Summer Concerts Bring Family Fun

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Oh, those summer nights! Take the kids to a festive music outing this season and dance the nights away!

Lots of great music will fill the air during summer concerts in June, July and August. Music’s a great way to connect with others, including your own kids! Mark your calendars for these fun family summer concerts:

BIG BAND DANCES

Made possible by the Tennessee Arts Commission, Big Band Dances take place every Saturday from 7 – 10 p.m. at Centennial Park’s Event Shelter. A live big band provides the music while you and your kids learn a different dance style. Food trucks are on site, or you can bring a cooler. Here’s this year’s lineup:

June 3: Music City Swing (swing)
June 10: The Establishment (waltz)
June 17: The Moonlighters (rumba)
June 24: The Lynn Beal Band (foxtrot)
July 8: Rory Partin & His Band (swing)
July 15: The Merchants of Cool (cha cha)
July 22: The Paul Ross Orchestra (rumba)
July 29: J. Bradley Big Band (tango)
Aug. 5: Debbie Bailes & Her Band (waltz)
Aug. 12: The Jerry Vinett Big Band (foxtrot)
Aug. 19: Music City Swing (swing)
Aug. 26: The Moonlighters (swing)

RED CABOOSE CONCERTS

These free family concerts keep kids in mind on June Fridays. Bring lawn blankets, chairs and a cooler to Red Caboose Park in Bellevue. Music plays from 7 – 9 p.m. This year’s lineup:

June 2: The Harry Fontana Trio (rockabillly)
June 9: MD and Cobalt Blue (reggae/soul)
June 16: John Richards Group (jazz/blues)
June 23: San Rafael Band (Latin rock/blues)

TALES AT TWILIGHT

Fridays in July bring free family entertainment from 7 – 8 p.m. at Cumberland Park. Look forward to music, dance, puppetry and more! This year’s acts include:

July 7: Hands On with Zig (music from around the world)
July 15: Lanny Smith & The Earthman Project
July 22: Nashville Public Library Puppet Truck
July 29: Bill Crosby and the Bahama Llama Band

CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL

If you’re not aware of this bad boy, you’ve been living under a rock! Limited full festival passes are still available. New this year: the $50 CMA Fest Nash Pass. It gets you into Fan Fair X every day, plus tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium and VIP seating at Ascend Amphitheater. There are a lot of free outdoor concerts on stages throughout downtown during the festival.

FULL MOON PICKIN’ PARTIES

Seventeen years strong, Full-Moon Pickin’ Parties are great for families! Featuring live bluegrass under a
full-moon sky, summer dates are June 9, July 7 and Aug. 4. Can you pick? Bring an approved instrument (check the website) for an admission discount, then go ahead and play along!

A little girl enjoys dancing to bluegrass music during a Full Moon Pickin’ Party outing at Warner Park.

MUSIC CITY JULY 4TH

Country artist Chris Young headlines the music this year. Other musical acts include Nitty Gritty Dirt and, Jonny P and The Sisterhood. The Nashville Symphony performs while the fireworks light up the night sky. The free day of fun starts at noon with a big Family Zone with inflatables and other fun.

SUMMER OF ’17 OUTDOOR CONCERTS

Live music will fill the air this summer at various outdoor venues:

ARRINGTON VINEYARDS hosts free concerts Fri – Sun all summer long.

ASCEND AMPHITHEATER in downtown Nashville. Check the schedule in advance; shows sell out early. Big names coming this summer include  Chicago & The Doobie Brothers (June 27), Styx & REO Speedwagon (July 22) and Goo Goo Dolls (July 31). Plus, Nashville Symphony has a summer concert series at Ascend, including Music of Led Zeppelin (June 24) and Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions (July 8).

FONTANEL has a new Back Porch Concert Series every Thursday from 5:30 – 8:30 pm., plus shows coming to its Woods Amphitheater.

Brentwood’s Dyer Observatory hosts BLUEBIRD ON THE MOUNTAIN every month featuring singer/songwriters of the Bluebird Cafe. Pay $135 for a carload of eight. Tickets go on sale on the first of the month prior to concert dates (i.e., May 1 for the June 17 show).

BONNAROO is June 8 – 11 in Manchester. This year’s two big names are U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

CANNONSBURGH VILLAGE in Murfreesboro hosts the free Third Friday Night Concert Series June 16, July 21 & Aug 18 from 6 – 9 p.m.

CHEEKWOOD brings back its popular Thursday Night Out series running June 22 – Aug. 31. Open until 10 p.m. each Thursday, enjoy family-friendly concerts and other activities. Songwriters Under the Stars returns Aug. 25 – 26, featuring Nashville’s hit songwriters performing with a symphony.

The CROCKETT PARK SUMMER CONCERT SERIES in Brentwood takes place June through August.

FRIST FRIDAYS take place on the last Friday of the month, June – August, in the Frist Center’s outdoor courtyard. Free with gate admisison ($12 adults, free ages 18 and younger), this year’s lineup features The Long Players performing the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (June 30), Elel (July 28) and Nikki Lane (Aug. 25).

Every Thursday, June 1 – Aug. 31 is the free HENDERSONVILLE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES at The Streets of Indian Lake.

Enjoy free music during JAZZ ON THE CUMBLERLAND June 18, July 16 & Aug. 20.

LIVE ON THE GREEN MUSIC FESTIVAL returns in August, bringing a month-long series of free music to Nashville’s Public Square. The final weekend includes a children’s stage.

The free MUSICIANS CORNER at Centennial Park takes place on select Fridays and Saturdays in May, June, August and September. Children enjoy free fun in the Kidsville area while the music plays.

NASHVILLE SYMPHONY hosts a series of free community concerts in June, most of them a local parks in Nashville, Lafayette, Brentwood, Hendersonville and Lebanon.

SUMNER CREST WINERY in Portland hosts family-friendly summer concerts June 3, July 15 & Aug. 29. Bring a picnic and blanket!

This year’s SUNSET CONCERT SERIES on the grounds of Franklin’s Carnton Plantation is June 25 (Rolling Stones tribute) and July 30 (Journey tribute).

Experience the magic of “La La Land” in a whole new way with the Nashville Symphony July 2, 6 & 7.

NASHVILLE’S INDOOR CONCERT HALLS

Beat the heat and enjoy a concert inside Music City’s cool indoor spots:

BRIDGESTONE ARENA has eight big names coming this summer, including James Taylor (July 12), Queen (Aug. 2), Tim McGraw & Faith Hill (Aug. 4 – 5) and John Mayer (Aug. 8).

The RYMAN brings several great artists throughout the summer. Among them are Dantdm (June 17), Little Big Town (July 28 – 30), Broadway belter Idina Menzel (Aug. 1), The Turtles (Aug. 17) and country queen Loretta Lynn (Aug. 24 – 25). Also returning is Steven Curtis Chapman as host of Sam’s Place: Music for the Spirit. These nights of inspirational music benefit adoption efforts through Show Hope. Each week features a different lineup of artists. Summer dates are June 4, July 16, Aug. 6 and Aug. 27.

The SCHERMERHORN SYMPHONY CENTER beckons families to three hot movie installments where the Nashville Symphony performs the scores live — DreamWorks Animation (June 16); E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial (June 30); and La La Land (July 2, 6 & 7). Other concerts of note this summer are Ann Wilson of Heart (June 13), Bruce Hornsby (June 19), Johnny Mathis (June 23) and Air Supply (July 21).

 

FEATURED IMAGE: Big Band Dances in Centennial Park are a hit with families every Saturday evening, June – August. Photo credit: Richmond Nairon.

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Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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