebox Squarepants, the familiar voice of New York’s subway announcer, and Darth Vader, as well as a variety of realistic sound effects, from crickets to helicopters.

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Thursday, October 20, 1pm | Trinity Church
Third Thursdays with NOVUS NY
Julian Wachner, conductor

Steve Reich – City Life
This minimalist composition for chamber orchestra features two pianos and digital samples of a wide variety of city sounds, mainly recorded by Reich himself in and around New York City.

Aaron Copland – Quiet City
Aaron Copland’s Quiet City was originally written for a play by Irwin Shaw’s music that never made it out of previews. Copland later combined the music into a single composition.

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Thursday, October 27, 1pm | Trinity Church
Hosted by NOVUS NY harpist Bridget Kibbey
Performances by:

Tara Hack, Singer/Songwriter
Tara Hack is a singer and songwriter who writes pop songs informed by the stories and everyday struggles of her hometown, New York City. She is known for her acoustic performances in Penn Station and Atlantic terminal and currently plays with the MTA’s Musicians Under New York (MUNY) program.

James Graseck, Violin
James Graseck, a Juilliard-trained artist, began his unorthodox path to fame quite by accident while practicing on a Long Island Rail Road platform during a delay in service. Over the ensuing years Graseck has enthralled tens of thousands of straphangers and concert-goers, many of them now a faithful following, with a repertoire ranging from Bach and Paganini to Gershwin and Cole Porter. His virtuosity and riveting style are well represented with virtuoso pieces, popular standards, show music, and rock classics.

Mr. Reed, Singer, Drummer

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Thursday, November 3, 1pm | Trinity Church
Hosted by NOVUS NY violist Nathan Schram
Performances by:

Chris Hemingway, Saxophone
Born in Florence, SC, Chris Hemingway’s natural fluency in both classical and jazz styles separates him from most chamber musicians. He performs regularly with Azucar Pittsburgh's Premier salsa band, the Roger Humphries Big Band, the Al Dowe Quintet, and with New York City jazz trumpeter Sean Jones, who has just recently released his first solo recording. At the young age of 21, Hemingway was a concerto soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Eganam Segbefia, Trumpet
Eganam Segbefia began performing his trumpet in the subway to earn enough money to pay off a parking ticket. He now gets up every morning at 4:30am to play classical trumpet pieces (a favorite is Flight of the Bumblebee) for commuters at Grand Central Station. Originally from Ghana, he has been featured on WQXR, which is producing his new album. He was recently accepted into the Manhattan School of Music.

Scott Stenten, Double-Necked Guitar
Scott Stenten guitarist, singer and entrepreneur based in New York City, is recognized as a pioneering guitarist for his percussive "tapping" playing style which consists of a variety of influences ranging from jazz, rock, and R&B. His flamboyant choice of instrument is a custom made double neck guitar.

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Thursday, November 10, 1pm | Trinity Church
Hosted by NOVUS NY trumpeter Brandon Ridenour
Performances by:

Moses Josiah, Musical Saw

Frank Schaub, Guitar
Singer/songwriter Frank Schaub performs jazz and gospel influenced American Rock on the electric guitar in small ensembles that include keys, bass, drums, electric guitar and voice, and also enjoys perfuming solo in the city subways.

Bandits on the Run
The mischievous indie-pop trio, Bandits on the Run, combine old and new with a mix of off-beat pop music covers, reworked jazz and rock standards, and originals. Adrian Enscho (guitar and vocals),Sydney Shepherd (cello & vocals), ; and Regina Strayhorn (percussion, xylophone & vocals), bring their unique voices and songwriting abilities to the table, creating a variety of sounds and styles that create a musical web of sound hard to pin down, and even harder to resist.

Moses Josiah, Saw

Watch Concert

Thursday, November 17, 1pm | Trinity Church
Third Thursdays with NOVUS NY: Andy Akiho: Subway to Success
NOVUS NY; Julian Wachner, conductor

Described as “mold-breaking,” “alert and alive,” “dramatic,” and “vital” by The New York Times, Andy Akiho is an eclectic composer and performer of contemporary classical music who spent time busking on the subways with his primary instrument, the steel pan, also known as the steel drum. He will play solo to begin the concert, after which NOVUS NY will perform his works.

Akiho’s recent engagements include commissioned premieres by the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW. Akiho is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (BM, performance), the Manhattan School of Music (MM, contemporary performance), and the Yale School of Music (MM, composition). Akiho is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in composition at Princeton University. Akiho's debut CD No One To Know One, on innova Recordings, features brilliantly crafted compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres around the steel pan.

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