City Hall Study Finds Music Industry is Booming

City Hall is releasing a first-of-its-kind economic impact study about the music industry, and it finds the business is booming. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

A cultural showcase of Puerto Rican music fused with other rythms had Greenpoint pulsating this weekend.

This event is called Cosa Nuestra. The headliner was the group IFE. 

"It's a completely electronic project," said Otura Mun, director of IFE."So what I basically did is, take drums that are acoustic, drill holes in them and add electronic sensors. So it sounds like you're hearing music that's programmed and electronic. But we're playing it all live in the moment in your face."

It's this kind of creative spirit and new technology that's energizing the music scene in Brooklyn and across the city. 

"Cosa Nuestra is about looking for new talent and highlighting it," said Manolo Lopez, founder of Cosa Nuestra.

New York has long been a music mecca, from Carnegic Hall to jazz in Harlem to the punk rock scene on the bowery.

According to a new study by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, the music industry now generates a sweet-sounding $21 billion in economic activity a year, supporting 60,000 jobs and $4.7 billion in wages. 

"What this study really shows is that New York City is the music capital of the world," said Julie Menin, commissioner of the Office of Media and Entertainment. "We have 72 music tech startups in New York. That's more than Los Angeles and San Francisco combined."

Last year, 5.4 million tickets to musical performances were sold. And the city has the capacity for the business to grow. 

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce wants Albany to enact a state music production tax credit to help boost the industry, in the same way that tax breaks encourage film and TV production here.

"What we need to do is clearly support this industry and advance it," said Andrew Hoan, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

However, not all findings were positive. Many smaller venues have closed in recent years particularly in the East and West Villages. But the number of performance stages seems to keep growing. 

Salsa singer Flaco Navaja says he's glad to be a part of it all. 

"To do it in New York City of all places, it's a blessing," Navaja said.

City officials hope Navaja and other musicians keep on performing here.

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