Sunday, August 7, 2022

Summer Breeze “Unleashed”: Back and better than ever

Merchants Square is giving the tradition more space, which means more music

Summer in Williamsburg means hiking state parks, canoeing Powhatan Creek and, of course, the Merchants Square Summer Breeze Concert Series. And this year, Merchants Square is partnering with Culturefix to make the free concert series bigger and better than ever.

Renamed Summer Breeze Concert Series “Unleashed”, the series is being untethered from DoG Street to play on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The lineup is doubling to 16 shows, which will run 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday from June 6 through Sept. 19. As usual, the series is free for the whole family; all you need to bring is a lawn chair. Food and drink, including alcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase. (Outside alcohol is not permitted on the museum lawn.)

The Summer Breeze Concert Series “Unleashed” will welcome back several fan favorites this year, including Slapnation and the Bobby Blackhat Band, as well as newcomers Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas and Party Fins. No matter what type of music you enjoy, the series has something for everyone, rain or shine.

The 2018 Summer Breeze Concert Series “Unleashed” Lineup

June 6: Good Shot Judy
This high-energy Rat Pack big band will take you back to the classic nightclubs of Las Vegas, from the swinging sounds of Sinatra to the beautiful ballads of Ella Fitzgerald. Click here to sample music.

June 13: Slapnation
A local favorite, get ready to sing along to this nine-piece party band’s wide repertoire of Motown, beach music, and disco favorites. Click here to sample music. 

June 20: Bobby Blackhat Band
Bobby “BlackHat” Walters brings together the finest blues musicians to perform classic, modern, and original blues to keep your toes tappin’ and your hips shakin’ all night long. Click here to sample music.

June 27: Jacob Vanko Band
Singer-songwriter Jacob Vanko is a storyteller at heart, and his band of veteran musicians delights with Americana influenced by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Pearl Jam. Click here to sample music. 

July 4: The USAF Heritage of America Band (4-6 pm) & Brasswind (7-9 pm)
The 40-piece USAF Heritage of America Concert Band and nine-piece Brasswind create the perfect playlist to celebrate Independence Day with a little funk, soul, rock, orchestral classics, marches, Broadway hits, and patriotic favorites. Don’t forget to stick around for fireworks immediately after the show. Click here to sample music. 

July 11: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Cha’s
Lead singer, Nathan Williams, has a saying about his upbeat blend of rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to Louisiana Creoles: “If I can’t make you shake a leg, call the undertaker because you must be dead.” Click here to sample music. 

July 18: Buddha Council
Buddha Council, which has developed a near cult-like following, balances progressive compositions with the forgotten rhythms of reggae’s yesteryear. Click here to sample music.

July 25: Chisman Creek Band
Often described as “bluegrass,” Chisman Creek is actually an inspired blend of bluegrass, classic rock, modern hits, and original songs that takes listeners on unexpected adventures. Click here to sample music.

Aug. 1: The Grey Riders
Bring your boots and get ready for some two-steppin’, because The Grey Riders are classic country all the way.

Aug. 8: The English Channel
Let The English Channel take you back to your favorites of the ’60s and ’70s British Invasion. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Zombies, The Who, and more — exactly as you remember them. Click here to sample music.

Aug. 15: Party Fins
The Party Fins from Virginia Beach call themselves a tropical rock band and promise to bring a Key West attitude to Colonial Williamsburg with plenty of Jimmy Buffet covers. Click here to sample music. 

Aug. 22: Air Force Rhythm in Blue
The 13-member airmen ensemble Rhythm in Blue plays a wide catalogue of jazz and fusion, from big band swing to cutting-edge contemporary music, and, of course, patriotic classics.

Aug. 29: Brandon Bower Band
This soul/funk band incorporates elements of rock, country, jazz, jam, rhythm and blues, gospel, and even metal into its sound, meaning there’s a little something for everyone. Click here to sample music.

Sept. 5: Raw Beets
This beat-driven bluegrass string band is sure to get your foot stompin’. The Raw Beets give old-time, folk, and modern music a down-home feel. Click here to sample music. 

Sept. 12: BJ Griffin and the Galaxy Groove
From Michael Jackson to Jeff Buckley, the Grooves will have you moving to a set list that includes a mix of oldies-but-goodies and the newest hits. Click here to sample music. 

Sept. 19: 504 Supreme & Truetone Honeys
Both groups will have you breaking in your dancing shoes with the undeniable feel-good vibes of 1940’s jazz and swing. Click here to sample music (504 Supreme) and Click here to sample music (Truetone Honeys).

The 2018 Summer Breeze Concert Series “Unleashed” is sponsored by:

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Merchants Square
  • Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
  • Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • Suntrust Bank

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