On June 21, 750 cities in 120 countries will participate in Make Music Day, or “Fête de la Musique.” Originating in France, this festival was created by French Cultural Minister Jack Lang in 1982 to be an annual celebration of music in its most welcoming form.
Free for the public and open to musicians of any genre or skill level, the citywide musical performances that shut down the streets of Paris have now been adopted by many communities around the world. Here’s our list of events in the United States and in Canada that will pay homage to their French origins.*
As part of Boston’s Make Music Day celebration, French guitarist Bertrand Laurence will be playing at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza.
Alliance Française de Calgary
On June 23, Calgary will celebrate music and the opening of the new Alliance Française location.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
An open mic hosted by the Alliance Française d’Halifax will take place outdoors in the evening.
This is the 20th year that a Fête de la Musique has taken place in Miami. There will be a two-night free festival that showcases different genres all around the city.
The event is organized by the Union Française de Montréal and takes place in the newly opened performance hall Rougier. DJs will be playing throughout the night to keep guests dancing and partying.
New York, New York
A special performance of French composer Gérard Grisey’s Le Noir de L’Etoile will take place at the American Museum of Natural History. Additionally, French-American Restaurant Perrine will host a street food festival inspired by Paris’ Le Marais district and many French contemporary artists will perform on Central Parks’ Summer Stage including renowned French DJ Wax Tailor.
Providence, Rhode Island
Alliance Française de Providence
This potluck-style fête will feature all styles of musical entertainment including the Alliance Française Chorus, Beethoven, and Magnolia the Cajun Band.
Alliance Française Roswell
An evening of French music, wine and snacks.
San Francisco, California
Alliance Française de San Francisco
The Alliance Française will welcome ten artists and bands at its townhouse on Bush Street.
San Diego, California
The event is co-sponsored by the Alliance Française de San Diego and other local French groups.
Alliance Française de Toronto and Franco-Fête will co-host this festival at the Harbourfront Centre, featuring local Cajun music band Swamperella.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
La Baguette Magique
This local French pastry shop will be hosting concerts and open jam sessions: don’t forget to bring your own instrument!
The festival will feature French carnival games like pétanque and chamboule-tout.
*Many other festivals inspired by Fête de la Musique will take place in cities all over North America. They can be found at makemusicday.org.