New York City has long been a cultural hotbed of music, synonymous with genres as diverse as hip-hop, punk, jazz and classical music, just to name a few. Now, the city is taking steps to both celebrate and support that rich musical past, present and future by announcing that June will be the first-ever celebration of New York Music Month, with a wide-ranging slate of both free and paid concerts, workshops, walking tours, conferences and utilities for musicians including more than 2,000 hours worth of free rehearsal space that will be underwritten by the city.
The announcement was made this morning (May 4) by New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin, in partnership with industry coalition New York Is Music, founded by Downtown Music Publishing CEO Justin Kalifowitz. The new initiative was borne out of months of conversations between the MOME -- which only officially added music to its portfolio upon Menin's appointment in February 2016 -- and music industry leaders, which kicked into high gear following a June 2016 summit convened by Menin and attended by representatives of more than 75 music-centric companies and organizations.
"The idea is to really highlight all the incredible things that are happening in music in New York City that are already concentrated in the month of June, but also to bring some new elements to the table," Menin told Billboard in an interview this week, noting that the Governors Ball, Northside Festival, SummerStage and BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! events, as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and A2IM's Indie Week, were already plotted for the month and will now become part of the larger initiative. "We thought it was really important to just have this one month that highlights the incredible assets that New York has in terms of the music industry -- whether it be the talent, the creativity -- and that's what a number of these programs do."