J. Roddy Walston and band The Business want to play all 29 pianos in Manhattan parks

BY Erica Pearson

Originally Published:Sunday, June 20th 2010, 8:15 PM
Updated: Monday, June 21st 2010, 9:22 AM


Musician J. Roddy Walston and his band The Business will attempt to play all 60 pianos stationed in Manhattan parks.

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It’s the Amazing Piano Race.

A musician, inspired by the 60 pianos arriving at city parks and public spaces today, plans to play every single one in Manhattan – in a single day.

J. Roddy Walston, 29, and his rock ‘n’ roll band, The Business, are going to start their tickle-the-ivories tour at 9 a.m. this morning in Battery Park and work their way up to Harlem.

"I thought we should blaze through New York and play as many of the pianos as possible," he said. "We’ve got about 12 hours to do it."

Manhattan has 29 spots with pianos – to be played by any passersby – as part of the summer public art project "Play Me, I’m Yours," designed by British artist Luke Jerram and sponsored by the nonprofit Sing for Hope.

Walston, a piano player and singer from Tennessee who splits his time between Baltimore and Richmond, Va., was intrigued after a New York friend told him about the installation.

So when he found out that a Brooklyn gig would bring them through town on the project’s first day, he cooked up his ambitious plan.

"I think it’s going to be the equivalent of a 4-month tour packed into one day," he said.

They’re going to be driving their tour van around Manhattan. Walston plans to play original tunes and toss in a few obligatory Big Apple songs, like Andrew W.K.‘s "I Love New York City" and Jay-Z‘s "Empire State of Mind." And his bandmates will accompany him where they can.

"Maybe we’ll inspire other people to sit down and play," Walston said. "I think it’s going to be a fun time."

Walston is budgeting 12 minutes per song and 12 minutes of travel time between pianos. While traffic may complicate things, Walston is optimistic.

"It actually should be a pretty rad way to get to see the city," he said.

For all the piano locations, click here.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/06/21/2010-06-21_time_will_be_key_in_city_piano_race.html#ixzz0rVjpCOW0

J.Roddy Walston & The Business “J.Roddy Walston & The Business” (VR596 / 601091059627 / J10)


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