Colin Huggins, Street Performer, to Push His Piano to Washington Square Park Tomorrow

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Tomorrow at about 9:30 a.m. street musician Colin Huggins will move a Yahama baby grand piano from a Manhattan Mini Storage on Spring Street to Washington Square Park by himself. And if maneuvering a five-foot three-inch piano around city blocks sounds really difficult, Huggins said "it's much easier than you think."

To get the piano he's going to push, Huggins started a Kickstarter campaign in March to raise funds for the purchase of the baby grand. A regular in Washington Square Park, Huggins raised just under $9,000 by May 5, and bought the piano for a little over that sum off of Craigslist.

Huggins began street performing in 2008 after having worked as an accompanist at the American Ballet Theatre and as music director at the Joffrey Ballet School.

"I always liked how street performers collected an audience who was just there for the art and not for any other reason," Huggins told us today.

While he began by taking pianos anywhere "from 42nd on down," he has recently been parked primarily in Washington Square Park where he normally plays an acoustic upright piano.

Tomorrow Huggins will play both solo classical music and numbers with other artists, including break dancers and folk musicians. Last summer he also brought out a baby grand, which he said was "really junky and didn't sound good." In the morning tomorrow, the vice president of the Piano Technicians Guild will inspect Huggins' new ride.

He plans to get to the park at about 10 a.m and, according to his Kickstarter page, finish at about 10 p.m., weather providing.


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5 comments
Loree Harney
Loree Harney

The guy edroso is speaking of was there every Saturday and Sunday under the arch. The keys were covered in red velvet and the piano had The Flying Rabbi written on it vertically. He played the same compositions over and over. I have photos of him somewhere. I always wondered where he stored the upright (on wheels) when he wasn't there.

Michelle
Michelle

About 20 years ago Jonathan Best used to push a grand piano onto the street at Columbus Circle and play it.

edroso
edroso

Back in the late 70s there was a long-haired guy who used to push an upright piano to just north of the Washington Square Arch and play tunes of his own composition. As I recall, his music was based on, if not outright rip-offs of, turn-of-the-century parlor songs, and his lyrics were street-style new-age ("The one thing I have to say:/Be grateful you're here today").  I wonder if he's still around and knows about Huggins.

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