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


PRESS RELEASE 06/07/2013
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 – Now in its fifth year, Palo Alto World Music Day will be celebrated on Father's Day, Sunday, June 16, 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 8 PM 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 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, dance, etc.

All performances will be free and open to the public. The public will have an opportunity to dance to the tunes of music played by three different bands on King Plaza. 

"World Music Day has become a great annual tradition in Palo Alto. It is a wonderful community building event and celebration of music," said Greg Scharff, 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.”

World Music Day was brought to Palo Alto for the first time in 2009 by an initiative from Human Relations Commissioner 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.  The festival is always free to the public and 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, Denver, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Berkeley. In Palo Alto, World Music Day is organized by the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation that also puts together the Black and White Ball and other local events.

Among the many noteworthy groups appearing at the event is the Redwood Symphony Chamber Ensemble, led by Music Director Eric Kujawsky. The group will perform various classic and popular selections for small ensembles, including Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Bartok violin duets.

At King Plaza, California Blues Machine, Acoustic Son and the T Clemente Band will play dance music. At Lytton Plaza, Da! Mozhem and the Nema Problema Chorale will play Balkan music, followed by the Palo Alto Jazz Quintet, and Plaka Band with Greek music. The group Nachda Punjab will perform Punjabi folk dances. Other musicians include opera singer Catherine Vincenti, and several well-known local groups such as the BuffaloChips, Singing Wood Marimba, the Divisa Ensemble, Ken Brown Gypsy Jazz Combo and the following choral ensembles: M’EarthTones, the Peninsulaires, the Peninsula Harmony Chorus, and the World Harmony Chorus.

The City of Palo Alto is sponsoring the event and the City Council has declared June 16 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, Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, Palo Alto Family YMCA, Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto, LiveSV, Palo Alto Community Fund, and News for Chinese.

For more information about the event, please go to