NYC & StreetMusicMap: a powerful match

UPDATE: StreetMusicMap Instagram got nominated for The Webby Awards in the Social — Music Category. Voting for People’s Voice is open: click HERE.

Michael Taliaferro aka 'Bongo' performing in the L Train, between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Photo: Daniel Bacchieri

New York City is an urban jukebox. And that's the best gift I could expect for the StreetMusicMap project. The city itself is the most powerful living platform for researching street music: a multi-ethnic melting pot full of rhythms, accents and beats.

My main goal during the second half of my journey at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism is to get deeper into the NYC street music scene, to collect unique stories featuring the greatest artists that we all pass by on a daily basis and to promote their art. And, for that, I chose the podcast as the storytelling tool.

The newest episode of StreetMusicMap Radio illustrates the diversity offered by New York and its five boroughs: the story of Michael Taliaferro, a percussionist and singer based in Harlem who was born in Baltimore and who has lived in Hawaii. The artist also known as 'Bongo' has been playing his beats and drums for more than four decades, including work with Gil Scott-Heron, Richie Havens. Nowadays he delivers a daily History Lesson on the NYC subway:

Street Music Map Radio #2 featuring Michael Taliaferro aka 'Bongo'.

To highlight some of the best acts from the streets of NYC, I curated a playlist on Spotify, called 'NYC by StreetMusiMap', featuring 18 bands. I have a strong feeling that the lineup will increase in the coming months:

NYC street bands curated by StreetMusicMap on Spotify.

Besides the podcast and the Spotify curating process, a StreetMusicMap newsletter (click here to sign up) is coming up, to present the latest news.

It is the moment to feed and attract an audience that is on StreetMusicMap's Instagram (+42.000 followers) and on Facebook (+6.000 followers). The map below, made with CARTO, has more than 13.000 views.

The Tow-Knight experience also gives you the opportunity to share your project with the most respected professionals in media on a daily basis. The chance to present the StreetMusicMap concept to David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura, after his panel to our class at CUNY, ended up with an article produced by the travel/lifestyle platform:

As the network grows, the BBC World Service's Outlook program featured StreetMusicMap in an episode — after getting to know about it on Atlas Obscura. The Outlook program on BBC reaches a global audience of 66 million listeners (you may listen to the interview at 36'12":

StreetMusicMap featured on Outlook podcast produced by BBC.

Being retweeted by the prestigious WFMU, the longest-running freeform radio station in the U.S., was a pleasant surprise:

The StreetMusicMap podcast got also featured on CityLab from The Atlantic:

Last February, StreetMusicMap was invited by Papo de Homem, one of the most influential blogs in Brazil, to produce a branded content playlist on Spotify to Havaianas, featuring brazilian street bands:

In March, the musician Bruno Kioshi from Kick Bucket, one of the most important street bands in São Paulo, represented StreetMusicMap at a talk during the São Paulo Fashion Week, in a panel produced by Natura (6th most valuable brand in Brazil, according to Época Negócios magazine).

StreetMusicMap (represented by musician Bruno Kioshi) at the São Paulo Fashion Week. Panel promoted by Natura.

And the StreetMusicMap European connection just got stronger after being recommended by the Tracks ARTE channel produced by ARTE, a network that offers high-quality programmes to 60% of Europeans in their own language (French, German, English, Spanish and Polish):

In the near future, I hope to turn the StreetMusicMap online content into an offline event. Where? NYC. Stay tuned.

Photo: Barbara Marcolini

Be part of StreetMusicMap by sending a video of your favorite street artist to or hashtag your video on social networks as #streetmusicmap. Don’t forget to identify the artist, the venue/street/city and the filmmaker (especially their social network accounts, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify and the artist’s official site or email).

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