International Make Music Day brings extra strums and drums to Santa Fe
A coterie of musicians, music lovers, organizers and hangers-on will come together in the Santa Fe Railyard on Wednesday, June 21—the longest day of the year—for Santa Fe’s version of Make Music Day, an internationally celebrated event/holiday that came to be thanks to the efforts of two particularly musically-inclined Frenchmen.
In 1982, then-Minister of Culture Jack Lang, and Director of Dance and Music for the Ministry Maurice Fleuret began to brainstorm a new national holiday that would bring music to public spaces all over their country. The event became known as the Fête de la Musique, and since its American debut in New York City as Make Music New York in 2008, has become more well known across the United States and the rest of the world.
This year in Santa Fe, the celebration will be less focused on a pre-scheduled scheduled concert series as it was in years past, and more about engaging event-goers of all ages and skill sets with interactive musical activities.
“We’re not just encouraging people to listen to music,” says project manager Francesca Jozette, herself the front woman of local band Free Range Buddhas, “but to make it.”
This year’s Make Music will provide numerous opportunities for participants to learn how to play various instruments or to sing in groups regardless of their musical backgrounds. In addition to gifting 100 harmonicas to people interested in joining an on-the-spot lesson/session with music educator Phil Arnold, organizers will also preside over a West African drum circle, songwriting sessions and a ukulele strum-along led by experienced local musicians Akeem Ayanniyi, Lucy Barna and others. Everyone is also encouraged to bring their own instruments to improv with strangers—or to perform their very own impromptu streetside performance.
This year marks the first time the event will be concentrated in the Railyard, so attendees won’t have to travel all over town to get from one offering to another as they had in previous years. Jozette also says there will be vendors, arts and crafts, handcrafted flutes, henna and more, as well as food carts for filling your stomach in-between activities. Even if you’re new to music, Jozette says, Make Music Day is all about inclusivity.
“Don’t worry,” she advises. “Just come and we will facilitate your discovery.” (Noah Hale)
Make Music Day: 1-8 pm Wednesday, June 21. Free. Santa Fe Railyard, Market and Alcaldesa streets, makemusicday.org/santafe/
As Pride month keeps a-rolling in Santa Fe, our locally based Human Rights Alliance has numerous events planned ahead of the big party on the Plaza on Saturday, June 24—its 30th. We recommend catching it when comics Marga Gomez and Jared Goldstein together take over the theater space at the Scottish Rite Center with their particular blend of yuks. In 2019, Time Out LA named Los Angeles’ Goldstein one of its comics to watch; and Gomez’s prolific playwright chops (13 solo acts at last count) and theater work in NYC prove she probably has a way with words and a way with laughs. In summation: We could all surely use a laugh, here’s how to get it. (Alex De Vore)
PRIDE30 Comedy Night: 6:30 pm Friday, June 16. $25-$75. Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta, hrasantafe.org
The Newest of New Media
Awwww, yeah—it’s CURRENTS time of year, that glorious annual week-or-so wherein notably new media artists from around the art-o-sphere converge upon Santa Fe with immersive, engaging and often interactive works in video, VR, AR, sound, light, installation and on and on and on. 2023 marks the 13th iteration of the fest, as well as its third venue—this time the sprawling Santa Fe County Fairgrounds. And though we could rattle of a list of names and media to consider, if you know you know; and if you don’t, now’s the time to learn. Hats off to founders Mariannah Amster and Frank Ragano for keeping CURRENTS alive through the years, and hats off to Santa Fe for understanding its vitality and importance in the broader art world. Do note that day passes run $10, but an all-access pass will only cost you $5 more. (ADV)
CURRENTS: 5-11 pm Friday, June 16, noon-11 pm Saturday, June 17 and noon-7 pm Sunday, June 18. Through Sunday, June 25. $10-$15. Santa Fe Country Fairgrounds, 3229 Rodeo Road, currentsnewmedia.org
Back in the summer of 2016, when Santa Fe’s downtown museums all agreed that lowrider cars rule and hosted a bunch of joint exhibits, the late former mayor Javier Gonzales declared there would forever be a Lowrider Day in Santa Fe. And guess what? Another is upon us, though the event has grown from a simple lowrider cruise to add hydraulics competitions, a visual arts element and more. There’s an argument to be made for New Mexico having the most impact on the culture in the years since second generation Mexican immigrants started lowering their Chevys in LA, but even if we just take the event at face value—a bunch of beautiful, artistically staggering cars looking all dope—that’s enough. Long live low ‘n’ slow and long live Lowrider Day! (ADV)
Lowrider Day on the Plaza: Noon-4 pm Saturday, June 17. Santa Fe Plaza, 100 Old Santa Fe Trail, facebook.com/nmlowriderarte