Make Music


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Make Music Day Durham is a day-long, free, “do it yourself” celebration of participatory music making taking place in various locations in Durham on June 21st every year. This event already happens in over 120 countries worldwide, and in over 70 US cities.

We encourage participation from all ages and abilities, and all musical styles. It could be a solo guitar on a front porch, fiddlers in a brewery, or 100 singers in front of an office building. The emphasis is on outdoor gatherings of similar instruments or styles, like massed guitars, ukes, drums, or harmonicas all jamming together, or walk-up circles of a specific style – hip-hop, old time, bluegrass, jazz, blues, rock, etc. Anyone can join in.

The best part is that you can create whatever you want! This website functions like a dating app, with places for both locations and musicians to sign up. All Make Music Day Durham will do is curate, and make sure the matches meet the regulations of the town of Durham, and the mission of Make Music Day.

Our lofty goal is to inspire more locals to express themselves with music, and give them an annual holiday to celebrate just that!

Although this celebration happens in Durham, it is not limited to residents. We invite music enthusiasts from everywhere to participate by performing, attending or volunteering. Please join us on the summer solstice as part of an international event with its heart and soul in our local community!

Blaise Kielar is spearheading Make Music Day Durham 2019. He has served Triangle musicians since 1978, first with a violin shop in Chapel Hill, then as founder of Music Explorium, Electric Violin Shop and Bulltown Strutters. He and his wife Cathy are both certified Drum Circle Facilitators, and, since 2002, have hosted public musical events, many co-sponsored by local Parks & Rec Departments. He has always sought to empower music making in a wide group, even those who think they “can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”

Starting an annual Make Music Day Durham would allow our community to expand how it perceives music, and take one day a year to visibly encourage both professionals and ordinary folks to come out and play.

Anyone in Durham can offer to host an event in their outdoor or indoor space, private or commercial. Make Music Day Durham has rented Durham Central Park as a focal point.

Friday June 21 – Noon to Midnight. This coincides with Durham’s Third Friday Art Walk for June, and with 1000’s of musical gatherings around the world.  Check out the national website –


On the national level, Make Music Day is sponsored by
American Composers Forum
Drum Corps International
Hohner harmonicas
Kala ukuleles
MakeMusic notation software
Martin Guitar
Music Performance Trust Fund
NAMM Foundation
Vic Firth drumsticks
Zildjian cymbals

In Durham, we are now seeking local sponsors, media partners, cultural organizations, civic entities, and donors, as well as volunteers to help things run smoothly.


Durham 150

Music Explorium

To hop on board, please email us –


As a city-wide participatory event, Make Music Day Durham relies on YOU to make it happen! Our website functions like a dating app. 


If you are a vocalist, instrumentalist , play in a band, conduct a chorus, band or orchestra, or just have an idea for a cool musical gathering, you will register, then enter your details and availability at


If you run a café, restaurant or club, have a porch or a front yard garden, have stairs or a public area in front of your business, or can offer your school yard, etc., and you are willing to offer a free, all-ages venue,  go to the same link to register, then enter your details to host events –


As we receive requests, Make Music Day Durham will match players with venues, ideas with locations, while trying to offer some unified theme or a way for those who walk up to join in. This is a DIY, grassroots co-creation of everyone in Durham – all neighborhoods and musical styles are encouraged to sign up! It is completely FREE, and all-inclusive. Preference is given to those with an outdoor public space, with an indoor rain backup area.



What is Make Music Day?

March 21, 2019

Not a music festival, yet there will be bands playing outdoors Not a street fair, yet performances occur on street corners & in parks Not music in the usual clubs, yet they can be part of the scene Not a drum circle, yet you can join jams of many different instruments Not an open mic,Continue Reading »

Durham 150 Grant

March 20, 2019

We are grateful to receive one of the first 26 grants given by Durham 150. They and Discover Durham share our vision of a new kind of annual musical event in Durham. Come play with your neighbors on June 21.