If you haven't been to an outdoor music event in Connecticut so far this summer, you have no one to blame but yourself. They are everywhere; they are varied to suit nearly every taste, and there's hardly anything more pleasant than music alfresco on a balmy summer evening.
So far this year — just to name a few — our state has hosted the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, the Greater Hartford Jazz Festival, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's Talcott Mountain Festival in Simsbury, the Hot Steamed Jazz Fest in Essex, the Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival in Hartford, and the Sea Music Festival in Mystic.
Many of these events are summertime traditions that draw crowds year after year on the strength of past performances. Most, if not all, are listed on ctvisit.com, the official site of the state Office of Tourism, which is reason enough to keep that office sufficiently funded.
And the summer is far from over. Never mind the back-to-school sales in full swing at most retailers; when it comes to outdoor music, there's plenty more to come.
For example: Summer Nights by Harbor Lights in Milford, into August; the Litchfield Jazz Festival, Aug. 9 to 11 in Goshen; Riverfront Summer Pops, Aug. 10 in East Hartford; the Connecticut Folk Festival and Green Expo, Sept. 7 in New Haven; the Ives Festival Orchestra, Sept. 8 in Danbury; and the Music Mountain Chamber Music Series, into September in Falls Village.
There are smaller musical events as well. Many towns hold weekly outdoor concerts on town greens and in other locations. Hartford's Trinity College's summer carillon concerts continue every Wednesday until Aug. 14.
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life," said the German poet Berthold Auerbach. True enough, and on a summer evening, the shower is all the more refreshing.