Aaron Friedman has been at the center of it all, coordinating with city officials to put on over 560 performances in one day, in both real and makeshift venues throughout New York neighborhoods. See musicians on the Brooklyn Bridge, in the cemetery, on the sidewalk or even at the Metropolitan Opera. With all the little nooks in New York, you'd think something like this event originated here. However, it all began in Paris in 1982 with a music festival called Fete de la Musique. From that, it grew, and this year approximately 340 cities will host similar day long events.
Friedman traveled to Paris last summer to see how the city "was transformed by the nearly 1,000 Fete de la Musique concerts that lingered into the night." The NY Sun takes us through the process he's gone through since, in bringing it to New York:
He met with organizers to get advice on how to start a similar event in New York. When he returned he contacted Citizens for NYC, hired a group of interns, and started making calls to neighborhood associations and community groups. His interns, mostly music students from New York and Columbia universities, each recruited musicians from an assigned genre of music.
One intern, Shalini Agrawal, 20, said she visited open mikes and restaurants that hosted Latin performers to find willing musicians.
An "avalanche of musicians" came directly to Mr. Friedman after the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers sent out an e-mail message to its 25,000 members.
Friedman, a saxophonist who just three years ago started Silent Majority: Citizens Against Car Alarms, has now decided to incorporate the city sounds with that of a musicians (at least for one day). Commenting on this, he says, "This project is sort of the inverse of that. Sound is something you are forced to interact with through the day. One of the things that makes New York unique is the incredible density of sound and people, which can create feelings of claustrophobia and anonymity."
If you want to catch some performances (and we imagine you'll see some if you just leave your apartment on Thursday), check out a full listing at Time Out NY.