OK, raise your hand if you think summertime is the best season in Milwaukee! Mine's up. And it's not only because we have to wait so long through what passes for spring around here (though we had an unusually nice one this time, I must admit.) Summer brings everyone out to celebrate - anything there is to celebrate!
It's festival season, of course. But one of the best things about summer in Milwaukee is hearing free music concerts. There's one nearly every day - somewhere nearby - all summer long and into fall. The biggest problem with so many choices has always been, simply, to know about them and where they are.
Thanks to Lois Wesener, there is a website that will tell you what's happening where, day by day, or by venue. It's called Free Music Milwaukee. Check it out!
Some days have multiple choices. (Look at July 28, for example.) Music without borders: the variety is all there, from jazz, blues, country, pop, hip hop, to classical, and everything in between. I did a quick run down the list to look for one of my favorite rockin blues groups: Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin'Altarboys. There they are, at Cathedral Square on June 17, for Jazz in the Park. Cool.
Lois began compiling her list about 10 years ago because she was going to so many of them herself. Friends got wind of it and before long the word was out that Lois was the go-to person if you wanted to know about free concerts. But it remained word-of-mouth until this year, when she started up the website.
I asked Lois why she spends what is obviously a lot of time on this project. Here is what she said:
"What I know is that we have long winters here in Milwaukee - we spend a lot of time indoors and brave the cold and snow when we're out and about. I think people here truly appreciate nice weather when it gets here; and we like music - especially when it's free! Why else would we have 400+ events to go to? So, it makes me feel good to facilitate folks getting out with their friends and into their neighborhoods for some relaxation and enjoyment in our busy lives."
Free Music Milwaukee may be the most comprehensive review of free concerts, too. Lois finds that many of her listings do not appear in other public music reviews. They are the result of her personal persistence and investigations. And if you know of an event that is not already listed, you can help out by going to the Free Music Milwaukee contact page and telling Lois about it.
Thank you, Lois, for sharing!