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Make Music Detroit brings you free, live music on the longest day of the year … June 21


From the obvious Motown to techno to punk to rap, Detroit has given a lot to the music world. When a city has given so much, it is only natural that it joins 800 cities in 110 countries in a musical celebration called “Make Music Day.”

Free to all ages, this unique festival allows anyone to perform, teach and learn music and is an ideal way for music lovers to spend the longest day of the year, June 21.

The first Make Music Detroit day features more than 80 musical performances and a wide variety of music styles such as jazz, folk, soul, experimental and electronic, played by both amateurs and professionals.  The event will be held at venues across the city.


You can take it all in at multiple venues including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Assemble Sound, The Carr Center at Harmonie Park, Urban Bean Co., Northern Lights Lounge, Cass Cafe, Third Man Records, Jazz Cafe at Music Hall and sites along the Oakland Avenue Artist Corridor.

Of course, none of them are more than five miles apart and are in three walkable clusters. They are based around Downtown, The North End, and the Cultural Center.

Have talent of your own you want to show off? You can also participate. To sign up, click here.

Some professional performances include:

  • Liz Larine, winner of more than 20 Detroit Music Awards
  • The Mosaic Singers
  • Jazz Foundation of America’s R J Spangler Quintet featuring sax legend Larry Smith and vocalist Nikki Pearse
  • PhilHarmonic Sextet featuring Detroit’s Queen of the Blues Thornetta Davis
  • Current CJAM & former WDET radio host/DJ Judy Adams
  • Metro Times 2016 Reader’s Choice Best Electronic Artist recipient Kevin Reynolds
  • Platinum credited hip hop artist/producer Nick Speed
  • Multi-instrumentalist and folk sensation Jennie Knaggs of Lac La Belle
  • Skeeto Valdez, Paul Randolph & John Douglas’ The Mighty Funhouse
  • Soul/funk legend Amp Fiddler
  • 11 year-old singer-songwriter Sophia Avocado

To commemorate its pioneering Make Music Day, Make Music Detroit is hosting a launch event in conjunction with the unveiling of The Carr Center’s 2016 public installation Detroit’s Music … Jazz on Tuesday, June 14, at Harmonie Park.

Starting at 4:00 p.m. the mosaic piece by Shinkle Fine Art LLC will be unveiled with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will conclude with a music performance from Obed Succori Trio as part of The Carr Center’s summer concert series, Evenings in Paradise, scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Make Music Day started in France in 1982 as Fête De La Musique (translation … “festival of music” and “make music”), in which the Ministry of Culture “imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere.” It is now celebrated annually on the summer solstice in more than 800 cities worldwide, including 37 cities across the U.S. In France, the Fête is now a national holiday. The country shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of France’s 5 million people have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique.


Music should be open to as many people as possible no matter how old or how much training they have, says Make Music Detroit. Its mission is to make Detroit “a fountain of great music in part because of the universal availability of music education” and because “every Detroit child deserves access to music education and Make Music Detroit is dedicated to supporting this goal.”

The event also shines a light on Detroit’s music scene and the creative forces … both professional and amateur … alive and well in our city.

More information on Make Music Detroit can be found at or on Facebook.

Let’s make Detroit’s first year as part of Make Music Day an ode to joy.

– Top photo from Make Music Detroit website: Detroit Party Marching Band at Honk Festival 2012 by Benjamin Greenberg. The source of the photo can be found here:

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