Much as I enjoyed the lovely bit of wind, rain and snow that recently blew our way, I’m eager to get outside and reclaim the sunshine.
Happily, plenty of Valley venues offer outdoor music fare that’s affordable and fun.
The Desert Botanical Garden begins its Winter 2011 “Music in the Garden” concert series — which includes six diverse musical styles, complete with dance demonstrations/lessons — Sun, Jan 9.
“Music in the Garden” concerts take place Sundays (Jan 9, 23, 30 and Feb 6, 13, 20) from noon to 2pm and feature special rates for children ages 3-12.
Admission for children is just $8/each. Members pay $15/each and the general public pays $21/ each.
The first concert features retro rock/surfer band “The Surfside IV” with a “Hula” dance lesson/performance. It’s not every day you get to hula alongside your family or friends.
Other themes include root music/country with two-step dance, vintage rock/swing with swing dance, Meditteranean/world beat with belly dance, mambo/salsa/bachata with salsa dance, and blues/Chicago soul with blues shuffle dance.
Come February, you’ll be able to enjoy the Spring 2011 “Out to Lunch” concert series at the Mesa Arts Center.
These concerts, which take place Thursdays from 12:30-1:30pm, are free and open to the public. The series runs Feb 3 to March 31, 2011 in the Wells Fargo Garden.
The Feb 3 event features Nazim Rashid and New Renaissance with “An Acoustic Jazz Experience.” Other dates in the series spotlight everything from Irish and Celtic music to steel drums and folk music.
The mid-day timing makes these concerts perfect for lunchtime office getaways and playdates with fellow parents and their children. Complete the fun with a sack lunch or picnic basket.
For outdoor concerts featuring Native American arts and culture, head to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts — which presents several “Native Trails” events on their outdoor fountain stage Jan 20-Apr 2.
We often attended outdoor concerts with our young children — who loved the experience of being closer to nature, hearing different types of music, dancing along with diverse rhythms and making new friends along the way.
Most folks consider metro Phoenix the “Valley of the Sun” — but I prefer to think of it as the “Valley of the Fun.”
Note: If you snap an especially fab photo at one of these outdoor concerts — a mother/daughter hula shot, perhaps — send it my way and I’ll share it with our readers. And feel free to comment below if you have news of other outdoor concerts to share.
Coming up: Tucson meets Yonkers