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Make Music New York Festival Returns

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Make Music New York, a one-of-a-kind annual festival featuring more than 1,000 free outdoor concerts, music lessons and jam sessions in public spaces across the five boroughs, returns on Thursday, June 21. The daylong musical celebration on the summer solstice is the flagship event of Make Music Day, which is being held in more than 70 U.S. cities and has become a global phenomenon observed by hundreds of millions of people in 800 cities in 120 countries.

Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day celebrates and promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of ability. Reimagining their cities and towns as stages, every kind of musician - from bucket drummers and opera singers to hip-hop artists and marching bands - pours onto streets, parks, plazas, porches, rooftops, gardens and elsewhere to celebrate, create and share their music with friends, neighbors and strangers.

Launched in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance.

Highlights of Make Music New York will include:

  • Harlem to Broadway! - At the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park, a concert celebrating music from the "Great White Way" will be held featuring selections from the songbooks of legendary composers and Harlem residents. Presented in partnership with Jazzmobile and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.
  • Twilight Chorus (for Humans) - At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a choir of sixteen voices will be dispersed across the grounds singing slowed down transcriptions of birdsong to create the world premiere of composer Peter M. Wyer's "Twilight Chorus (for Humans)"
  • WTC @ WTC: The Well-Tempered Clavier at the 9/11 Memorial - Four grand pianos will be placed at the corners of the 9/11 Memorial plaza to allow for three continuous hours of performances of J.S. Bach's masterpiece by a rotating cast of dozens of pianists of all ages.
  • On the Waterfront - At Pier I in Riverside Park South, a special program of minimalist Western classical music for piano celebrating the repertoire of esteemed composer Terry Riley will be performed by professional and student players from city music schools. Presented in partnership with Summer on the Hudson and generously supported by PianoPiano.
  • Mass Appeals - Large groups of musicians will participate in impromptu single-instrument performances including guitars in Union Square Park, ukuleles and harmonicas in Central Park, banjos at Governors Island, and many more
  • Street Studios - At five different locations across the city, DJs and producers will set up their gear on sidewalks, engaging passersby and musicians in the spontaneous collaborative production of original music tracks
  • Live at the Archway - In the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, Argentinian singer Natalia Clavier (Thievery Corporation) will perform in a tie-in with Argentina's World Cup match against Denmark. Presented in partnership with The Dumbo Improvement District.
  • Muscota Marsh Harmony - This site-specific, vocal program by composer John Hastings integrates the local environment, community and history of the northernmost part of Manhattan Island and invites the audience to wander through the performance as it unfolds.

Additionally, Punk Island and Porch Stomp - each of which is a festival within Make Music New York - will be held on the special dates of June 23 and 24, respectively.

Punk Island will take place at the Harlem River Picnic Area on Randall's Island featuring over 80 bands performing from five separate micro-curated stages throughout the day.

Porch Stomp will take place from the historic porches surrounding Nolan Park on Governors Island. This daylong folk festival will feature over 70 of the city's best Bluegrass, old-time, roots and American music, plus square dancing and a Banjo parade around the island for the whole family.

All Make Music New York events are free and open to the public. Participants who wish to perform, or to host musical events, may register at MakeMusicNY.org. A full schedule of events will be posted on the website in early June.


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