The 10 best free concerts to see at Make Music New York 2014

We spotlight the key events at Saturday’s citywide outdoor music marathon



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Make Music New York: Mass Appeal Guitars

Make Music New York: Mass Appeal Guitars Photograph: Getty Images for NAM

This Saturday, June 21, the eighth annual summer-solstice celebration known as Make Music New York takes over NYC, presenting hundreds of free concerts throughout the five boroughs. The fest, one of New York's largest, has a participatory bent, inviting professional and amateur musicians alike to join in the citywide musicmaking. Check out of some of MMNY's hottest events, and start your summer with a bang, a strum or a trill.

Mass Appeal (Various locations and times)
MMNY invites you to join one of their 18 single-instrument armies for players of everything from flute to ukulele. No musical experience? Join the humming group—yes, it's a real thing.

Privia Piano Bar (Various locations and times)
Pianist Simon Mulligan will spend his solstice traveling Manhattan, accompanying amateur singers on classic Billy Joel hits live from the bed of a pickup. If you're a karaoke superstar, be sure to stop by one of Mulligan's four sets, as the best two singers win tickets to see the original Piano Man live at Madison Square Garden that night.

Punk Island (Staten Island; 11am)
More than 90 bands converge on Staten Island for ten hours of raucous fun, just yards from the ferry terminal.

Howth (Tradesman; Bushwick, Brooklyn; 1pm)
Savor some tender tunes from this Jersey folk-rock quintet.

Berlioz Band (Bryant Park; 3, 4:30pm)
Calling all past and present band kids: Jeff W. Ball of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony conducts Hector Berlioz's Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triumphale. Sign up online to join the ensemble for all the fun of band practice, minus the swirlies.

DJ Kool Herc: A Tribute to a Founding Father of Hip-Hop (Bronx Music Heritage Center; 4pm)
It's a hip-hop homecoming, honoring Bronx native DJ Kool Herc, whose revolutionary turntable stylings laid the foundations for the genre, and inspired the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash.

DVA (Waterfront Ale House; Brooklyn Heights; 4pm)
This Czech brother-sister team offers a surprisingly accessible brand of experimental electrofolk.

Red Baraat's 100+ BPM (Grand Army Plaza; Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 4:30pm)
This renowned bhangra-jazz-funk fusion ensemble premieres its NPR-commissioned 100+ BPM on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library. Percussionists and brass players are invited to download the score online and join the party.

Raccoon Fighter (East River Park Bandshell, Lower East Side; 5:15pm. McCarren Park, Field House South; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 7:45pm.)
This raucous garage-blues buzz band is playing two Make Music sets, promising dirty riffs perfect for fans of the Black Keys.

Throw Vision (Muchmore's; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 7pm)
Enjoy an evening of indie pop with an experimental edge, à la Tune-Yards.

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