Saadi Zain is a Musician of New York.

From busking in the park to performing at Carnegie Hall, freelance bass player Saadi Zain has done it all. You can typically find him rolling his bass through the streets of Hell’s Kitchen to a rehearsal or hauling his instrument up the subway stairs on the way to a gig. Staying in shape is both a necessity for his job and a hobby for Saadi, who enjoys fitness and learning foreign languages in the little spare time he has outside music. During the summer, Saadi volunteers at the free kayaking docks, helping New Yorkers and visitors get comfortable getting out on the water.

“It’s a very dynamic lifestyle with a lot of peaks and valleys. One day you could be performing at a really great venue that pays really well, with great musicians. But sometimes you end up taking a job because you really need work, or you haven’t played out in a bit and you’d rather do this than sit at home and practice because getting out and playing is such an important part of your growth and experience as a musician. Sometimes we essentially are forced to play jobs where the pay is very low or the situation could be less than ideal.” #MusiciansofNY

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#MusiciansofNY tells the stories of the working union musicians of New York, with posts about a new musician every Wednesday! Find more Musicians of New York stories here.