I recall that last year's inaugural Make Music Madison was a damp affair in the morning, giving rise to an iconic vignette: a solo trumpeter standing under a tree playing "Stormy Weather." Perfect.
The global celebration of music, which I understand to have been conceived in Paris 32 years ago as a summer solstice celebration, returns to Madison on the solstice, which is June 21. The local version of the event promises 380 concerts "everywhere, all outdoors, all free, all day." I'm not sure about the all-outdoors part; if it rains like it did last year, there will be indoor alternatives in most cases.
There's definitely an eccentric, eclectic bent to the event, with features such performers as the Malcolm Shabazz High School fiddle class playing Irish and Quebecois fiddle tunes at 4 p.m. in Burrows Park. Then there are the somewhat more conventional performances, such as the Isthmus Jazz Festival, all day on the Memorial Union Terrace, with the headliner, bassist Richard Davis, appearing with pianist Willie Pickens in the newly reopened Wisconsin Union Theater at 7:30 p.m.
There's a lot going on musically on June 21. Fortunately, we have the program for you with this week's Isthmus. Check it out and plan to go listen to some music at Make Music Madison.
On page 31 you will find this year's Madison's Favorites Poll, our annual survey of the readership to find what is activating your program this year. We ask about the usual: bars, restaurants, stores, bands, nightclubs, etc. This year we also crowdsourced some of the questions on social media. You can fill out the paper ballot and send it in or, much more likely, do it online at isthmus.com/favorites or on mobile at m.isthmus.com/favorites.
The poll will run in three more issues; the results will appear in the Annual Manual, inserted in Isthmus issue No. 35, out on Aug. 28. Voting closes July 6.