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


PRESS RELEASE 06/08/2011
Subject :

Music Festival Coming to Downtown Palo Alto for a Free Father’s Day World Music Day Event
Contact : Claude Ezran, Event Coordinator    650-248-5706
Thomas Fehrenbach, Economic Development Manager    650-329-2604
Palo Alto, CA – Now in its third year, Palo Alto World Music Day will be celebrated on Father's Day, Sunday June 19, on University Avenue from 3 PM to 7:30 PM. Street closures will be in effect on University Avenue from 11 AM to 9 PM between Cowper Street and High Street.

World Music Day is a celebration of the musical arts and 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, 40 to 50 professional and amateur musical groups will perform a wide variety of musical genres on sidewalks, street corners, and plazas along University Avenue: jazz, pop, rock, classical, world music, choral, etc. All performances will be free and open to the public. 

"World Music Day is terrific free entertainment for families and people of all ages. Building on the increasing success of the event in its first two years, the City has decided this year to close University Avenue in order to make the festival even more enjoyable for the musicians, the public, and the local restaurants and merchants", said Sid Espinosa, Mayor of Palo Alto. “For the last two years, numerous attendees have requested that the City close University Avenue for this event. It's the right thing to do. What better way to spend Father's Day than bringing the whole family downtown to listen to live music, eat good food, and enjoy downtown Palo Alto? We hope to see everyone there," added Espinosa.

World Music Day was brought to Palo Alto for the first time in 2009 by an initiative of Human Relations Commissioner Claude Ezran after he saw, and thoroughly enjoyed, the festivals in London and Paris. The original idea for this type of celebration of the musical arts came from an American musician living in Paris; it started there in 1982 under the name Fête de la Musique, and quickly spread to the rest of Europe and then to the other continents. Here, in Palo Alto, it is organized by the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation which also puts together the Black and White Ball and other local events. In 2010, an estimated 10,000 people attended Palo Alto World Music Day; even more spectators are expected this year.

Among the many groups performing at the event is opera singer Catherine Vincenti and several well-known local groups such as the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, BuffaloChips, Singing Wood Marimba, Wangari Trio, Ken Brown Gipsy Jazz Combo, Les Campagnards, and the following choral ensembles: M’EarthTones, Peninsulaires Barbershop Chorus, and World Harmony Chorus.

The City of Palo Alto is sponsoring the event and the City Council has declared June 19 to be World Music Day in Palo Alto. Other sponsors include the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, Shop Palo Alto, the Palo Alto Downtown Business and Professional Association, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, the Palo Alto Community Fund, News for Chinese, and the Made in Palo Alto magazine.

For more information about the event, please go to