In 1981, Maurice Fleuret, newly appointed director of Music and Dance in the then Jack Lang-headed Ministry of Culture, imagines a large popular manifestation that would bring about “sonic emancipation, euphoria and dizziness more genuine, intimate and eloquent than art itself” in a French musical landscape still underestimated at the time. On June 21st 1982, also summer solstice, the first edition of Music Day took place in France. Amateur and professional artists answered the Minister's call and seized stations, promenades, gardens and squares all over the country. This incredible summer symphony was just born, only to take over the rest of the world.
Tinting harmonies on the streets of Paris
It is ten o'clock, Paris awakens. In the soft morning sunshine of June 21st, upcoming French artists succeed to the polyphonic concerts of the 20th century. In the large courtyard of the Irish Cultural Centre, young Dublin artist Ailbhe Reddy gets her troubling voice heard and Goitse, multi-awarded quintet from the Irish World Academy of Music, will move the crowds with traditional music. For the love of man and jazz, Gustave Reichert and Alexis Avakian pay a tribute to a virtuoso, influent and revolutionary sax player: indeed, John Coltrane left this earth 50 years ago. With a children choir in Bourse, a brass band in front of the Carreau du Temple, upcoming talents at the Musée Delacroix and in the Petit Palais, the Nuit Boréale event at Invalides, free concerts in Bellevile... wherever you go on June 21st, music takes hold of every square inch in Paris.
Also of interest, the city of Toulouse will broadcast a major show taking place on the Place du Capitole. Millions of music lovers will therefore be able to join the party, from the cool and comfort of their homes.
21 June 2017
Bogota controls the French rhythms
In this year 2017, French and Colombian cultures intertwine within the scope of a skilfully orchestrated marriage. In that context, events and festivities are part of a multidisciplinary exchange and will further develop on the mutual understanding of each country. This summer, Colombia takes the French Music Day to the heart of Bogota. Steered by the Colombian Ministry of Culture, in partnership with the French Republic administration, the celebrations respect the principles of the red, white and blue event since 2012, sponsored each year by a local artist. It takes place on the weekend closest to June 21st and the party ecstatically goes on. Isn't it the perfect opportunity to explore Colombian-coloured French music with a bang?
24 and 25 June 2017
Singing stars over Berlin
In 1995, the German capital drew inspiration from the French Music Day to create its own event. Since then, various cities have followed suit, pranced around to the sounds of a soul singer, jumped for joy to the pace of fretless Theremin bass lines and waltzed in three, four or why not 1,000 times. Every music genre is represented and your feet won't know where to start anymore! In the Karl-Marx-Allee, Pagan Earth's frenzied guitar riffs make way for the Jamaican influences of Arthur & the Spooners. Around Charlottenburg, rock, funk and folk concerts stir up the audience of the Artenschutztheater, while a dozen other emblematic places in the city welcome electrifying artists such as Nanofish Dippers and Mandel Turner, in the popular Kreuzberg district.
21 June 2017
Beijing goes wild, and the rest of China follows suit
After it periodically appeared under the patronage of the French Embassy since 1992, China officially started celebrating Music Day from 2007 onwards (2012 for the cities of Wuhan, Shanghai and Beijing). The scope of June 21st celebrations in China increase each year. Concerts are now broadcast live on the PPTV channel for both TV and computer viewing. French upcoming talents regularly take part in the event and thrill thousands of listeners. Eclectic in nature, the festivities fill up bars and gallerias in the Chongwen, Chaoyang, Dongcheng and Xicheng districts. Chamber music subtly makes way for indie bands, calypso and reggae genres. When tunes of psychedelic pop stop for a moment, salsa gets street dancers worked up before R'n'B punches out!
21 June 2017
Nothing is impossible in New York City
Manhattan has always attracted artists from all walks of life. When Make Music New York takes place for its first edition in 2006 under the impetus of Aaron Friedman. Hundreds of bands display their talent in concerts organized on streets, parks and beaches around the Big Apple. Communities gather and celebrate the longest day of the year to the rhythm of musical parades. Age, gender, beliefs or class have no importance there, when the voice of an opera singer echoes through blocks of Brooklyn houses, or when punk rock power chords shake the Queensboro Bridge! From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., New Yorkers wiggle their bodies in the reddish alleyways of Chinatown, amid the Bronx Music Heritage Center and even in front of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Since 2011, musical festivities also shake up the New York winter, as part of the Make Music Winter!
21 June 2017
Quebec whistles with perfect pitch
Shaped around the French celebration, Music Day was born in Montreal in 2008, under the aegis of “Art dans la Ville” in all of Quebec. Subscriptions for artists and volunteers offer comprehensive genres, languages and performances being offered will resonate over the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood. This year, the event will blow its tenth candle. Just like many cities all over the world, it attracts curious music lovers and fans, experienced or not. Whatever the lineup, the festivities enhance choral music, give a twist to hard rock, glorify gospel music, shakes up hip hop and intoxicate slow dances. According to Maurice Fleuret himself (who invented Music Day), “there was a need for some event that would allow us to know how much music mattered in individual and collective settings, that would offer a spectacular awareness and a spontaneous urge for more.”
From 16 to 18 June 2017