Grab the lawn chairs and put on your dancing shoes — the area's many summer music series kick off this month. 

Summer Grooves

According to the calendar summer begins June 21, but here in Richmond the kick-off of Friday Cheers is the unofficial beginning of the long hot season. From May 5 through 26, this year's events will take place at Nina F. Abady Festival Park. From June 2 through Sept. 1, this favorite Friday evening event moves to Brown's Island. Concerts are free and begin at 6 p.m. Details: 643-2826 or downtownpresents.org

Nina F. Abady Festival Park
May 5 — Cubanismo
May 12 — Agents of Good Roots and Cravin' Dogs
May 19 — A.A.E.
May 26 — Groovespot and The Sequels

Brown's Island
June 2 — Blue Dogs and Kyle Davis
June 9 — Eddie from Ohio and Leon Milmore
June 16 — Janet Martin and Naked Blue
June 23 — Puddleduck and Boogiehawg
June 30 — Mudcat Jones and Milepost Nine
July 7 — Plunky and Oneness and Baaba Seth
July 14 — The New Guitar Summit featuring Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin, and Gary Gerloff Band
July 21 — Big Ray & The Kool Kats
July 28 — Carbon Leaf and The Paper Boys
Aug. 4 — Waking Hours and The Second Floor
Aug. 11 — Fighting Gravity and Travis Allison
Aug. 18 — A.A.E.
Aug. 25 — The Breakfast Club
Sept. 1 — TBA

Groovin' in the Garden returns this spring to the enchanting setting of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and $8 for garden members. Season tickets are $55. Concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. No one under 21 will be admitted, and concerts are held rain or shine. Details: 262-9887, ext. 344

May 4 — Big Joe and the Dynaflows
May 11 — Burnt Taters
May 25 — The Janet Martin Band
June 1 — The Seldom Scene
June 8 — Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

Come out and people-watch with West Enders at Innsbrook After Hours. Tickets are $5 at the gate with children under 12 free. Gates open at 5 p.m. with concerts beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Highwoods Pavilion at Innsbrook. Lawn chair are welcome, but leave your food and drink at home. Details: 965-7922 or www.innsbrook.com (* not yet confirmed)

May 3 — Molly Hatchet
May 10 — The Wailers
May 17 — Robbie Krieger of the Doors
May 24 — Little Feat
May 31 — 1964: The Tribute
June 7 — Jazz Is Dead
June 14 — Jefferson Starship Volunteers
June 21 — Blue Floyd
June 28 — 38 Special*
July 5 — America*
July 12 — Marshall Tucker Band
July 19 — Delbert McClinton
July 26 — Fabulous Thunderbirds
Aug. 2 — TBA
Aug. 9 — George Thurgood and the Destroyers
Aug. 16 — TBA
Aug. 23 — War
Aug. 30 — Average White Band
Sept. 6 — TBA
Sept. 13 — TBA

Downtown Presents does it again with its midweek concert series Wednesdays On The Waterfront. The free concerts begin at 5:30 p.m. and are held at the canal turning basin by 14th Street, 2 blocks from Shockoe Slip. Details: 643-2826.

May 3 — Leon Milmore
May 10 — BS&M
May 17 — Travis Allison Band
May 24 — Burnt Taters
May 31 — The John Fetherston Band
June 7 — The Susan Greenbaum Band
June 14 — Collapsis
June 21 — Carbon Leaf
June 28 — Left Undone

Plan ahead for this year's Jumpin' series at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Season tickets to the 2000 series of Thursday-night concerts will go on sale to members May 9-May 31. A series ticket to all 10 concerts is $90. A limited number of series tickets will be sold at this special rate and may be purchased only by using the mail-order form in the back of the May/June issue of the museum's calendar. No single tickets will be sold until June 1.
Beginning June 1, single tickets may be purchased for $10 each by nonmembers and members in the museum's lobby or by calling (804) 340-1405. Payment must be made by cash, check, MasterCard or Visa. Jumpin' tickets will not be sold at any other location.
All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. and are in the Sculpture Garden. No one under 21 is admitted, and no lawn chairs, picnics or coolers are allowed.

June 15 — Black 47 (Rowdy, irreverent Irish rock)
June 22 — Krosfyah (The soca calypso kings from Barbados)
June 29 — Reggae Cowboys (Rock-steady reggae rodeo)
July 6 — Los Skarnales (Tejano ska and rockabilly)
July 13 — Axtex (Texas roadhouse conjunto)
July 20 — Bakula (Afro-pop from Togo and Ghana)
July 27 — Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang (Blasting blues saxophone)
Aug. 3 — Bayete (South African Zulu and Township jive)
Aug. 10 — The Bluerunners (Americana and Cajun rock mélange)
Aug. 17 — Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials (Houserockin' bottleneck blues)

The smooth and soulful sounds of some of the area's — and nation's— top performers will permeate Kanawah Plaza, 8th and Canal streets, this summer for the Fridays at Sunset series. Donations for the concerts are $5, with proceeds going to the Educational Learning Opportunities Foundation, the Imani Foundation and the Daily Planet. (A few concerts are $10, see below.) Concerts are 6-11 p.m. Details: 1-888-301-4102 or www.fridaysatsunset.com

May 5 — William Cepeda
May 12 — Jazzy Fat Nastees
May 19 — Marcus Johnson/Jazz Poets Society
May 26 — Angie Stone ($10)
June 2 — Alex Bugnon
June 9 — Maiesha and the Hip Huggers
June 16 — The Krewe
June 23 — Amel Larrieux ($10)
June 30 — Joyce Cooling/Love Assassins
July 7 — Pieces of a Dream
July 14 — Fattburger
July 21 — Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers
July 28 — F.R.E.N.S.
Aug. 4 — Kim Waters
Aug. 11 - Najee ($10)
Aug. 18 — Plunky and Oneness
Aug. 25 — Regina Belle ($10)

Enjoy the sounds of some of the areas best community bands at Musical Mondays at Maymont, July 24 through August 28 on the Carriage House Lawn. Take a carriage ride on Maymont's wagonette, enjoy a picnic dinner by Uncle Joe's Foods. Food will be available at 6 p.m. and the music begins at 6:30 p.m.. Admission is free, with fees for carriage rides and food.

July 24 — Municipal Band of Charlottesville
July 31 — Chesterfield Community Band
August 7 — Varina Community Band
August 14 — Henrico Community Band
August 21 — Hanover Concert Band
August 28 — Richmond Concert Band

Virginia Commonwealth University salutes stringed instruments with its eighth annual Guitars and Other Strings series. Concerts will be held in the VCU Performing Arts Center. Admission varies (see below) and tickets are available by calling 828-1166.
July 7 — Folk singer George Turman and guitarist Stephen Bennett, 8 p.m. ($10)

July 8 — Guitar workshop with Stephen Bennett, 11 a.m. ($15)
July 14 — The Nashville Bluegrass Band, 8 p.m. ($15)
July 21 — Jazz singer Rene Marie with Jazzbone and guitarist Kevin Harding, 8 p.m. ($10)
July 23 — The VCU Community Guitar Ensemble with guess artists, 4 p.m. (Free)

Tuesday Tunes continues this summer with free lunchtime concerts at Main Street Centre, 600 E. Main St., from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Details: 775-0960
May 2 — Leggz (variety/dance)
May 9 — Hot Boudin Brothers (Cajun/New Orleans R&B)
May 16 — TFC Band (Motown/variety)
May 23 — Willowbranch (traditional bluegrass)
May 30 — Dominic Gaudious (acoustic guitar)
June 6 — Janet Martin Duo (original/cover acoustic duo)
June 13 — Super Star ('80s band)
June 20 — Shuffle (variety)
June 27 — Fabulous Cruisers (variety)

Enjoy the tunes from the banks of the James River at the City of Hopewell's May concert series at Weston Manor. Concerts are free and run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and dancing shoes. In case of rain, concerts will be held at Patrick Copeland School. Details: 541-2353

May 4 — Fort Lee Army Band
May 11 — The Meridian Band (country)
May 18 — The Rhondels (beach music)
May 25 — Gospel night with groups from the Tri-cities area

Head south to Chester for the River's Bend Mid-Week Concert Series 2000. Concerts are 5:30-10 p.m. and tickets are $5-$10. Proceeds will benefit Stop Child Abuse Now. Details: 644-9111

May 3 — Coastline
May 10 — Band of Oz
May 17 — Right On
May 24 — The Janitors
May 31 — The Embers
June 7 — Chairman of the Board
June 10 — Fighting Gravity
June 14 — Island Boy
June 21 — Rare Earth
June 28 — TBA
July 5 — The Rotations
July 12 — Average White Band
July 19 — TBA
July 26 — TBA

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will offer free concerts showcasing area jazz musicians at Deep Run Nature Pavilion with Sundays in the Park with Jazz. Concerts are free and begin at 4 p.m. Details: 501-5138
May 7 — Tom Briner Quartet
May 14 — Dan Sandidge Quartet
May 21 — Deb Saidel Quartet
May 28 — Paul Roberts Quartet

Easter Seals of Virginia presents Concerts in Central Park in Fredericksburg, 1701 Central Park Boulevard. Tickets are $5 adults, $1 children 6-12, under 5 free. A pass to attend any 10 concerts is available for $25. Concerts are 6-9 p.m. Details: (804)746-1007
May 15 — The Embers
June 1 — Terrance Simian
June 8 — Fat Ammons Band
June 15 — The Entertainers
June 22 — Vince Vance and Valiants
June 29 — Groove Spot
July 13 — Coconut Groove Band
July 20 — The Breeze Band
July 27 — Liquid Pleasure
Aug. 3 — Band of Oz
Aug. 10 — The TFC Band
Aug. 17 — Bill and Ammon - The Original Rhondels

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