There are numerous presentations of live music throughout the summer, but there are just as many sources for concert listings, so being aware of all of the upcoming performances is nearly impossible.
Summertime, and the living is easy. There are backyard cookouts, baseball games, trips to the beach and an abundance of outdoor concerts!
There are numerous presentations of live music throughout the summer, but there are just as many sources for concert listings, so being aware of all of the upcoming performances is nearly impossible. I thought I’d use this space to highlight some of the jazz concerts around town this summer, as well as a few of the more popular jazz festivals scheduled within New England.
The Boston Downtown Crossing Association’s Jazz in July concert series offers 29 free concerts at eight venues, including concerts during the day at South Station, Downtown Crossing at Macy’s, and Borders on Washington Street. There are also evening performances at various venues throughout the city all through the month of July. My daughter Leah and her quintet are the featured performers on Wednesday, July 30, at the Downtown Crossing, starting at 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.jazzinjulyboston.com or call 617 482-2139.
Musician’s Local #281 presents its free concert series on Thursday nights through the summer on the Plymouth Waterfront near Plymouth Rock. On alternating Thursday nights, trumpeter Don Besegai’s Sounds of Yesterday big band performs music of the swing era. My own band, the Johnny Souza Quintet, will be performing at this concert series on Thursday, July 17. This series is cosponsored by the Musician’s Performance Trust Funds, L. Knife & Sons, the Town of Plymouth Promotions Fund and the Plymouth Cultural Council. This is a delightful spot to listen to live music. Just take a lawn chair or blanket!
The Plymouth Public Library hosts a concert series on the lawn. On Thursday, Aug. 7, at 1 p.m., vocalist Krisanthi Pappas and her band perform jazz and cabaret standards. On Monday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m., the Library presents my group, the Johnny Souza Quartet, in a program titled “Under an August Moon.” This free concert will take place indoors and is sponsored by the Dr. Richard M. Shiff Forum.
The fifth annual Cape Cod Jazz Festival is held throughout July and August at the Wequassett Resort in Chatham. Starting with the Kenny Werner Trio on July 1, the festival offers 22 concerts. The lineup of performers includes The White Heat Orchestra on July 8, The Lou Columbo Quintet on July 23, The Mark Greel Band on Aug. 6, the Ricardo Monzon/Dan Moretti Latin Jazz group on Aug. 26 and the Greg Hopkins 17-piece Orchestra on Aug. 27. For more information, call 800-225-7125 or visit www.wequassett.com/jazz.
The fourth annual Provincetown Jazz Festival takes place over the weekend of Aug. 15-17 and includes a number of well-known New England-based jazz acts, including alto saxophonist Greg Abate, vocalist Dave Vannatter and vocalist Charlie Harris. For more information, call 508-274-2513 or visit www.provincetownjazzfestival.org.
Marblehead Summer Jazz is in its 24th season. Their concert series includes a stellar lineup of jazz stars including Rebecca Parris on July 12, the Sonny Fortune Quartet on July 26 and Karrin Allyson on Aug. 23. All concerts start at 8 p.m. and are held at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Marblehead. Tickets are $28 at the door. For more information, call 781-631-1528 or visit www.marbleheadjazz.org.
The Tanglewood Jazz Festival takes place over the weekend of Aug. 29-31 at The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pop’s summer home in Lennox. Performers include Donal Fox, Christian Scott, Dianne Reeves, Eddie Daniels, Jane Monheit and Terence Blanchard. On Saturday, Aug. 2, at 2 p.m., Marian McPartland celebrates her 90th birthday in the seventh annual live taping of “Piano Jazz” for NPR (National Public Radio). Joining Marian McParland will be Nnenna Freelon, Spencer Day and pianist Mulgrew Miller. Tickets range from $17 to $70. For more information, call 617-266-1492 or visit www.bso.org.
Finally, the granddaddy of all jazz festivals takes place Aug. 8-10 at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame, both in Newport, R.I. This is the Newport Jazz Festival, now known as the JVC Jazz Festival Newport. There are many leading jazz acts scheduled throughout the festival including the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Esperanza Spalding, Soulive with Fred Wesley and Chris Potter’s Underground. Also scheduled to appear on Saturday, Aug. 9 is Aretha Franklin. For more information, call 401-847-3700 or visit www.festivalnetwork.com/jvcjazz/newport.
So there you have it – a summer chocked full of choices for live music. I’m sure I missed some, but this should give you a pretty good idea as to the variety of jazz offerings being presented this summer. Enjoy!
Johnny Souza is working jazz musician and alumnus of Berklee College of Music. He was born, raised and still lives in Plymouth. Find out more about Johnny at www.johnnysouza.com. Also, feel free to submit your feedback or questions to Johnny at firstname.lastname@example.org.