Music takes center stage in communities all across Connecticut – and throughout the world – this Friday. On June 21, eighteen chapters in municipalities throughout Connecticut will be coordinating Make Music Day — more than any other state. That’s up from 12 local chapters last year, when there were an incredible 528 free musical performances at 224 locations across the state, from the Long Island Sound to the hills of Northern Connecticut.
This year promises even more, in the event’s sophomore year in Connecticut, brought together by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, in what is expected to be a diverse day of music-making statewide, open to all.
Where? Bridgeport, Danbury, East Granby, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hartford, Hebron, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, Norwalk, Northwest CT, Ridgefield, Southeastern CT, Stamford, Stratford, Waterbury and Woodbury have musicians of every stripe participating throughout the day at local venues.
Make Music Day, the annual global celebration of music featuring over 5,000 free outdoor concerts, music lessons, jam sessions and other magnificent music-making events in more than 85 U.S. cities. 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 MakeMusicDay.org.
Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day celebrates and promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of ability, according to organizers. Reimagining cities and towns as stages, every kind of musician – young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion – pour onto streets, parks, plazas, porches, rooftops, gardens and other public spaces to celebrate, create and share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers.
Connecticut is one of 28 states participating; the U.S. is one of a dozen countries taking part, from Africa to South America, Europe to Canada. On June 21, over 1,600 musical events are planned in the U.K., along with 4,000 concerts across 160 cities in China, events in over 500 cities and towns in Italy, and the first-ever celebration in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. Overall, more than 1,000 cities across 120 countries will have Make Music Day events.
In Hartford, a special kazoo parade will take place on Pratt Street. Free kazoos will be given out to the first 100 people who attend. Make Music Hartford is coordinated by the Greater Hartford Arts Council as part of their mission to inspire all people to participate and invest in the arts. Events include a Drum Circle at the Park Street Library Branch, Improv Musical Comedy Show at the Barbour Street Library Branch, Industrial Music Roadshow at the Old State House Farmers Market, and free lessons at locations throughout the city.
In Bridgeport, the Broad Street steps, Barnum Museum grounds, the Margaret Morton Center are among the locations. In New Haven, 64 artists will participate at 21 venues, including talented local musician Chris DePino offering instruction and a bit of harmonica history, a Chamber concert and an instrument petting zoo. In Southeastern Connecticut, nearly 100 artists will be at 44 venues throughout the day, coordinated by the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.
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. To promote the event in the U.S., 33 iconic buildings and landmarks across the nation will be lit in orange (evoking the sun and the first day of summer) the day of, or day prior to, the event – including the Stilts Building on Main Street in Hartford.