Bronx music scene for beginners in NYC

New York City is filled with history and culture. When you move here you will see how many cultures have come and influenced the development of the city. From ethnic foods, theaters and Bronx music scene there is plenty to explore. But if you want to be smart about it, and really see the real NYC, you should follow some guidelines. There are plenty of tourists in New York and a lot of people want to take advantage of them. Nothing is free in NYC, but with smart spending, you can experience a lot with little money. You can start with finding affordable movers NYC, but once you get here you should follow some guidelines if you want to see the real thing and to have the biggest bang for your buck.

Music history of NYC

If you want to discover the facts of the NYC you should explore its history. And if you want to discover its soul, you should explore its music. Music shapes us in our everyday lives. Artists have, through time, expressed their views and emotions through music and if you want to see and feel what the people of NYC have gone through you should start with researching their music history.

Early beginnings

Today’s Bronx music scene mainly starts its roots from the 1880’s. Between that time and the 1930’s Bronx was the fastest growing area in the US. This helped set the stage for the music that would come out of the Bronx. The definite turning point in Bronx growth was the construction of the Third Avenue Bronx extension of the Manhattan Second Avenue elevated line in 1886. This opened up Bronx to new NYC residents. During this period, the piano manufacturing industry took hold in the southern parts of the Bronx. Bronx’s neighborhoods Mott Haven and Port Morris became known as the “Piano Capital of the United States”. At that time NYC was known as the epicenter of Latin music trends.

Cuban people playing music
Cuban and Latin musicians have greatly influenced the Bronx music scene

In the 1920’s the Bronx was home to 700,000 people making it the 9th largest city in the United States if it was a separate municipality. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, there was a significant rise in theater shows. At that time, NYC was becoming the world’s capital in the recording industry.

1930’s to 1960’s

After the first decade of the 20th century, the Cuban music took hold in Bronx Music scene and lasted into next century. The Harlem Renaissance played a part in making and maintaining the popularity of Afro-Caribbean music. Its goal was to combine the African past of NYC residents with the New World experience largely shaped by slavery and struggle.

After the Second World War, a big number of Puerto Rico migrants came to New York City, and the Bronx experienced significant shifts. Ethnic and cultural appearances of neighborhoods changed where some parts of Bronx that ware predominantly Jewish for decades, suddenly had a majority of black people.

In the 1950’s came new music genres that originated in NYC. Before hip-hop became the music of a generation, doo-wop harmonies were well established and present in Bronx music scene. Morris High School on Boston Road was a famous hub of doo-wop and R’n’B music. A block away from the Home of Mambo (The Palladium in Manhattan), was the famous jazz club Birdland, where the mixture of jazz and Latin music was made. Jazz avant-garde, such as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane often performed in Birdland.

Jazz singer
Jazz has had its greatest influences from the Bronx

1960’s onward

In the 60’s came one of the biggest Bronx downfalls. Neighborhoods like Charlotte street deteriorated while decrepit buildings were left to burn. The Palladium closed in 1966, which is considered to be the end of an era. Mambo was losing its venues, but there was a rise in Latin Bbugalu, mainly popular with young Latinos. Bugalu was a combination of many music styles like jazz, R’n’B, and Latin music with Spanish and English lyrics, showing the diversity of people living in the Bronx.

The worst year for fires was 1976. There were 35,000 fire incidents of all types. Bronxes fire station was the busiest one in the entire U.S. The attitude and life in the U.S. swept into the Bronx and as a result, there were high levels of destruction that took place in neighborhoods that are known as South Bronx. Inside the social and economic problems rose the new music style called hip hop. All the communities living in the Bronx influenced the creation of the hip-hop style. While in clubs mambo was performed and danced to, hip-hop was the music of the streets and became known as the music of the Bronx music scene.

Hip-hop band performing in the Bronx music scene
Hip-hop was the music of a generation.

Today’s Bronx music scene

Today, the Bronx is influenced by its musical past but is also even more multicultural. The rise of the internet and cheap transport have made people moving to and moving from the Bronx very easy and therefore the music is much more diverse. In order to properly explore what Bronx music scene has to offer you should not skip checking out:

  • Paradise Theater
  • Rockwood Music Hall
  • Gussy’s Bar
  • Shrine
  • Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
  • Harlem Nights Bar
  • Bowery Ballroom
  • White Eagle Hall

Depending on your taste you can check any or all of these places. The walls of these places have preserved the musical heritage of the Bronx, and if you want to experience the true music of the Bronx you should try seeing as much as you can. Reserving tickets at different times may impact the price you have to pay for them. Similar to finding low moving quotes NYC, you need to be resourceful in looking for good tickets and the right people who will help you experience the music. If you want to find the right things, you have to put in some effort. You’ve come here for a reason, and NYC will always be there for you to explore.