This is turning out to be a summer of music for me and my friends.
Just this week, I have attended two outdoor concerts in Boston. I will attend one this evening and could have attended more if I could clone myself.
On Monday, it was my pleasure to listen to the Zac Zanger Group part of the Berklee Summer Concert Series at Regattabar in Cambridge. I was there in my duties as Marketing Consultant for Door2Door to the Arts. On Tuesday, friends and I enjoyed the World Premier Band at the Boston Harbor Hotel. On Thursday, I will enjoy yet another group of Berklee students/alumni/faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Art which offers free admission on Thursday nights due to the generosity of the Target Corporation. It is a music lover’s dream – this bounty of free musical offerings in Boston.
Berklee College students, alumni and faculty are all around Boston this summer, including concerts at the Prudential Center, Kendall Square, the Harbor Islands, the Tito Puente Latin Music Series (JP & the South End), the Courtyard Series at the Regattabar (Charles Hotel, Cambridge), Jazz at the Fort (Roxbury) and at Boston Public Library courtyard (Copley Branch) to name but a few venues.
On Tuesday it was the Summer in the City Series outside at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf. This is one of the best waterfront settings in Boston. Each night features something special:
Tuesdays (through August 30) it’s Summer Soul.
Wednesday nights its Timeless Tunes (through August 31)
Thursday nights it’s the Blues Barge (through September 1)
The music events go from 6-10pm. There’s dancing on the floating barge in front of the stage during the third set.
Friday nights – movies at dusk.
Get there very early if you want to sit in the outdoor café and enjoy food – otherwise – you face a two-hour wait, essentially meaning “no seats for you”. There are three sets of steps, plenty of standing room and benches (with no visibility of the music but great views of the harbor). There’s also another restaurant at the hotel with outdoor seating that’s a bit more expensive than the outdoor café.
Boston Landmarks Orchestra Concerts – Continuing the tradition of bringing classical music to the public by the recently deceased founder/conductor, Charles Ansbacher, BLO will perform at the Hatch Shell and other venues on Wednesdays in July and August. I’ll attend the concert on July 20 at the Hatch Shell with Door2Door to the Arts.
Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park – Jazz, soul, world music, dance and film happen on Tuesdays (am and pm) in July and August at the Playstead in Franklin Park (near the Zoo). Frank Wilkins & Friends will perform on July 19 and Zili Misik: World Jazz on July 26.
ZUMIX – This summer I hope to make one of the concerts sponsored by ZUMIX in East Boston. Their Summer Concert Series features Cape Verdean, Briazilian and Indie Rock at various locations including their renovated ZUMIX Firehouse. ZUMIX is devoted to helping young people create music.
Lowell Folk Festival – Only a short drive or commuter train ride from Boston is the 25th annual Lowell Folk Festival (July 29-31) featuring all sorts of traditional and ethnic music including bluegrass, blues, Zydeko, steel drums, and Western Swing. The festival is free with plenty of food and merchandise for purchase.
African Festival of Boston – The 2nd Annual African Festival of Boston happens on Saturday, July 16 from 9am-10pm on City Hall Plaza. While there is no schedule of events on the website, there will be lots of music. I’ve been invited by a singer, Offiong Bassey, to hear her perform around 4pm. The festival is free with lots of opportunities to spend money on food, clothing and other good stuff.
I know that there are many other free musical events going on this summer. Feel free to let me know about others and I will post.
A tall cold glass of whatever your pleasure, warm weather, lovely breezes, your fellow citizens in happy moods, don’t miss it. Get your music on! Summer-summer-summer time!
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What of a Summer Event: The Tito Puente Latin Music Series
Thanks for these musical tips! It’s great to have these options for a summer evening. I hope to take advantage of some them soon!