First and foremost: it's insanely hot today, so slather on the sunscreen and drink a lot of water. Like, a lot. How many glasses have you had today? If you have to stop and think, the answer is "not enough." (That's what my mother always used to tell me.)
Now, on to the fun stuff. Make Music New York is an annual festival where public spaces are transformed into performance spaces from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some of the highlights from this year include:
The world premiere of a new choral arrangement from Philip Glass, The New Rule. Featuring text from the medieval Sufi poet Rumi, this event is open to everyone -- professional, amateur and otherwise. If you want to take part in the premiere, you can download the score to The New Rule here, and be sure to arrive in Times Square by 6:30 p.m. The Mass Appeal Mass (as it's being called) will also include choral selections by Bruckner, Mozart, Handel and Bach, the scores to which you can download here.
If your tastes run a little noisier, you're welcome to join the Circuit Benders event, held at The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge (Water and Pearl Streets, DUMBO, from 6 to 8 p.m.). For the uninitiated, circuit bending involves taking cheap "tabletop" keyboards and manually overloading their potentiometers and circuits to create whole new sounds. If you're interested in joining, here's how and where to register.
There are two separate guitar events, one at Union Square and the other at 92Y. At Union Square, guitarists of all ages are invited to perform at a 5:30 p.m. concert featuring songs by Bob Marley, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, and more. Then guitar legend Alex Skolnick (primarily known for thrash pioneers Testament, but also for his own genre-twisting jazz group The Alex Skolnick Trio) will be taking the stage at 6 p.m. Uptown, starting at 5:30 p.m., local hero Chris Bergson will be leading a blues jam, and then at 6:30, Nelson Riveros is heading up his own Latin session.
We're excited for the wild, wonderful, and always exciting Slavic Soul Party's neighborhood concert at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx (it kicks off at 6 p.m.). The band mashes traditional Balkan brass band music with Latin, dub, and funk influences for a virtuosic, jazzy mishmash of cultures that's highly danceable, extremely fun, and quintessentially New York.
Finally, as things start to (mercifully) cool down, head to Smoke Supper Club and Lounge in Harlem to catch the Bruce Harris Sextet play the music of Miles Davis, part of the club's ongoing tribute to the Prince of Darkness. If you're still up for it, at 11:30 p.m., the Nickel and Dime OPS will be performing their own unique twist on Davis' music.