Wednesday, December 8, 2010

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents "Starr Entertainment"

Good afternoon and welcome to another edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show Blog. New York City has many venues. One of its larger ones is the New York City Subway system. Today I traveled on the "A" train and ended up at the Chamber's Street station. I had the pleasure of meeting Rogerst Charles and Tony Brown, better known as "Starr Entertainment." These two musicians play music on the platforms of subway platforms to the delight of many passengers. Tony is the guitarist and Rogerst is the saxophone player.

As Roger and Tony played their musical instruments, passengers both young and old took time out of their busy schedules to listen to them play. In addition to giving their time, they gave their money as well. The duo play both popular and classic songs that cater to everyone that uses the subway system. I had the pleasure of interviewing the two of them in between sessions.

ME: How long have you been performing in the subway?
TONY/ROGERST: Its been about 2 years

ME: What is your favorite memory while performing in the subway?
TONY/ROGERST: A girl came up to me crying saying that she had a really bad day. She said that our music helped her feel better. She gave us two dollars and said that we are a blessing.

ME: When you are not performing in the subway where can people hear you play?
TONY/ROGERST: We perform in church (At the Zion Cathedral
in Freeport Long Island) and we have an album release date of December 18th.

ME: Congratulations, how would you describe your music?
TONY/ROGERST: It's a mixture of jazz, R & B and gospel music.

ME: What is the hardest thing about performing in the subway?
TONY/ROGERST: Being heard and playing songs that everyone can relate to. We want to reach everyone. Dealing with the authorities is sometimes a problem because they want to know if you have a permit.

ME: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to perform in the subway?
TONY/ROGERST: Make sure that you're good at performing music. New Yorker's know real talent. They know when you are faking it. You also have to get a permit to perform in the subway. It becomes a real hassle if you don't have a permit and you're questioned by the police.

ME: In keeping true to the blog I have to ask you some questions about your clothing style. Rogerst, please tell the audience what you are wearing and where you purchased it from.
ROGERST: I'm wearing PUMA sneakers, blue jeans and a black tee-shirt. I purchased everything from Daffy's in the city.
TONY: I'm wearing a brown skull cap, a brown sweater, black jeans and black and white NIKE sneakers. I honestly don't know where I purchased my clothes from but I do know that I purchased them in the city somewhere. (With all fairness Tony did not know about the interview until a minute before I started asking questions)

ME: Rogerst, how long have you been playing the saxophone? (Rogerst plays the alto saxophone)
ROGERST: I've been playing for 8 years.
ME: And Tony, how long have you been playing the guitar?
TONY: I've been playing the guitar for "Too Long!" Lol

This is the picture that I took of Tony that best describes, and shows the essense of his music. Notice the three people that are standing behind him. He was playing the guitar so well that a crowd started to gather around them. I want you to get the total picture so that you can get a sense, and a feel of what I see and hear.

Please don't get me wrong, Rogerst is just as good as Tony when it comes to playing his instrument, but you just can't see Rogerst moving about the platform like he does which truly does not give justice to his performance. A video clip would provide a better glimpse of his true talent but since we only have photographs, I am hoping that these next few photographs will do him justice.

ME: Rogerst, what are three words that you would use to best describe yourself?
ROGERST: Three words that I would use to describe myself would be 1) "Determined"
2) "Different" 3) "Always Changing" (I informed Rogerst that this was indeed four words but because of his amazing, musical gifts we would forgive him this time)

ME: Tony, I'm going to ask you the same question, please describe three words that you would use to best describe yourself.
TONY: Wow, that's not an easy thing to do but if I had to use three words to describe myself, I would say 1) Honest 2) Open Minded 3) Fun (I should have asked him for four words to describe himself as well but never the less his abilities definitely allow for a pass.)

Gentlemen, I want to take this time to thank you for allowing me and everyone else to hear your music. What message would you like to leave the audience with at this time?
TONY: Smile!

If you want to learn more about Tony and Rogerst, or to learn more about their music, please send them a message at for more information on their performance schedule.

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