Last year's World Music Day -- a Palo Alto tradition based on the international event which celebrates the music of the world with a day of free concerts -- was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2021, the event has evolved into a monthlong celebration of live music, with performers playing from noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. on California and University avenues on Saturdays and Sundays in June.
The focus this year, according to the event's website, is "on supporting local business and inviting live music back in our community," with the goal of providing music compatible with dining and shopping in the two business districts.
World Music Day has a special place in the hearts of the members of Camacu, a Palo Alto family band made up of father Mark Wong-VanHaren, mother Nerissa Wong-VanHaren, daughter and 2020 Paly grad Zoe Wong-VanHaren, and rising Paly senior Trevor Wong-VanHaren. The 2019 World Music Day, Mark Wong-VanHaren told this news organization, was the group's public debut.
"It also happened to be Father's Day, and for me it was definitely the best one ever," he said.
The group performs songs in English, Catalan, Spanish, French, and Hawaiian. With Zoe spending much of the past year with relatives in Hawaii, the family did its best to keep music going during a time of social distancing. Now, Mark Wong-VanHaren said they're looking forward to their performances on California Avenue on June 6 and University Avenue on June 26.
Other participating musicians in Palo Alto World Music Month will include Hobbyhorse, Los Panaderos, Singing Wood Marimba, Peninsula Harmony Chorus and many others.
The event is presented by the city of Palo Alto, Palo Alto Recreation Foundation and the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce.
A performance schedule is available online. For more information, go to parecfoundation.org.