Beloved New York City actors, singers, choreographers, musicians, television, and late-night hosts have come together to produce a video rendition of Billy Joel's “New York State of Mind” to encourage the city’s recovery from the pandemic.
The effort was conceived of and produced by NYCNext, a passionate group of New Yorkers from all disciplines and industries who have joined together to help inspire New Yorkers, with a particular focus on the arts community.
The full video can be found by visiting www.NYCNext.org.
The “New York State of Mind” video features an array of artists from multiple disciplines and industries – including Zeshan B., Sara Bareilles, Mario Cantone, Victoria Clark, Cautious Clay, Andy Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Jerry Dixon, Chloe Flower, Billy Joel’s daughter and singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel, Joseph Joubert, Tom Kitt, The Klezmatics, LaChanze, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brian Newman, Kelli O’Hara, Joan Osborne, Peppermint, Angie Pontani, Anaïs Reno, Mark Rivera, David Rosenthal, Bobby Sanabria, Ben Stiller and Suzanne Vega.
The performers were shot in iconic New York City locations such as Birdland (Times Square, Manhattan), the Brooklyn Museum (Crown Heights, Brooklyn), Columbia University (Morningside Heights, Manhattan), La Casita de Chema (Bronx), Maimonides Park (Coney Island, Brooklyn), NYU (Greenwich Village, Manhattan), Open Jar Studios (Times Square, Manhattan), Red Hook Winery (Red Hook, Brooklyn), Russ & Daughters (Lower East Side, Manhattan), Steinway & Sons Factory (Ditmars Steinway, Queens), Tom’s Restaurant (Upper West Side, Manhattan), and the Wonder Wheel (Coney Island, Brooklyn), among many others.
“Our goal with this project is to create a collective movement of New York City pride. We want to celebrate our artists as well as the city we love and inspire everyone to step in and support NYC in whichever way works for them,” said Maryam Banikarim, co-founder of NYCNext. “This all-volunteer movement is a testament to the power of New Yorkers — creative, passionate do-ers who step in to help each other and their city when the going gets tough.”
World-renowned Grammy award-winning performer, singer-songwriter, musician, humanitarian and native New Yorker Billy Joel lent the organization the rights and permissions to use his iconic “New York State of Mind” song to support the project.
All artists featured in the film donated their time, voices, and talent to the project, each proud to display their passion for the city that never sleeps.
Said singer-songwriter, actress, author, and producer Sara Bareilles: “To sing Billy Joel’s iconic song alongside my community members at a time when the city needs us all was so meaningful to me. I’m so grateful this project came to life in such a big way.”
The film itself encourages viewers to join the movement by visiting NYCNext.org, which lists dozens of ways New Yorkers can get involved, by supporting our community of artists, local businesses and restaurants, and many more.
“I’ve always loved ‘New York State of Mind,’ and as a New Yorker myself, bringing together all of my favorite singers, artists, and musicians to collaborate on this inspiring film was a dream of a lifetime,” said Tom Kitt, who co-conceived the project and is a multi-award-winning composer and musician, as well as a founding member of NYCNext and MUSE.
“Getting to film each artist in New York’s legendary stomping grounds reignited my love for this city,” said Emmy Award-winning founder and executive Creative Director of Brooklyn-based, creative production company Smartypants and NYCNext Founding Member Joshua Seftel, who directed the film. “My hope is that this film captures the tremendous character of New York City at this moment.”
“This is an incredible love letter to NYC from an impressive cross-section of our arts and entertainment community, who have consistently shown up to give their time, creativity, and talents in support of our beloved city in times of crisis,” said the Commissioner Anne del Castillo of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “We appreciate the dedication of NYCNext in spearheading this collective ‘New York State of Mind’ effort to connect New Yorkers and others to ways they can assist in the City’s recovery.”
This rendition of “New York State of Mind” will appear across the entire New York media spectrum — in taxi cabs, at New York City’s homecoming concerts, as part of the New York Stock Exchange’s outdoor events at Experience Square, and many other local venues and media outlets — from now through year-end. iHeartMedia New York will promote the “New York State of Mind” video on-air across all its six radio stations, as well as on the stations’ websites and social media channels, encouraging listeners to watch the performance and support the New York City community.
This project was made possible by many partners, including Edelman, MUSE, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYC & Company, NuRide Transportation Group, Our Man in Havana, Partnership for New York City, Reed Smith LLP, SAG-AFTRA, Smartypants Pictures, as well as Universal Music.