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Queens Chronicle

A day of making music across the entire city

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:30 am

Make Music New York, a one-day music festival, is making its way back to New York City for its 13th year with over 800 free concerts taking place in over 400 outdoor locations, with over 5,000 individual participants across the five boroughs.

“The idea is just to bring the whole city to life,” said James Burke, the executive director of the festival. “We like to call ourselves New York City’s music festival for the people and by the people because all the performers are locals as well.”

The festival is on the summer solstice, June 21. Burke said the organization activates all its programs on two days, the winter solstice on Dec. 21 and the summer solstice. The summer event is the largest, with more than 1,000 free concerts in the city.

“Our mission is to celebrate the musician in all of us and connect New Yorkers to their communities with cool artistic creations and activate all the shared social spaces across all five boroughs of New York City,” said James Burke, the executive director of the festival.

Burke said the organizers reach out to local musicians and potential host venues such as botanical gardens and museums to participate in the festivals. The event is free for performers, venues and audiences alike.

“We invite musicians of all backgrounds, ages, skill level and musical genre and style to participate,” Burke said. “We’ve got everything from hip-hop and reggae to classical piano composition to rock ’n’ roll. So, just about any conceivable genre of music is represented as well as people who play instruments.”

Queens will feature a series of performances, listed online at makemusicny.org, including one by the ensemble Percussia at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights.

According to Ingrid Gordon, Percussia’s artistic director, the group performs contemporary classical music with global influences with percussion, harp, flutes and the viola. Their mission is to make modern classical music accessible to everyday people.

Gordon said the group is hoping to highlight the work of local talent in the concert. She also said the theme of Percussia’s concert will be a hybrid of immigration and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which they believe is something with which the community can relate.

“We’re just kind of hoping not only to attract people who may have heard about it but also to surprise people who happen to be passing by and to give their ear something fresh to listen to,” Gordon said.

‘Make Music New York’
When: Fri., June 21, various times
Where: Various locations
Entry: Free. (646) 657-9709,

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