June 17th, 2022

McMinnville joins the international Make Music Day celebration

Three young women playing the flute stand in front of music stands, while a crowd watches in a grassy field.
Photo credit: The Americas Society [Make Music New York 2014]

On this year’s Summer Solstice, McMinnville joins the Fête de la Musique bandwagon.

Since it launched in France in 1982, Make Music Day has spread to 120 countries around the globe and is celebrated in thousands of cities. The concept and execution is simple: Musicians hit the streets, courtyards, open-air markets and parks around town, and they play until the sun goes down.

They’ll be everywhere Tuesday. Mostly downtown, both indoors and out, but also at Mac Market in the Alpine District and at McMinnville’s City Park. There are nearly 40 bands and musicians, and they’ll play everything: Classical. Rock. Jazz. Bluegrass. Native American. Blues. 

That’s just a short list. 

And it’s free. 

“It’s the longest day of the year, and we’re packing in as much music as possible,” says Jamie Corff, who co-founded Make Music McMinnville with Freddie Lamb and Darlene Siegel. 

Make Music Day didn’t land in the U.S. until 2007, and McMinnville is one of only four Oregon cities where it will be celebrated this year. So yeah, McMinnville can take some pride in that, and also in the fact that we have a lot of local musicians. 

Folk/Roots musician Barrie Dempsey gets things started at 11 a.m. at the McMinnville Public Library courtyard, and the Rendezvous String Band is first out of the gate at Mac Market at 11:30 a.m. 

McMinnville Hotel Oregon downtown lays claim to having the most sets, with ten artists booked in the Paragon Room starting at noon, and they join The Bitter Monk a couple blocks west in keeping the music playing until sundown (9:03 p.m.!) and beyond.

Beyond the meat and potatoes fare of rock, folk, jazz and classical, there’s an eclectic mix:  Native American, international and “other” music on tap: Check out Christine Kirk’s All People Yoga Vibrational Sound Bath at City Park at noon, or wander over to the library and hear the Inner Oasis Drum Circle, also at noon. Huehca Omeyocan takes you south of the border to Mexihca at 4 at City Park, and the Rivertones play Celtic music at 5:30 p.m. at the Atticus Hotel courtyard on Ford Street.

Other venues not mentioned above include the Gallery Theater courtyard and Macstage, where the music starts at 4 and 4:30 p.m. respectively. 

Look for a complete schedule along with band/musician bios at the McMinnville Make Music Day website, and count on sunny skies and a perfect 75-degree day Tuesday. This is a new event for McMinnville. Be able to say you were there!

Beyond Make Music Day, there are plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks for music and live entertainment around McMinnville. 

Mark your calendars for:

The Aquilon Music Festival: This 3-week opera-centric celebration kicks off June 26 and includes events at Linfield University and area wineries. Complete schedule here

Music at the Park: The Summer Fun Concert Series runs June 28-July 26, Tuesdays at City Park starting at 6:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy this free community event and much more.

Whiskey & Diamonds: McMinnville’s dynamic entertainment duo of Richard Pratt and Kathleen Van De Veere will do a one-night only performance celebrating Hollywood’s Golden Era on July 1, 7:30 p.m. on Gallery Theater’s main stage.  

Gallery Theater: Newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter are still trying to get their lives together in Neil Simon’s classic New York comedy. A 3-week run opens July 29. Get your tickets here

McMenamins Hotel Oregon: You can count on live music here three nights a week, Thursday-Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. Sonny Hess, Mojo Holler, Manzanita, Amy Bleu, Michelle Van Kleef and many more. Complete schedule here

A cartoon of David Bates

About the author: David Bates is a McMinnville writer who has appeared in Gallery Theater productions since 1998.