Ring in the start of summer with a day of beautiful music as Philadelphia joins in World Music Day with the totally free daylong, “do it yourself” festival, Make Music Philly, on Friday, June 21.
From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Make Music Philly puts amateur and professional musicians in the spotlight for both organized and informal performances all across the city.
An incredibly mixed array of musical events — 145 total — spotlighting more than 25 genres will make music on Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and later, showcasing Philadelphia’s rich and diverse music scene.
World Music Day, which began in 1982 with Fête de la Musique in France, came to the United States in 2006 as National Music Day, and now more than 500 cities in 110 countries around the world participate in this global celebration of the cultural impact of music.
In Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN radio station has stepped up as the lead organizer, but dozens of groups large and small have joined in the harmonious festival.
Concerts and events are scheduled at such top-notch venues as World Cafe Live, the Kimmel Center, Penn Museum, National Constitution Center, Fleisher Art Memorial, Settlement Music School and City Hall Courtyard.
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Read on for our Make Music Philly picks by neighborhood.
Happy World Music Day!
Center City and Penn’s Landing
• Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts: At the Kimmel Center, the sidewalk of the Avenue of the Arts will become a stage. Starting at 10 a.m. with children’s band the Ticklebombs and continuing through 8 p.m. with folk rocker Charlie Sweeny, sidewalk entertainment is programmed all day long. At 8 p.m., DJ Rich Medina keeps the music flowing inside in the Innovation Studio.
• City Hall Courtyard: In the heart of Center City in the courtyard of our grand civic structure, City Hall Presents and WXPN welcomes a special presentation of a pair of incredible acts for two hour-long concerts. At 5 p.m., see The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia and at 6:30 p.m., hear the indie-folk sounds of Norwegian Arms.
• Jacob’s Music: Local music shop Jacob’s Music transforms into a jazz cafe to celebrate the day, with eight artists (including Al Rinaldi, the Chairman and CEO of Jacobs Music Company) scheduled to perform outside from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Hard Rock Cafe: On Market Street, rock ‘n’ roll restaurant Hard Rock Cafe stays true to its name with rocking on-street performances in the afternoon, and live music indoors until the wee hours.
• PHS Pop-Up Garden: This summer, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosts the PHS Pop-Up Garden in a normally vacant lot on the Avenue of the Arts, just across from the Kimmel Center. This Friday, the garden is not only filled with greenery and refreshments, but also music from Opera Philadelphia at 1 p.m., and additional acts at 2 and 3 p.m.
Fairmount and Spring Garden
• The Free Library of Philadelphia: At the Parkway Central location of the Free Library, catch family-friendly tunes with performances by The Women’s Sekere Ensemble at 10:30 a.m. and Girls Rock Philly at 3:30 p.m.
• Peace House Creative Space: A studio, gallery and lounge, Peace House Creative Space has organized an incredible day of hip-hop with half a dozen performers set to take the stage in short, 15-minute shows from 4 p.m. on.
Bella Vista and Queen Village
• Fleisher Art Memorial: At non-profit community art center Fleisher Art Memorial, catch lots of indie-rock performances, with a little pop and soul thrown in for good measure, from noon to 8 p.m.
• Historic Headhouse Square Shambles: Beneath the historic Headhouse Square Shambles on South Street, local musicians play their songs in hour-long sets from 11 a.m. all the way until 8 p.m.
Northern Liberties, Fishtown and the Northeast
• The Piazza at Schmidt’s: Open-air plazas are the perfect locale for free outdoor music, and the Piazza at Schmidt’s takes full advantage of its space with a packed schedule of rock, indie and electronic music from 12:30 to 8 p.m.
• Ortlieb’s Lounge: At busy music venue Ortlieb’s, rock ‘n’ roll is the order of the day, with bands slated to play indoors and out throughout the afternoon, and well after dark, too.
• Uptown Theatre: From funky improvisational music to indie blues, the historic 50,000-square-foot Uptown Theatre is set to fill its hall with cool tunes from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
University City and West Philly
• The Porch at 30th Street Station: First thing in the morning, at 8 a.m., University City’s lively public space The Porch at 30th Street Station kicks off the day with performances of love songs at 8 a.m. and taiko drumming at 8:15 a.m.
• World Cafe Live: On any given day, World Cafe Live celebrates the diversity of Philadelphia’s ever-growing music scene. For Make Music Philly, the venue hosts four free performances — at 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 5p.m. and 6 p.m. — in a solid, mostly indie-rock lineup. For some eclecticism, look out for the final act: gypsy-roots group This Way to the Egress.
• Xfinity Live: For all the Rolling Stones fans who couldn’t score a ticket to the big show, Xfinity Live’s five performance areas may be the next best thing with live music indoors and out all day long.
Make Music Philly
When: Friday, June 21, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Locations throughout the city
More info: www.makemusicphilly.org