Announcing Concerto for Buildings

Soho Gamelan Walk

One month from today, Make Music New York will expand Daniel Goode’s popular SoHo Gamelan Walk, a hit of Make Music Winter, into a Concerto for Buildings.

It will be unlike any other musical work in history.

On June 21, MMNY will shut down Greene Street in SoHo, where eight buildings have hollow, cast-iron facades that resonate when struck, for a 30-minute Concerto for Buildings — a new work for full orchestra and 24 percussionists using the buildings as instruments, with four separate movements by four composers: Paula Matthusen (winner of the 2014-2015 Rome Prize), Scott Wollshleger, Daniel Goode, and Elijah Valongo (a student-composer in Face The Music).

The gifted young musicians of Face the Music will form an orchestra in the middle of the street, along with members of Mantra Youth Percussion, in a performance led by Mantra Percussion uniting the sounds of the buildings with the music of the city.

MMNY has launched a crowd-funding campaign to support the project. Click here to learn more and to join the campaign!

Exquisite Corpses

Accordions in Greenwood Cemetery

Love to improvise? Feeling adventurous?

Join us for Make Music New York’s newest endeavor, Exquisite Corpses!

For this year’s MMNY, Exquisite Corpses, a new series based on a Surrealist concept, will enliven six of New York’s burial grounds with chains of improvised musical conversations.

The idea is simple. On Sunday June 21, a respected New York improviser will host a gathering at each cemetery. He or she will start with (perhaps) a solo jazz saxophone improvisation, and after five minutes will be joined by a bluegrass violin player. After another five minutes playing together, the saxophonist will be seamlessly replaced by a Salsa percussionist, who will improvise for five minutes with the violinist, and so on for a continuous chain of cross-genre duets all afternoon, all stage- managed by the host artist.

Each Exquisite Corpse improvisation is transient, unrecorded, a memento mori. But through the chain of players, overlapping and succeeding each other, the music will go on and on.

Click the links below to sign up!

Exquisite Corpses with Andrew Livingston at New York City Marble Cemetery


Exquisite Corpses with Matana Roberts at Abe Lebewohl Park/ St Mark’s Church


Exquisite Corpses with Marie Incontrera at Trinity Church


Exquisite Corpses with David Rothenberg at Madison Square Park


Exquisite Corpses with Darnell Jay Starkes of JazzMobile at Grant’s Tomb



Exquisite Corpses with Jazz at Lincoln Center at Woodlawn Cemetery

101311 Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx, where they have seemed to misplace the remains of Elisabeth Delfini, mother of Ferdinando Delfini, 60, who had planned to place his mothers remains next to his father's (her husband) but now there only sits any empty spot inside the Brookside Mausoleum section of the cemetery.  news MATT

Klezmer Violin Mass Appeal with Alicia Svigals

Calling all violinists!  Have you ever wanted to explore the world of klezmer?  This summer you’ll have your chance to get your feet wet in the genre by playing with an acknowledged master of the form in a Mass Appeal for Klezmer Violins, led by Alicia Svigals.

Alicia photoSvigals has written a suite of tunes that will take players and listeners on a tour of the basic klezmer forms: horas, bulgars, freylekhs, and more.  Playing the piece will start you on the path to the secrets of an authentic Yiddish playing style – the timbres and rhythmic feel, the modes and dance beats, slides, trills and krekhzn that make a violinist sound like a bonafide klezmer.

The performance will take place at the Joe’s Pub block party (on Astor Place and Lafayette) on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 3pm (the block party features other great acts and runs from 11am to 7pm). This performance will be part of Make Music New York 2015 and of KulturfestNYC, a festival presented by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene for their 100th anniversary season.

To sign up for the event, please fill out the form below.  You can also email with any questions.


No Power? No Problem

Need power for your June 21 concert, but not sure how to source it outdoors, or don’t want to deal with lots of extra expensive equipment? Here are three alternatives!

Trying to set up an outdoor show for MMNY but you don’t have a generator? Here’s how to use a car battery and a power inverter as a portable generator:

Trying to set up an outdoor show for MMNY but need a PA system for your backing tracks? Here’s how to make a paper amplifier for your iPhone:

And, if you’re setting up on your front stoop, and worried about being heard, how about making an old fashioned megaphone?

Sousapalooza in Bryant Park

Make Music New York in Bryant Park

Building on last year’s performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale in Bryant Park, which brought together hundreds of brass, wind, and percussion players from NYC and beyond, Make Music NY is proud to present New York’s first Sousapalooza! We’ll be running through all the best-loved marches and fanfares by The March King himself, John Philip Sousa. We want you to join in the fun!

sousa1Our sister organization Make Music Chicago has thrown similar solstice Sousa celebrations for a few years now, and we’re happy to join them in making merry with marches.

Conductor Jeff W. Ball of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony will return to lead the ensemble, and we’ll be re-uniting many of the participating groups from last year. Be sure to sign up today with returning or first-time groups. The more instruments we can assemble the merrier we’ll all be!

Whether you are a professional or amateur, an individual or a band director, a student or a teacher with your own private studio, we invite you and your colleagues to join us. Once you register, we will contact you to assign parts and confirm all details. (It goes without saying that, just like all Make Music events, there is no charge to participate.)

Just sign up below!

(Questions? Email Dave Ruder at

Sousapalooza Schedule for Sunday, June 21st, 2015

11am-12:30pm Rehearsal in the park (note that this rehearsal is not mandatory and all performers are responsible for practicing their parts ahead of time as our rehearsal time on the day of the concert is very limited)
12:30-2:00pm Break (instruments and cases may remain in the park and will be supervised while performers are on break)
2:00-4:00pm Brass & percussion music presented by HONK NYC!
4:00-5:00pm Sousapalooza Performance

Sign up here!

Five Places You Never Knew You Could Play for MMNY

The deadline to finalize all June 21st concert plans is Weds, April 29th at midnight.

Did you know? NYC has 12,000 miles of sidewalks! There’s plenty of space for all of you to play. If you are not finding a location you like for your MMNY concert, create your own!
Here are five ideas:

5 Places To Play

Birds do it. Bees do it.

David Rothenberg and Starling

David Rothenberg (clarinet) and starling (voice)

Throughout the animal kingdom, species of all kinds make their own distinctive music.

For the April edition of Make Music Monthly, hosted by Make Music New York at the New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music, we will be joined by composers Charlie Morrow, David Rothenberg, and Dave Soldier, who collaborate musically with fish, insects, whales, and elephants. After hearing excerpts of their work, we will explore just which aspects of music — if any — are uniquely human.

The discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 15th at 6pm at The New School for Jazz (55 W. 13th Street, Room 531, Manhattan). This event is FREE and open to the public.


charlieCharlie Morrow

Passionate about using sound and music to inspire, entertain, and even heal, Charlie Morrow is an acclaimed multimedia artist, producer, and composer. He is a leading figure in branded sound and advocate for the use of sound for well-being. Throughout his career, Morrow has sought to bring experimental sound and music to a wider audience. His works have ranged from massive free public events, such as “Toot’N Blink” for Chicago’s Lake Michigan and “Fanfare in the Air” for New York Harbor to innovative installations for the world’s leading institutions, including Kennedy Space Center, Empire State Building, and the American Museum of Natural History. His state-of-the-art 3D sound technology has been showcased at major venues and events around the world, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, and 2009 Design Week Helsinki. A prolific composer, Morrow’s numerous credits include a Cannes Awards-winning campaign for Diet Coke and the feature film soundtracks for Moonwalk 1 and Altered States.

DR ECM photo hirezDavid Rothenberg

Musician and philosopher David Rothenberg is the author of Why Birds Sing (Basic Books and Penguin UK). In 2006 the book was turned into a feature-length TV documentary by the BBC. Rothenberg has also written Sudden Music, Blue Cliff Record, Hand’s End, and Always the Mountains. His book Thousand Mile Song (Basic Books), about making music with whales, has been the subject of several documentary films in French and German. His latest, Bug Music, came out from St. Martins Press in April 2013, along with a CD featuring music made out of encounters with the entomological world. It has been profiled on Radiolab and in the New Yorker. As a musician Rothenberg has performed and recorded with Karl Berger, Peter Gabriel, Marilyn Crispell, and many others. Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

150px-DaveSoldierJojoDave Soldier

David Sulzer is a neuroscientist and Professor at Columbia University in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Neurology. Under the name Dave Soldier, he is a classical, pop, jazz musician and composer, appearing on over 100 CDs and film scores. Among his work that combines both identities are the Thai Elephant Orchestra which is a 14 piece orchestra of elephants in Thailand; the Brainwave Music Project with Brad Garton that allows musicians to perform using their brain’s electrical activity; a series of pieces that use mathematics or statistics to create new repertoire including the notorious “The People’s Choice: The Most Unwanted Music”; and multiple projects coaching children and animals to compose and perform. With chemist Roald Hoffmann, he runs a monthly science meets art series, Entertaining Science, at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village.

Claim your spot in this year’s Klezmer Violin Workshops with Alicia Svigals

NB – the workshop with Alicia Svigals has been canceled, but the event on June 21st will continue as planned! More info here.

For the ninth annual Make Music New York, we’re teaming up with Alicia Svigals, the world’s foremost klezmer fiddler, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage– A Living Memorial to the Holocaust to present a spring workshop series for violinists ages 12 and up, culminating in a performance produced by the National Yiddish Theatre and Joe’s Pub for KulturfestNYC.

Face the Music led by Jenny Undercofler 3


About the Workshop

Over the course of six weeks, Svigals will take students on a tour of the basic klezmer forms: horas, bulgars, freylekhs, and more. They will learn traditional tunes and Svigals’s own compositions directly from her. In the process, they will discover the secrets of her authentic Yiddish playing style – the timbres and rhythmic feel, the modes and dance beats, slides, trills and krekhzn that make a violinist sound like a bonafide klezmer.

Workshop Sessions

Workshops will be held on five Sundays from 10am – noon at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park, with a final rehearsal at Joe’s Pub. Session dates are May 3, May 10, May 17, May 31*, June 7, and June 14**.

* The May 31st workshop will be held from 3pm – 5pm.
** Held at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street.

Students should have good fundamental reading and playing skills, but no prior familiarity with the genre is required.

Final Performance

The workshops will culminate with all participants performing the world premiere of Svigals’s new suite of music at the Joe’s Pub block party (on Astor Place) on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 3pm. This performance will be part of Make Music New York 2015 and of KulturfestNYC, a festival presented by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene for their 100th anniversary season.

Reservations & Payment

The workshop costs $300 per student ($265 for members of the Museum).

The workshop is limited to twenty students. You may reserve a spot by making a non-refundable $100 deposit via PayPal, which applies towards the total fee (the balance of payment is due by April 26th), or by paying in full.


MJH_LOGO (2)JoesPub.Logo_





About the Instructor

Alicia photo

Alicia Svigals is the world’s leading klezmer fiddler, a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics and a composer who was selected to be a 2014 MacDowell Fellow. She has played with and composed for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Debbie Friedman, Avraham Fried, and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, PBS Great Performances, NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds, and on the soundtrack for the L-Word.


If you have any questions or are wondering if this class is right for you, please email Dave Ruder at

Claim Your Park for MMNY 2015

Always wanted to host a concert in a park for Make Music New York? This is your chance!

Permits for 86 parks have been approved for Make Music New York this year — and we want YOU to have one! What does this mean? It means that you get to program music in that park for June 21 (including your own ensemble, friends, or musicians you choose from our matchmaking website), and in return, you agree to be present in the park for the entire length of the concert. It’s easy and it’s free.

A few rules to know when planning a park concert: 

  • No more than four hours of amplified sound will be allowed per location per day.
  • Vending is not allowed.
  • Stages and commercial (sponsorship) signage are not allowed.
  • It is not legal to drive vehicles onto park property.
  • MMNY cannot arrange for access to electricity in New York City Parks. Be prepared to perform “unplugged” or to bring your own power source.

Please note that MMNY does not provide production for concerts on June 21.Otherwise, enjoy this unique opportunity to use the space, free of charge. What you do with it is up to you!

Choose your dream park from the full list below and email with your choice. We’ll confirm if it’s still available, and if so, give you instructions for next steps. Parks will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. And remember, registration ends April 29th – all concert arrangements must be finalized by this date.

Parks available for MMNY 2015:

* Parks that are crossed out have already been claimed and are not available


On Governor’s IslandSee map below for locations 

Still available:

  1. Star Lawn
  2. Kimmel Road Triangle
  3. Brooklyn Ferry Landing
  4. Central Island Lawn
  5. The Fountains
  6. Lawn on the Water
  7. The Hammocks
  8. Manhattan View Lawn
  9. Colonel’s Row
  10. Manhattan Ferry Landing


Make Music NY - Possible Locations for 6.21.15











In Manhattan

In Brooklyn 

In Queens

In the Bronx

  • Crotona Park Bandshell
  • Poe Park
  • Railroad Park
  • Soundview Park 
  • Williamsbridge Oval

On Staten Island

Don’t see the park you want? Email and we’ll try to figure something out!

Throw a Block Party for MMNY 2015!

Each year for Make Music New York, dozens of community groups have put together musical block parties, bringing their neighbors together for Cuban jazz, electronic Gameboy music, indie rock, steel pans, hip hop, and string orchestras in streets across the city.

This year, why not your block?

Silent Barn Warper block party wide shot

Warper Party / Silent Barn block party in Bushwick

To help you throw a party on your street, we’ve put together a helpful handbook. Download it here:

Make Music New York Block Party Handbook [pdf]

Block party applications are due by March 21st to be considered for an event in June. If you’re interested in having a block party, read the handbook and contact to get started.

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