As part of World Music Month, the business districts will host live musical performances from multicultural bands.

By Karla Kane

(Image via the Palo Alto World Music Day Facebook page)

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 canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 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 who made their public debut at the 2019 World Music Day event.

“It also happened to be Father’s Day, and for me it was definitely the best one ever,” says band dad Mark Wong-VanHaren.

The group performs songs in English, Catalan, Spanish, French and Hawaiian. With daughter Zoe Wong-VanHaren 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, as Mark explained to us,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

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