Music Is Back in NYC’s Subways After the Program Shut Down for the Pandemic

Tags: Currents Eganam "Égo" Segbefia, MTA, Music, Music Ministry, Subway, Subway Stations

By Emily Drooby

Through the unmistakable sounds of the morning commute on New York City subways, music can be heard. It’s a welcome sound that has been missed for 14 months.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is finally restarting the Music Under New York Program, which was shut down during the pandemic.

That means a music revival will reopen some of New York’s most populated stages to about 350 performers including Eganam “Égo” Segbefia.

In between performances, Eganam told Currents News that it feels good to be back.

“Coming back here, there’s a different feel,” he said, “and to now to have that option to say, you know I’m going to sign up, it’s something that I’m definitely looking forward to.”

A delicate dance occurs when his fingers move seamlessly across the trumpet. It’s a gift he has been perfecting since the fifth grade. The instrument was his solace after moving to New York from Nigeria.

“I used to get teased for my English,” Eganam said, “and so the band class was the one class that everybody had something to cover their mouth, so no one was teasing me. And it became my safe haven.”

His talents became a safe haven and a beautiful gift that eventually became a job. However, that was threatened when the pandemic hit.

“It was rather tough, especially financially,” he said. “Our industry was literally shut down because we were predicated on being intimate with people.”

He played in Central Park and held livestream concerts for 52 weeks straight. Eganam never gave up on his great love. Now, like the city itself, live music is back, too.

Through his songs, this Christian man is bringing life and a smile to commuters. Hearing performers in the subway system has always been a treat, but now it’s an inspiration and a sign that NYC is healing.

“Music has that way of just bringing us life,” he said.