Acclaimed trombonist and composer Wayne Wallace plays SFJazz s Summerfest in Stanford on Aug. 1.
Acclaimed trombonist and composer Wayne Wallace plays SFJazz s Summerfest in Stanford on Aug. 1. (Victor Maccharoli/Staff file)

People don't expect much for nothing. But when it comes to warm-weather concerts, maybe they should.

The Bay Area is once again bursting with free summer music concert series, many of which are showcasing top-notch rock bands, talented jazz artists and other worthy musicians.

Here's a look at some of the major free music series happening during the warm weather months. So pack a picnic, bring family and friends and enjoy the music -- without ever spending a dime on a concert ticket.

Stern Grove Festival

When: 2 p.m. Sundays, June 16-Aug. 18

Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco

Info: 415-252-6252, www.sterngrove.org

The music: A great assortment of major acts, representing everything from rock to classical to ballet.

Highlights: Deltron 3030 (June 30), the all-star hip-hop crew features Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala; San Francisco Symphony (July 7), the orchestra, led by Edwin Outwater, performs Gershwin's "An American in Paris," Ravel's "Bolero" and traditional French and American songs with soprano Measha Brueggergosman; Kronos Quartet (July 14), the innovative group celebrates its 40th anniversary with a program that includes a world premiere composition by producer-musician-composer Amon Tobin.

Jazz on the Plazz

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 26-Aug. 28

Where: Los Gatos Town Plaza, West Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue

Info: www.jazzontheplazz.com

The music: It's all jazz, with a heavy emphasis on vocalists.

Highlights: Kenny Washington (July 17), the Bay Area singer with a four-octave range is known for his long stint at San Francisco's celebrated Top of the Mark; Beegie Adair (July 31), the stunningly talented pianist has nearly 100 records in her catalog; Stacey Kent (Aug. 14), the Grammy-nominated singer is known for her appealing adaptations of Great American Songbook standards.

Friday Night Bands on the Beach

When: 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Fridays, June 14-Aug. 30

Where: Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

Info: www.beachboardwalk.com

The music: Rock acts that once filled major clubs -- and in some cases, arenas and stadiums -- perform for free on the beach.

Highlights: ABC (June 14), the British New Romantic band is best known for its superb 1982 debut album "The Lexicon of Love" and its single "The Look of Love"; Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven (July 19), singer David Lowery performs with both of the popular indie-rock bands; Berlin (July 26), the fine Los Angeles synth-pop act is led by charismatic vocalist Terri Nunn.

Music and Market Series

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, through Sept. 12

Where: Todos Santos Plaza, between Mt. Diablo and Grant streets, Concord

Info: www.communityconcerts.com

The music: It's a family-friendly mix of rock, country, pop, world music and more.

Highlights: Foreverland (July 11), the 14-piece group pays tribute to Michael Jackson; Zepparella (Aug. 22), the all-female tribute band is a "Stairway to Heaven" for Led Zeppelin fans.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

When: Various dates and times, through Oct. 27

Where: Yerba Buena Gardens, Fourth and Mission streets, San Francisco

Info: 415-543-1718, www.ybgfestival.org

The music: It's arguably the most eclectic, and certainly the most bountiful, of any summer series.

Highlights: Tom Rigney and Flambeau (June 8), the talented and spirited fiddler heads this Cajun band; Marcus Shelby Orchestra (Sept. 7), the orchestra will deliver "Blues and the Pursuit of Freedom," a work that chronicles freedom movements in America.

Point Richmond Summer Concert Season

When: 5:30 p.m. Fridays, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 14 and 27

Where: Park Place and Washington Avenue in downtown Point Richmond

Info: www.pointrichmondmusic.com

The music: Two concerts each night, 5:30-6:30 p.m., then 6:45-7:45 p.m., representing a wide variety of music.

Highlights: Twice as Good/Willie G (July 12), a double dose of the blues; the Rusty String Express/Jenny Kerr (Aug. 9), the former is an acclaimed string band, the latter plays a mean banjo (among other instruments).

Los Gatos Music in the Park

When: 5 p.m. Sundays, June 16-Aug. 25

Where: Los Gatos Civic Center (front lawn area), Main Street and Fiesta Way

Info: www.lgmip.com

The music: It's a diversely appealing lineup, offering up world music, rock and more.

Highlights: Rupa and the April Fishes (June 23), the world music act has appeared at South by Southwest, Outside Lands and other major music events; Long Train Running (June 30), the act pays tribute to the Bay Area's own Doobie Brothers.

Broadway Plaza Summer Jazz

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, July 11-Aug. 1

Where: Broadway Plaza, 1275 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

Info: 925-939-7600, www.broadwayplaza.com

The music: It's a nice lineup, ranging from dance music to Beatles covers.

Highlights: Pride and Joy (July 11), the soul and pop troupe has been delighting fans in the Bay Area for more than 25 years; the Sun Kings (July 25), one of the top Beatles tribute acts on the scene.

SFJazz Summerfest

When: 6 p.m. Thursdays, June 20-Aug. 29 (no show on July 4)

Where: Stanford Shopping Center, 180 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

Info: 866-920-5299, www.sfjazz.org.

The music: Series showcases many intriguing local jazz artists. Summerfest also runs 6 p.m. Thursdays, Aug. 8-22 at Union Square in San Francisco.

Highlights: Lavay Smith (July 11), the singer known as "The Queen of Classic Jazz and Blues" is backed by a superb band; Wayne Wallace (Aug. 1), the San Francisco-born musician is a terrific trombonist and an award-winning composer.

Tuesday Tunes

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, June 4-Sept. 10

Where: Shea Homes Stage, outside of the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore

Info: 925-373-6800, www.mylvpac.com

The Music: Offerings range from Latin jazz and classic rock to blues and more.

Highlights: El Desayuno (June 4), the Bay Area group fuses Latin jazz with soul, salsa and world beat; Lunafish (Aug. 20), the band plays psychedelic rock from the '60s and '70s.

Tuesday Night Blues

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, July 2-30

Where: Todos Santos Plaza, Concord

Info: www.communityconcerts.com

The music: It's a great place to get the blues

Highlights: Annie Sampson (July 23), the Concord blues and soul singer plays a homecoming date; Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s (July 30), mixes boogie-woogie, jump blues and New Orleans R&B in a sound Woods calls "rock-a-boogie."

Music on the Square

When: 6 p.m. Fridays, June 7-Sept. 27

Where: Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City

Info: 650-780-7000, www.redwoodcity.org

The music: The lineup is heavy with tribute/cover bands, plus salsa, blues and more.

Highlights: Cash Tribute (July 5), James Garner celebrates the songbook of The Man in Black; the Mashtones (Aug. 2), the group "mashes" classic rock and modern tunes in sets that can draw from the songbooks of Stevie Wonder, Van Halen and Nicki Minaj, to name a few.

Concerts in the Park

When: 7 p.m., Fridays, June 7-Aug. 30

Where: Lions Wayside Park, corner of First and Neal streets, Pleasanton

Info: 925-484-2199, www.pleasantondowntown.net

The music: Reggae, Celtic, '50s rock and other family-friendly fare.

Highlights: Ruckatan Latin Tribe (June 21), the band is filled with veteran players from the Bay Area's vibrant Latin rock scene; Magic Moments (Aug. 23), the group performs classic hits from the '50s and '60s.

Music in the Park

When: 6 p.m. Wednesdays, June 19-Aug. 14

Where: Stafford Park, King Street and Hopkins Avenue, Redwood City

Info: 650-780-7000, www.redwoodcity.org

The music: The offerings range from Americana to salsa.

Highlights: Madison Blues Band (July 24), the group has shared the stage with such notables as Jimmy Thackery and Kenny Neal; Zydeco Flames (July 31), the show should appeal to fans of Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco and Queen Ida.

Friday Nights Live

When: 6:30 p.m. Fridays, June 7-Sept. 13

Where: Shea Homes Stage, outside of the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore

Info: 925-373-6800, www.mylvpac.com

The music: It's a wide array of styles, including country, Cajun and classic rock.

Highlights: Gabe Duffin Band (June 21), the Livermore classic rockers mine the songbooks of such immortal acts as Pink Floyd and the Eagles; the Hummingbirdz (Aug. 9), the Livermore-Pleasanton band performs original tunes inspired by such legends as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

Follow Jim Harrington at Twitter.com/jimthecritic, Facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.