Denver Streets concerts

Here are just a few that we’d recommend. They tend to draw from the same pool of local favorites, tribute acts and crowd-pleasing jazz/pop/rock, but if you’re pinching pennies, it’s your best bet for live, family-friendly music.

live-music-denverCity Park Jazz
As Denver’s most distinguished no-cost, kid-appropriate music series, City Park Jazz offers a performance each Sunday through Aug. 7. This year, the bandstand and pavilion at City Park hosts eclectic acts including Lannie Garrett, Hazel Miller, Otis Taylor, Selina Albright, Imagine (feat. Melvin Seals of Jerry Garcia Band, Ray White of Frank Zappa’s band and others) and more, free of charge, as part of its 30th installment. Show up early with a blanket, chairs and beverage(s) for the best seats. 6-8 p.m., rain or shine.

Historic Westminster Jazz & Art Fest
We’d also recommend bringing the lawn chairs and blankets for this event, which kicks off at 11 a.m. on June 11 and features live jazz from Conjunto Colores, Paa Kow, Afro Fusion and others, plus vendors, food trucks and art. Events run until 8 p.m. at Hidden Lake High School Athletic Field, 73rd & Lowell.

Lakewood’s Rockin’ Block Party
There’s more than just music at this free, family-friendly June 11 event, which includes performances from Chris Daniels and the Kings and Andy Rok & the Real Deal. This year also boasts a screening of “The Sandlot,” an all-new beer garden with craft brews from Lakewood breweries, “giant lawn games” and pretzels, museum tours, food trucks, frozen treats and the grand opening of the Estes Motel, Lakewood Heritage Center’s newest historic building. 5-11 p.m. at 801 S. Yarrow St. (on the east side of Belmar Park).

Jazz in the Park
Highlands Ranch Concert Band presents this free series with Swing Shift starting June 11 and running June 25-26 (during their annual Music Arts Fest), July 13 and Aug. 20. 6:30 p.m. at Civic Green Park, 9370 Ridgeline Blvd. 303-683-4102 or

Prospect Sound Bites
el-chapultepec-el-20chapultepec_54_990x660_201405311849Music and food is built into the name of this sixth annual nonprofit series, which draws anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 people per session. In addition to being one of Colorado’s largest food truck gatherings, with anywhere from 16 to 20 trucks selling pizza, tacos, French food and organic fare, there’s a beer garden this year (with profits going to the Longmont Community Foundation). The free music includes performances from a capella band Face (June 27) and a dozen more each Monday, noon-8 p.m., through Sept. 5 at 100 Year Party Court and Tenacity Drive in Longmont.

2nd Saturday Street Fests
Historic Olde Town Arvada is getting into the street-fest business with free music from Olde Town Swing Band, JusTones and the Goonies (’80s Cover Band) on June 11, Chris Daniels and the Kings (July 9) and Wendy Woo (Aug. 13), plus various openers. There’s also food, drink and kid’s activities among the offerings on Grandview Avenue in Arvada.

Anythink’s Backyard Concert Series
Thornton’s forward-thinking Anythink Libraries brings back its Backyard Concert Series with free, kid-appropriate shows from the River Arkansas (June 10), SuperMagick (July 8) and Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels (Aug. 12). Money raised through food and beverage sales will benefit the Anythink Foundation and the expansion of The Studio at Anythink, and donations are encouraged (but not necessary). 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Wright Farms, 5877 E. 120th Ave. in Thornton.

Colorado Rockies: Rooftop Live!
This isn’t technically free, since a ticket to Coors Field is required, but this second annual series presented by Hard Rock Cafe brings live music to The Rooftop at Coors Field on select home game days through Oct. 1. Shows begin at roughly 12:30 p.m. (for 2:10 p.m. Rockies games) and 4:30 p.m. (for 6:10 p.m. Rockies games). Any ticket to that day’s Rockies game will grant access to The Rooftop, and all shows end end about a half hour before the first pitch. Visit for the full list of bands and dates

Clyfford Still Museum
This renowned downtown museum brings back its summer-lawn concert series, in conjunction with Swallow Hill, 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Fridays featuring music from Paa Kow (June 17), Pandas & People (July 15) and Misra Records band Somerset Catalog (Aug. 19). Even better: the tunes come with free admission to the world-class collection of Still’s abstract expressionist work, 5-8 p.m. on concert nights. Ice cream sandwiches from Peteybird, local microbrews from Baere Brewing Co. and gourmet sausages from Biker Jim’s will also be available. 1250 Bannock St.

ViewHouse Centennial: Music on the Green
Glenn_Ross_Sidewinder_1-LOffering music is a great way of selling drinks and food (even at regular music venues), but if you’re already going to the ViewHouse in Centennial, you can plan your visit around one of its Music on the Green nights. The shows, 6-9 p.m. on Fridays, continue through Sept. 30 with many of the acts you’ll see frequently on this free-music circuit, including tribute bands (The Eagles, July 1; The Police, Aug. 12; Rolling Stones, Aug. 19) and Boulder favorites The Samples (Sept. 16).

Coohills’ Beats on the Creek
As with past installments, an industrial bridge over Cherry Creek in LoDo hosts Coohills’ popular Beats on the Creek series. This year’s events run on Tuesday nights 6:30-9 p.m., June 14-Aug. 16. You don’t have to enter the restaurant or even buy anything to enjoy shows from Hazel Miller Band (June 14), Funkiphino (June 21) and tribute acts for U2 (Aug. 9) and the ’80s in general (June 28). If you’re looking for a cozier, more upscale experience, reserve a patio table with a three-course prix fixe meal at the restaurant series for $50.

Belmar’s Music on the Plaza
This Lakewood series promises pop, folk, indie, jazz, swing, rock and more through Aug. 26 at the Belmar shopping center’s Music on the Plaza outdoor shows. The 6-8 p.m. concerts include Colorado natives Facing West, Steve Manshel Trio, and Megan Burtt, Prince tribute band Paisley Park Band, Santana tribute band Soul Sacrifice and jazz, swing and jive group After Mid-Night Quartet. Eighteen nearby restaurants and 80 stores will no doubt be happy to have the foot traffic. 464 S. Teller St.

Elway’s Taste & Tunes
While the music offerings at this ritzy steakhouse are not entirely different than at most free-music series around Denver, the 12th annual shows will take place at among the cocktails and conversation of the Cherry Creek set. Check out the lineup for the Wednesday night series, which runs 7-9:30 p.m. and continues through Aug. 17 (with 5:30-6:30 p.m. set from DJ Tanner), tasteandtunes

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