August 10-12, 2012 marks the third year for the Richmond Jazz Festival, an event that is quickly becoming the premiere concert festival of its kind. Situated at an ever serene Maymont, the Festival’s smooth, soulful sounds blend sweetly into the laid back summer setting.
Richmond Jazz Festival
Richmond Jazz Festival attendees can expect to enjoy more than 20 local, national and international artists appearing on two stages, including George Benson, Dave Koz, India Arie, Trombone Shorty, and Robert Cray. However, the lucky winner of the Richmond Jazz Festival VIP Weekend Sweepstakes can expect a great deal more.
One winner will receive an exclusive VIP experience to include:
As you get back to work after a long holiday weekend, let us help you brainstorm other ways to spend your days off this summer. You know you’re ready to walk away and enjoy life outside the workplace again. Or is it just me?
Music events are huge during the summer months with various genres and venues. Most assuredly, there’s a summer music festival just for you. Like a jazz sax over a mandolin? I’ve got one for you. Let’s dig in.
Stuart Beach Music Festival
Stuart’s 31st Annual Hot Fun in the Summertime Beach Music Festival is June 7-9. Now you might be thinking, “beach music in the Blue Ridge Highlands?” Well, yes. The sand is trucked in and the bands are annual favorites at any beach music event you encounter. Come camp out, kick back and listen or shag to Band of Oz, The Tams, Jim Quick & Coastline, The Holiday Band, Big Daddy Love, and The Mark Roberts Band.
The Band of Oz gets around, I tell ya. See them again at the StellarOne Beach Music Festival in Buena Vista on July 28 at Glen Maury Park. They’re headlining along with Magnificents Band.
Bluegrass and Old Time
Old time fiddlin’ is hot in the summer. So hot that competitions are held with prize money, ribbons, and trophies going to the favorite musicians and bands. If “pickin’ and grinnin’” is your slice of life, pull up a camp chair, but make sure your flat footin’ shoes are at the ready.
The Virginia Blues & Jazz Festival is held at Garth Newel in Hot Springs June 15-17. The performers are quite acclaimed – Grammy Award winners Grupo Fantasma and The Robert Cray Band promise an amazing weekend in the mountains.
Winchester Blues House Festival
In Hampton, the namesake Hampton Jazz Festival gets underway June 22 and is a three day event. Going strong for 45 years, the nation’s top blues, jazz, soul, and pop performers know they can count on a great crowd when they perform this event. Which top performers? How about Kenny G, Charlie Wilson, Natalie Cole, Monica, Jill Scott, Dave Koz, and BeBe Winans? They’ll be there with a few others.
The Winchester Blues House Festival is unique in that 100% of the festival net proceeds benefit local Habitat for Humanity efforts. Enjoy great musicians including headliner The Pat Travers Band on July 14.
This summer marks the 30th year for the Norfolk Jazz Festival and it promises to be better than ever with Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Marcus Anderson, Peter Wright, Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, and more. July 20-21.
In a League of Its Own
FloydFest. Now there’s one of Virginia’s key summer music events. Camp around the Blue Cow Pavilion for four days (July 26-29) of “Lovers Rock” – seven stages hosting more than 50 musical performances spanning generations, more than 100 artisans, demonstrations, workshops, a Children’s Universe, babysitting service, and plenty of amazing food.
The list of FloydFest performers is outstanding. To mention but a few …
Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
Drive By Truckers
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Variety at the Beach
Virginia Beach is a given summer destination, but here’re a few more reasons why the call of the oceanfront is a little louder for music lovers.
Hardee’s Latin Fest is big on flavor – both in food and in music. Shake what you got as Salsa, Merengue, and Jazz are key to this event. June 8 and 9 on the beach at 24th Street. Free!
Sandstock – A Blast from the Past is just that. Cover bands for 60s, 70s, and 80s music take over the 17th, 24th, and 31st Street parks June 22-24. If you love The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, Elvis, and other key figures from those music periods, you’ll love this festival. Bring your tie dye and lots of hairspray! Free.
The big hits of summer at the beach come in the form of The Verizon Wireless American Music Festival. One giant stage sits on the sand and all of the other stages along the boardwalk are utilized as well for this three day multi-genre event. This year’s headliners are O.A.R., Cheap Trick, and Train. You’ve gotta be there – August 31-September 2.
It might come as a surprise, but even classical music draws a festival crowd. See what I mean …
The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival is held June 10-17 in Harrisonburg. Lawn chairs and cut-offs are discouraged, since this festival is held in a concert hall. Expect to see Grammy Award winner Eugene Friesen.
Wintergreen Resort hosts the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival the weekends of July 6-8, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, and August 4-5. Enjoy pieces by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, Corelli, and Bach.
Just a little way down the road, classical junkies can experience a variety of venues to take in the sounds of the Staunton Music FestivalAugust 17-25.
If this is still not enough for you to choose from, never fear. It’s not a comprehensive list and you can find more music and festivals at Virginia.org.
Incredible artists, commissioned works, extraordinary collaborations, and unforgettable performances … it’s all waiting for you at the 16th Annual Virginia Arts Festival, April 16-June 6.
For 16 years, this acclaimed festival has brought the world’s great artists to performance venues throughout the Hampton Roads area, making this beautiful region – already beloved for its beaches, pristine waterways, wildlife, and historical attractions that date back to the earliest days of our country – a cultural destination for travelers from around the world.
Tune in to the sounds of the season when you plan an overnight stay in Northern Virginia. From carols to classics, the evenings are magical. All that’s missing is you!
Dailey & Vincent. Photo Credit Jim McGuire
This Saturday, December 3, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent take to the stage at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax. Not familiar with Dailey & Vincent? The New York Times calls them, “the most celebrated new bluegrass act of the past few years,” and they’ve had two albums debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. The performance is from 8 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $24-$48. Family-friendly. Youth through high school are half price when accompanied by an adult.
Also this Saturday is A Convergence Christmas in Alexandria featuring the 7 Sopranos and Harpist Mark Martin. In addition to the performance is a dramatic reading of “The Gift of the Magi,” and a carol sing-a-long. Tickets are $15 and the event begins at 4 p.m.
Grammy nominee Natalie MacMaster will be performing traditional and contemporary Celtic melodies and Christmas carols at George Mason University on December 17 from 8 to 10 p.m. The Los Angeles Times hails, “MacMaster’s a ball of fire, performing jigs and reels with unstoppable, foot-tapping energy and ballads with irresistible, keening passion.” Tickets are $25-$50. Family-friendly. Youth through high school are half price when accompanied by an adult.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Head on down to Bristol. This charming city is in two states – Virginia and Tennessee. You don’t want to miss the award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.
“It isn’t just a music festival. It’s an infectious, three-day music experience, bursting with creative passion, electricity, and soul–a celebration of Bristol’s heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music.” In 1927, on State Street, the first country music recordings were made with The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman and others. These recordings are known as the Bristol Sessions and are known as the “big bang” of country music. (http://www.bristolrhythm.com/)
Every third weekend in September (this year it is September 16-18), State Street in historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA is packed with music from Appalachia’s past, present and future. The Reunion offers 20 stages of live music that include five outdoor stages, a dance tent, 15 indoor venues and a children’s stage on Saturday from 9am-1pm for a fun event for families.
The best part, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is among the most affordable music festivals around!