New York City is the most populous city in the United States and one of the most populous urban areas in the world. The five boroughs that make up the city proper contain approximately 8,500,000 people; the greater New York metropolitan area is home to over 20 million. New York City is also considered one of the world’s cultural and financial capitals, exerting a significant impact upon commerce, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, finance, and entertainment. As headquarter of the United Nations, New York is also a center of international diplomacy.
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Over 800 languages are spoken in New York City and because the city is such a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures, the music of the Big Apple has always been as diverse as its people. It has long been the home of many genres: jazz, rock, blues, classical, hip hop, doo wop, bebop, punk rock, disco, folk, musical theatre, new wave, and the many combinations therein. For generations, New York has played a major part in the American music industry. In the early 20th century, publishing, songwriting, and sheet music companies populated the area in Manhattan, known as Tin Pan Alley, and songs from Broadway musicals became some of the earliest American popular music. George Gershwin, perhaps the best-known American classical composer, was also a denizen of both locales. Some of his most famous classical compositions were the Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F, both of which utilized jazz idioms. Other world-renowned classical composers from New York include: Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein, and Gunther Schuller. Famous Broadway musical composers, in addition to Gershwin, were Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rogers, and Jerome Kern.
While not all musical innovators were born in New York City, many found their fame and fortune in the Big Apple: Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and Thelonius Monk, were among the jazz innovators who found receptive audiences in New York clubs and lounges. Doo-wop groups from the street corners of Harlem and Brooklyn were popular in the 1950s. Some well-known groups were: The Drifters, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, the Cadillacs, The Chantels, Dion & The Belmonts, Little Anthony & The Imperials, and The Tokens. By the 1960s, Greenwich Village coffeehouses played host to a growing number of folk and folk/rock musicians, including: Pete Seeger, Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Janis Ian, Carole King, Laura Nyro, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, Simon and Garfunkel, and Harry Chapin.
Notable mainstream rock and punk rock artists from New York include: Blood, Sweat & Tears, Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, Kiss, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Cyndi Lauper, The Ramones, Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, and Blondie. Other musical genres that proliferated in New York in their day were new wave, proto punk, hardcore punk, ska, heavy metal, death metal, indie rock, indie pop, and indie electronic.
Some of the city’s major music institutions include: Carnegie Hall, one of the most important music venues in the world; Radio City Music Hall; Lincoln Center for the Performing Art, the largest performing arts center in the world and home to twelve resident organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the oldest orchestra in the United States which performs at Avery Fisher Hall, the New York City Ballet, the Chamber Music Society, the New York City Opera, the Juilliard School, and Jazz at Lincoln Center; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Madison Square Garden; and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Famous New York clubs include: Studio 54, Max's Kansas City, the Mercer Arts Center, ABC No Rio, CBGB's, for disco and punk rock; Birdland, Sweet Rhythm (formerly Sweet Basil), the Village Vanguard, and The Blue Note for jazz; the Bottom Line and the Bitter End for folk; Irving Plaza for rock; the Knitting Factory, The Kitchen, and Roulette for avant-garde; and S.O.B.’s for Latin and world music. Other nightclubs, bars, lounges, and concert venues abound throughout the five boroughs and the city’s outskirts.
New York City plays host to many music festivals each year, some of which are holiday traditions brought to the country by its many diverse immigrant groups. Irish folk music and folk-rock are the major styles at the two-day Guinness Fleadh Festival. Central Park SummerStage, a series of free concerts presented by City Parks Foundation and hosting performers of many kinds, is also a major part of New York's summer music scene, which also includes the July Intel New York Music Festival. The New York Summer Music Festival is a four week summer music institute featuring faculty and guest artists of the highest caliber from the finest institutions and performing venues in the world. The Governors Ball occupies a unique place in the NYC summer concerts landscape. It takes place at Randalls Island Park, Randalls Island, and is the city's only bona fide big-tent pop fest.
The Afropunk Festival is an annual event that takes place in August at Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park. Celebrate Brooklyn! is an annual series of outdoor concerts in Prospect Park. The annual eleven-day River to River Festival brings music, dance, theatre and visual-arts programming to a number of downtown venues, including the South Street Seaport, Rockefeller Park, and Governors Island. The Full Moon Fest—named for and modeled after the monthly all-night parties on the Thai island of Koh Phangan – sets up in East Williamsburg in a 53,000 square-foot, indoor-outdoor space, called the Brooklyn Mirage.
There are numerous New York jazz festivals, including the Texaco New York Jazz Festival, the Panasonic Village Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, and the free Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The City Parks Foundation also presents CityParks Concerts each summer, a series of thirty free concerts in ten parks across all five boroughs of the city. The yearly ElectricZoo festival, second only to Miami's Winter Music Conference, is a mecca for house and electronic music fans, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival is dedicated to showcasing the best electroacoustic music and video art from all over the world. The College Music Journal Network's annual Music Marathon has been held since 1980, providing a major showcase for new music. Bison Disc is a 20 year-old company that plays its own important part in the music industry. We duplicate and replicate music on CDs and package those discs in a wide variety of customized Jewel case, Jackets, Wallets, Sleeves and Digipaks. Over the years, we have worked with musicians from every conceivable musical genre, helping artists to disseminate their sounds to their fans far and wide.
America’s movie industry was born in New York early in the 20th century, and the list of movies shot in the city is virtually endless. Here are some well-known films – in no particular order - with New York locations: King Kong, An Affair to Remember, Breakfast at Tiffany's, North by North West, The Seven Year Itch, Sweet Smell of Success, Midnight Cowboy, Rosemary's Baby, Dog Day Afternoon, Kramer vs. Kramer, Manhattan, Fame, Ghostbusters, Desperately Seeking Susan, Crocodile Dundee, Big, When Harry Met Sally, It Could Happen to You, As Good As It Gets, Vanilla Sky, Maid in Manhattan, Night at the Museum, Wall Street, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Devil Wears Prada, Moonstruck, Hannah and Her Sisters, Saturday Night Fever, Married to the Mob, West Side Story, Working Girl, Margin Call, Limitless, Superman, Three Days of the Condor, Men in Black, Spider-Man, The Out of Towners, Coming to America, Serpico, Good Fellas, Raging Bull, Do the Right Thing, The Godfather: Part II, Taxi Driver, and The French Connection.
The New York Film Festival has been a major American film festival since it began in 1963. The Tribeca Film Festival takes place in April, and 2016 will mark the sixth anniversary of the Lower East Side Film Festival. The NYC Indie Film Festival provides a showcase for the best in independent cinema, including short films, feature films, music videos, and animated works. Countless other film festivals take place throughout the year, all over the city.
At Bison Disc, we help film artists get their work seen, whether they are makers of feature films, shorts, documentaries, music videos, or animated works. We do that by duplicating and replicating their movies on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Then we present and package their art in attractive and custom-made Jewel cases, Sleeve, Jackets, Wallets, and Digipaks. For the long-term preservation and presentation of long films and series, we also offer our filmmaking friends a wide variety of box and collector sets.
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