Back for the first time in 3 years, Make Music Madison is running throughout the city! This city-wide event features an outdoor day of music held annually on the summer solstice. Musicians, rappers, and instrumentalists of all kinds are invited to partake in these events and register to be matched with venues within the city. With local musicians performing at over 100 different locations in Madison, anyone can pop in to celebrate the summer solstice with live music.

Though Make Music Madison is based within the city, it is just one part of an international summer solstice music celebration. This celebration first took place in 1982 in France and was known as the “Fête de la Musique.” This day grew to be so widespread in France that the country now shuts down on every summer solstice and the musicians take over.

Make Music Day made its North American debut about 15 years ago in New York City. Since its birth, International Make Music Day has spread to over 1000 cities and 120 different countries. Now these cities annually carry out the original goal of the French celebration: free, live music everywhere.

Like so many other venues, Madison Senior Center will be hosting some musicians for the first time ever. The festivities will begin on Tuesday, June 21 at 10 AM and will continue until 2 PM. Join us in the courtyard during this time for three distinct sounds:

Harmonica Hour 10 – 11 AM

Harmonica Hour consists of Dewayne Keyes on the Harmonica and Doug Barrette on guitar. Like an old radio show with songs, stories, and jokes! From Americana folk, blues, old country, to Bob Dylan and The Beatles. This duo has performed over 1000 shows in the area and has proven to be a fan favorite.

Mtrane Plus 11:30 – 12:30 PM

Mtrane Plus plays a blend of jazz and rhythm and blues with percussion overtones. All band members play multiple instruments. They are the house band for Spoken Word, played at four Kwanzaa celebrations at Olbrich Gardens, and have played at religious events in Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago.

Bear in the Forest 1 – 2 PM

The songs of Bear in the Forest (BITF) howl with spiritualism. They are built around folk music in the oldest, barest sense: joy and pain and a guitar coming together to produce sounds that resonate with ancestral memory.

While all of these performers bring very different energy, they all work to ensure that Make Music Madison is possible. Other musicians ranging from folk singers to rappers to indie-rockers will be located throughout the city and will be creating music from 8 AM to 9 PM. Be sure to check out the Make Music Madison comprehensive schedule page to see who is performing and where:

For more information on Make Music Madison and International Make Music Day, access these websites:

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This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Madison Senior Center and a link back to the original post.