Make Music


What is Make Music Hartford?

Make Music Hartford is a part of the international Make Music Day movement which brings free, community-wide, outdoor musical celebrations to hundreds of cities worldwide! Every year, the celebration is held on June 21, the summer solstice, in more than 800 communities around the world.   

Make Music Hartford will feature musicians of all abilities and music from any genre. Sidewalks, parks, front porches, and public spaces throughout the city will become stages for local musicians to perform and for all to enjoy. Everyone is invited to participate in this international day of music by performing, providing an outdoor space, appreciating, or volunteering. It’s all for the love of music! 

Make Music Hartford is brought to you by the Greater Hartford Arts Council as part of our mission to inspire all people to participate and invest in the arts.


Thank you to everyone who participated in Make Music Hartford 2018. 

We couldn’t have done it without the musicians, venues, partners, volunteers and community members who contributed their time, talent and passion for music and our region! 

Mark your calendars for the next Make Music Day: June 21, 2019



Make Music Hartford Kickoff Concert 

  • 8:00am – 10:00am Three performances in the Bushnell Plaza Sculpture Garden. Start your morning off right with a multi-genre concert downtown!

Free Lessons & Workshops

  • 10:00am – 10:30am: Bucket Drumming at the Bushnell Plaza Sculpture Garden. Drummer Kirk Woodard will give free bucket drumming lessons and lead the group in bucket drumming grooves. All are welcome! Presented with Vic Firth.
  • 11:00am – 11:45am: Brazilian Drumming Workshop at Trinity College with Eric Galm. Open to all ages and abilities. Enjoy and participate in Brazilian Samba music. 
  • 11:00am – 2:00pm: Harmonica Lessons at the Billings Forge Farmers’ Market with Tim Quinn. The first 100 people to attend the lessons get a free Hohner harmonica to take home!
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Hip Hop Lyric Writing Workshop and Cypher at Park Street library. Poet and actor LAUGH will guide you through lyric writing and a hip hop circle cypher. 
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm: Dance Workshop and Drumming at Ropkins library. Learn to move to the beats of Hartford’s Proud Drill, Drum & Dance. Catch a performance by the whole group!
  • 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Bucket Drumming at Barbour Street library. Drummer Kirk Woodard will give free bucket drumming lessons and lead the group in bucket drumming grooves. All are welcome! Presented with Vic Firth.
  • 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Free Beginner Guitar Workshop at TheaterWorks. Bring your guitar down to the theater for a free beginner lesson from guitarist Jeremy Galloway. 
  • 5:30pm – 8:00pm: Yoga Class and Kirtan Concert in Elizabeth Park. Vasu Studio and Hearts Wide Open Kirtan will host a free all levels yoga class followed by a Kirtan concert.

Play Along Events

  • 11:30am – 1:30pm: Community Jam Session in State House Square. Bring your instrument downtown and jam with the Art on the Streets House Band led by Mike Carabello. 
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Sing-Along in Bushnell Park. Sing, dance, clap and play along to familiar Latin songs including Guantanamera, Oye Como Va, La Bamba, and more. 
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: Dueling Drums on Bartholomew Ave. Parkville Sounds will host Dueling Drums outside their studio. Drummers, bring your sticks. Full back line available!
  • 1:00pm – 1:30pm: Kazoo Mass Appeal on Pratt Street. Join Chion Wolf in a gathering of kazoo players. Free kazoos for the first 100 people to participate! No musical experience required!
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Sousapalooza at Connecticut’s Old State House. Bring your brass and woodwind instruments and be a part of the group performing the songs of John Philip Sousa!
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Improvised Musical Comedy at the Camp Field library. The comedians of Hartford’s Sea Tea Improv will produce an on-the-spot, family friendly musical. Add your suggestion to the show. 
  • 2:15pm – 3:15pm: Singing of the Hallelujah Chorus at St.Patrick – St. Anthony. Calling all vocalists. Join the Hartford Chorale in a workshop and group singing of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. 
  • 4:45pm – 5:30pm: Guitar Jam Session at TheaterWorks. Guitar players of all skill levels are invited to join a guitar jam session hosted by Jeremy Galloway outside the theater. 

2018 Listings: Thursday, June 21st



Make Music Hartford is a program of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire all people to participate and invest in the arts. Help us make events like Make Music Hartford possible through a tax deductible donation!
Donate Today

Sponsorship Packages for Make Music Hartford 2019 are COMING SOON!

Thank you to our 2018 program partners for helping to make this musical celebration possible in Hartford!

Connecticut Office of the Arts
Blue State Coffee
Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Hartford Business Improvement District
Hog River Brewing
Home Depot – West Hartford
Parkville Sounds
Tapeworks, Inc.
Telefunken Elektroakustik
Trinity College Music Department
University of Hartford Hartt School Community Division
Vasu Studio
Yelp Hartford


Make Music Hartford is a part of a Make Music Connecticut, an initiative supported and convened by the Connecticut Office of the Arts




Special thanks to the volunteer photographers who helped capture Make Music Hartford in photos and videos: 

  • Andres Calixto
  • Dwight Hatch
  • Evan Thomas
  • Haley Comstock
  • Heather Martin
  • Joseph Engberg
  • Steve Carlsberg


Bundle up and get ready to make some music with us this December 21! 

Make Music Winter is a free, outdoor, participatory musical event that turns audiences into music makers. Since 2011, it has been organized in New York City each December 21 – the shortest day of the year – open for all to join. This year, we’re bringing the musical party to Hartford!

Downtown Caroling Parade

Musicians: Music Moves Hartford “Downtown Singers” and the Hartford Hot Several Brass Band
Date: December 21, 2018
Time: 12:30pm – 1:00pm 
Location: Beginning outside Christ Church Cathedral (45 Church Street), ending at City Place (185 Asylum Street)
How to Join: Be a part of the parade! Anyone is welcome to join the parade. Repertoire to be announced soon!

Hartford’s Winter Solstice Jazz Trail

Celebrate the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, with a showcase of jazz music across downtown Hartford. Up-and-coming jazz musicians will team up with local jazz legends to create a trail of swingin’ music that’s not to be missed. No Cover! Drink specials at each venue!

Date: December 21, 2018

5pm – 5:45pm: City Steam Brewery featuring Dan Liparini (942 Main Street)
6pm – 6:45pm: Chango Rosa featuring Damian Curtis (1 Union Place)
7pm – 7:45pm: The Rocking Horse Saloon featuring Andrew Wilcox (181 Ann Uccello Street)
8pm – 8:45pm: The Russian Lady featuring Peter Greenfogel (191 Ann Uccello Street)
9pm – 11pm: The Tavern Downtown featuring Sarah Hanahan (201 Ann Uccello Street). Jazz Jam Session begins at 10pm. Musicians bring your instruments! 

Check out the Facebook Event Page for Make Music Hartford: Winter Edition!



Make Music Hartford Cocktail Trail

June 19, 2018

The Greater Hartford Arts Council/Make Music Hartford has partnered with local restaurants to share the excitement of Make Music Hartford through cocktails! Bartenders and mixologists are finding inspiration in music for their Make Music Hartford signature cocktails…or should we say rocktails! On June 21st you can enjoy music all around the city and stop byContinue Reading »

The Make Music Hartford T-Shirt Design is Here!

May 23, 2018

The Greater Hartford Arts Council issued a call for designs for the Make Music Hartford 2018 T-shirt. We are excited to announce the winning design by Jesse Torres. You’ll see Make Music Hartford staff, volunteers, and some Spotlight Event leaders wearing Jesse’s design on June 21st. We had a chat with Jesse to learn more aboutContinue Reading »

Making Music in Hartford: Chion Wolf

May 9, 2018

Get ready for Hartford’s Kazoo parade. That’s right, we’re going to fill Pratt Street with the sound of 100 kazoos during Make Music Hartford. Chion Wolf, known for your voice on WNPR and her hosting skills for a number of events around Hartford, will be leading the pack. Let’s get to know a little moreContinue Reading »

Older Entries »


Hartford Courant:Hartford Joins Global Make Music Day with Concerts Around the City” (June 21, 2018)

Hartford Courant:Music to Fill the Streets as Connecticut Joins Global Make Music Day” (June 18, 2018)

USA Today:Where to Celebrate Make Music Day Across the Country” (June 15, 2018)

Patch:Free Concerts Set for Make Music Day in West Hartford” (June 15, 2018)

Billboard Magazine:Make Music Day To Return This Summer With More Than 4,500 Concerts” (April 4, 2018)

Rolling Stone:‘Make Music Day’ Plots 4,500 Free Events, Concerts Nationwide” (April 3, 2018)

National Make Music Day Press Release:Make Music Day 2018 Returns On Thursday, June 21” (March 28, 2018)

Hartford Courant:Connecticut to Join Global Make Music Day” (March 14, 2018)

WILI 95.3 FM, Windham Arts Radio Review: Interview with Aaron Friedman of the Make Music Alliance (February 28, 2018)

Make Music Alliance: “Media Resources



Get in touch with us…

Amanda Roy
Community Programs Manager
Greater Hartford Arts Council