News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

World Music Day Festival Coming Back to Downtown Palo Alto
University Avenue to Become Pedestrian Corridor for Free Event
Contact : Thomas Fehrenbach, Economic Development Manager    650-329-2604
Claude Ezran, Event Coordinator    650-248-5706
Palo Alto, CA–For the sixth year, Palo Alto World Music Day will return to downtown Palo Alto on Father's Day, Sunday, June 15, on University Avenue and King Plaza from 3-7:30 p.m.  Street closures will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on University Avenue between Webster Street and High Street, and on Hamilton Avenue between Bryant Street and Ramona Street.

World Music Day is a free music festival that takes place in cities around the world every year close to the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. In Palo Alto, 50 professional and amateur musical groups will perform on sidewalks and street corners along University Avenue and in King Plaza.  A wide variety of musical genres will be performed, including jazz, blues, pop, rock, classical, world music, choral, and dance.

"We are excited to have World Music Day return to Palo Alto for the sixth year. It has become a great annual tradition and is a wonderful way to preserve and promote cultural and performing arts in our community," said Palo Alto Mayor Nancy Shepherd.  "This will be a great event for the whole family, and with so many different types of music and dance being performed, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy." 

World Music Day was brought to Palo Alto for the first time in 2009 by an initiative from former Human Relations Commissioner Claude Ezran. World Music Day is an opportunity to celebrate the musical arts in all their forms in connection with the rest of the world.  In the U.S., World Music Day festivals have been held in many cities for the past several years, including New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Berkeley. 

There will be many noteworthy groups appearing at the event, including choral ensembles M'EarthTones, the Peninsulaires, the Peninsula Harmony Chorus, and the World Harmony Chorus. King Plaza will be the place for dance music. Bands performing there include Sadza Marimba, playing Zimbabwe music; Acoustic Son, playing acoustic folk/rock; and T Clemente Band, a 70s and 80s rock and roll band.  At Lytton Plaza, Hands on Fire will play World Tribal Funk, followed by Bhangra Dance Studio performing Punjabi folk dance, and Grounds for Dismissal playing country music. Other musicians and groups include opera singer Catherine Vincenti, singer/songwriter Hannah May Allison, Celtic group Hobbyhorse, Ragtime band Blues Kazoo, Joanna Finnis Singing School performing Broadway and pop, Drumming Fun performing West African drum and dance, and local groups Buffalo Chips and Singing Wood Marimba. 

All performances will be free and open to the public. Musicians donate their performances.

The City of Palo Alto is sponsoring the event that is organized by the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation, which also puts together the Black and White Ball and other local events. Other sponsors include the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, Shop Palo Alto, the Palo Alto Downtown Business and Professional Association, Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, LiveSV, and News for Chinese.

For more information about the event, please go to