June 21, 2011
Now in its fifth year, Make Music New York, “the largest music event ever to grace Gotham” (Metro New York), is a unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York City, all on June 21st, the first day of summer. MMNY takes place simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 460 cities around the world — a global celebration of music making.
From 11 in the morning to 10 at night, musicians of all ages, creeds, and musical persuasions — from hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock — perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, cemeteries, parks and gardens. From high school bands to marquee names, MMNY is open to anyone who wants to take part, enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend.
Over 850 MMNY concerts took place in 2008, 875 in 2009, and more than 1,000 in 2010. Recent highlights include:
* New York’s first open-air performance of Xenakis’s Persephassa, with the audience listening from rowboats in the Central Park Lake, surrounded by percussionists.
* Over 120 punk bands playing on a single day throughout Governors Island (nicknamed “Punk Island” for the day).
* A Lincoln Square block party, with performances by the NYC Opera, NY Philharmonic, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, American Composers Orchestra, and American Opera Projects.
* New Orleans-style Second Line jazz parades across three Manhattan neighborhoods, led by the Jazz Gallery, Hungry March Band, and Jazzmobile.
* In partnership with Sing For Hope, 60 pianos available on NYC parks and streets, for anyone to use.
* Hard-rocking corporate executives competing in Bryant Park (“Play Hard: the MMNY Corporate Challenge”).
* Bronx middle school jazz bands in Central Park, joined by Roberta Flack.
* All-day interactive musical installations in Coney Island and the Meatpacking District.
* A piano block party, with four grand pianos in the middle of Cornelia Street in the West Village.
A unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout New York City, all on the first day of summer.
* Jazz block parties with Arturo O’Farrill’s Latin big band, Grammy-winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and African Jazz with pianist Randy Weston.
* Over 100 local rock bands blanketing Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.
* The East Coast premiere of Henry Brant’s Orbits for 80 trombones at the Guggenheim Museum.
* Hundreds of guitarists playing Beatles songs in Union Square, a 40-member “Accordion Forest” in Park Slope, and other massive groups assembled by Make Music New York.
* French pop star Yannick Noah at Central Park Summer Stage.
* Tamil Church choirs in Middle Village, high school Christian rock bands in Sunset Park, and a kazoo jam session outside a Morningside Heights church.
* Special Make Music New York concerts presented by Brooklyn Borough Hall, Carnegie Hall, City Winery, Flushing Town Hall, French Embassy, Joe’s Pub, Metropolitan Opera, New York Mets, Queens Museum of Art, River to River, Rubin Museum, SOB’s, and many more.