As the calendar rolls toward summer, the Isles really hits its stride. Let’s be honest, summer is this community’s “jam” and we tend to do it pretty doggone well.
From beach trips to barbecues, Coastal Georgia is about to kick up the summer vibes. Naturally, the plan includes some cool tunes. Dozens of restaurants are tapping local musical talent to perform at their venues. There’s also three outdoor concert series that are open to the public.
Organized by local entities and nonprofits, it includes Golden Isles Arts and Humanities’ Sounds by the Sea in Neptune Park on St. Simons Island, A Little Light Music, hosted by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, on the St. Simons Island lighthouse lawn and Rhythm on the River, sponsored by the Downtown Development Association, in Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Brunswick. There’s also Music on the Green, offered by the Jekyll Island Authority.
While Rhythm on the River officially kicked off in April, the others will get going in the next couple of weeks. First up, A Little Light Music will begin with the classic beach music, The Tams, at 7 p.m. on the lighthouse lawn Sunday. The group, who has four national and international number one hits, has been entertaining crowds for 50 years.
The concert series will continue on varying Sundays through September and will feature many different genres along the way. The schedule includes Loose Chain, Motown and funk music, on June 16; the Funk Brotherhood July 14; Sept. 1, The Sensational Sounds of Motown. Tickets are $15 for adults with children under 12 admitted free of charge. They may be purchased in advance in the lighthouse museum store located at the A.W. Jones Heritage Center, 610 Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island, or at the gate the evening of the concert.
Like the Light Music series, Sounds by the Sea will also set the tone for summer by serving up some chill Motown music Memorial Day weekend.
Motown and More with the Sam Rodriguez Band will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. May 26 oceanside in Neptune Park. They’ll offer hits from greats like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Otis Redding.
Following the kickoff, local favorite Michael Hulett will take to the stage with his trusty saxophone on June 23; Aug. 31 will be the final concert and will feature The Blues Factor Band, which covers Motown, funk and classic rock.
Concerts are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on select Sundays at Neptune Park on St. Simons Island. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and a lawn chair or blanket to sit on during the show. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 12. Children younger than 6 are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the gate the night of the concert, the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick or by calling Golden Isles Arts & Humanities at 912-262-6934.
St. Simons Island won’t be the only one grooving though. Over on Jekyll Island Music on the Green will feature a number of varied local and regional acts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the first Saturday of the month, June to September. Performances are held in the green space in the Jekyll Island Beach Village.
Locals will kick off this series on June 1, when the Golden Isles Strummers take to the stage. On July 6, Savannah-based husband and wife duo Lyn Avenue will perform. The Second Chance Band is on tap for Aug. 3 and Free Spirits Orchestra will close out the series Sept. 7. It is free and open to all, however attendees do have to pay the $6 fee to enter the state-owned island.
Last but certainly not least is Rhythm on the River in downtown Brunswick. The series along the city’s water front began in April with jazz band Tonic Blue and continued with Free Spirits Orchestra on May 5. But there’s still plenty of music to be heard.
Songstress and multi- instrument talent Michalan Boney will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. June 2. Boney will be followed by Beau and the Burners on July 7; The Vibe on Aug. 4; Island Garage Band on Sept. 1 and Tie Dyed Sunset on Oct. 6. The concerts are free and picnics, chairs and blankets are welcome.