Correction May 3, 2011 - The Summer Music Series concerts, sponsored by the Long's Park Amphitheater Foundation, will begin at 7:30 p.m. each Sunday from June 5 through Aug. 28. The showtime was incorrectly reported in the story below.
From the blues to bluegrass, from New York funk to Detroit jazz and from the Scottish Highlands to New Orleans, the Long's Park lineup this year is packed with variety.
Headliners for a baker's dozen of free concerts were announced this weekend, a list including some popular favorites from previous years as well as several newcomers to the Lancaster series.
The 49th annual Summer Music Series is sponsored by the Long's Park Amphitheater Foundation. Shows start at 7 p.m. each Sunday from June 5 through Aug. 28.
The series launches with Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters. The group has honed its chops over two decades of performing together, and the San Francisco Examiner has called Earl "one of the most soulful blues/soul/jazz guitarists working today."
From across the ocean, the Tannahill Weavers are up next on June 12. The Scottish traditional band was among the first to integrate bagpipes into a folk band and has been spreading its distinctive sound for more than 40 years.
"One of the reasons people like us is they know what they're going to get," lead singer Roy Gullane said in an interview last year. "There certainly have been no radical changes over the years."
On June 19, Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps will demonstrate why James was nominated by Blues Foundation as 2008's Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year.
The Grascals, described by reviewer Jerome Clark as "one of the more impressive of the younger bluegrass bands," round out the month on June 26.
The Nashville-based band took home three 2011 Bluegrass Music Awards, including Instrumental Group of the Year.
The annual Fourth of July celebration takes place on July 3 with the return of the 257th Army Band.
Back for the fourth year running, the band widely known as "The Band of the Nation's Capital" travels north from Washington for Independence Day revels featuring a patriotic concert, concluding with Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," a salute by former Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall's Civil War cannons and fireworks.
The Oz Noy Trio from New York City is scheduled to bring "an intoxicating mix of pop, rock, blues, funk and jazz" to the park on July 10, series organizers said.
The Danny Kortchmar Band, featuring one of the defining voices of the singer-songwriter generation of the 1970s, follows on July 17.
The Paul Thorn Band on July 24 features the eponymous singer-songwriter, a Mississippi-born musician described as a preacher's kid and pimp's nephew singing songs of redemption's crossroads.
Thorn's latest CD is listed in Alternative Root's Top 10 and is one of Americana Music Association's 2010 Top 20 albums.
Baka Beyond is back by popular demand on July 31. The innovative Afro-Celtic dance band, featuring musicians from Brittany, Cameroon, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Britain and a musical blending Celtic melodies with African rhythms, was last at Long's Park in 2003.
The Miami Herald said Baka Beyond's "fiery rhythms, enchanting harmonies and spectacular dancing ... are definitely a feast for the eyes and heart as well as the ears and feet."
On Aug. 7, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, the first couple of Austin's roots music scene, bring their four-piece band to the amphitheater. On Aug. 14, the award-winning Hot Club of Detroit offers its robust gypsy jazz.
Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra are on tap for Aug. 21. The 18-piece Latin band, under the direction of O'Farrill from Jazz at Lincoln Center, captured the 2008 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year.
The 2011 season ends Aug. 28 with Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, winners of Offbeat Magazine's Best Zydeco Album of the Year in 2009.
For more information, call 735-8883 or go to longspark.org.