Eleven acts are slated to take the stage for this year’s West Newbury Community Bandstand Summer Concert Series, which starts tonight.

As has been the tradition for years, the Merrimack Valley Concert Band will kick off the festivities. Free concerts will continue on June 21 and 28, take a break on July 4, and then resume every Thursday from July 11 through Aug. 29. 

Formerly known as the West Newbury Veteran Fireman’s Association Concert Band, MVCB dates back to the days when rural communities fought fires with volunteers, bucket brigades, and horse-drawn or hand-pumped fire apparatus.

The more than 40 members hail from across the North Shore and southern New Hampshire. The band plays a wide variety of music from the Great American Songbook.

Other favorites returning to the bandstand this year include John Curtis, a founding member of the Pousette-Dart Band who will give a solo acoustic performance on June 20; Twangbusters with honky-tonk and juke-joint swing on July 18; the Mark Marquis Band with mixed originals and rock classics with horns on July 25; Wild Maple, an Americana roots, folk and Celtic duo, on Aug. 1; Don White, a folk singer, songwriter and storyteller, on Aug. 8; and The SpaceHeaters with a tribute to Tom Petty on Aug. 15.

On July 11, the concert series will celebrate the town’s 200th anniversary with country rock by Thomas Machine Works Band, a Greater Newburyport band that has been performing for more than two decades, raising thousands of dollars for New England charities.

Three new acts are also joining the fun for 2019: Quentin Callewaert, a guitar prodigy and recent Triton Regional High School graduate who will lead his band in playing originals and classic covers on June 27; Unnamed Colors, a Plum Island band that will perform original progressive rock and jazz piano pop on Aug. 22; and Way Up South, which will offer a mix of Southern, blues, country, jazz and Americana rock music to close out the series on Aug. 29.

The concerts are held Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8 at the bandstand, which was built behind 381 Main St. in 1998. In the case of rain, shows are moved into the neighboring Town Annex.

Food and beverages will be available to purchase, and concertgoers should bring lawn chairs or blankets.


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