DC Music Live takes to the pavement to find out about the musicians and performers we pass on any given day on the streets of D.C.
By Arielle Hixson, DC Music Live
It appears that almost every city has its own unique music vibe.
While traveling to San Juan I kept my ears open for some street performers livening up the Puerto Rican music scene. Strolling by the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, I came across a unique folk music band.
It was a large group of musicians sitting comfortably in the middle of the street playing the flute, strumming the guitar and adding some rhythmic percussion. The singer was miked up, humming a soothing folk tune as bystanders passed by.
This unique group also had an entourage of dancers dressed in festive gowns. The dancers swayed to the music and even devised a simple routine of clapping and gently moving to the beat.
People who were passing by in a rush immediately slowed down once they heard the mellow folk tune; some even joined in, tapping their feet and closing their eyes for a while.
Long story short, a large group of strangers took time in their day to enjoy the ambiance of this peaceful street musician crowd.
Although I was unable to get the exact name of the band, it was interesting to note the differences between the street performance vibe in San Juan and D.C. One remarkable difference was the strength of the audience – bystanders who may have not initially planned to listen. People took the time to rejoice and truly enjoy the random, yet pleasing musical sound on the side of the street.
People in the District are not necessarily recognized for having the same appreciation for street musicians.
Back in 2007 Joshua Bell, a world-renowned violinist, anonymously played near the L’Enfant Plaza Station. Although he is one of the most talented musicians on the planet, only a few people really stopped to listen to his performance out of hundreds of commuters who passed by him that day.
If bystanders took a few minutes to enjoy the unique sounds of the street, they might find an appreciation for more of the simple, yet beautiful things in life.
So next time your commuting, maybe take a second or two to listen to that saxophonist, guitar player or random folk band – they may positively influence your day more than you think.