I freely, and happily, admit that the idea for Make Music Upper Perk came from reading about the World Day of Music taking place around the U.S., and which was started in France as Fête de la Musique, now held all over the world on June 21st. I love reading about how the day is celebrated in other towns and cities.
Make Music New York is based on France’s “Fête de la Musique,” a national musical holiday inaugurated in 1982. Ever since, the festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 726 cities in 108 countries, including Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Lebanon, Ivory Coast, Australia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, and Japan.
In North America, June 21st celebrations now include Make Music Chicago, Make Music Boston, Make Music Los Angeles, Make Music Madison (WI), Make Music New York, Make Music Philly, Make Music Portland (ME), and Make Music Vancouver.
Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music New York is open to anyone who wants to take part. From 10 in the morning to 10 at night, every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, sidewalks, parks, and plazas to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. Thousands of amateur musicians take the opportunity to play in public spaces, often for the biggest crowds of their lives. Professional musicians perform for new audiences, who come out from under their headphones to hear unfamiliar groups risk-free. And everyone is invited to sing along and enjoy the first day of summer.
Among the over 1,300 concerts each year, MMNY includes a number of special projects: “Mass Appeal,” where hundreds of musicians band together to perform massive pieces written for a single type of instrument; “Punk Island“; and others listed here.
Some 5,500 musicians performed in 2014. Along with concerts by individual artists, dozens of New York cultural institutions took part — including Carnegie Hall, Central Park Summerstage, Friends of the High Line, Joe’s Pub, River to River, and more.
Make Music New York, Inc., is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization. Dozens of volunteers work throughout the city to help recruit musicians and venues, manage special projects, and promote the concerts.
Does any of this sound familiar? Yes, Make Music Upper Perk takes place on a much smaller scale, but then, the Valley doesn’t have 8 million people. But we do have great musicians and great volunteers, and we, too, are open to every kind of musician. If you are a musician, register here today . If you’d like to volunteer, learn about what we need and let us know how you’d like to help. And yes, we need financial support – give to our Kickstarter campaign (ends March 31, 2015!) And don’t forget to mark your calendar and come out to celebrate the first day of summer and music on Sunday, June 21, 2015.