Apr 25, 2023
5 min read
Clubs seemingly come and go in a New York minute. But sometimes, the cultural impact and sonic imprint of a physical space are so strong its magic remains well into the future. Such is the case with one of New York’s premier nightlife newcomers, Musica.
Situated in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood along the Hudson River, the three-story, 25,000-square-foot venue was formerly home to two iconic institutions, Space Ibiza New York and FREQ. When Musica opened its doors in March 2022, it became Manhattan’s largest club. The waterfront venue is not only breathing new life back onto its historic dancefloors, it’s paving an innovative and experimental path all its own.
Musica New York is the brainchild of restauranteur Giuseppe Cipriani and Italian nightlife entrepreneur Tito Pinton. It’s the duo’s first international output stemming from a sister club of the same name in Riccione, Italy, the country’s nightlife capital. After an overwhelmingly positive response to Musica in Italy, Cipriani and Pinton brought their vision to Manhattan, a borough amid revitalizing its once-prolific club scene following a nightlife flight into Brooklyn and Queens.
Musica has already placed its unique stamp on the Manhattan music scene. It’s hosted legendary artists like Green Velvet, Victor Calderone, Nore en Pure, Louie Vega, and David Morales, in addition to a diverse slate of house, techno, Latin, EDM, and open-format programming.
“Musica brings the big room feel back to the heart of Manhattan,” says Ricardo Giraldo, Musica’s Director of Operations and General Manager. “It brings back that underground feeling to dance music. Industrial. Brick walled. Super dark room. And it’s outfitted with the amazing sound system and built out LED screens which complete that ‘warehouse’ feel.”
In fact, stepping outside Musica at 6 am — just as the sun is starting to peak above the skyline to the east — is reminiscent of the ethereal and subterranean club experience often sought in New York’s outer boroughs. Part of the venue’s mission is to bring that big, bold, high-energy experience back to New York’s epicenter, creating a club and a cultural destination evocative of the venue’s past.
“Our diverse musical programming ties into the vision of the venue as a whole. We are accessible to everyone,” says Musica’s Director of Events, Peter Gangi. “We have deep techno, soulful house, commercial, and trending tech house. We have something that everyone can come for. It’s not all about the big trending names, either. It’s about who’s going to provide the right sound that people will enjoy, even if that’s a local DJ.”
Musica’s three distinct floors facilitate that sonically diverse experience.
On the ground floor is the Whisper Room. This antique space offers an old-school and intimate vibe, says Giraldo, and is typically commanded by open-format and hip-hop DJs on the weekends.
The third-floor rooftop, set to open in the summer of 2023, expands upon the venue’s versatility and provides an open-air space along the river, where clubgoers can enjoy the same world-class talent that frequents Musica’s impressive main room.
The dark, sultry, and sprawling main floor effortlessly blends the anonymity of a warehouse with the flair of the premium club experience. LED screens stretch along the walls and ceilings, supporting a pair of massive shimmering disco balls. The space, for many, evokes memories of a bygone era of Manhattan mega-clubbing.
“It’s a nostalgic feeling almost,” says Giraldo. “Not much about the building has changed. So, everybody that comes in recognizes the room pretty well.”
“It’s funny,” adds Gangi. “People will tell us ‘Oh yeah, I was the cashier when it was Space,’ ‘That’s where the DJ booth was,’ ‘Wow, we used to open those windows and party until 10am.’ So, I think everyone who’s been through the scene feels a connection to the space.”
As for the audio? State-of-the-art. It’s outfitted with d&b speakers that elevate the sonic experience.
“It’s what every festivalgoer hears. It’s what every DJ is comfortable with. Especially for dance music, that’s super important. You get the good quality sound. It’s warm. It’s clear. It’s high fidelity. The video walls and screens make it super immersive, which everyone wants these days.”
“Top DJs of the would die to play at Space Ibiza New York,” Gangi adds. “We want people to be dying to play at Musica.”
Gangi and Giraldo attribute the venue’s early success to its many collaborators and partners.
With one eye on its heritage and another on its future, Musica is proving in real-time that dance music’s future in the Big Apple is bright.