Wednesday, June 26, 2019

JMN's 2019 Summer Music guide ... Part 1: free outdoor music!

Given my sporadic posting this year, you might have thought I'd probably forget about this -- but in the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, "Surprise, surprise, surprise."

 So here is the 2019 version of my annual post about the many, many summer outdoor music options we have in Portland. It's going to sound a lot like (in fact, pretty much exactly like) the previous years, as there's a lot of text recycling with refreshed links.

Something I truly love about Portland in the summer is that there's music in the parks, plazas, and other outdoor venues all over town and the surrounding communities. As I've said before (ad nauseum), when it comes to live music outdoors in summer, we really do have an amazing number of choices. So there's no excuse for not catching some pretty outstanding music throughout the summer.

I'd like to first note some of the free music out and about in the region. And, as nothing is really free, remember most of it is paid for by the generous sponsorship of local businesses (who you should thank and support), and in many cases your generous contributions at the shows.

I'll do a separate post on the summer shows for which you'll actually need to purchase a ticket. But first the free ...

Portland Parks and Recreation's Summer Free for All: Concerts and Movies in the Parks! This is a huge series in multiple city parks throughout the summer. Concerts kickoff on Monday, July 8 with the first show in the Sellwood series. The big change to this series is that the site has moved up the hill to Sellwood Park. After 30 or so years on the river, it was time for a change. Sellwood Riverfront park being a dog park was one reason for the switch ... not to mention that the new location has a lot more shade - a plus given how hot the last few summers have been. It kicks off July 8 at 6:30 pm with Moody Little Sister. That will be followed by Rae Gordon (July 15), Grupo Masato (July 22), and Miller and Sasser (July 29). These are community events that are a blast and a great way to connect with your neighborhood. So, find your local park (or venture further!), bring a picnic dinner (or patronize the food vendors), bring a blanket or chairs, and enjoy. Nothing better on a summer's eve! Also note that there is music before each of the scheduled Movies in the Park - another 50 or so nights to catch music (and a film) for free in a Portland park this summer.

For all of you who are downtown in Portland for your work week (or if you just like slacking downtown), there a some fine musical opportunities, like:

Music on Main is a great Wednesday series that begins July 10 on Main Street between the Schnitz and the Performing Arts Center. As usual, it has a eclectic lineups of bands this summer.

Pioneer Square has another year of Noon Tunes - every Tuesday at noon - July 9 to August 27.

Then there are street fairs - for instance, Mississippi Street Fair (Saturday, July 13), the Alberta Street Fair (Saturday, Aug 10), and the Hawthorne Street Fair (Sunday, Aug 25) ... and of course, Last Thursday on Alberta.

There's the annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival - three days of great music ... free in St John's - July 19-21.

Also in Portland you can find cool music at a number of places like this - Market of Choice on SE Belmont & 11th is having music every other Friday night. Next show is on July 14 (also at Cedar Mill and Bend stores).

But Portland isn't the only city in the metro area that has an abundance of free music ... check out these summer concert schedules:

Milwaukie has a huge slate of outdoor shows in a variety of locations. Our neighbor to the south continues to up its game ... nice!

Lake Oswego hosts sixteen concerts spread among Millennium Plaza Park, Foothills Park and Westlake Park through the summer - Wednesday and Sunday evenings.

West Linn has a Thursday night series at Tanner Creek Park beginning July 25.

Oregon City also has a Thursday night series at the End of the Oregon Trail starting on July 11.

Hillsboro has music every Tuesday night at the Hillsboro Marketplace starting at 5:30 pm. There's also a Sunday series at the market and a Thursday night series in Shute Park starting on July 11.

Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec spreads music around a number of parks on Thursdays.

Vancouver has a Thursday evening and a Wednesday noon series downtown in Esther Short Park and a Sunday series at the Columbia Tech Center. Cool sounds in the 'Couve!

Also, a good event calendar to check for more:
PDX Pipeline - links to different categories of events and they send out a weekly post with things to do. This link will bring up events in their calendar tagged "music."

I'm sure there's even more free outdoor music out there for you to discover.

Go for it and have a great summer 2019!

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