From Botanica to Bradley Fair, from the Ulrich Museum of Art to the WaterWalk, venues for outdoor concerts are back for the summer in the Wichita area.
A variety of music – jazz, oldies, folk, bluegrass, Cajun, country, eclectic – will be available for the picking in a variety of settings, from a century-old arboretum to a university campus to downtown along the river.
And they start right away: Robin Macy is debuting a new recording, “Wild Sweet William,” on Mother’s Day Sunday at her Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, performing with the Cherokee Maidens at 4 p.m. The gates will open at 2 p.m. so that people can take in the arboretum’s spring colors. Tickets are $10 at the gate.
Botanica last year stepped up the quality of bands it brings to its 18-week string of Tuesdays on the Terrace, and it plans to do the same this year. The result: Members will be asked to pay $3 for an evening that used to be included in their membership.
“We were losing money on it, because most of the people that attended were members,” said Kristin Marlett, director of marketing and communications at Botanica. “We’re just trying to cover our expenses so we can … increase the quality of bands over last year.” She said that many people expect to pay to see bands such as the Cajun-flavored Mudbugs.
Members will have the option to buy a pass for $40 for one person or $70 for two. Non-members will continue to pay the regular $7 Botanica admission to attend the evenings of live music and cocktails on Botanica’s terrace from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays.
Another addition to last year’s Tuesdays on the Terrace came when Two Brothers BBQ offered to sell dinner. This year, Botanica is bringing back the food, but from a variety of caterers: Two Brothers on the first Tuesday of each month, Sweet Basil on the second, Blue Moon Caterers on the third, and the Flying Stove food truck on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Flying Stove also will cater on May 28 and July 30.
As always, cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be for sale from The Bar’s Open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Botanica’s gardens stay open until 8 p.m. Tuesdays.
Kicking off the summer at Botanica will be a concert by Kelley Hunt on May 23 (a Thursday). Tickets are $15, or $13 for members. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert will be at 7:30 p.m.
Here are the venues and schedules of summer concerts in the area, many of them free.
Visit Kansas.com/entertainment to read a recent story about Chamber Music at the Barn’s summer concert lineup, which includes a Wolff-Bing Chamber Music Concert at 7 p.m. Thursday. It features the Walenta String Quartet, and tickets are $10, $5 for students.
Bartlett Arboretum concerts
The Treehouse series of concerts at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine continues its practice of having concerts on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as well as those sprinkled through other Sundays of the season. Gates open at 3 p.m. (except for Mother’s Day, when it’s 2 p.m.), and the concerts start at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10. Picnics are welcome, and food also will be for sale. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket.
For more information, go to the website bartlettarboretum.com.
• Sunday: Robin Macy and the Cherokee Maidens for Mother’s Day
• June 9: Claire Lynch Band, playing American bluegrass
• June 16: A “blues and barbecue” Father’s Day with Moreland & Arbuckle
• June 30: Grammy-nominated songwriter John Fullbright of Oklahoma
• July 7: Darol Anger and the Furies, a string band that plays an eclectic mix of music, including bluegrass, world, jazz and rock
• Sept. 15: A Winfield bluegrass festival warm-up with bluegrass band Driven
• Oct. 13: Philip Aaberg of Montana, who composes songs about trains and the plains and plays piano. This concert will mark the dedication of a train depot that was moved to the arboretum during the winter.
Tuesdays on the Terrace
Botanica is open until 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer, and each Tuesday, live music, drinks and food are served up on the Terrace from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Botanica will be charging members $3 for Tuesdays on the Terrace this year; they used to get in free. They also have the option of buying a pass for $40 for one person or $70 for two. The cost for non-members is regular Botanica admission, which is $7 for adults. Here’s the musical lineup:
• May 28: Mudbugs
• June 4: Trevor Stewart and Earthlines
• June 11: Haymakers
• June 18: Thor Bonner
• June 25: Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy
• July 2: Raging Sea
• July 9: Carson Mac
• July 16: Ryan Windham
• July 23: Shantel Leitner
• July 30: Jenny Wood Trio
• Aug. 6: Aaron Lee Martin
• Aug. 13: Wayne Long and Arthetta Faye
• Aug. 20: Bruce Huss
• Aug. 27: “I Wish I Wrote That,” with local singer/songwriters performing songs by artists of their choosing
• Sept. 3: Nikki Moddelmog
• Sept. 10: Scott Allan Knost
• Sept. 17: Uche
• Sept. 24: RKO Blues.
Art for Your Ears
The Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University will have a free concert on one Thursday each month in June, July and August. The venue is the McKnight Outdoor Plaza between the museum and the School of Art and Design on campus, 1845 Fairmount. If the weather is rainy or unbearably hot, the venue will change to the CAC Theater by the Rhatigan Center. The concerts will be from 7 to 9 p.m. The free concerts offer free refreshments and access to the museum’s galleries during the shows. They’ll be family-friendly, with no alcohol for sale. Bring a lawn chair.
• June 6: “Zen cowboy” and finger-picking guitarist Chuck Pyle, who wrote Chris LeDoux’s “Cadillac Cowboy” and Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Jaded Lover” and who has performed on “Austin City Limits”
• July 11: folk singer/songwriter and guitarist Vance Gilbert
• Aug. 1: singer-songwriter, husband-and-wife duo Mark Selby and Tia Sillers, who have written more than 20 hit singles, including the Dixie Chicks’ “There’s Your Trouble” and Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Blue on Black.”
Twilight Garden Theater
Scenic Landscapes Water Garden Nursery will offer either a free family-friendly movie or live music on the second and fourth Fridays of the month from June through September at its outdoor amphitheater. The free entertainment, along with free popcorn, will begin at dusk. To find out what is on tap for any given evening, call 316-942-4861. Scenic is at 5911 W. Maple.
Bradley Fair jazz concerts
This will be the 14th year that Bradley Fair will offer free jazz concerts on Thursday nights in June and the first one in July – which this year falls on the Fourth of July. The five concerts, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., are on the plaza overlooking Bradley Fair Lake. Newport Grill will have soft drinks and cocktails for sale at the concerts. Bring a lawn chair. Fireworks will follow the July 4 concert. For more information, visit bradleyfair.com. Here’s this year’s slate of performers:
• June 6: Julian Vaughn, a lead bass player from Kansas City
• June 13: Greg Adams, a trumpeter and songwriter who does an equal mix of instrumentals and vocal songs with a blend of funk jazz, R&B and soul
• June 20: Steve Cole, a saxophonist with four No. 1 R&R smooth jazz hits
• June 27: guitarist Denny Jiosa
• July 4: Celebrate America concert and fireworks featuring smooth-jazz musician Joseph Vincelli. Fireworks will follow the concert.
KEYN Summer Concert Series
When the Bradley Fair concerts finish, Friday nights pick up the beat at the WaterWalk downtown, 515 S. Main, with bands playing the sort of classic hits of the 1960s and 1970s that you hear on sponsoring KEYN 103.7 FM. Food and beverages will be for sale, and people can start showing up at 6 p.m.; the shows will go from 8 to 10 p.m. Bring a lawn chair. Free parking is available in the WaterWalk condo garage, in the lot west of the condos and in the parking garage south of the condos and east of Gander Mountain. Here is the lineup of concerts; bands are subject to change.
• July 12: Fun Tones
• July 19: King Midas
• July 26: Big Fat Fun
• Aug. 2: Lucky People
• Aug. 9: Across the Pond
• Aug. 16: Soul Project.