In concert halls, outdoor plazas and on the beach, music is in the air this summer in Western Connecticut. From classical to classic rock, there’s something for everyone on the rich agenda that includes string quartets, jazz all-stars and big bands in settings from the sandy Long Island shore to the leafy Litchfield Hills.
LITCHFIELD HILLS LUMINARIES
Two of the nation’s oldest and best known chamber music festivals take place each summer in Norfolk and Falls Village in the Litchfield Hills, along with a long-established jazz festival in Goshen. Rounding out the season are a new all-day Folk Music Jamboree in Falls Village and the second Beatles Festival in Danbury, this year a benefit concert for Sandy Hook relief.
Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut, now in its 84th season, is the nation’s oldest chamber music festival. Concerts take place in Gordon Hall, dating to 1930 and noted for its legendary acoustics. Chamber music is only part of the lure of Music Mountain. The Saturday 6:30 p.m. Twilight series features jazz, Big Band and Country bands through August 17—with dancing on a festive outdoor dance floor. This year will include the first all-day Folk Music Jamboree from 12 noon to 9 p.m. on August 24. www.musicmountain.org
The Yale School of Music on its sylvan summer campus in Norfolk presents the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. The festival celebrates its 72nd season this year through August 17 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays by six internationally esteemed string quartets, playing alongside promising students and young professionals from around the world. Norfolk’s notable roster will include the Brentano Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. http://music.yale.edu/norfolk
The 18th annual Litchfield Jazz Festival August 9 to 11 at the Goshen Fairgrounds will continue its tradition of showcasing jazz legends along with up-and-coming talent on its tented big stage. One of the biggest names is two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole, who will sing with the Aaron Weinstein trio on Friday, August 9 at 9:15 p.m. See the complete line-up at www.litchfieldjazzfest.com
Danbury Fields Forever, the Beatles Music Festival takes place on Saturday, August 3, at the Ives Concert Park in Danbury from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This second edition of the festival will present 10 bands in 10 hours, featuring tribute bands representing different eras of Beatles music. The festival will pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s final performance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool on Aug. 3, 1963. Proceeds for this concert go to Sandy Hook relief. For other performances visit www.ivesconcertpark.com.
FAIRFIELD COUNTY FESTIVITIES
The parks and beaches of Fairfield County will be offering many big names on big outdoor stages in Stamford and Norwalk and a notable Rock Concert will return to Bridgeport.
Stamford’s Jazz Up series in Columbus Park will take place at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday from July 10 to August 7. Featured performers include Yankee baseball star- turned-musician, Bernie Williams, Diane Reeves, Chick Corea, and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, a group formed by two son of the late jazz great Dave Brubeck. In case of rain, concerts will move to the Palace Theater. www.stamford-downtown.com/events
The Alive@Five series featuring rock and pop music takes the stage in Columbus Park at 5 p.m. on Thursdays July 11 to August 15. www.stamfordaliveatfive.com
Concerts are scheduled every Wednesday through September 4 at Norwalk’s scenic Calf Pasture Beach. The 2013 theme is Tribute Bands, with music saluting Neil Diamond, Fleetwood Mac, Sounds of the Sixties, A Salute to the 70’s, and Woodstock. Many concerts are preceded by a classic car show. Admission is free, but non-residents pay a $5 parking fee. www.norwalkct.org
Rock fans will gather from near and far (many with tents and campers) for the 18th, Gathering of the Vibes set for July 25 to 28 in Bridgeport’s Seaside Park. The festival began as a memorial party saluting the Grateful Dead and the good vibes and non-stop music on two stages goes on. www.gatheringofthevibes.com
For more information on summer events and restaurants and lodging in the area, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com or www.litchfieldhills.com. Ask for a free copy of Unwind, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay shop and dine in western Connecticut.