816 North

Liberty event brings beautiful music to spots like porches, businesses, street corners and parks

The KC Jazz Band performed on Water Street last year.
The KC Jazz Band performed on Water Street last year. Courtesy photo

Summer will start on a high note in Liberty June 21st, and music makers still have time to join in. Organizers of the Make Music Liberty event are encouraging anyone to grab their ukulele, drum, harmonica or simply interest in live music and head to town for the day-long celebration of music and the start of of the warmest season.

The event features dozens of musicians from throughout the metro playing in free venues including front porches, businesses, street corners, pavilions and parks. There’s still time for those who want to participate as musicians to sign up. The deadline for signing up to play is midnight on Thursday.

Make Music Liberty is part of the 35th annual International Make Music Day event which takes place simultaneously in more than 720 cities in 120 countries around the globe. There are no special qualifications required for musicians. Anyone who wants to grab an instrument, play a tune and join in is invited to participate. Venue options and registration information are available at www.makemusicliberty.org.

This is the second year the Liberty Arts Commission and the City of Liberty have participated in the international event. In Missouri, the only two locations for Make Music events are in St. Louis and Liberty. There are no locations in Kansas. Both cities hosted the music event for the first time last year. The Liberty event is the only one in the metro area. It is drawing musicians from throughout the city.

Bill Stilfield, the Chair of Make Music Day Liberty says their inaugural event was well received.

“It is a celebration of music and the joy of music and the beginning of summer,” Stilfield said. “We had a good response last year. It was very hot and humid, but all things considered we had a good response and I was pleased with the participation we had last year.”

Many of the more than 50 registered artists are local. Some are kids. The Corbin Theatre is sponsoring an “all-kids” all-day.

However, Stilfield says performers are coming from a wider area throughout Kansas City.

Overland Park drum instructor and drum circle facilitator Cathy Burchett is bringing her drum circle group from Johnson County for an open drum circle event sponsored by Serenity on the Square in Liberty.

Patti Stark, owner of Serenity on the Square, says the Liberty Arts Commission asked her to sponsor a drum circle. The business will also serve as a venue for other musicians throughout the day.

Stark said the event fit perfectly with the healing mission of her business.

“The beat of the drum and the type of drumming that she (Cathy Burchett) does in the drum circles and the different types of drums is very uplifting.” Stark said.

“It has a lot of healing qualities. The brain synchronizes to the beat. It’s like adult play. You are never too old to try something new,” Stark said.

The drum circle, which will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rotary Club Plaza in Liberty, will be open to anyone who wants to bring their own traditional, African, Native American or Middle Eastern drums. No pre-registration is required. It will be instructional.

This year’s event will also include a “Mass-Appeal” ukulele event which encourages ukulele players to bring out their instruments and play together.

The event includes free ukulele music songbooks. A harmonica mass appeal event will occur at the same time as the drum circle, where 100 free harmonicas will be given away. In each of these events, the public is encouraged to come, bring instruments, or just their interest in the instrument, and play along. Palen Music Center is also hosting a musical instrument “petting zoo” which will give visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of instruments.

Most of the venues are near the historic downtown area of Liberty, making it possible to walk and enjoy several different performances. Musicians will start playing at 10 a.m. and are scheduled throughout the day until 8 p.m. Schedules of the performers and venues are available at www.makemusicliberty.org. It is also advisable to bring your own lawn chair.

Make Music Liberty Event

What: About 50 artists in more than a dozen venues throughout Liberty at this free event

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 21

Information: www.makemusicliberty.org