Huggins in Washington Square Park, March 2016
|Born||January 6, 1978|
Huggins, whose hometown is Decatur, Georgia, started playing guitar at an early age, and took piano lessons from 1994 to 1998, but then quit, and worked odd jobs for some time. He moved to New York City in 2003, and spent four years working as an accompanist for ballet dancers at the Joffrey Ballet, before beginning to busk in 2007. He brought his upright piano to Father Demo Square or Union Square and busked there, until police and nearby residents began to complain about the large crowds he would attract while playing; he subsequently began playing in the New York City Subway—where he made an appearance on the television series Louie—and at Washington Square Park two to three days per week, for up to twelve hours at a time. At the time, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation was ticketing musicians performing near monuments and park benches, and he was fined over $6,000 in 2011; that policy has since been revoked. Huggins notes the connection of Washington Square Arch to the pianist Jan Paderewski who sponsored its construction in 1892.
Huggins launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2011 to purchase a baby grand piano. In 2016, he upgraded to a full-size grand piano, a Yamaha C5, and had Woody Guthrie's slogan "This Machine Kills Fascists" inscribed on both sides. After a second successful crowdfunding campaign in 2018, Huggins now brings a world-class Steinway B grand piano to Washington Square Park most weekends.
- Rachel Kaplan (April 18, 2012). "A Day in the Life of "The Crazy Piano Guy" of Washington Square Park". NYU Local.
- Eduardo Suárez (March 12, 2014). "Fervor de Nueva York". El Mundo.
- Della Hasselle (June 6, 2011). "'Crazy Piano Guy' Brings Baby Grand to Washington Square Park". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
- Steven Kurutz (August 30, 2008). "The Real Piano Man". The New York Times.
- Erica Pearson (March 7, 2009). "'Crazy' in E flat: Determined piano man Colin Huggins is a hit in subway". DNAinfo.
- Louie – "Subway/Pamela" on IMDb
- Alex Silverman (May 14, 2012). "NYC Parks Department Lifts Ban on Live Music Near Fountains, Monuments". CBS.
- Shako Liu (February 22, 2012). "A Street Pianist And His New York City". Neon Tommy, USC. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Colin Huggins". www.facebook.com. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- "Lay under the best Piano". Kickstarter. Retrieved March 25, 2019.