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


PRESS RELEASE 06/07/2012
Subject :

World Music Day Festival Coming Back to Downtown Palo Alto
University Avenue to become pedestrian corridor for free event
Contact : Claude Ezran, Event Organizer    650-248-5706
Thomas Fehrenbach, Economic Development Manager, Office of the City Manager    650-329-2604
Palo Alto, CA – Now in its fourth year, Palo Alto World Music Day will be celebrated on Father's Day, Sunday June 17, on University Avenue and King Plaza from 3 PM to 7:30 PM. Street closures will be in effect on University Avenue from 11 AM to 9 PM between Webster Street and High Street, and on Ramona Street between University and Hamilton Avenue.

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 a wide variety of musical genres on sidewalks and street corners along University Avenue and on King Plaza: jazz, pop, rock, classical, world music, choral, etc.

For the first time this year, the festival will also include dance performances: Irish, Mexican, Punjabi, tango and flamenco dances.  Furthermore, the public will have an opportunity to dance to the tunes of the music being played by three different bands on King Plaza.  All performances will be free and open to the public.

"I have seen the World Music Day festival grow year after year, to the point that last year, with 21,000 attendees from all over the Bay Area, it turned Palo Alto into a regional destination for music", said Yiaway Yeh, Mayor of Palo Alto.  “What better way to spend Father's Day than bringing the whole family downtown to listen to live music, eat good food, enjoy downtown Palo Alto, and maybe even dance?  We hope to see everyone there," added Yeh.

World Music Day was brought to Palo Alto for the first time in 2009 by an initiative of Human Relations Commission Chair Claude Ezran after he saw, and thoroughly enjoyed, the festival in Europe. World Music Day is an opportunity to celebrate the musical arts in all their forms in connection with the rest of the World, and in a festival that is always free to the public and where musicians donate their performances.  In the United States, World Music Day festivals have been held in many cities for the past few years, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Pasadena. 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.  

Among the many groups performing at the event, it is worthy to note the participation of Latin music band Tribal Heat, rock & roll band T Clemente, and folk band Acoustic Son who will all make the public dance on King Plaza.

Argentine Tango instructor George Nicol will give a tango demonstration to be followed by a class and a milonga (a tango dance party).  The group Raices de Mexico will perform folkloric dances from Mexico with 21 dancers.  Arte Flamenco will demonstrate flamenco dances, and the Green Academy will perform Irish dancing.

Other musicians include opera singer Catherine Vincenti, and several well-known local groups such as the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, BuffaloChips, Singing Wood Marimba, Les Campagnards, and the following choral ensembles: M’EarthTones, Peninsulaires Barbershop Chorus, and the World Harmony Chorus.

The City of Palo Alto is sponsoring the event and the City Council has declared June 17 to be World Music Day in Palo Alto.  Other sponsors include the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, Shop Palo Alto, Yelp, the Palo Alto Downtown Business and Professional Association, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, the Palo Alto International Film Festival, LiveSV, the Palo Alto Community Fund, News for Chinese, and the Made in Palo Alto magazine.

For more information about the event, please go to