Sounds of Summer

Sounds of Summer

Tune in the season's best concerts

June 30th, 2011 in Local Regional News

If the only sounds of summer you've enjoyed so far are the noisy swarms of cicadas, it's time to leave your backyard and take advantage of the ample venues around the area to enjoy live music. Ranging from symphonic to soul, some are a short drive while some might be right outside your office window. Below are a few not-to-be-missed acts this month.


Miller Plaza ' Cost: Free

Held most Friday nights from May to September, Nightfall fills the downtown night air with melodies from up-and-coming musical talent while packing the streets with spectators, generally attracting crowds of 2,500. A 24-year summertime tradition, kids, lawn chairs and pets are all welcome. This month's lineup includes Nightfall's typical variety including rock/soul singer and songwriter, Hugo; funk/jazz hit, Mia Borders; old-time country band, The Black lillies; and rock band, Free Energy (visit the Nightfall website for samples). Since Nightfall's premise is to expose Chattanoogans to new music, most headliners have never performed in town before and very few acts are repeated. Headliners begin at 8 p.m., rain or shine, and opening acts showcasing local talent take the stage at 7 p.m.


Ross's Landing ' Cost: Free

In addition to getting up and shaking your moneymaker, fans of this free Saturday night concert series are also encouraged to explore new sports, such as Stand up Paddleboarding or ultimate Frisbee golf. That's because the concept behind Riverfront Nights, held at the Green/Spaces stage near Ross's landing, is "educational entertainment," featuring vendors who practice sustainable development as well as promote a healthy lifestyle. The party kicks off Aug. 6 with Revival, an Allman Brothers tribute band that covers the band's entire 40-year repertoire. Nothing and the Nobodies is the opening act and a salute to the Chattanooga Futbol Club will take place with a soccer exhibition on the large green field in front of Blue Plate restaurant. Running through Sept. 17, Riverfront Nights presents some of the Southeast's up-and-coming musicians, ranging from bluegrass and Cajun music to world music and electronica dance.


Querry Auditorium on Sewanee's Campus (unless otherwise noted) ' Cost: $12 For weekly Concerts, $20 For Special Performances, $100 For season tickets

PHOTO: Courtesy Sewanee Summer Music Festival

PHOTO: Courtesy Sewanee Summer Music Festival

Celebrating music on the mountain for more than 50 years, Sewanee's month-long music festival ups the cultural ante of summer concerts, offering weekends jam-packed with classical music during July. Open to the public, the concerts are a means to provide stage time to Sewanee's elite group of music camp students. Most notable are Sewanee Sundays, which allow guests to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch, served at tables scattered under trees, as well as a pre-concert conversation with that week's guest conductor. All of this leads up to two afternoon performances by student orchestras. Every Saturday this month, guests can also enjoy chamber music by students and faculty of the camp. Two special concerts are also scheduled with a duet of world-renowned jazz saxophone player Don Braden and critically acclaimed trumpeter Mark Rapp (July 8) as well as the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider (July 14).


Lover's Leap at Rock City ' Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4 P.M.

The New Binkley Brothers perform their brand of old-time mountain music against a breathtaking backdrop of the valleys and hills that inspired its creation. Chattanooga natives Daniel Binkley, Matt Downer and Clark Williams all sing and play the fiddle, guitar and banjo interchangeably.


The Incline's St. Elmo Station ' Saturdays, 10 A.M.-6 P.M.

you don't have to catch a ride to enjoy this unique concert series, which features music ranging from Indian to reggae with such names as lumbar 5, Ogya Band and Devidasa. Special events for children are also scheduled.

Mike Harrison, left, and his wife Nancy dance at the Chattanooga Market.

Mike Harrison, left, and his wife Nancy dance...


Rock City Starbucks ' Thursday, July 21, 6-8 P.M.

Singer and guitar player for local reggae jam band Milele Roots and new band, The Maycomb Criers, Jesse Jungkurth plays a rare acoustic night on the patio of Rock City's Starbucks. Enjoy live music and half-priced frappuccinos during "Frappy Hour."


Aquarium Plaza, Saturdays ' 10 A.M.-5 P.M.

Currently in its second season, the Chattanooga River Market entertains aquarium goers and others milling about its downtown location. Look for Nashville singer/songwriter Dustin Overbeek on July 23, following the release of his fourth album, "I Can't Fly."