Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - June 1, 2012

More swinging and singing

Free summer concerts start up

by Rebecca Wallace

If you tried to combine elements of all the bands set to play at free outdoor concerts in Palo Alto and Stanford this summer, you wouldn't even get halfway before the stage would be full.

You'd have a boogie-woogie Hawaiian-Vivaldi-Motown ensemble with a wicked jazz drummer and a guy who sings like Mick Jagger and plays the piano with his feet. It's probably good that the concert is free.

Fortunately, all these bands get their own show times. As in years past, several al fresco concert series kick off locally in June. It's the season of impromptu picnics and dancing in the grass.

SFJAZZ brings its Summerfest to Stanford Shopping Center from June 14 through Aug. 16, holding shows on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. between Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel. Steve Lucky (who really can play with his feet) and The Rhumba Bums start the series with swing and jump blues on the 14th. Other performers include: the Stanford Jazz Workshop Faculty All-Stars on June 21; the fusion-focused Citizen Rhythm Project on June 28; the Guitar Goddesses on July 5; and the Latin-jazz ensemble Project de Congueros on July 12. Go to sfjazz.org

In Palo Alto's Town & Country Village center, bands play Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. under the oak trees near the Embarcadero Road entrance. Four are scheduled: the romantic Jules Broussard & Friends on July 11; the early-'60s California Beach Party on July 18; the Motown tribute band Top Shelf on July 25; and Double Funk Crunch on Aug. 1. Go to tandcvillage.com.

The city of Palo Alto starts its annual Twilight Concert Series on June 30 with an Air Force musical ensemble. Concerts are at 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 18, with June and July shows at Rinconada Park and August concerts in Mitchell Park. Other performers will include: the "hippie" band Moonalice on July 7; the rock band Luce on July 21; jazz trombonist Wayne Wallace on Aug. 4; and The Unauthorized Rolling Stones on Aug. 11. Go to cityofpaloalto.org.

Stanford Hospital holds its summer concert series at noon every other Tuesday from June 5 through Oct. 9 on the rear patio of the Cancer Center. Offerings include: Hawaiian music from Trader Vic's Survivor Band on June 5; classic jazz from Sound Circle on June 19; western swing by the Saddle Cats on July 3; and Caribbean music played by the Phil Hawkins Group on July 17. Call 650-725-2892.

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