After a couple of anemic Make Music days in Salem during the pandemic, this year’s event looks set to return to its pre-COVID size.
Over 1,000 cities across the world are scheduled to celebrate Make Music Day on the first day of summer, June 21.
In Salem alone, 165 artists will perform at over 50 locations. Make Music Salem co-founder Mark Green says music is a way to bring everyone together.
“We have a ukulele jam for example,” Green said. “We give out harmonicas. We do bucket drumming. All sorts of different activities to let anybody participate in music.”
The event originated in France in 1982 and the Salem version debuted in 2016.
“This is kind of our big coming out party,” Green said.
The event has three basic rules: The music has to be played outside; it has to be on June 21st; and the event has to be free.
In Oregon, events are scheduled Wednesday in Clatsop County, McMinnville and Polk County – but not in Portland this year.
About 130 US cities are taking part.
Venues in Salem include the YMCA, the Willamette Heritage Center and Riverfront Park. There will also be musicians in restaurants, bars and on the streets. The music will feature all kinds of genres, from pop to county and religious songs.
“If you like any kind of music, we pretty much have something for you,” Green said.
The schedule is online. The Oregon Symphony will perform, and the Sprague High School Orchestra. Other local artists include the Lords of Blackwood, Boundless Joy and Rondalla Sentimiento Latino. Even Portland’s Unipiper is expected to attend with his kilt, blazing bagpipes and Darth Vader mask.