Do You Like Good Music?

It may be a line from a famous song (Sweet Soul Music) that hit the charts before I was born (cough, cough) but this week it is a really great question as well. I have a love of music. Not the smartphones, headphones kind, but the singing around the house and in the car kind. Thanks to hands-free phones I no longer get stares from people in other cars. Well not as often anyway. It really depends on the song, lol.

There is this wonderful tradition of music in the summer in the U.S.  I am not talking about major concerts like the Madonna World Tour or even regional music festivals like last week. I am talking about small town “music on the square” concerts, downtown “brown bag lunch” music, free beach amphitheater concerts, etc. The local concerts held throughout small towns across the US. Many have been a long standing tradition going back over 100 years. They are typically free and feature local artists and bands as the entertainment.

I wanted to take a step back before we get caught up in the hype and the large scale events surrounding July 4th next week and mention these events. I think these hometown music events capture a community in a unique way and make it more intimate. You can layout out under the stars and listen to big band music, or sit on the courthouse lawn and tap your toes to the local high school jazz band or relax on a park bench during your lunch hour for what is aptly called a “brown bag lunch” concert. I highly recommend these pleasant heartwarming events. I attended one about a month ago and it was great. At least I did not have to sit in the car to sing along!

My experience has shown that there are 10’s of 1000’s of these taking place all over the country each and every month. Over the upcoming week, try to attend one. Some have great seating and serve food; others allow you to bring your own lawn chair or blanket and your own food. Check the information at each event to be sure what to expect. But be sure that you grace at least one with your presence, as it will be one of the most relaxing few hours you will spend all summer. No matter where you live, I am sure that you can find one close to you, most likely in your own hometown. Be sure to share it with someone special as it always makes it more fun!

Bar Harbor Town Band Summer Concerts

Jul 02, 2012

Village Green Bar Harbor, ME US 04609

An annual summer tradition, listening to music under the stars, weather permitting. For over 100 years the Town Band, comprised of amateur musicians from around the region, has entertained thousands of locals and visitors.

Beaver Creek Summer Music Experience

Jun 30, 2012

Beaver Creek Village Plaza Vail, CO US 81657

Enjoy a concert at Strawberry Park Bowl on a summer evening listening to a variety of music performed by talented singers and musicians. The concerts are held on select Saturday evenings in the summer.

Twilight Jazz Free Outdoor Concert – Joe Kennedy and the Antidote

Jun 26, 2012

Anderson Arts Center Kenosha, WI US 53140

Free Jazz Concert on the south lawn of Anderson Arts Center, providing food and entertainment. Band information can be found on website. Bring own blanket or lawn chair and enjoy. Free; donations gratefully accepted.

Concerts on the Green – Schools Out Band

Jun 27, 2012

Bicentennial Park Beach Haven, NJ US 08008

All concerts take place in Beach Haven Veterans Bicentennial Park, Engleside and Beach Avenues, on Wednesdays. In the event of rain, concerts are held across the street from the park in the LBI Historical Museum. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or a chair.

Brown Bag Concerts

Jun 27, 2012

Chandler Park Macomb, IL US 61455

Lunch time concerts in Chandler Park with a variety of music while you enjoy your lunch and the warm weather.

Kenosha Pops Concert Band

Jun 27, 2012

Sesquicentennial Bandshell at Pennoyer Park Kenosha, WI US 53141

Kenosha Pops Concert Band performances have been a Kenosha favorite for nearly 90 years. Relax in our lakefront park while listening to the Pops perform everything from Sousa to Sinatra, from the Beatles to Bach. Bring your lawn chairs and a cooler or purchase refreshments from the Friends of the Pops. Concerts are free and open to the public.

Stern Grove Festival – Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Stone Foxes

Jul 01, 2012

Sigmund Stern Grove San Francisco, CA US 94132

Since 1938, featuring an exciting array of musical genres, the Stern Grove Festival presents local artists, headliners, and emerging artists from around the world.

Bands on The Bricks

Jun 27, 2012

Downtown Boulder, CO US 80301

Since 1988, thousands of people head to Downtown Boulder to dance, picnic and listen to the best local bands along the Front Range. Bands on the Bricks will feature tunes that will make you want to move and grove. From oldies to alternative and everything in between Bands on the Bricks is Boulder County’s premiere outdoor summer concert series taking place in the heart of the city on the bricks of the one-and-only Pearl Street Mall.

Alive At Five Concert Series – G. Love and Special Sauce

Jun 28, 2012

Columbus Park Stamford, CT US 06901

Live music in the park to entertain you. Each concert features different headliners and type of music. Columbus Park is the place to be during the summer as Stamford Downtown produces great music, great dancing and great times. A food court is onsite with a wide selection of food.

Sun Trust Sunday Jazz Brunch on Riverwalk

Jul 01, 2012

Esplanade Park at Broward Center for the Performing Arts Fort Lauderdale, FL US 33312

Since 1991, features fun for the entire family with food and five stages of musical entertainment. The events take place along Fort Lauderdale’s scenic Riverwalk. Everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets. There is plenty of room to set up chairs, blankets and picnic baskets to experience the fabulous entertainment. Patrons can also stroll along the historic brick-lined walkway to enjoy live music while browsing items from local merchants and enjoying food from area restaurants.

Summer Band Concerts Under the Stars

Jun 28, 2012

Kingsburg Memorial Park Kingsburg, CA US 93631

The City Band has emerged to become the longest running non-professional community band west of the Mississippi. Each concert night starts with Food and Crafts from 5-8 p.m. followed by the concert from 8-9:30 p.m. Here’s an opportunity for you to slip back in time to an old-fashioned outdoor Concert.

Summer Concerts in the Bandstand

Jun 28, 2012

Town Square Oskaloosa, IA US 52577

Since 1864, The Oskaloosa Municipal Band continues another season of performances at 8pm every Thursday evening during the summer months. The historic bandstand and the City park come alive with music. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy.

Evanston Starlight Concerts

Jun 28, 2012

James Park Evanston, IL US 60201

Outdoor free concerts including various types of music including, reggae, jazz, pop, R and B and bluegrass. Each year, the Starlight Concert Series presents an amazing array of music for the whole family. From the traditional to the innovative, these concerts present an eclectic mix of musical genres and the most exciting talents from Chicagoland and far beyond. The concerts take place in James Park on selected Tuesday and Thursday evenings in June through August. Make sure to check the website or call ahead.

Thursday Nights at the Amphitheatre – Classic Cruisers

Jun 28, 2012

Warren Community Amphitheatre Warren, OH US 44483

The Amphitheatre will be filled with sweet music all summer. Brought to you by the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County. Each week a different performer(s).

Maria can be reached directly at or visit her website at
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