Union Station Celebrates the Return of Its Beloved Piano

The beloved instrument is again "open" to passing pianists at the train station, and local musicians are honoring the uplifting moment.

Metro Art Presents

What to Know

  • A virtual series will feature local musicians playing the iconic instrument
  • July 19-23, 2021
  • Free; presented by Metro Art Presents

Putting together a playlist for a train trip, whether that trip will run about an hour or a few days, can be a true pleasure.

You may choose songs to match your traveling mood, or tunes that reflect the places you'll pass through, or the sort of soundtracks that prep you for the place you'll disembark.

But if you're boarding your train at Union Station?

Chances have long been very, very good that you'll hear music, floating through the ticketing area, concourse, and other areas, before you even reach the rails.

For a piano has long been present at the DTLA train depot, the sort of instrument that beckons a passing pianist to sit down and try out a rhapsody or two, an instant way to deliver delight to any train-catcher, employee, or tourist in earshot.

The piano remained closed to the public for most of the pandemic, but it made its long-anticipated return to the travel hub in June 2021, when station staffers re-opened it to any artists looking to play a quick and lovely tune.

To celebrate this musically momentous moment, Metro Art Presents is sharing several virtual performances, all recorded at the piano, from July 19 through 23.

You can watch "Play On!" each night during that joyful July week at 7 p.m. on Union Station's Instagram and Facebook pages, and on the station's Youtube, as well.

Jazz artist Jamael Dean will begin the series on July 19 (he's "... collaborated and performed with artists like Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño," so for sure make an appointment to see this performance), and Jonathan Montes, who works in multiple genres (and has had his music on "Jane the Virgin"), will summon sweet sounds on July 23, the final night of the series.

Donia Jarrar, "a Los Angeles-based Arab and Muslim-American composer, pianist, producer and interdisciplinary artist" is at the piano on July 20, Inna Faliks, who heads up piano for UCLA's Herb Alpert's School of Music is in the spotlight on July 21, and Brandon Coleman, a pianist who can creatively combine the worlds of jazz and funk, performs on July 22.

Metro Art Presents has produced a number of vibrant cultural events at Union Station over the years.

"Play On!," which fêtes "a diverse group of Los Angeles-based musicians," is adding another layer of community focus, civic pride, and piano-based bliss to the instrument's long-awaited homecoming.

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