we arrive full of expectations and very keen on exploring this melting pot. We know by instinct that this is the place to find authentic music, performed by passionate street musicians. And we are right!
A city of music
Performers are everywhere, playing their instruments, singing their songs, doing their acts - some better than others. However we can only admire their creativity and ingenuity.
And ever so often we stop to listen and consider whether this is our musician. We soon realise that this city is packed with talented musicians needing to express themselves, working hard to make it.
Meet Jeff Fiorello
In Union Square park in the Village, we have our first encounter with Jeff Fiorello and we instantly fall for this young artist playing the guitar, singing his songs. Unfortunately we are not allowed to shoot pictures for commercial use in that park, so Jeff take us on a tour to show us places where he would play, above- and under ground.
Jeff is an emerging singer-songwriter with a catchy acoustic rock sound that carries a laid back Southern vibe. Growing up in Niceville, Florida, he got his first guitar for Christmas at the age of 12. But he never really got to play that one.
Years later, when heading off for college in North Carolina he brought with him his fathers old acoustic guitar. Determined to get the grips of the instrument so that he could play all the tunes that filled his head already back then. He learned to play and during college he played the bass in bands, enjoying it, but he never really got to play his own music.
Music is the fuel
Then, in 2005, Jeff got the opportunity of a lifetime by landing an internship with NBC Saturday Night Live. He packed his gear and left for New York City. Coming here was a turning point in his life. While working at the NBC, he played solo gigs around the city and he really started to grow as a musician and a writer - it was then he decided to go for it. He set out to do what he does best. Writing songs and perform with his guitar.
Music has always played a big role in Jeff's life and his goal to make a living as a singer-song writer is basically an inner need to express who he is, what he feels and to tell people a story.
Studio albums and sensitive lyrics
His first album, which is a self-titled studio album, was completed at Tainted Blue Studios in NYC in 2006. Then, in 2008 he released the album "Live at Rockwood Music Hall", where he plays with his band. Good stuff!
Next step is getting the second studio album together, this time with his band. At the moment, 14 songs are ready and done, another 6 to be created before he will start picking the 12-14 solid songs.
Jeff's lyrics are unique and attentive and he has a voice that can melt even the toughest. He usually plays his own music when performing on the streets. But once in a while he will take on songs from artists like Joe Cocker, The Beatles and Xavier Rudd, who have all been a great inspiration over the years.
So where to find Jeff?
Jeff doesn't play on any specific spot. But if you find your way down to The Village and ask around, we're pretty sure someone will know his whereabouts. Or look out for a young guy with Italian blood in his veins carrying a guitar on his back - and not to forget, a hat. The hat has become a bit of a trademark for Jeff Fiorello.
Good luck in your search - we hope you bump into him.
You can find out more about Jeff Fiorello and his whereabouts on his myspace website.
Also, in the summer of 2006, Jeff was one of 10 NYC performers chosen to be on a new show, City Sessions, a television show which captures the music scene in major cities across the country featuring popular independent artists.