NEW YORK, April 13, 2016: Make Music Day, the annual global celebration featuring more than 3,000 free, outdoor musical events in the United States, returns this year on Tuesday, June 21. This day-long event will see the participation of over 35 U.S. cities – nearly twice as many as last year – hosting major events, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Seattle, Portland (OR), Madison (WI), Philadelphia, Detroit, Denver, Cleveland, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Chattanooga, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the entire state of Vermont, while smaller festivities are popping up around the country.
Completely different from a typical musical festival, Make Music Day seeks to encourage all people, young and old, amateur or professional, to experience the pleasure of making music. Every kind of musician – of all musical persuasions – pours onto streets, parks, plazas, porches and other public spaces to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers.
Highlights of Make Music Day in the U.S. will include Sousapaloozas in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York, bringing together hundreds of brass and wind musicians to play the music of John Philip Sousa; Street Studios in Chattanooga, Los Angeles, and New York with producers bringing gear and engaging passersby in the spontaneous, collaborative production of original music on the street; and over 100 Mass Appeals around the country where musicians – of all levels and ages – can gather with other players to make music in large, single-instrument groups. Instruments with Mass Appeal events include banjos, guitars, harmonicas, accordions, flutes, mariarchis, percussion, trombones, bassoons, French horns, music boxes, synthesizers, ukuleles, toy pianos and more.
Make Music Day began in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique where it takes place every year on June 21, the summer solstice. It has since spread to over 700 cities across 120 countries.
Additional national and international Make Music Day 2016 highlights include:
- Philip Glass, known as one of New York City’s iconic musical figures, will help usher in Make Music New York’s second decade by playing from his Etudes for piano at Pier i in Riverside Park, along with nineteen students from New York Citypublic schools.
- Shimmer with Yeah Yeah Yeahs Drummer Brian Chase: In New York City, Boston, Chicago and Nashville, dozens of performers will premiere Shimmer, a new 45-minute work by Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, scored for 16 (or more) Zildjian cymbals, arranged in a circle. Chase will lead the New York performance at Madison Square Park.
- Inside the Bird Chorus: New York City’s avian life is celebrated in this project by composer/clarinetist David Rothenberg, conceived as a dialogue between improvising musicians and native bird species of the city. Rothenberg performs at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and their resident bird expert will be on hand for conversation. There will be similar performances by other musicians at wildlife havens in all five boroughs, at either dawn or dusk (prime bird-call hours), in partnership with the National Audubon Society.
- The Bumblebee Challenge: Around the country, woodwind, brass and string players will strive to play the fastest, most accurate performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” on June 21. Participants can enter using a special free version of SmartMusic, the interactive music practice software.
- “Eye of the Tiger” on Boomwhackers: Fans attending baseball games on Make Music Day in New York City (the minor league Staten Island Yankees) and in Madison, Wisconsin (the collegiate Madison Mallards) will be given Boomwhackers – pitched hollow pipes made of plastic. During the seventh-inning stretch, conductors and a singer will come onto the field and lead fans in a crowdsourced performance of Survivor’s anthemic “Eye of the Tiger,” inviting people to whack the tubes on cue, on the seats or bleachers in front of them. Original Survivor frontman Dave Bickler, renowned for his vocals on “Eye of the Tiger,” will sing the classic hit at the Staten Island Yankees game.
- HARMAN Street Studios: In partnership with Found Sound Nation, audio products leader HARMAN will transport the basic elements of a music studio to six public spaces in Bangalore, Budapest, Munich, Tel Aviv, New York, and Los Angeles, and make the studios open and accessible to everyone in the local community, musicians and non-musicians alike. With a simple setup – a laptop, mics, MIDI controllers, speakers, and instruments – the Street Studio producers on site will invite passers-by to join in a completely improvised music creation session. After a period of post-production, this improvised concert of original music and documentation will be shared with all participants, and with the world.
Other events around the country will highlight the musical history and ingenuity of each city including:
- Salem, OR – The Kingsmen will lead a play-along performance of their enigmatic 1963 hit, “Louie Louie”; musicians will perform on the steps of the State Capitol.
- Auburn, AL – High school marching bands, drum lines, community choirs, electric guitars, people holding egg shakers and others will gather for a performance of the legendary song, “Sweet Home Alabama.”
- Detroit, MI – A massive performance on the front plaza of the Detroit Institute of Art.
- Boston, MA – Five musicians will distribute hundreds of egg shakers to straphangers at a T station, creating a musical “Commuter Shake” as they leave the station to start their day.
All Make Music Day events are free and open to the public. Participants who wish to perform, or to host musical events, may register at www.makemusicday.org. [In Vermont, visit bigheavyworld.com/makemusicvt ] A full schedule of events will be posted on the website in early June.
About Make Music Day
Held annually on June 21 to coincide with the summer solstice, Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in 700 cities across 120 countries. The daylong, musical free-for-all celebrates music in all its forms, encouraging people to band together and play in free public concerts. This year, 35 U.S. cities and the entire state of Vermont are organizing Make Music celebrations, encompassing thousands of music making opportunities nationwide. Make Music Day is presented by the NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. For more information, please visit www.makemusicday.org.
Participating U.S. Make Music Cities in 2016:
Black Hills (SD), Boston (MA), Buffalo (NY), Cedar Rapids (IA), Chattanooga (TN), Chicago (IL), Cleveland (OH), Columbia (SC),Denver (CO), Detroit (MI), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Fort Wayne (IN), Fullerton (CA), Issaquah (WA), Liberty (MO), Los Angeles (CA),Madison (WI), Mentor (OH), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MN), Montclair (NJ), Nashville (TN), New York (NY), Niagara Falls (NY),Ossining (NY), Philadelphia (PA), Pittsburgh (PA), Platteville (WI), Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Salem (OR), San Diego (CA),Seattle (WA), St. Louis (MO), Vermont (statewide), Washington (DC)
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