Over 500 Free Outdoor Music Making Events to be Held Across the State as Part of Annual Global Celebration
For the second year, cities and towns across Connecticut will join forces to present over 500 free outdoor musical events on Friday, June 21 for Make Music Day, a global music celebration on the summer solstice each year that brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music.
Last year, Make Music Day made its Connecticut debut, with an impressive 528 free musical performances at 224 locations across the state, coordinated by twelve regional chapters brought together by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. This year, eighteen chapters have formed to organize Make Music Connecticut, the most of any state, joining more than 80 other U.S. cities hosting thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.
Highlights of the day will include:
- Over twenty free participatory activities in Hartford ranging from bucket drumming lessons, a hip hop lyric workshop and guitar lessons; to a ukulele circle, a bluegrass jam, and a jazz jam session; as well as special musician play-along events like Sousapalooza and Basses Loaded, a gathering of up to a dozen upright bass players under Alexander Calder’s Stegosaurus sculpture downtown at 4pm. Make Music Hartford will also feature nine “Neighborhood Music Hubs” with all-day programming, in addition to the dozens of individual performances throughout the city.
- A morning drum circle in New Haven on the top of East Rock, a late-night after party at Three Sheets New Haven, and dozens of musical events in gardens, art galleries, and porches the whole day through. Free Keys CT and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra will launch the CT Piano Trail, delivering to parks and plazas public pianos that anyone can sit down and play. Movimiento Cultural, masters of Puerto Rican bomba, will get folks drumming, dancing, and singing in Spanish during their interactive workshop.
- Among many other events, Steinway of Greenwich is donating a piano which will be out on Main Street in Ridgefield for anyone to play. Special guest Jon Batiste, who is performing that evening at the Ridgefield Playhouse, will stop by during the day for an impromptu performance!
- Nearly 100 performances in Southeastern Connecticut, including the US Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band playing at Waterfront Park in New London, the Groton Family Farm with performances from noon until 8pm by emerging musicians, an indie-rock band, bluegrass music, and a blues group; and acoustic duos, classical guitarists, jazz ensembles, and fiddle groups up and down Lyme Street in Old Lyme.
- Norwalk’s first Make Music Day, led by organizations including the Wall Street Neighborhood Association, Norwalk Now, Norwalk Public Library, and Norwalk Historical Society. Among many other events, Ed Train and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Tom The Suit Forst will perform at the Bobby Q restaurant, the Black Rock Fife and Drum Corp will play at the Historical Mill House, and Bar Sugo will host a ukulele education and play-along.
- Musicians in Stamford Downtown will play at various sidewalk cafes and at Latham Park, Old Town Hall, Ferguson Library and Kiwanis Park. HARMAN, the Stamford-based audio and technology company, and Stamford Downtown will again host an interactive Street Studio. Pianos, donated by Amadeus Piano, will be placed for public use at the Ferguson Library and at the Government Center.
- Expected to include even more than last year’s 50+ musical performances, Make Music Waterbury will run downtown from 9 am to 11 pm, culminating with a series of headlining bands playing in front of Waterbury’s landmark City Hall.
- Daytime performances throughout Bridgeport with amplified kalimbas, ukuleles, singer-songwriters and more, ending with a free evening concert at the historic Bijou Theatre broadcast live on WPKN Radio 89.5 FM.
- Woodbury’s first Make Music Day, including a sunrise event featuring David Bibbey and Bill Geddes on bagpipes, an open mic from 11 am – 3 pm at the North Green gazebo, two pop-up bucket drumming sessions on the library lawn, and a family fun event at Hollow Park at 6:30 pm featuring The Bentutu Band, followed by a sunset candle lantern sail on Hollow Pond.
- The first Make Music Danbury with a songwriting workshop from the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, a barbershop vocal performance by the Danbury Mad Hatters, and other events curated by the Danbury Music Centre, CityCenter Danbury, and the Danbury Chamber of Commerce.
- Music of all kinds in Fairfield at Jennings Beach, Sherman Green Gazebo, Fairfield Theater Company, and a front porch in Southport.
- Over 20 musical groups for Hebron’s inaugural Make Music Day, including a “Mile of Music” down Route 66.
- A guitar/euphonium duo, and other Middletown musicians playing classic rock, blues, jazz, folk music, and more.
- Performances in Kent, Torrington, and across Northwest Connecticut, bringing music to schools, retirement homes, and other community centers who might not otherwise have access to music.
- The Mighty Quinn Foundation and the Coastal Arts Guild of CT host Stratford’s second annual Make Music Day, with new initiatives for learning music and making instruments.
A full schedule of events will be posted on the Make Music Connecticut websites in June.
Want to Participate?
Any musician, amateur or professional, young or old, is invited to take part by signing up at MakeMusicCT.org where you can find your nearest Make Music Day organizer.
Likewise, businesses, buildings, schools, churches, and other institutions can visit the website to offer their outdoor spaces as concert locations.
Make Music Day Connecticut is being administered in partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the following organizations: Arts Alliance of Woodbury, Arts Council of Greater New Haven, City Lights Gallery in Bridgeport, City of Danbury Cultural Commission, City of Middletown Arts & Culture, City of Milford, City of Norwalk, City of Waterbury, Coastal Arts Guild of CT, Connecticut Community Foundation, Fairfield Theatre Company, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Greenwich Arts Council, Mighty Quinn Foundation in Stratford, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, Ridgefield Arts Council, Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, The Spirit of Waterbury, Stamford Downtown, and The Town Center Project in Hebron.
About Make Music Day
Held annually on June 21, Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in 1,000 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, 85+ U.S. cities 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.