Cover Story

The Bay's Summer Concert Calendar

Jam out to jazz or move to the melody of classic cover bands, all while enjoying fine food, views and company.


TGIS – Thank Goodness It’s Summer. Time to gather with family and friends, hit the beach, stroll through a vineyard and picnic in the park. But let’s kick these seasonal traditions up a notch by adding outdoor concerts. Jam out to jazz or move to the melody of classic cover bands, all while enjoying fine food, views and company. We’ve cherry picked must-see outdoor music venues in the Bay this summer, all of which are serving up toe-tapping good times.

Vineyard Venues
If a wine tasting and a concert are on your summer bucket list, you can grab a pen and check both off thanks to these vineyards.

Sit Back and Relax in Westport
Located right along the Gulf Stream, Westport Rivers Winery provides a picturesque setting for its Sunset Music Series on Fridays. Enjoy a glass of estate-grown wine and musical acts like the award winning Bill McGoldrick, and newly introduced KimberDashLee & J.Kelley. Pack a picnic basket or treat your taste buds to meals prepared by chef Rizwan Ahmed and Newie Casciano. Although it’s against the rules to bring alcohol in, sumptuous wines by the glass are available for purchase. Fridays. $10 per carload in advance; $15 per carload week of the event. Strongly recommended that tickets be bought in advance. 417 Hixbridge Road, Westport. 508-636-3423,

  • July 1: CarSon
  • July 8: Craig DeMelo
  • July 15: Ken ‘n Donna: Livin’ the Dream
  • July 22: Toph & Tom
  • July 29: One Bad Ant
  • August 5: Bill McGoldrick Acoustic Duo
  • August 12: Butch McCarthy
  • August 19: KimberDashLee & J. Kelley
  • August 26: The Shipyard Wreck Unplugged

Lounge in Little Compton
No one is whining about a summer concert at Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard. (Get it?) Check out their free Sunday Jazz Series (1-4pm) and their Thursday Summer Concert Series presented by Alex + Ani (6-8:30pm). With sweeping views of the Sakonnet River and 163 acres of vineyard bliss, all you need to bring is yourself. There’s plenty of haute cuisine for purchase at Carolyn’s Café and Grab N’ Go, plus what’s the point of going to a vineyard if you don’t sample their wine? Check the website for a soon-to-be-updated schedule of performers. Summer Concert Series is $20 cash per carload; includes a $10 wine credit. 162 W Main Road, Little Compton. 401-635-8486,

Get Jazzy in Portsmouth
Jazz it up every Saturday afternoon at Live Jazz at Greenvale Vineyards. For the 17th consecutive summer, enjoy the musical stylings of Greenvale’s own house drummer, bassist, pianist and vocalist. During your visit, make sure to tour the beautiful 24 acres of vineyards, enjoy the charming historic surroundings and bask in the scenic beauty of the Sakonnet River. Take advantage of a wine tasting or have a picnic with family and friends. Plus, pets are no treble at this jazzy joint. The vineyard’s dogs run free around the vineyard and welcome playmates, so bring your furry friend along to enjoy the show. Saturdays. July 2-August 27. 1-4pm. Jazz performance $3; tastings $15; wine by the glass $10. 582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth. 401-847-3777,

Fun on the Farm
Old MacDonald had a farm… but a stage? Nope, but these farms do. As if you needed more reason to visit your local growers, live music in a bucolic setting tops the list.

Berry Good Musical Stylings
For the last eight years, Sweet Berry Farm has been serving up their Summer Dinner and Concert Series, featuring a different themed dinner during each live performance Tuesday evenings. You can also choose from a variety of delectable snacks made onsite at the Farm Cafe. Either way, be sure to bring a picnic blanket, sit back, relax and enjoy the 100 acres of green farmland overlooking Aquidneck Island. Also, don’t leave without exploring the Orchard Field, surrounded by bountiful apple and peach orchards. Tuesdays. Tickets are free; dinner is $19.95. 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown. 401-847-3912,

  • July 5: Abbey Rhode 
  • July 12: Big Cat Blues
  • July 19: Elderly Bros. 
  • July 26: Liv & Let Liv
  • August 2: Back Eddy Blues
  • August 9: Diggit
  • August 16: Jessie Liam Band 
  • August 23: Villanares 
  • August 30: Lois Vaughn 

Sway at Sandywoods
How does a porchside picnic sound? Sandywoods Farm has a ton of fantastic and funky performances lined up for the summer, and you can see them inside the Center for the Arts and listen to tunes as they overflow onto the porch outside. Bring your own beverages and food since they are a “BYOB-and-picnic-basket-venue.” Times and prices of shows vary. 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. 401-816-5600,

  • July 1: The Debra Mann Quartet
  • July 8: Pumpkinhead Ted
  • July 15: Butch McCarthy
  • July 23: The Lenny Solomon Band
  • July 29: Thatcher Harrison with opening act Gary Fish
  • July 30: Phil Madeira and Brian McKenzie
  • August 5: Joann and Nothing But Country
  • August 6: Gary Fish Tree-O
  • August 12: Baba Yaga with David Murphy
  • August 13: Noversa
  • September 2: Bobby Keyes, Marty Ballou, and Marty Richards

Bop on the Beach
If you haven’t watched live music while sinking your toes into the sand and having ocean breezes blowing through your hair, now’s the time to do it. Pack up the family and enjoy a lively evening on the beach.

Beach It in Barrington
Move with the motion of the ocean at the Summer Concert Series presented by Bank Newport and the Town of Barrington. The series is featuring six different bands throughout July and August, ranging from Nightlife Orchestra to Hope Road, a much anticipated reggae band. Tummies will be taken care of by Trendy’s Pizzeria, and parking and bathrooms are easily accessible. Sundays. 6pm. Parking: $5 town resident, $10 non-resident. Barrington Town Beach, Barrington. 401-247-1900, www.Barrington.RI.Gov

  • July 10: Pat McGee Band
  • July 17: Detroit Breakdown
  • July 31: Becky Chace Band
  • August 7: Nightlife Orchestra
  • August 14: Hope Road Band
  • August 21: Boston Premier

All Ears on Easton
Tuesdays and Thursdays are hopping at Easton’s Beach Family Night Concert Series and Children’s Night Performances. The Newport Recreation Department has planned a ton of performances this summer for the entire family. As if the many musical performances aren’t enough, free carousel rides are offered on certain days. They’ve also found a way to bring kids to the beach after it closed for the evenings with their Children’s Night Performances. Coined Beach Idol, this is a singing competition for kids, which promising a recording session at Portsmouth’s Stable Sound Studio to the winner. Free. 6pm. Children’s Night Performances rain location: Rotunda Ballroom. 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport. 401-845-5810,
Family Night Concert Series

  • July 5: Nancy Paolino and The Black Tie Band
  • July 12: The Jesse Liam Band
  • July 19: Chicago Total Access
  • July 26: Nickel Jukebox
  • August 2: Rockin Soul Horns
  • August 9: Dick Lupino Band

Children’s Night Performances

  • July 7: T-Bone
  • July 14: Johnny The K
  • July 21: Cool Banana Wig
  • July 28: Luna Goes to Mars
  • August 4: Keith Munslow
  • August 4: Police Night Out (4-6pm)
  • August 11: Toe Jam Puppet Band

Newport Knows Music Festivals
Newport festivals sell out quickly, and for good reason. Beyond the amazing views of the Newport Bridge and the surrounding Bay, Newport brings in big acts. Get your tickets (if you still can) and prepare for amazing music.

Have a Folky Good Time
Gather round folk music lovers for the Newport Folk Festival. At the time of press, the only tickets available are Fan-to-Fan Resale tickets, but, if you get your hands on some, you’ll have the opportunity to bop between four stages. Musical guests include Flight of the Conchords, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Ruby Amanfu and so many more. If you’re bringing the whole family, the Late July Family Tent is perfect for kids, and the Quad Beer Garden, including pong and corn hole games, is a great escape for adults. July 22-24. 10am-sundown. 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport. 401-848-5055,

Celebrate Music All Around Town
Looking for a festival that embraces folk, jazz and Newport’s musical culture? Look no further than Bridgefest, a mid-week extravaganza intended to “bridge” the gap between the folk and jazz festivals. There will be movies about music, free and paid concerts, and educational activities. Differentiated from the other two festivals, Bridgefest takes place in various places throughout Newport, but still finds a home at Fort Adams for one free performance on July 27. July 25-28. Newport. 401-848-5055,

Get Jazzy With it
Prepare your jazz hands for the weekend-long Newport Jazz Festival. Look forward to Norah Jones, The Hot Sardines, Kamasi Washington, multiple jazz ensembles, solo artists and many more. There will be plenty of food and brew on hand, especially at the Brother Thelonious Beer Gardens. Artisans will also be on site for perusal of their unique goods. Small coolers allowed, no alcohol is permitted to be brought in. July 29-31. Gates open at 10am. $15-$375. 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport. 401-848-5055,

History in Harmony
Having a dynamic history is just one of the many treasures of the Bay. Enjoying modern music in a historic setting puts it over the top.

Embrace the Setting of Yesteryear
Picture the sun setting over the Narragansett Bay. Now, add some of the most successful local bands on the grounds of one of the Bay’s iconic mansions and you’ve got a recipe for success at Blithewold’s Summer Concert Series Music at Sunset. With live music to set the mood, enjoy a bevy of summer activities including yard games, croquet and watching the Bristol Yacht Club’s sailing races. Prepare a romantic picnic date amongst this elegant 33-acre estate and explore the impressive 45-room mansion and various unique gardens. Members $7; non-members $10. All guests are encouraged to BYOB and bring a picnic dinner, chairs or blankets. 6-8pm. 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. 401-253-2707,

  • July 13: The Little Compton Band
  • July 20: The Ravers
  • July 27: Superchief Trio
  • August 3: Opera Providence
  • August 10: New Providence Big Band
  • August 17: Paula Clare and The Mike Tanaka Trio
  • August 24: Magnolia Cajun Band
  • August 31: Classics Five Jazz Quintet

Bring Pop to the Pops
Swing your way to Glen Manor House for the annual Portsmouth Pops Concert. It’s fetchingly old-fashioned, family-friendly and free. Get cozy on a blanket or dance around the grounds of this gorgeous French Chateau. Free. July 7. 6:30-8:30pm. Grounds open at 5pm. Handicapped parking and chairs for seniors and handicapped will be available. Picnics are encouraged. 3 Frank Coelho Drive, Portsmouth. 401-683-4177,

Park Performances
Parks are community treasures. Kids frolic about, adults take in the serenity and, most of all, they belong to everyone. Add attending a free concert and our parks just got better.

Park it in Warren
Movie nights on the couch are great, but Movies and Music in the Park in Burr’s Hill Park is a blossoming Warren tradition. Home to a 17th century Wampanoag burial ground, imagine watching a spooky flick with friends. There’s also plenty of music, theatre and films to see as the sun begins to set. Free. 7pm. Burr’s Hill Park, Warren.

Songs and Storytellers in Seekonk
Who doesn’t want a chance to see Grammy award winning artists performing for free at a small outdoor venue? The Seekonk Meadows Summer Concert Series provides just that, and is held a charming Gazebo, promoting a quaint, family friendly environment. Free. Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm. 410 Newman Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-8230,

  • July 13: Bill Harley 
  • July 20: Davis Bates & Roger Tincknell 
  • July 27: Tony Funches of the Platters 
  • August 3: Jesse Liam Band