Connecticut, for all of its compact size, is big on entertainment, attracting stars and celebrities to perform at its various sophisticated venues. All popular genres are represented: pop, classical, blues, jazz, country, rap, techno and urban. And all are drawn out by the advent of summer. In the bright light and balmy breezes of summer, there is a difference to the music too, when it is not bouncing off and reverberating against the walls of an indoor arena or concert hall. Check out the best outdoor concerts coming to Connecticut this summer.
Monday Night Jazz
100 Wells St.
Hartford, CT 06103
Summer officially arrives in Hartford with the Monday Night Jazz series of free open-air concerts at Bushnell Park in Hartford. Care is taken not to disappoint fans by having a permanent rain venue at Asylum Hill Congregational Church (Drew Hall), 814 Asylum Avenue. The concerts are broadcast live by WWUH Radio and each is followed by a Jam Session at the famous live jazz/blues and Cajun/southern eatery Black-eyed Sally’s located at 350 Asylum Street in Hartford. Some featured ensembles for 2013 include Winard Harper Sextet on July 9, Katie Bull Quinte on July 16 and Onaje Allan Gumbs on July 23.
Summer Concert Series
1555 Asylum Ave.
Hartford, CT 06117
Free outdoor concerts featuring professional and up-and-coming musicians are held from June 26 through October at Elizabeth Park. Situated at the confluence of Prospect Avenue and Asylum Avenue on the Hartford/West Hartford town lines, concerts are held in the Rose Garden throughout the summer months. This annual festival has been called Connecticut’s own little “Tanglewood.” Always free to the public, through the generous sponsorship of its trustees and benefactors, the setting amongst the oldest Rose Garden in the nation brings an indefinable esoteric pleasure. Rain moves the event into the quaint Pond Café where food and beverages can be purchased to enhance the evening’s enjoyment.
Music Under the Stars
40 Huntington St.
Shelton, CT 06484
This traditional outdoor summer concert series is an annual much-anticipated celebration of music for Shelton and neighboring towns. Beginning late June until August, the Green is flooded by music lovers, families and friends looking for fun. The performances last from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. each week. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets and picnics or buy food from the participating vendors. It is even possible to reserve a good spot for your group in advance. A great time is had by all in this relaxed setting.
Concerts on the Green
Town Hall Gazebo
5866 Main St.
Trumbull, CT 06611
In a similar fashion, Trumbull features annual outdoor concerts that include a wide choice of musical pieces to appeal to all tastes and ages. Performed at the stunning Gazebo at the Town Hall, the vibrant community of this typical New England community has come to depend on this exhibition of the performing arts each year as a summer highlight. Enjoy these concerts from mid-June through mid-September.
61 Savitt Way
Hartford, CT 06120
Previously known as the Meadows Music Theater, The Comcast Theatre is an outdoor/indoor combination amphitheater. The audience can choose to sit within the arena or on “lawn seats” in the open air. Owned by Live Nation, this huge venue has a capacity to seat 30,000. Some of the summer 2013 lineup includes mega stars like Brad Paisley (May 18), Dave Mathews Band (June 7) and Rascal Flatts with The Band Perry (June 15).
Bina Joseph, a resident of Glastonbury, CT is a freelance writer covering all things travel-related in Connecticut.
A passionate veteran of the travel industry, Bina has visited more than 40 countries, giving her a unique, global perspective. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.