International Strange Music Day promotes expanding musical horizons

International Strange Music Day, an annual Aug. 24 holiday aimed at broadening musical horizons, was founded by a New York-based musician in 1998.

Patrick Grant, a musician and composer born in Detroit and now based in New York, said he founded Strange Music Day in 1998 to encourage audiophiles to listen to music they might consider to be “strange.”

“It is always good to listen [to] and play music that we are unfamiliar with,” Grant told the Exploring the Metropolis blog in a 2012 interview, “It keeps our ears and outlook fresh.”

The date Aug. 24 was chosen in honor of Grant’s then-girlfriend’s father, who had his birthday on that date. He said the older man served as an important mentor to him.

Grant, a graduate of the Juilliard School, said he started noticing music schools celebrating the holiday in 2002, and he changed the name of the holiday to International Strange Music Day after seeing posts online about the holiday being celebrated in Europe.

Other holidays and observances for Aug. 24, 2022, include Can Opener Day; International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination and Violence based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle and Dress Code; Knife Day; National Peach Pie Day; National Waffle Day; National Waffle Iron Day; Pluto Demoted Day; Shooting Star Day; Vesuvius Day; Wayzgoose Day; Weather Complaint Day and William Wilberforce Day.