|Returning on June 21, the event spans 1,000+ cities across the globe|
NEW YORK, June 7, 2023 — Make Music Day, the worldwide day of making music held annually on the summer solstice, is pleased to announce the return of its vast, annual program with live, free music-making events around the world on Wednesday, June 21. Back for its 42nd year, the event invites a sonic collaboration of cities around the world and reinvents what it means to be a musician.
Make Music Day has been around for generations. Launched in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, it remains the most joyous day on the country’s calendar. Throughout France on June 21, 2023, amateur and professional musicians will unite for thousands of free outdoor events, from community brass bands to a hip-hop block party, and from l’Orchestre de Paris at the Louvre to an evening of Swedish folk music.
But the celebrations have grown well beyond France to include musicians and listeners in more than 1,000 cities across the globe. This year, new organizers from six continents are joining for the first time, promoting the natural music maker in everyone, regardless of age or skill level.
“Make Music Day is a unique occasion that brings together professional musicians, amateurs, and music enthusiasts,” said Janelize Morelli, founder of the new Make Music South Africa. “For June 21, we are organizing workshops on indigenous African music instrument building, lively kazoo battles that encourage playfulness and creativity, a 12-hour music marathon at the Jeppe School for Girls in Johannesburg, a pop-up opera, and many more opportunities for community members to come together and experience the joys that music brings.”
“We are excited to be part of Make Music Day and contribute to this global celebration of music,” said Dharini Upadhyaya, CEO at Furtados School of Music which leads Make Music India. “By participating in this event, our students can connect with peers from different countries, exchange musical ideas, broaden their perspectives, and forge lifelong connections.”
Opposed to a traditional music festival model, Make Music Day activities are free and open to all who want to participate. Reimagining cities and towns as stages on the longest day of the year, every kind of musician is invited to fill the streets, parks, plazas, porches, rooftops, gardens, and other public spaces to celebrate, create and share their music.
In Australia, Make Music Day enters its sixth year with musical events nationwide, including a “SuperBand” of 200 students from the Orange Regional Conservatorium in New South Wales performing individually and together, a Sunshine Coast Acoustic Music Jam in Queensland, brass bands, orchestras, and a Gentlemen’s Choir in East Gippsland, Victoria, and performances throughout the town centers of Five Dock and Rhodes in the City of Canada Bay, among many other events.
In Brazil, Make Music Day will be celebrated in more than 100 cities with performances, workshops, and jam sessions. Mestre Robson Miguel will perform with a 200-member orchestra in his castle, Patrícia Shaki will pay tribute to Rita Lee and Tina Turner, Sandro Haick will host a Musical Playing Cards Workshop, and Selma Teixeira will showcase her “Os Incríveis 60 Years Band” project. Ten ÁguaDoce stores in Paraná will have open stages, while the Municipal Government of Maringá and its Departments of Education and Culture will program Make Music Day events in every one of the city’s 116 public schools.
In China, a grand opening ceremony for Make Music Day will take place in Huangqiao (Jiangsu province) with an ensemble of thousands of musicians, followed by an evening gala on the theme “Music Makes a Better Life.” Shenzhen (Guangdong province) will feature a “Lang Lang Music Bus” in honor of the famous pianist, with performers on the city’s main bus lines. Yuncheng City in Shanxi province, along with 26 other provinces, will feature performances with hundreds playing the Electronic Wind Instrument. All told, 200 cities will be involved in Make Music China, with an estimated 15,000 total performances.
In Mexico, after last year’s pilot program in Mexico City, Make Music Day is gaining strength with 30 major venues across 10 states, ranging from cafes to museums to a baseball stadium in Torreón. Musicians from youth orchestras, rock bands, Norteño groups, electronic artists, and many others are joining in. In honor of June 21, Gibson Brands is donating 21 guitars to a charity in Torreón, and another 21 instruments to the Sergio Vallín Foundation in Mexico City.
In Nigeria, Make Music Lagos has become a staple of the city’s cultural scene since its start in 2016, with multiple concerts and learn-to-play events. This year, highlights include a New Music Marathon, where unknown artists can submit original songs to be broadcast on the radio on June 21, and Music Meets Fitness where a live band accompanies gym-goers. The cities of Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, and Ibadan join Lagos this year to extend Make Music Day around the country.
In the United States, 110+ cities are organizing citywide Make Music Day celebrations, with more than 4,000 events planned nationwide. On June 21, five cities will host Roomful of Pianos extravaganzas; 10 cities will organize Sousapaloozas inviting band players to come sight read the marches of John Philip Sousa; 13 cities will feature Stridulations, percussionist Billy Martin’s set of experimental rhythmic pieces for anyone to join; 15 cities will gather people in parks and garden centers to play Flowerpot Music; and 57 cities will have Mass Appeals with free drumsticks, harmonicas, hand percussion, and ukulele books distributed to the public for large group lessons and play-along sessions.
And in a just-announced initiative for Make Music Day, 21 independent music stores around the U.S. are leading String Together, where beginning guitarists learn to change their guitar strings (with free strings donated by D’Addario), get a free lesson from a local teacher, and receive a free guitar chord chart courtesy of Alfred Music.
Other highlights abound throughout the rest of the world:
In Germany, 102 cities are organizing Make Music Day, 19 of which are collaborating on a joint sing-along of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and the lullaby “Der Mond ist aufgegangen” at 7 pm.
In Ghana, the second Make Music Day will feature band performances throughout the Accra and Marina Malls, a business conference for up-and-coming musicians, and acoustic open mics at the Alliance Française.
In Isle of Man, Manx Gaelic group Clash Vooar will perform in the Sailor’s Shelter, Peel; Ramsey Grammar School Pep and Street Band will visit their local primary school to perform for the younger children; and The Family Library in Douglas celebrations will include making DIY instruments and a mini disco.
In Italy, more than 10,000 musicians have registered their events for Make Music Day, including this year’s featured artist, jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava.
In Kenya, Make Music Day’s second year will include musical partnerships with restaurants, bars, Strathmore University, and cultural centers in Nairobi and beyond.
In Türkiye, a Make Music Day program in Istanbul at the Müze Gazhane İstanbulis museum will feature body percussion, sound and vocal painting, a collective songwriting workshop, and musical activities for children.
With so many musicians taking part around the globe, several programs on June 21 harness the event’s international reach to bring far-flung music makers together.
In a new global collaboration, Make Music, Make Friends is connecting school children aged 7–13 from Australia, China, India, Italy, Pakistan, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S. on Make Music Day. Ten classes from each country, coordinated by the Make Music Alliance and Make Music Day UK, are creating musical greeting videos (with traditional or modern songs), sharing them with schools from other countries, and having their students watch these musical messages on June 21. Through this virtual exchange, Make Music, Make Friends exposes children to different regions and cultures, while providing an authentic audience for their own performance.
Another global project, just announced, is a series of 16 Live Online Jams organized by Lessonface and their instructors. All levels of improvisers are welcome to join these free virtual jam sessions on June 21, which use Zoom’s new Live Performance Audio feature. Instructors from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Israel, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. will lead jams for beatboxers, bluegrass players, jazz and funk musicians, rock guitarists, Native American flutists, vocalists, and more.
And returning for a fourth year is Make Music Day’s annual global song swap, #MySongIsYourSong, co-organized by Make Music Nigeria. In this program, songwriters and composers are invited to record a song by another artist, from another part of the world, and hear their original song covered in return. This year, 130 songs have been submitted and 65 pairs of artists are now learning each other’s music, with the cover versions to be released online on June 21.