We envision a world in which neighbors work and play together towards making their communities better. We are inspired to direct our knowledge and skills as musicians towards this goal. Through sustained, joyful musical encounters, we believe that people can experience neighborly goodwill and a deeper sense of community.
We are a collective of musicians living in uptown Manhattan. We love coming together to share chamber music, food, and good company.
Cello | Co-Founder, Executive Director
James Waldo leads a diverse, genre-defying career as a freelance chamber musician, presenter, and educator. James' principal performance project is the international touring recital team A.W.Duo, in which James partners with his wife, pianist Alyona Aksyonova, to render brand-new as well as timeless masterworks for cello and piano. Other notable projects: Jazz at Lincoln Center with pianist Robert Rodriguez; principal cellist for Cecilia Chorus, guest musician with Cantori NY, guest solo cellist with the Chinese Ensemble of NYC, founding member of LeStrange Viols, and founding member of Spirits of the Red City. James studied with Timothy Eddy at Mannes College, and will be commencing a Doctorate of Musical Arts program as a fully-funded University Fellow at the UW-Madison this fall with longtime mentor and friend Uri Vardi. James is most proud of his roles as a husband, father, dog and cat owner, primary household cook, and lifelong Episcopalian Christian.
Viola | Co-Founder, Director of Operations
Rose Hashimoto is a violist originally from Seattle, Washington. Rose came to New York to study at Juilliard and Mannes, stayed longer than she ever thought she would, and has since come to consider uptown Manhattan her second home.
Rose has loved chamber music ever since she was a teenager, because it was through playing chamber music that she first understood what it meant to be a part of a community. She continues to be an active chamber musician, performing with ensembles including Shattered Glass, A Far Cry, and the Thalia Quartet, and at festivals including Birdfoot, Manchester Summer Chamber Music, Yellow Barn, Taos, and Kneisel Hall.
Along with playing chamber music, working with young people is Rose’s greatest inspiration. She is a certified Suzuki violin and viola teacher and serves on the faculty at the Lucy Moses School. When she’s not playing music, she is also an avid baker.
Once upon a time in uptown Manhattan, a musician walked into a local pharmacy, seeking support from the owner for an upcoming concert at a nearby church. The conversation took an unexpected twist when the owner said, "Why don't you play here?"
Listen Closely now regularly brings live chamber music to community gathering points around the neighborhood, including Dichter Pharmacy, Inwood's beautiful parks and gardens, and the resonant sanctuary of Holy Trinity Church. Our most consistent feedback from our neighbors: "Please keep doing this!"
Support the Mission
Help us to sustain a robust musical presence in the places where we live as we fulfill our mission to strengthen the culture and practice of community.