LIVERMORE -- Summer's almost here, and the time is right for free outdoor concerts in Livermore and Pleasanton.

On June 4, the sizzling sounds of Latin jazz coming from a stage outside the Bankhead Theater in Livermore will signal the start of the city's popular summertime series of free outdoor concerts. They are being expanded this year with shows on Tuesday and Friday nights. All shows run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Between the reintroduced "Tuesday Tunes" and the returning "Friday Nights LIVE!" series, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center will host more than 20 musical groups on its outdoor stage. The concert lineup runs the gamut of styles, from jazz and folk to soul and classic rock.

"Last year over 4,000 folks enjoyed our outdoor summer concert series," said Len Alexander, the Arts Center's executive director. "We're delighted to be able to expand the series to 30 free concerts this year."

This summer's "Friday Nights LIVE!" series, which drew an average of 400 attendees last year, opens June 7 with the country-rock stylings of The Fred McCarty Band, coinciding with the kickoff of the 95th Annual Livermore Rodeo.

Tuesday and Friday concerts run through Sept. 13. Seating is free in the amphitheater in front of the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St.

Pleasanton

Not to be outdone, Pleasanton is readying the outdoor stage at Lions Wayside Park for its free summer "Concerts in the Park" live music series, presented by the Pleasanton Downtown Association.


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The series starts June 7 with a classic rock performance by the group OTR, and runs every Friday until Aug. 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Musical acts include groups playing rock, Latin, soul, big band and swing, Celtic rock and more. Attendees need only a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the show, and raffle prizes will also be awarded. Lions Wayside Park is at Neal and First streets. For details, visit www.mylvpac.com or www.pleasantondowntown.net.

  • "Tuesday Tunes" -- outdoors at the Bankhead Theater, Livermore. June 4, Latin jazz with El Desayuno; June 11, classic rock with Audio Illusion; June 18, Bones-Quigley, acoustic rock and soul; June 25, Rock on Tap, classic rock; July 2, Volker Strifler, boots with rock, jazz and Latin rhythms; July 9, The Hurricane Band, classic rock, blues and country; July 16, The Hummingbirdz, soulful blues; July 23, Slippery Road, classic/contemporary rock/blues; July 30, Blind Dog, acoustic folk-rock; Aug. 6, Toucan Jam, eclectic tunes; Aug. 13, David Correa and Cascada, Latin guitar; Aug. 20, Lunafish, psychedelic rock; Aug. 27, Max Cruise Band, dance music; Sept. 3, Stone Groove, edgy classic rock; and Sept. 10, Michael McNevin & the Spokes, folk-rock, alt-country.

  • "Friday Nights LIVE!" -- outdoors at the Bankhead Theater, Livermore. June 7, Fred McCarty Band, country, cowboy, Cajun, rock; June 14, 2Endeavor, alternative rock; June 21, Gabe Duffin Band, classic rock; June 28, Blind Dog, acoustic folk rock; July 5, KNR, eclectic tunes; July 12, Evan Thomas & Papa's Garage, funky soulful blues; July 19, Stone Groove, classic rock; July 26, Audio Illusion, classic rock/pop/blues; Aug. 2, Volker Strifler, blues roots; Aug. 9, The Hummingbirdz, soulful blues; Aug. 16, Rock on Tap, classic rock; Aug. 23, The Hurricane Band, classic rock/ blues/country; Aug. 30, El Desayuno, Latin jazz; Sept. 6, LVPAC Guitar Fest LIVE!; and Sept. 13, Frankie Bones & Fire Hazard, acoustic folk rock.

  • "Concert in the Park" series -- Lions Wayside Park, Pleasanton. June 7, OTR, classic rock; June 14, Cooltones, big band/swing; June 21, Ruckatan, Latin Tribe/Reggae; June 28, The Crisis, eclectic rock; July 5, James Nagel Band, rock and soul; July 12, The Bacchus Brothers, folk rock; July 19, West Grand Boulevard, classic soul; July 26, Pladdohg, Celtic rock; Aug. 2, Finding Stella, modern alt rock; Aug. 9, Burton & Co., jazzy rhythm/blues; Aug. 16, Synaptic Gap, modern rock; Aug. 23, Magic Moments, '50s-'60s hits; and Aug. 30, Public Eye, rock.

    Sources: Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and the Pleasanton Downtown Association

    Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.

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