Fête de la Musique, or Make Music Day, expands its presence worldwide
Launched in France in the 1980s, the annual day of music-making Fête de la Musique has since spread internationally and will this year include thousands of events worldwide, including 4,000 in the United States.
When then-French Minister of Culture Jack Lang introduced the event in Paris in 1982, his goal was to bring music out into the streets, inviting all those who could play an instrument or carry a tune to perform.
In France, Fête de la Musique has remained an annual celebration. For those who will be in the event’s country of origin on June 21, a website organized by the French Ministry of Culture offers opportunities for getting involved. Via fetedelamusique.culturecommunication.gouv.fr, would-be music-makers can register events, link up with other performers, and find out how to go about organizing a concert outdoors.
If music is more of a spectator sport for you, a program at the same website allows you to find events all over the country.
In the U.S., a schedule of more than 4,000 free, outdoor concerts, lesson and jam sessions are planned in more than 60 cities, up from 38 last year.
Highlights this year include an “Ella Fitzgerald Piano Bar” in New York and Los Angeles, marking the 100th anniversary of the jazz singer’s birth; for this program, a piano will be transported to multiple locations and songbooks provided for members of the public, allowing them to sing Ella songs with piano accompaniment.
Also in New York, four grand pianos at the four corners of the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza will be used to perform music from J.S. Bach’s “Well Tempered Clavier”; while in Union Square Park, a selection of peace songs will be performed by hundreds of guitarists, with the possibility of taking a guitar lesson just beforehand.
And in several U.S. cities, a collective “MP3 Experiment” will see participants gather in public spaces and follow along to a narrative adventure via MP3, while making music on the colorful plastic tubes known as Boomwhackers. JB