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MMNY Solstice Info sheet


Make Music Winter 2016 in the NY Times!

We want to take a moment and thank all of the artists and participants in the 6th Annual Make Music Winter celebration yesterday, and point everyone to the great write-up in the New York Times!

The day-long festivities began with the triumphant return of Christopher Herbert’s Winterize to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in front of a record breaking crowd.

The maiden voyages of Off The Afrobeaten Path, African Echoes and Parranda de Inverno were each joyous affairs enjoyed by countless thousands throughout Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront.

Now classic MM Winter events Bell By Bell, Cycles, The Gaits, Kalimbascope, Prelude, and Pilgrimage all blazed new paths for themselves around Manhattan to the delight of participants and observers alike!

Decantations brought meditative wonder to Red Hook and the Melrose Parranda lifted spirits up in the Bronx.

The day ended with a huge crowd of dancers, singers and musicians as part of Flatfoot Flatbush, parading up and down Make Music’s hood on Flatbush Avenue, landing at Rose’s Bar & Grill for a seriously fun afterparty.

Whether 2016 was a great year or a great challenge, the rollercoaster is pulling into the station, and Make Music Winter was a truly special way for so many to celebrate the winter’s start, and signal the year’s end.

All the best from all of us at MMNY and see you in June!!!

One week to Make Music Winter 2016!

As we near the Solstice and Make Music NY’s city wide celebration, we wanted to share some insights from one of our new artists on the event he is leading.

Kevin Raczka is a very accomplished drummer and percussionist, having performed with some of the most vibrant talent on the “World Music” and Soul scenes, including Antibalas, Valerie June, and Lee Fields. Here he answers some questions from his Antibalas bandmate and MMNY Deputy Director, Jordan McLean about the new Greenwich Village event, Off The Afrobeaten Path.


JM: Is there an event or transition point in your life that has put you on the path to the work you do as an artist?

KR: I’ve been making music for most of my life but the turning point was when I decided to start playing drums when I was 18 years old and shortly after discovered the music of Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour, King Sunny Ade, Salif Keita, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Lady Smith Black Mambazo, Ali Farka Toure, Manu Dibango, Orchestra Baobab, Toumani Diabate and the list kept growing. The music felt so good to me and I needed to find out why. The more that I started to play this music the more that I felt connected to the ancestors of everyone on this planet that have been creating for many thousands of generations. After realizing that these are the true roots of humanity, as discovered by Genetecist Dr. Spencer Wells with the Genographic project, and the true roots of universal rhythm on this side of the cosmos I realized that this would be the path that I’m undoubtedly going to be taking for a while.

JM: What experiences as an artist has led you to this collaboration with Make Music NY?

Besides all the great collaborations and musical artists that i’ve been fortunate to work with in New York and travel the world with there’s one experience that has led me to have the desire to collaborate with Make Music NY. In the process of my journey to becoming a full time musician, performing in the NYC subway system with brass bands for MUNY has had a significant impact on the way that I perceive music being performed in public spaces and how it can uplift and bring community together. Scientifically speaking when we play music or experience it together its known that Oxytocin is released in the body. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide thats affiliated with breast-feeding and sexual contact, and is known to play an important role in increasing bonding and trust between people and the research on this gets deeper and deeper if you already don’t know. I would experience people from all over ny and the world coming out of their shells laughing, dancing, singing, and in some cases undressing! When my good friend Jordan McLean who I work with in Antibalas asked me to lead a parade of Afrobeat percussion I of course said absolutely count me in.

JM: What aspect of your Make Music Winter event has you most excited about December 21st?

KR: Getting to share musical Gifts alongside my Afrobeat Brothers and Sisters to random human beings on the streets of New York. You never know who you’ll run into on a parade down the street in the middle of the day in New York City. It’s always exciting and a joy to see people’s faces of surprise or excitement that there’s this random act of communal joyful noise and rhythm marching by them. It’s always sure to be an uplifting experience, physically, mentally, and spiritually.


Off The Afrobeaten Path is a bevy of handheld percussion, creating a web of West African derived rhythm, blazing a trail through Greenwich Village (and let us not forget to mention free Two Boots pizza at the end!).


Whether you join this or any other of our unique events on our Winter Solstice schedule, we wish you a very happy, safe and healthy Solstice Season!

Make Music Winter Approaches, Kalimbascope

Just a couple updates on the upcoming December 21st festivities…

First up, all of our events are up on the homepage, with sign ups for African Echoes, Cycles, Decantations and Prelude, available now!

Be sure to tune into Making Music on WBAI 99.5 FM (or stream at, Fridays at 2pm. Over the next 3 weeks we will focus on interviews and musical highlights with the artists of Make Music Winter 2016! This week, 12/2, will feature J.C King of Kalimbascope!


Created by composer J.C. King, this parade of the inviting sounds of the kalimba (an evolution of the African mbira) will embark upon a mile long walk of Lower Manhattan, coming to rest in the resonant chambers and archways of 1 Centre Street. The plucking of this handheld folk instrument is amplified by a rolling speaker, creating a gentle, reverberating soundscape as the sounds play off of buildings and other city structures. This will be the third annual Kalimbascope, having premiered in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2014. All are encouraged to bring their own kalimbas (kalimbas will be available for the first 25 participants to borrow).

Meet-up: 4:00 pm, City Hall Park, Jacob Mould Fountain

Lastly, thanks so much to the wonderful people at Mommy Poppins (Get More Out of NYC with Kids) for featuring us in their December GoList of best things to do with your kids. We truly hope to see lots of little ones (with their parents hopefully) out there on the Winter Solstice!!

Stay tuned for updates on the Winter Solstice festivities here.

Make Music Winter 2016, African Echoes

Inspired by last winter’s Alpine Echoes, this year’s event will draw on vocal traditions from Africa and its diaspora for a lively processional through the streets of DUMBO. The event will use a mix of call-and-response folk songs from across the African continent, spontaneous composition through the timeless method of “circlesinging”, and rhythm & movement to keep our bodies warm as we travel. Participants will gather in DUMBO at Old Fulton Plaza for our opening circle. We will then embark eastward on Water Street, pausing to sing under the resonant archway of the Manhattan Bridge, before arriving at 68 Jay St. Bar to continue the festivities. Please dress warmly and bring a water bottle. This event is for vocalists of all levels (including those who might not think of themselves as “singers”) and will be co-led by Jascha Hoffman and Onome.

Onome is a vocalist who uses writing, performance, music and other forms of creative expression as tools for consciousness expansion, self-discovery and empowerment. She is the artistic director for Lush Tongue, a project that uses vocal improvisation and an eclectic, globally multicultural repertoire of music from women composers. Onome is also a founding member of Sounding NYC, a monthly community singing series.

Jascha Hoffman is a singer, teacher and improviser who believes the voice holds a strong connection to the mind, body and heart. As an improviser, he has studied with masters such as Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon, and has taught adults and teens in the US and Brazil. Jascha is a founder of the Society for Spontaneous Singing and Sounding NYC, and is a member of the Moving Star, an group of improvising singers at Carnegie Hall. He lives in Brooklyn.

When & Where

Meet up: 4:00 pm Old Fulton Plaza (out front of the Shake Shack), Start time: 4:32 pm (sunset)

Make Music Winter 2016, Flatfoot Flatbush!

Make Music Winter 2016 is on the horizon! For the sixth straight year, parades of musicians will form throughout the city on December 21st, celebrating the shortest day of the year by coming together in music. One of our returning favorites is Flatfoot Flatbush, featuring Megan Downes, Nick Horner, and the Flatfoot Flatbush Band.

Have a little look right here, and stay tuned for all the details about how to participate, including the pre-parade workshop where you will learn the fundamental steps of this rhythmic Appalachian dance form and practice your moves with the Flat Foot Flatbush string band!



Make Music Winter 2016, Return of Winterize!

Our next solstice celebration is coming up on December 21st, set to be another all-day presentation of new musical events and some of our most popular Winter “parades” throughout the city.

Among those returning favorites will be Winterize, acclaimed baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert’s participatory version of Franz Schubert’s 1828 song cycle, Winterreise, hosted once again by Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Audience members provide the accompaniment using hand-held radios, as the original piano music (as performed by Timothy Long and reimagined by sound designer Jonathan Zalben) is broadcast via a portable radio transmitter. Winterize also features twenty-four illustrated German-to-English supertitles by Italian artist Irene Rinaldi.

Get in the mood by watching this fantastic documentation of the event, and be sure to stay tuned for details of time and meeting spot at the Brooklyn Botanic as the winter solstice approaches.

New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe has called Winterize “brave and, in all senses, chilling… an elegantly lean performance that would have been impressive in any context but was remarkable under these conditions… You have not truly experienced ‘Winterreise’ until you have stood three or four feet from the singer, his breath visible in the cold.”

MMNY 2016: Music and community from sunrise to sunset!

We could not have asked for a lovelier day for our 10th anniversary festivities, starting with dawn concerts in Central Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, all the way through a gorgeous sunset at the High Line, with whole blocks transformed into stages, from Greenwich Village to Atlantic Avenue.

The fun continues tonight at National Sawdust as Street Studio City producers from around NY and across the globe premier their work of making tracks with members of the public as part of Make Music 2016!

We have been hearing great things from participants as well about their experiences on Tuesday. Thanks so much for the support and keep making music!!

“Just finished my three performances, feeling a glow. Thanks for doing this!”
 -Craig S.

“Hope you enjoyed the day!  It was great here…Already heard from Lou at Brazen Head who said it went way beyond his expectations.”
– Karen Z.

“Thank you very much indeed for all you put into helping organize Make Music New York — and especially for the help and encouragement you gave me…My Classical Piano Recital was quite well attended (about 25 people, yet not more than four that I had notified personally), and seemed to be well appreciated.”
– John B.


Play at a Library on June 21st!


Musicians of New York City: there are still some wonderful venues left for concerts for June 21st. Many branches of the New York Public Library (Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan), as well as some branches of the Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries, are hosting performances and are still looking for performers! Since libraries are natural “congregating places,” you’ll have a built-in audience for your show. And personally I can’t imagine a nicer way to spend a summer afternoon than playing outside of the City Island library (deep-fried scallops before and after, right?)

One-time only special offer, get it while it’s hot: even if you haven’t already signed up on our website, you can still sign up to perform at any of these libraries, by sending an email to with the subject line of “Library.”

Below you will find a list of which libraries are available, and for what times:

Saratoga Library (Brooklyn Public Library) – 12 to 4:45
Spring Creek Library (Brooklyn Public Library) – 11 to 3:30
Eastern Parkway Library (Brooklyn Public Library) – 1:30 to 3, and 4 to 7
Clinton Hill Library (Brooklyn Public Library) – 12:00 to 8:00
Rugby Library (Brooklyn Public Library) – 2:00 to 5:30

Sunnyside Library – 4:00 to 5:00

NYPL 125th Street Branch – 3:00 to 4:00 and 5:00 to 6:30

NYPL Allerton Branch – 12:30 to 4:30
NYPL Baychester Branch – 2:00 to 4:00
NYPL Belmont Branch – 12:00 to 6:00
NYPL City Island Branch – 1:00 to 3:00
NYPL Eastchester Branch – 12:00 to 3:30
NYPL Edenwald Branch – 2:00 to 3:00
NYPL Grand Concourse Branch – 11:00 to 5:00
NYPL Hunts Point Branch – 2:00 to 3:00
NYPL Morris Park Branch – 12:00 to 4:00
NYPL Riverdale Branch – 3:30 to 6:30
NYPL Sedgwick Branch – 3:00 to 5:30
NYPL Westchester Square Branch – 4:00 to 6:00

Staten Island
NYPL Richmondtown Branch – 3:00 to 5:00
NYPL Tottenville Branch – 3:00 to 6:00
NYPL West New Brighton Branch – 3:00 to 7:00

Mass Appeals and more!

Mass Appeals are signature feature of Make Music NY.  They bring together large numbers of the same type of instrument in experiments of unique sonic exploration, community building, and fun!  The full roster of Mass Appeals and participatory events is below, with information on how to sign up for a few particularly special ones.


unnamed (1) Boleros is a celebration and confusion of one of the most despised and most famous pieces of 20th century music, Ravel’s “Bolero”.  The participatory aspect of Boleros on June 21st involves two performances of the piece in Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, one with a pick-up band of acoustic instruments, the other with a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments.  You can find full info on Boleros, organized by Brian McCorkle of Panoply Performance Laboratory, here, or you can visit the Boleros facebook page to sign up for the 12pm (acoustic instruments only) and 4pm (acoustic or amplified instruments) performances of Ravel’s Bolero.

Here by Angélica Negrón

MusicBoxesInspired by microscopic images of sand and distant childhood memories, Here is a new piece by composer Angélica Negrón written for an indeterminate number of small music boxes.  Here turns weaves together the threads of different music box tunes to create a haunting, uncanny sound mass. Players are welcome to bring their own music box or may use one of the boxes which will be generously supplied by Kikkerland. New techniques for playing with the sound of the music box will be introduced over the course of the performance, which is open to musicians and non-musicians alike. The event takes place in Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, from 6:30-8pm on June 21st. Sign up to take part in Here today!

Circle Singing Workshop with Anaïs Maviel

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Everybody sings! Every heart beats. Blending voices & rhythms has been an important platform to relate in many societies. The art of listening to our genuine voice, and to share it with others, is both a musical and communal activity.  Vocalist/percussionist Anaïs Maviel invites you to join her in Sakura Park in northern Manhattan from 5-7pm on June 21st in a celebration of all voices. Participants will explore a wide repertoire of traditional songs and chants from various cultures and will learn about the body as a music instrument: voice & percussion. All levels and ages are welcome!  Sign up to participate today!

Other Mass Appeals:

  • Accordion – Carroll Park, 6pm
  • Bagpipes – Court Square Park, 12pm
  • Cymbals – Madison Square Park, 3:30pm
  • Double Reeds (bassoons & oboes) – Bleecker Park, 6pm
  • French Horns – 601 Lexington Ave, 6pm
  • Guitars – Union Square, 5pm
  • Harmonicas – Central Park Ladies Pavilion, 5:30pm
  • Mandolins – Theodore Roosevelt Park, 7pm
  • Modular Synthesizers – CultureHub, 5pm
  • Music Boxes – WNYC Transmitter Park, 6:30pm
  • Percussion – DUMBO Archway, 8:30pm
  • Pianos – Cornelia Street Café, 1pm
  • Recorders – Straus Park, 7pm
  • Stones – Prospect Park, 11am
  • Ukulele – Central Park Pond Lawn, 5pm
  • Voice: Circle Singing – Sakura Park, 5pm
  • Voice: Sacred Harp Sing – Calvary Church Gramercy, 8pm
  • Voice: The Gauntlet – The High Line, 8:15pm

Other Participatory Projects:

  • Boleros – Maria Hernandez Park, 12pm
  • Eye of the Tiger – Staten Island Yankees Stadium, 7pm
  • Free Guitar Lessons – Times Square, 1pm
  • Make(r) Music New York – Brooklyn Public Library Main Branch, 4pm
  • Sousapalooza – Bryant Park, 5:30pm
  • Street Studios – various locations

If you’ve got questions on these events or want to participate, contact Dave at