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Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Make Music New York

By Angely Mercado | June 20, 2016 1:16pm
 A musical group performs in NYC during Make Music NY 2015.
A musical group performs in NYC during Make Music NY 2015.
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Getty Images/ Kris Connor

Make Music New York is celebrating its 10th year on Tuesday with free shows and activities in public spaces all over the five boroughs. The event has grown from a little over 500 performances during its first year to over 1,000 musical performances this year. 

DNAinfo New York spoke with Jenny Undercofler, the executive director of the program, about what's new for this festival that takes place on the equinox each year.

There will be an emphasis on interactive performances, some of which will give music lovers across the city a variety of ways to make their own music, Undercofler said. You can score a guitar lesson at Times Square, where you can receive 15 minutes of instruction from one of over 20 teachers who will teach from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Undercofler also highlighted the new Street Studio City interactive program this year. Small recording studios will be set up across the city for anyone to play an instrument, sing or use spoken word in order to contribute. Everything recorded will then be mixed down to a five minute track that will be a symphony of the city. 

"It's always our job to be even more representative in terms of showing what New York has to offer," she said. 

For the "Inside the Bird Chorus" program, early-rising bird lovers can enjoy performances at dawn, into the morning and then later on at dusk at one location in each of the five boroughs. Clarinetist David Rothenberg and other musicians will incorporate in their music the sounds birds make when they're most active in the morning and dusk. 

This year, Make Music New York also introduces the "Uptown Funk" program: a series of funk and jazz performances across Harlem.  

Though she thinks it's a long shot, Undercofler hopes that one day all New Yorkers will get the solstice off from work, just like many do in France, so that they can go out and make music. Until then, she'll keep trying to find new ways to have musicians and New Yorkers get together. 

"I would love to find out if someone is inspired after they go to a concert or run into a concert and it inspires them to make more music during the year," said Undercofler.

For a map of all of the Make Music New York concerts happening Tuesday, click here.