Make Music


Group of 3 child musicians perform with an adult guitarist surrounded by smoke and cool lighting.

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 1,000 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, as well as virtual spaces, 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.


Trio of jazz musicians performing in a pub on bass guitar, drums and guitar

Make Music Hartford returns on June 21, 2021!

Make Music Day was founded on the notion that music has the power to bring people together. In times joy and hardship, both active and passive participation in music is healing. As society slowly returns to a (new) normal, we wanted to take the opportunity bring our community together to heal.

After an unprecedented year for us all, and an especially difficult one for the creative sector and small businesses that comprise our community, we’re excited to announce that registration is now open! By following municipal, state, and federal guidelines on safety, we are planning a hybrid selection of in-person and virtual activities because trust us, we want to get out and play just as much as you do, but we want to keep everyone safe. All the more reason to come back strong in 2022!

How Can You Participate?

Register to perform or host a performance here!

National Projects & Spotlight Events:

World’s Smallest Marching Band

Individual or small groups of brass, percussion and wind players parade through city parks, playing music on the go to people listening from inside and outside the park. March musicians bring musical joy in a year when live music is just beginning to return to “normal”. 

Parks that are signed up to participate: Bushnell Park, Riverfront Recapture (any of their 4 parks), Keney Park. Bands are welcome to march at one or more parks. 

Flowerpot Music

Last year, we helped premiere a virtual rendition of Flowerpot Music, written by award-winning composer Elliot Cole and directed by percussionist Peter Ferry. The composition is for an unlikely but beautiful percussion instrument – the flowerpot! Bell-like tones are passed from performer to performer in improvised gestures called “blooms” that sweep through the group. The piece is written in simple prose, and can be performed by non-musicians and musicians alike. 

This year, Anthony DeQuattro and Savana Jones will be leading in-person performances! Locations TBA.


A gathering of musicians of all skill levels to sight read and perform John Philip Sousa marching band music. Musicians do not rehearse together ahead of times and in most cases, will have never met prior to June 21st. Registration will open as soon as a conductor is secured to lead the group. Musicians are welcome to just show up and perform, but we do ask for registration to assure all instruments are covered. This year, Sousapalooza will march on at Riverfront Mortensen Plaza!


The experts at Bash the Trash have graced us with videos and printable instructions for 7 instruments (see here), all you have to do is gather the materials (for as many or few options as you want!). Great for kids and families, but several of these instruments (like the Diddley Bow) are quite fun for adults too! Make music with found sounds at Free Center!


Musicians learn, rearrange, and record themselves covering other musicians’ work and debut their video for Make Music Day. Matches can be made locally or nationally. All interested musicians who are interested register here by May 31!

Other events include…

  • Window Serenades (more info)
  • Interactive Drumming at Free Center with Bob Bloom and Arnaldo Rivera
  • Jam Session at Keney Park with Mike Carabello
  • Beginner guitar lessons at Hartford Public Library (Camp Field branch) with XY Eli
  • Classical Indian music workshop at the Hartford Public Library (Main branch) with Sarada Nori

You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what we share!


Souls of' Zion perform with lead singer Prince at the center.

Make Music Hartford 2021 Sponsors

Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee


Make Music Hartford 2021 Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

Your support makes programs like Make Music Hartford possible. Discover branding opportunities for your company and help us connect people through music.
Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact Roxane Sanders rsanders[at]


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.
Donate Today

Thank you to the Make Music Hartford 2021 Committee

  • Zoe Chatfield
  • Jose Camacho
  • Charmagne Glass-Tripp
  • Kyle Grimm
  • Carrie Hammond

Are you interested in helping us plan Make Music Hartford? Contact city administrator, Amanda Roy, for more information on how you can be involved.



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

  • Denis Semenyaka
  • Dana Lynne Montanari
  • Ron White
  • Ray Shaw
  • Andres Calixto
  • Dwight Hatch
  • Evan Thomas
  • Haley Comstock
  • Heather Martin
  • Joseph Engberg
  • Steve Carlsberg


Scott’s Jamaican Bakery: Faces of #MakeMusicHartford

June 19, 2019

“We bake with love” is the motto for Scotts’ Jamaican Bakery. What more could you ask for in a longtime local business? For over 40 years, the Scott family bakery has been a staple in capital region cuisine with what started with one flagship bakery that expanded into three total branches. It only made sense toContinue Reading »

Nelson Bello: Faces of #MakeMusicHartford

June 17, 2019

Nelson Bello has certainly made the rounds. As an alumnus of both the original Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and a student of Jackie McLean, Nelson has made a career out of collaborating. In addition to being an active recording artist, he serves as both accompanist and bandleader in several groups in the regionalContinue Reading »

Kirk Woodard: Faces of Make Music Hartford

June 16, 2019

If you’ve made it out to Black-Eyed Sally’s for a Jazz Monday, chances are you’ve seen Kirk play. If you’ve attended events with a jazz trio, your chances are even higher. Essentially, Kirk is one of Hartford’s go-to drummers for all things jazz. Having just graduated from The Hartt School’s inaugural Master of Music inContinue Reading »

Older Entries »


Hartford Courant:Sounds of summer: Hartford’s Make music 2019 celebration had the city singing” (June 21, 2019) 

WTNH: Make Music Hartford Bigger Than Ever ” (June 20, 2019) 

Hartford Courant:Make Music Hartford Celebrating the winter solstice with parade, concerts, drink specials at area bars” (December 17, 2018)

National Make Music Winter Press Release: Make Music Winter to Expand Nationwide This December 21” (October 17, 2018)

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



Amanda Roy playing the drums.

Get in touch with us…

Amanda Roy
Director of Community Impact
Greater Hartford Arts Council