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PR- 218-11
June 16, 2011


Two-Week Installation of 88 Pianos in Public Sites in All Five Boroughs Kicks Off on June 18

Make Music New York Festival on June 21 Features 1,000 Free Musical Performances
throughout New York City

For Locations of Pianos and Performances and More Information, Call 311 or Visit 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Sing for Hope Co-Founding Directors Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, and Make Music New York Founder Aaron Friedman today announced that Sing For Hope’s Pop-up Pianos installation and Make Music New York will begin in New York City this weekend. Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos is a two-week program inspired by British Artist Luke Jerram that will feature 88 pianos in public spaces throughout New York City – the world’s largest street piano installation, which is expected to reach over two million people. The pianos double as works of art as they have been individually designed and decorated by local artists, students and volunteers.  Additionally, Sing for Hope will host themed concerts in each borough throughout the pianos’ two-week residency. The 5th Annual Make Music New York event on June 21 will feature more than 1,000 free musical performances at locations in all five boroughs. The festival will begin with an opening concert series on Governors Island on June 19 and then will open in full at dawn on June 21 in Central Park with Yoko Ono’s Secret Piece. It will continue with more than 1,000 concerts in parks, plazas, playgrounds, sidewalks, and even the balconies of the New York Stock Exchange, all day long.  Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos and Make Music New York events are free and open to the public.

“New York City is the world’s greatest backdrop for arts and culture events and festivals, and Sing for Hope’s pop-up pianos and Make Music New York events are two of the most inspired and popular,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “After last year’s success, we’ve joined with Sing for Hope again this year for the two week project that will feature 88 public pianos – painted by artists and community groups – in parks and plazas across the City for anyone to play. With the return of Make Music New York, which itself will feature 1,000 free performances throughout the five boroughs on June 21, New Yorkers and visitors will have a lot to tune into.”

 “The Bloomberg Administration has championed dozens of public arts and cultural projects in all five boroughs to help make New York City an even more vibrant place to live, work and visit,” said First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris. “The arrival of Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos and Make Music New York is good news whether you are an accomplished virtuoso or a casual music enthusiast.”

“Sing for Hope’s 88 Pop-Up Pianos are made possible by hundreds of NYC-based professional artists who donate thousands of hours to bring the pianos to NYC’s public spaces for 2 weeks, after which each piano is donated to the schools and hospitals that Sing for Hope serves year-round,” said Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, Co-Founding Directors of Sing for Hope. “Sing for Hope's Pop-Up Pianos are an expression of the volunteerism and vitality of NYC's professional artist community, and the ultimate urban recycling project!”

“We are proud to return for a fifth year with more than 1,000 musical events, all free, in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of the city,” said Make Music New York Founder Aaron Friedman. “From well-known artists to amateur strummers, from rappers to opera singers, Make Music New York brings an unparalleled variety of music to our City’s public spaces on a single day, June 21st. You may encounter brass musicians at the Central Park Lake, West African griots in the Bronx, or teenage rock bands on a street corner near you.”

“With over 1,000 concerts and 88 decorated pianos, Make Music New York and Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos invite New Yorkers and visitors to experience and create music in neighborhoods across the City,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. "New York City is home to the greatest artists and audiences in the world and we are thrilled that our sidewalks, parks and plazas will serve as a stage for these terrific projects and many other performance festivals this summer.”

“One of the great joys of visiting a New York City park is attending one of the many concerts and musical performances that take place each summer,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe.  “Now in its fifth year, Make Music New York provides a unique festival on June 21 of free concerts in over 1,000 public places, including many parks, plazas and gardens.  With Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos, New Yorkers will take advantage of this unique opportunity to practice their chopsticks – or their chops! – in the great outdoors.”

Sing for Hope’s Pop Up Pianos will be located in public plazas and parks, where ‘piano buddies’ from local community organizations and neighborhood parks have volunteered to take care of them during their two-week installation. At the end of the project, the pianos will be donated by Sing for Hope to New York City schools, hospitals and community organizations served by the organization year-round.

Additionally, Sing for Hope will host free and open to the public concerts in all five borough that will celebrate the arts and honor the uniqueness of each borough:

Staten Island Concert - Saturday, June 18, 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Snug Harbor
Kicked off by soprano Carla Janzen and composer and pianist Todd Almond with a mixture of original pieces and American standards, Sing for Hope will explore the evolving voice of New York City.  Following this duo will be native Staten Island band Joan Caddell and the Midnight Choir. 
Queens Concert - Saturday, June 18, 3:00 – 4:00 PM, Louis Armstrong House Museum
Located in the beautiful garden of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the second Borough Concert of the Pop-Up Piano project will celebrate the diverse jazz of Queens.  Starting with the smoky smooth vocals of American Smooth Jazz Award nominee Anders Holst and the bold sound of the Sugartone Brass Band -- New York City’s premier New Orleans-style second line band. 
Brooklyn Concert - Friday, June 24, 6:00 – 7:00 PM, DUMBO Archway
To celebrate this hip neighborhood and the Brooklyn renaissance, Sing for Hope brings together the amazing visual and crochet artist Olek and Elaine Kwon who will be performing throughout the evening wearing a custom crocheted outfit matching the piano.  Also playing will be the piano-based folk pop group Greene Girl.  Then, Melanie Edwards Laboratories, and finally, Brooklyn based artist Lacrymosa.

The Bronx Concert - Sunday, June 26, 6:00 – 7:00 PM, Van Cortlandt Park
Sing for Hope’s fourth Borough Concert during the Pop-Up Piano Project will focus on the talent of emerging artists.  Presented in the stadium at Van Corlandt Park in The Bronx, this concert will center on the phenomenally talented Vital.  
Manhattan Concert - Saturday, July 2, 11:00 – 12:00, Lincoln Center Rubenstein Atrium
Produced in conjunction with Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artist” series, this concert will showcase the extraordinary talent of Tituss Burgess alongside other musical theater composers, lyricists, and performers. 

Make Music New York returns for its fifth year of free concerts in public spaces throughout New York City, all on the first day of summer. On June 21, from dawn to 10:00 PM, musicians of all ages and musical genres – from Hip-hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock – will perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, parks and gardens. Highlights of this year’s line up include:

  • Yoko Ono’s “Secret Piece”, which calls for any number of musicians to gather in Central Park at dawn and “play a single note in the forest” until 8 am;
  • In cooperation with the Department of Transportation, British musician and producer Nick Franglen of electronica band Lemon Jelly will create an entirely improvised 24-hour piece of music on the theremin and guitar in The Archway in DUMBO, collaborating with cyclists crossing the Manhattan Bridge. The piece will start and end at midnight;
  • A Second Line Parade on the High Line will be a family-friendly musical procession celebrating the spirits and sounds of New Orleans. The Hungry Marching Band and others will perform starting at 6 PM at the 10th Avenue Overlook (near W. 17th St), and parade through the park’s newly opened section. Performances on the High Line are generously supported by The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation.
  • City Winery will host indie-rock artist Mike Doughty in a performance outside the venue at 155 Varick Street in Soho;
  • At 1:00 PM, a performance of Dutch minimalist composer Louis Andriessen’s Hoketus, for two spatially-separated quintets of musicians, will begin with one group on the outdoor balconies of the New York Stock Exchange building, and another on the sidewalk at the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets; 
  • From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Wave Hill in the Bronx will host the Griot Summit, bringing together New York’s West African musicians and storytellers to perform on a variety of instruments in the garden throughout the afternoon;
  • At 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM comes the return of a concert surrounding the Central Park Lake with audience members in rowboats. New York’s MATA Festival has commissioned Australian composer Julian Day / Super Critical Mass to compose Swelter, a large-scale piece for multiple brass instruments, to be played by Tilt Brass.
  • Since Governors Island is closed to the public on June 21st, Make Music New York’s annual Punk Island festival, in which more than 50 bands play on multiple stages, will take place two days earlier on Sunday, June 19th from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This year, Punk Island is organized by ABC NO RIO, the cultural hub of NYC’s punk community and features headlining act: the British band Zounds (1977-82) performing its first-ever US show.       

Founded by opera singers with a desire to lift their voices for social change, Sing for Hope mobilizes more than 700 world-class artists – from classical musicians to photographers to Broadway performers – who donate time and talent to volunteer service programs that benefit schools, hospitals and communities.  Sing for Hope provides three programs: Art U! (dynamic arts and leadership education for under-resourced youth), Healing Arts (in-hospital performances and workshops that complement the healing process), and Community Arts (events that raise awareness and funds for humanitarian causes, and projects that dismantle barriers to arts accessibility).

Make Music New York was inspired by France’s Fête de la Musique, a celebration of music on the Summer Solstice that brings free concerts to 300 cities all day long. Last year Make Music New York presented 1,025 concerts with 5,000 musicians at 382 locations throughout all five boroughs of New York City.

For further information about “Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos” or Make Music New York, New Yorkers and visitors can dial 311 or visit, or 


Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Danai Pointer/Ryan Max (Cultural Affairs)   (212) 513-9322

Tahra Grant / Molly Dince (Sing for Hope)   (212) 843-9213

Steven Swartz (Make Music New York)   (646) 206-3966


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