In the art book The Noise Beneath the Apple, author Heather Jacks tells the story of 35 NYC buskers over the course of 200 pages of words and photographs. And now, as a followup and fundraiser, she has teamed with producer/musician Keaton Simons and brought together 30 performers featured in the book to record a special rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to struggling music artists. You can hear the track below, and click here to go to the Bandcamp page to make a donation and download the song.
A short documentary, called From Street to Studio: New York City Edition, detailing the recording process, is available.
Keaton Simons had this to say about the project:
“What these musicians do every day is so ballsy. I hope that when people listen to this recording that it dispels some of the preconceptions about street musicians, just as the recording process did for me. These musicians are every bit as pro as, if not more than, any artist I know playing traditional venues around the world. Each of them knows what their ‘thing’ is and who they are. On this recording, their unique identities shine with just a few words or notes played, and yet still they blend as one force, one community.”