Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
From Andean to zydeco, pick your flavor and there's a summer music festival ready to serve it up. One may offer a scoop of blues, another jazz, mixing in some singer-songwriter or funk for the fun of it. Many throw in some international savor, as well, with musicians from Kenya, Iran, and Korea, as well as diaspora musicians bringing foreign sounds from new homes in Brooklyn — or Brookline. Top it all off with some classical and enjoy in the open air. Summer treats don't get any better.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS | JUNE 23 THROUGH AUGUST 25 | The Wednesday-evening Concerts in the Courtyard series kicks off with the Mystics, who blend poetry from 16th-century Spain with Medieval, Renaissance, and even contemporary Minimalist sounds. Other acts in this always-eclectic series include the danceable Forro in the Dark, Zimbabwean mbira player Chiwoniso, and the gospel Bullock Brothers.
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston | 617.369.3305 | mfa.org
GREAT AMERICAN FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL | JUNE 26 | Chef Tom Colicchio and Louisiana star Buckwheat Zydeco co-headline a one-day fest that will also bring the likes of Southern foodie Paula Deen and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes to the stadium.
Gillette Stadium | One Patriot Place, Foxborough | 800.745.3000 | greatamericanfoodandmusicfest.com
LOWELL FOLK FESTIVAL | JULY 23 THROUGH 25 | This free music-and-culture festival brings a huge variety of roots sounds to downtown Lowell. This year, the acts range from Andes Manta (Andean folk music) and the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, to the reggae sounds of Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band, with at least a dozen more local and national performers in between. Craft, food, and family areas spread the festival beyond its five stages, its dance pavilion, and various other performance areas.
Various locations, Lowell | 978-970-5000 | lowellfolkfestival.org
PAULIE'S NOLA JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL | JULY 16 AND 17 | Going into its third year, this fledgling fest, based on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, has already snagged some winners. Highlights include New Orleans transplant Henri Smith, a singer whose New Orleans Friends and Flavours band includes NOLA sax man Amadee Castenell; Grammy winner Anders Osbourne; and the funky Holmes.
226 Chandler Street, Worcester | 617.625.2140 | baevents.com/pauliesnolabluesandjazzfestival
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL | JULY 17 AND 18 | Now in its 24th year, this festival's two full days (with a separate kick-off concert Friday night) mix and match roots acts like Boston-based bluegrass Joy Kills Sorrow and New Orleans's Allen Toussaint with folk rock like the Nields and hot-air-balloon rides. New this year is a kids' stage, with entertainment both days and local teen bands Saturday night.
Greenfield Community College | One College Drive, Greenfield | 413.773.5463 | greenriverfestival.com
LITCHFIELD JAZZ FESTIVAL | AUGUST 6 THROUGH 8 | Saluting Dave Brubeck's 90th year with its own 15th, the Litchfield Jazz Festival augments the nonagenarian's quartet with a full bill, including the Cuban-influenced stylings of Canadian Jane Bunnett & the Spirits of Havana and an all-star tribute to Cannonball Adderley, led by Wessell Anderson.
One Macedonia Road, Kent | 860.361.6285 | litchfieldjazzfest.com