Busking Saxophonists Dusty Rhodes, Mike Hanley Bring Joy to Streets

So a while ago I posted some pictures I took of the awesome Dusty Rhodes, a street musician who plays on Newark Avenue in Jersey City between Grove and Erie streets.

This week, my article featuring Rhodes and another busking saxophonist, Mike Hanley, who lives in Jersey City and plays in New York City, went online at The Jersey City Independent. Here it is.

Busking Saxophonists Bring Joy, Songs to City Streets

Life on the streets isn’t always rough. For busking saxophonist Dusty Rhodes, it’s a smooth, soulful road to joy.

People know him best as the street musician on Newark Avenue between Grove and Erie streets. At his spot, he makes about $80 to $100 a day playing what he calls “Black music.”

“Black music has consistently, from idiom to idiom, touched the world, whether it’s spirituals, blues, gospel, jazz, or R&B, it has touched the globe. Hip-hop, house, disco, dance – all that shit. Look how it has truly impacted the world,” says the 44-year-old, who adds that Blacks were instrumental in the development of the currently White-dominated rock and roll. “White people stole it,” he says jokingly.

Rhodes started playing various wind instruments in school while growing up in Newark and picked up sax in his second year at Arts High School.

“I love the sound of the saxophone,” he says. “They say the violin and the sax are closest to the human voice.” He has a long history with his old saxophone which he’s outfitted with a complex system of rubber bands that holds everything in place and keeps it sounding like new. …

Read the full article from The Jersey City Independent.


About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
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5 Responses to Busking Saxophonists Dusty Rhodes, Mike Hanley Bring Joy to Streets

  1. Daniel Bean says:

    Awesome article, summer. Mike Hanley is a true artist: earning his living while bring joy to strangers. I think we call all learn something from that.

    Sometimes I feel like we take too many things in our lives for granted. And sometimes I think in the hustle to accumulate and to make our lives more comfortable, we forget the simple pleasures that make life worth living. And one of those pleasures is music, and sharing our talents with others. Thanks for teaching me something new today, or rather, reminding me of something important which I had forgotten.

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