Bryant Park / 34th Street

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We Will Miss Paul Ash

Legendary co-owner of Sam Ash Music was a friend to Bryant Park and constituent of the 34th Street District.

Sam Ash Music. Paul Ash in the Sam Ash store in Hempstead, N.Y., on Long Island, in the late 1960s.

It was with sadness that we learned of the death of Paul Ash, co-owner of Sam Ash Music, at age 84, as Mr. Ash had strong links to both Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership. He and his brother Jerome developed the single musical instrument store founded by their father, into a nationwide, 46-store chain.

Back in 2004, when Bryant Park Corporation wanted to create a daily lunchtime series of piano performances, Paul Ash was there to lend essential support and advice. Besides sponsoring Piano in Bryant Park, he paid for the construction of the piano and supplied all of the equipment including the keyboard, microphone, and speakers. He also worked with us to establish an excellent relationship with The Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, and his wife, Cobi, who helped program the piano from the start. Through the years, he remained involved as an advisor, and even provided storage for the piano during the winter season. Look for Piano in Bryant Park to hold a special tribute in his honor this summer as we celebrate the eleventh year of the program.

In 2013, Sam Ash Music, which had for years occupied a number of small shops on 48th Street, consolidated its New York locations into one large, 30,000 sq. ft. store – the chain’s largest - at 333 W. 34th Street.  The addition of such an excellent, well-regarded retailer gave great momentum to the ongoing retail upgrade on 34th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Susie Sigel, BPC Special Projects Producer, worked with Mr. Ash on Piano in Bryant Park from its outset and shared this comment: “Paul Ash personified music: his style and form combined in such a way that when you were in his presence you felt in perfect harmony. He was the soul behind Piano in Bryant Park, and we will miss him dearly.” We offer heartfelt condolences to his family and his many, many friends and admirers.

More from February 20, 2014


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Watch trends unfold from the Fall/Winter 2014 collections.

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