Make Music


Organizers need you to make some music

Statesman Journal May 15th 

Make Music Day is coming up in June, and Mark Green wrote to Holding Court to drum up a little more interest. (Bah-dum-tsh.)

To familiarize you with Make Music Day, it is a one-day event where free,
live musical performances, opportunities to make music and other musical
events take place around the world on June 21, which is the longest day of the year.

Salem’s Make Music Day organizers are looking for more musicians to get involved. Green said that 113 bands/performers and 32 venues are already on board, and they are looking for more. It’s looking like this year’s edition will eclipse 2017, when 120 performers took part.

Professional or amateur — anyone is invited. The cutoff to sign up is Thursday, June 7. Organizers are also looking for additional volunteers, venue locations, sponsors and donors. 

Want to get involved? Go to and click on “Participate.”

That’s because it’s Make Music Day, and Salem is celebrating with outdoor music for the second year.

Make Music Day is a free global celebration of making music that takes place on the longest day of the year, June 21. In Salem, it has been recognized through an official proclamation by Mayor Chuck Bennett and the city of Salem.

During Make Music Salem, attendees can hear a variety of genres of music from alternative to bluegrass, classical to zydeco. The locations are as varied as the music, from the Capitol to Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, The Space and along several downtown streets.

While there is no headline show, there are some bigger bands playing, such as M69’s (5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m., Electric Alley Stage,  249 Liberty St. NE)  and City of Pieces (4 to 5 p.m., Barnwood Naturals, 110 Union St.) 

In addition to more than 100 artists performing at over 25 venues throughout Salem, this year’s event will include a variety of interactive “mass appeal” activities including boomwackers, beatbox jam, bucket drumming, guitar jam, harmonica jam and ukulele jam.

In the alley between Commercial and Liberty streets running from Chemeketa through to State Street, there will be activities happening in each section, including a Silent Disco that will wrap up the evening from 10 to 11 p.m. in the alley next to Venti’s Cafe/Court Street Dairy.

“Make Music Day is a fun and engaging way of bringing together our local community,” said committee member Carlee Wright. “It will highlight the uniqueness of Salem from its venues to its music as it encourages social connectivity and community engagement.”

If you go

When: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 21

Where: Throughout the city, with an emphasis in downtown Salem

Cost: There is no cost to attend or participate

For more information: Find the full schedule of performers at


Make Music Day Salem 2017

After experiencing Make Music Salem 2016 last year, I could not wait for the next one to come around. And here we are – Make Music Salem 2017 is upon us. If you were downtown for last year’s event, you know what a magical and community-building event it was. Salem broke all the records for participation with over 70 bands and 15 venues, and we’re on track to shatter those numbers this year. But first, a little background.


“Make Music Day” is an all-day music festival that always occurs on June 21st – the Summer Solstice. It started in France in 1982, and there are a few rules. All performances must be outside (weather permitting) and must be free to the public. France’s Fête De La Musique has since spread worldwide to over 700 cities in 120 countries. New York was the first city in the US to celebrate this musical tradition, about 10 years ago. Since then, the festival has spread to over 30 cities nationwide. Last year was Salem’s hugely successful inaugural event. The National Make Music Alliance that organizes Make Music Day in the U.S., has recognized Salem’s event as the most successful launch in their 12-year history. Not too shabby, Salem.

M69s – Photo: Barry Morris


Photo by Frank Miller

Make Music Day was brought to Salem in 2016 by Mark Green (RiverCity Rock Academy), Carlee Wright (TedX, Moxie Initiative), and Doug Hoffman (The Space, City of Pieces). This is an all-volunteer endeavor and is a fiscally-sponsored organization through the efforts of Pioneer Trust and the Salem Foundation, which allows donations to be tax-deductible. They organize all the activities and take all responsibility for licenses, insurance, software, staging, equipment, and promotional materials through donations from the community. In short, there’s still time to volunteer, donate, and/or sponsor.

This year’s team has expanded to include Brian Hart, Karen Green, Danielle Green, Katy Ohsiek and yours truly. It takes quite an effort to pull this off, especially given this year’s numbers, which currently stand at 112 performers and 28 venues all concentrated in the downtown core. Those are numbers that make Salem’s event the largest Make Music Day on the West coast before Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland. Those are numbers that has gotten the attention of the international organization! Salem has been recognized by representatives of the French government, and Salem will be featured in an upcoming video recognizing Make Music Day around the world, along with Salem’s own Hot Sheets. AND, if that wasn’t enough (and don’t you think it oughta be?) our own City of Salem and Mayor Chuck Bennett recognized in a proclamation that June 21st is officially Make Music Day Salem. The only thing that was missing were the trumpets and unfurling heraldry.


The 113 performers this year are predominantly from Salem, with some representation from Corvallis, Eugene, and Portland. They’ll be representing a wide range of genres and abilities. Anywhere from first time performers to seasoned veterans; from Montessori students to a 90-year-old singer/tap dancer. It is an inclusive and nurturing environment fueled by our community. It really does provide a place for amateurs to test the water. Last year, Hot Sheets played their very first song at Make Music Salem and now they’re gigging just like they always knew how.


Photo by Frank Miller

In addition to musical performances, there will be free music lessons – what they call, “Mass Appeal” events. This year there will be lessons and jams including harmonica, guitar, ukulele, bucket drumming, beat boxing, and boomwhackers (google that). There will be free harmonicas, boomwhackers, drumsticks, and lesson books for those in attendance, while supplies last. There really is something for everyone at this event.


Make Music Salem is on Wednesday, June 21st from 10am to 10pm. Yes, it’s a Wednesday, so you’ll want to take the day off, call in sick, or quit. It’s all outside and mostly in the downtown core. This year I’m an organizer, so I’ll most likely be fairly busy. But last year I was a spectator and found it very helpful to pack an umbrella to make your own shade or keep off the drizzle (it is NOT going to rain). Last year was perfectly sunny, and I appreciated having the umbrella to keep the sun from beating down on my head. Bring a refillable container for water. Consider taking the bus in or riding your bike. I rode my bike last year and it was very helpful to be able to zip around and see as many performances as I could. Or on the other hand, bring some camping chairs and pick your favorite stage and soak it all in. No matter what, you’ll be in our beautiful downtown with lots of restaurants and venues that helped make this happen. You won’t starve.


As of press time 6/6/2017, we have two more weeks to get all performers placed and confirmed. And performers: you will be placed. Please know that everyone who signed up will get to play. We promise. Again, we’ve still got two weeks so this schedule presented is not final. The best resource is the website. You can download the Make Music Day app or go to keep updated on the progress and to see where your favorites and new favorites are playing on the day of. See you downtown – June 21st.


Make Music, Salem!

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than excited about Make Music Day Salem coming around again. Last year’s event was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had in Salem. And I’ve lived here a long, long time. It was so good the City of Salem bestowed their “Distinguished Project Award” upon organizers Mark Green, Doug Hoffman, Carlee Wright and Brian Hart. (You may recognize Mark Green from RiverCity Rock Academy, Doug Hoffman from the wildly popular nightclub The Space Concert Club, and Brian Hart and Carlee Wright from bringing TedTalks to Salem, among many other things.) In fact, the head organizers for the North American organization said that Salem had the most successful first year. And yeah…it was amazing.

Ok, wait. Maybe you missed it last year, so let’s get you caught up. Make Music Day is an all-day music festival which started in France in 1982 and occurs on the Summer Solstice, June 21st, each year. France’s Fête De La Musique has since spread worldwide to 700 cities in 120 countries, even into the United States. New York was the first city to bring this holiday to life in the States about 10 years ago. Since then the festival has spread to over 30 cities in the US. Salem again joins the celebration on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. It is a one-day event where free, live musical performances in Salem are part of a global celebration of music.

Again, Salem’s event last year was off the chain. There ended up being over 70 performers participating in over 30 venues around town. There was literally music everywhere. My personal favorite were the performances that took place in the alleyways later on at night. The people of Salem didn’t want it to end. Citizens were involved with their city and I heard more than once, “Why doesn’t this happen more than once a year?” So far, it doesn’t. So mark Wednesday, June 21st on your calendar and don’t miss it.

This works best when everybody participates. The festival needs venues, performers and volunteers to make this another amazing event. It doesn’t matter what skill level—everyone is welcome: solo performers, bands, DJs, school choirs and bands, orchestras—EVERYBODY. Please join in the celebration and sign up early so you can be added to the posters and t-shirts. Please go to and click on the “Participate” link. The website is pretty slick and does much of the work for you. It matches up bands and venues depending on parameters that you set. It’s like a music matchmaker for Salem.

This year the festival will be even more focused on the downtown area. Pack a picnic lunch, load up your bike and don’t forget your umbrella for rain or shine. Salem will be out in the streets celebrating the solstice and our shared gift of music.

Join Salem’s Make Music Day celebration, be part of a global event

Carol McAlice Currie , Statesman Journal Published 10:18 p.m. PT Feb. 28, 2017 | Updated 10:00 a.m. PT March 1, 2017

(Photo: MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal)

Last year, Salem’s participation in Make Music Day dwarfed Portland’s effort and its organizers hope to do the same this year.

The 2nd Annual Make Music Day celebration will be held this year on June 21, the longest day of the year, said organizers Brian Hart and Mark Green. The event started in the ’80s inspired by France’s Fete de la Musique, and is now held in more than 800 cities worldwide including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

Salem rocked it last year with more than 70 performers, 150 performances, 30 host venues and an attendance of between 8,000 to 9,000 people. “We hope to have more than that this year in every category,” Hart said. The day-into-nightlong event is for all ages, and it’s free to perform and free to attend though organizers know it’s not free to stage. Any and all donations are appreciated. “This year, we’d really like to get school choirs, bands and orchestras to participate even though we know school is out by then,” Green said. “We want them to be recognized for their efforts.” They’d also like to expand the types of musicians and performers, Hart said. “We’d love to get drum circles going, Mariachi bands playing and other forms of musicians joining in.”Last year, some of the performance venues included downtown merchants and the Capitol steps. Both Green and Hart said they’re promoting the event early to help performers get the most bang for their non buck (remember, there is no charge to perform or attend). “There is no charge, but you do need to register if you want to perform,” Hart said. “The earlier you register, the more publicity you’ll get,” Green added. To participate in the all-volunteer event, go online to

Global phenomenon Make Music Day comes to Salem June 21

Statesman Journal – June 15, 2016

Read more:

Global phenomenon Make Music Day comes to Salem June 21

Salem will join a worldwide phenomenon on the summer solstice. The city’s streets, alleys, sidewalks, parking lots and public spaces will resound with the joyful noise of Make Music Day on Tuesday, June 21.

A child plays harmonica on Make Music Day 2015 in San Diego, California. Salem joins the worldwide Make Music Day with musical performances throughout downtown on June 21 including a harmonica event. (Photo: Jerod Harris / Getty Images)

From Peace Plaza at Salem Public Library to Salem Cinema and from the Oregon State Capitol to the Boys & Girls Club of West Salem, roughly 30 venues will host music events. Performances begin around 10:30 a.m. Over the lunch hour and into the night, more musicians will join the fun.

More than 100 bands and singers of all ages and abilities will perform big band, folk, hard rock, soul, hip-hop, country and music of all styles. Mark Green, co-organizer of Salem’s event, said, “There will be something for everyone.”

The best thing: It’s all free.

“Three principals of Make Music Day: It needs to be free; nobody can be charged. Nobody can get paid. Music must be outside, unless it rains,” Green said. “That’s what’s beautiful about it.

“Make Music Day started in France in 1982. The idea was musicians should get outside and play music on the first day of summer, the solstice. It’s all over Europe. In France, it’s an official kind of holiday or celebration.”

This year, more than 725 cities in more than 120 countries will participate.

“This makes a lot of sense for our town with the incredible talent we have. It’s a great way to kick the summer off,” Green said.

There will be interactive and family-friendly activates for all ages. At 5 p.m. on the Capitol steps, volunteers will pass out 100 free harmonicas, teach the basics and lead a jam session. At 6 p.m. at ABC Music, Ukuleles Fans of Oregon will offer an interactive demonstration.

At 7 p.m. on the Capitol steps, ’60s garage rock band The Kingsmen will perform. The band invites audience members to bring instruments and join in performing “Louie Louie.”

For information and a full schedule, go to or download the Make Music Day app. To contact the coordinators, email

Join Tom and Carlee for a musical stroll

You’re invited to join Tom and Carlee’s CAFE — Community Arts for Everyone — for the action. Statesman Journal reporters Tom Mayhall Rastrelli and Carlee Wright will lead a walk to hear five styles of music in just over an hour.

Meet us at the Statesman Journal building at the corner of Court and Church streets shortly before 6 p.m. by the DJ playing music. We’ll be wearing pink.

At 6 p.m., we’ll walk to Ranch Records to hear the bluegrass and indie-folk songs of Whiskey Priest. From there we’ll head to 1859 Cider Co. to hear the pop tunes of Pending Black, followed by Two Man Bob (folk) at Reed Opera House Alley and Human Ottoman at the 400 block of State Street. We’ll close the evening by walking to the Capitol to hear Kingsmen (rock) at 7 p.m.

We hope to see you there., 503-983-6030, and on Twitter @RastrelliSJ

Rue Brown performs in Brooklyn, New York, on Make Music Day 2015. Salem will join the worldwide Make Music Day with musical performances throughout downtown on June 21. (Photo: Jemal Countess / Getty Images)

If you go

What: Make Music Day

Where: Venues throughout downtown Salem and West Salem

When: 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 21

Admission: Free

Information and performance schedule:, 




Philip Glass, Kingsmen to Participate in Global Make Music Day

 Rolling Stone – April 14, 2016

Read more:

Philip Glass, members of the Kingsmen and Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase will partake in three of the thousands of events planned for the annual, global Make Music Day on June 21st.

Over 35 cities in the United States, plus the entire state of Vermont, will host Make Music events, which are free and open to the public. Founded in 1982 in France, Make Music encourages people everywhere to pick up instruments through an eclectic mix of pre-planned and spontaneous, all-inclusive performances. Make Music will also host hundreds of Mass Appeals, where musicians are invited to gather and perform in large, single-instrument groups.

Glass, the esteemed composer, is set to take the stage at Riverside Park where he and 19 students from New York City’s public schools will perform pieces from hisEtudes for piano. Meanwhile at New York’s Madison Square Park, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Chase will lead a performance of his new piece, “Shimmer,” which was scored for 16 or more Zildjian cymbals; troupes in Boston, Chicago and Nashville will also perform the piece. And on the West Coast, members of rock & roll pioneers the Kingsmen will perform their 1963 classic “Louie Louie” on the steps of the Oregon capitol building in Salem.

Among the other Make Music events is a country-wide competition for woodwind, brass and string players to play the fastest, most accurate version of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” (participants can enter through a special free version of SmartMusic). In Chicago, Cleveland and New York, brass and wind musicians will gather for another Sousapalooza, playing the tunes of marching band maestro John Philip Sousa. And in Auburn, Alabama, high school marching bands, drum lines, community choirs and others will gather for a rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

In Bangalore, Budapest, Munich, Tel Aviv, New York and Los Angeles, Found Sound Nation and the audio products company Harman will set up “Street Studios” in public spaces and invite passersby to participate in improvised sessions. And baseball fans attending the Staten Island Yankees’ minor league game and the collegiate Madison Mallards’ game in Madison, Wisconsin will partake in mass performances of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” using boomwhackers, which are pitched hollow pipes made of plastic.

A complete list of participating cities as well as a rundown of Make Music events across the world is available to peruse on the event’s website.

Salem Weekly/ – March 17, 2016

Hey Salem – Make Music!

Hey Salem – Make Music!

Hey Salem – Make Music!

Hey Salem – Make Music by Julie Eaton

I am ever amazed and inspired by the many people in Salem who are diligently working to build our community. Two such folks are Mark Green and Carlee Wright. The directors of RiverCity Rock Star Academy and The Moxie Initiative, respectively, they are bringing an ambitious project to Salem called “Make Music Day.” This is an all day music festival which started in France in 1982 that occurs on the Summer Solstice, June 21st, each year. France’s Fête De La Musique has since spread worldwide to 700 cities in 120 countries, even into the United States. New York was the first city to bring this holiday to life in the States about 10 years ago. Since then the festival has spread to over 30 cities in the US. Actually, Salem will be the 30th city – only a year behind Portland, organizer Carlee Wright noted.

Make Music Salem will happen on Tuesday, June 21st and will be a free, all day, citywide event for venues and musicians of every stripe. Organizer Mark Green also envisions school orchestras, bands and choirs getting involved. There is no requirement to participate except the love of music and community. The Summer Solstice has always been significant to humans throughout history.  If the Druids could build Stonehenge, Salem can get out and celebrate music together, don’t you think? Yes.

“Make Music North America” is sponsored by The NAMM Foundation which “celebrates and promotes the intrinsic value of music education.” You see, this won’t only be a festival of musicians playing at various venues around town, there will also be drop in style music lessons at designated locations as well. For example, ABC Music will have scheduled ukulele lessons, and will provide the instruments for all interested. Several venues have already pledged to take part including The Historic Grand Theatre, The Space, Magoo’s Sports Bar and The Capitol building steps, to name a few. This is a few months away, so there is plenty of time to sign up – whether you are a venue, a house party or a performer. And they’ve made it incredibly easy to get involved.

Go to, click the ‘participate’ tab and register. Performers can create a profile by submitting a photo, description of their act, and any relevant website/social media links. Then check out the available venues and bid on one that fits your needs. The venue will confirm your request, and you’re good to go. Venues also create a profile by submitting their location information and a description of their space. They can peruse the musician profiles to request a performance, or welcome musicians to bid on your space independently. It’s a pretty slick concept, and it works.

Please note that everybody is encouraged to participate. Solo acts, school groups, DJs, full on bands and groups of every genre – everyone is welcome. I want to see Salem get behind Make Music Salem for its inaugural event. There are many forces at work in this world to divide us, let’s show the world that Salem will come together as a community for an annual festival celebrating music and our commitment to each other. Cheers!

Statesman Journal – February 24, 2016

Make Salem Sing – Circle June 21 on the calendar

That’s the day organizers behind Make Music Day hope Salem will be among the most tuneful cities in North America. The idea is a simple one: To celebrate the summer solstice, musicians of all kinds will be invited to perform free at various locations in town.  Both amateur and professional music makers from our area will be joining like-minded (and like-talented) musicians playing in more than 750 cities worldwide, a global celebration of live music.

All musical styles are welcome, from alternative rock to zydeco, said  Mark Green, co-founder of the River City Rock Star Academy. “We want every genre you can think of.” All ages are welcome, as well. “We want to reach out to school choirs and bands now,” Mark said. Performance spaces will range from the steps of the Capitol to Grand Theater to anywhere imaginable. Think a musical smorgasbord. What’s needed at this point are potential outdoor venues to host performers and volunteers to perform. To express interest in hosting or performing , visit