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 be a catalyst for the arts.
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 and celebratory.
Community came together to make music on June 21, 2022
2022 Spotlight Events:
Were you in marching band in school or do you play a brass or woodwind instrument? Get together with a group of friends and strangers to play the music of The March King, John Philip Sousa! You won’t want to miss being a part of the band or seeing the performance!
Learn basic rhythm patterns and make music with buckets. Drummer Jimmy Gavagan will lead lessons.
Drumsticks and buckets will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own to make the group bigger. Anyone is welcome to participate. No drumming or musical experience necessary! Drumstick and bucket giveaways! Promark drumsticks generously donated by D’Addario
Time: 2pm – 3pm Location: Barbour Street Branch of Hartford Public Library, 261 Barbour Street, Hartford, CT Leader: Jimmy Gavagan
Enjoy the low sounds of multiple upright bass players gathered together. Bassist Matt Dwonszyk will arrange music for upright bass players in a sight that will be worth seeing and hearing. Celebrate the centennial of jazz bass legend Charles Mingus for the 2022 return of Basses Loaded.
Time: 3pm-4pm Location: Old State House Lead Musician: Matt Dwonszyk
Hip Hop Workshop with Blessings Divine:
Write a song and build an instrumental track with Blessings Divine. Blessings Divine is a conscious Hip Hop MC, musician and dancer. A rapper known for his insightful and uplifting messages, he continues to reach a universal audience with his rhymes.
Time: 3pm – 3:45pm Location: Albany Branch of Hartford Public Library, 1250 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT Leader: Blessings Divine
Latin Music and Dance Lessons
Dance or learn to dance alongside the sounds of the Nelson Bello Quartet. Live Latin music with plenty of room for dancing. Free dance instruction by Nector Garcia. All are welcome! No dance experience needed to participate. Not ready to dance? You can still enjoy the music!
Time: 2pm – 3pm Location: Park Street Library @ the Lyric, 603 Park Street, Hartford, CT
Lead Musician: Nelson Bello Dance Instruction: Nector Garcia
Steel Pan Drum Lessons
The sounds of the islands are coming to Make Music Hartford! Learn the basics of how to plan steel pan drums. No experience needed! With beginner steel pan drums generously loaned by Panyard, you’ll be jamming in no time! Everyone is welcome to take a lesson and experience the beautiful sounds of the steel pan drum.
Time: 2pm – 3pm Location: Downtown Branch of Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT Leader: Kelvin Griffin
Take A Drum Ride:
The entire audiences get their hands around BOB BLOOM’s huge cargo of conga, djembe, doumbek, tubano, and bongo drums to launch rock & roll and salsa songs with high-octane beats. Everyone plays. BB’s participatory drumming has rollicked with lots of people at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and at the First Night Celebrations in Hartford, Westport, Worcester, Providence, and Boston
Time: 2pm – 3pm Location: Dwight Branch of Hartford Public Library, 7 New Park Avenue, Hartford, CT Leader: Bob Bloom
Musical Improv Social:
Come by the studios from 6pm to 10pm to learn fun musical improv games and to jam out together using different instruments! Make Music Day is about more than just the appreciation of music, it aims to empower people to make it themselves. So don’t be shy, this will be a laidback and supportive environment, perfect for trying something new! 6 to 7 will be social hour and free range of any instruments. At 7 we will warm up and get into musical games and improv. We’ll end with a jam and people are welcome to chill as long as they’d like. For instruments we will have a piano, bongos, maracas, 2 guitars, a ukulele, a harp, 2 xylophones, a violin, and a looper. Come try something out!
Time: 6pm – 10pm Location: Sea Tea Comedy Theatre, 11 Asylum Street Suite 402, Hartford, CT Leader: Sea Tea Improv
Make Music Hartford is a program of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, a non-profit organization whose mission is to be a catalyst for the arts and promote an equitable arts ecosystem in Greater Hartford.
Help us make events like Make Music Hartford possible. The Arts Council produces Make Music Hartford with the support of the City of Hartford, and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
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