Introducing our new Deputy Director

Make Music NY would like to welcome Jordan McLean aboard as the organization’s Deputy Director.

Jordan is a New York native, perhaps familiar to you from his trumpet work with Antibalas, Iron and Wine, or the Roots.

You may have heard his work as a composer/arranger and Associate Music Director for the Broadway musical, FELA!, or on record, as a producer, or with the myriad of world renowned musicians with whom he has performed.

His compositions have been comissioned and performed by SIREN Baroque and Cadillac Moon Ensemble and his students from The New School have gone on to tour the world with punk bands and form opera companies.

It is this diversity of experience that we are excited to put to work in continuing and expanding MMNY’s rich history of participatory music making.


photo by John Shore

Make Music Winter 2015 Previews

Make Music Winter 2015 is less than three weeks away!  For the fifth 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.  You can find out the what, where, and when of each event on the parade pages here, but in the mean time, we’re previewing each of the 12 parades in the coming weeks with short videos to give you a taste of what to expect on 12/21:

Tracks from Street Studio City 2015

Harlem SS copy

On June 21st, MMNY joined forces with Found Sound Nation for the first Street Studio City: twelve mobile recording studios placed on sidewalks from Corona to Hunts Point to Fort Greene, run by a team of local producers/DJs/engineers – including the legendary DJ Jazzy Jay, Joro Boro, Samita Sinha, and many many more.

Each one invited people on the street to record a tune, spit a verse, tell a story, play an instrument, and create original pieces of music that reflect a particular neighborhood on that particular day.

Those tracks are now all available below. Enjoy… and see you on the streets next year!

(Many thanks to Street Studio City’s awesome sponsors: NAMM, HARMAN, Boston Consulting Group, and Ableton!)

Before and After MMNY

Gemini and Scorpio-BatalaNYC_ClaraSchuhmacher copyMake Music New York has grown so big, it was inevitable that some music-making would spill over into the day before and late into the evening on June 21st!

MMNY Warm-Up Marathons

Saturday, June 20th, 8am to Sunday, June 21st, 8am: ComposersCollaborative Inc presents a free 24 hour marathon performance of Serious Immobilities, piano variations on Satie’s Vexations by Arthur Jarvinen and Randall Woolf, played by a dozen veteran MMNY performers on the Upper West Side. More info here.

Saturday, June 20th, 12:01am – 11:59pm: HarmoNYom and WKCR present the Ragas Live Festival with 24 hours of live Indian Classical Music performances broadcast over the radio, followed by their annual MMNY concert in Central Park. More info here.

MMNY After Parties on June 21st
Three featured MMNY projects continue into the evening:

Street Studio City afterparty at the DUMBO Spot in Brooklyn (160 Water St, 7pm – 12am). More info here.

Gemini and Scorpio’s Summer Cacophony & Sousapalooza afterparty (Gowanus, Brooklyn, 7pm – 12pm). More info here.

Clavinova Piano Bar Sinatra Karaoke party (NYPL for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, 7pm – 9pm). More info here.

Rain or Shine!

'09 06-21 Rocafuerte in rain-La Feria del Disco 5505 5th Ave copy 2Make Music New York will take place on June 21st, rain or shine!

Although MMNY is fundamentally an outdoor event, in the case of rain, concerts may take place inside a building lobby or store front (a door or window may be opened so that the music is audible from the street). And some concerts planned for parks have arranged for alternate indoor locations.

Our performance map displays the rain plan for each location. This information was provided by each venue when they first signed up; if you are hosting a concert on June 21st, please log in to your account and update your profile if your plans change!

Exquisite Corpses at Woodlawn with NPR and Jazz at Lincoln Center

In the 1920s, an old parlor game inspired a method of incremental collaboration among visual artists and poets, which became known as exquisite corpse. We are excited to announce that on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 4PM ET, Make Music New York is joining NPR Music and Jazz at Lincoln Center to apply that same playful tradition to music in a public performance event that links the very roots of jazz to its thriving present.



Michael Mwenso, jazz vocalist and head of the After-Hours program at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, will gather with a group of talented musicians from the New York area for a performance at the Woodlawn Cemetery. The space holds special value to the jazz community as the resting place for some of its greats – W.C. Handy, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and many others. Joining Mwenso for the performance are trumpeters Alphonso Horne and Bruce Harris, saxophonist Tivon Pennicott, accordion and melodica player Chris Patishall, bass Russell Hall, drummer Evan Sherman, and vocalist Vuyo Sotashe – all regular performers at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.



As is tradition at every NPR Music event for MMNY, willing area musicians (amateur, student or professional) are invited to perform at the event as well. After the initial “Exquisite Corpse” performance, the group from Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola will invite members of the public to join in in a larger, free-form jam session. Artists who would like to participate should sign up in advance HERE, and plan to arrive at the Woodlawn Cemetery by 3:45 PM ET on the day of the event. The exquisite corpse-style improvisation happening at Woodlawn Cemetery will be documented by Jazz Night in America and released later this summer as part of NPR Music’s “Field Recording” series.

This group jazz performance is part of Make Music New York’s new “Exquisite Corpses” project, which will place musicians in six burial grounds across New York City to host improvisational performance sessions. It is the latest of NPR Music’s signature collaborations with MMNY.



The MMNY Programs have arrived!

MMNY 2015 Programs

The 2015 MMNY program has arrived, illustrated by Irene Rinaldi and printed by our partners at Metro New York! More than 1,200 concerts are listed across 50 neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.

Thousands of programs have been distributed to MMNY venues throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens — stop in and pick one up! Or visit one of these hubs to pick up a stack to distribute yourself.

Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street (at Astor Place)
Urban Garden Center, 1640 Park Avenue (at E. 116th Street)

Queens Wines & Liquors, 59-03 71st Avenue (Ridgewood)

Grand Street BID, 246 Graham Avenue (Williamsburg)
Amancay’s Diner, 2 Knickerbocker Ave (Bushwick)
MMNY Office, 33 Flatbush Avenue at Livingston (Downtown Brooklyn)


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 musicians 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.



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