I’m hearing more enthusiastic comments about the upcoming music shows at Boarding House Park than I have heard in recent years. The line-up that Peter Aucella and John Marciano have put together has really made people pay attention. Opening night with the Taj Mahal Trio was a smash by all acccounts, and lots of people are marking their calendars for the artists they want to enjoy. The Cultural Organization of Lowell, working through Pollard Memorial Library, is offering a limited number of free passes to people with a library card for several season’s subscriptions that COOL purchased on behalf of the community. If there are any passes left, they can be obtained by contacting the Library.
Here’s hoping for show-nights without rain for the outdoor series. Last Friday night, downtown was humming with activity. I saw people parking cars on Market and Central streets and pulling out blankets and lawnchairs for the concert. The “T” intersection of Market and Palmer streets brimmed with people at outdoor tables. I have to believe someone will want to keep the Cafe Paradiso location working as a cafe with sidewalk seating. Planning guru Jeff Speck in one of his presentations in Lowell said Palmer Street as it looks now compares to the best urban streetscapes anywhere in the country.
There are seven shows at Boarding House Park in late August and early September that are scheduled after UMass Lowell students are back for the fall semester. People on campus are already talking about how to encourage students to take advantage of the music and one performance of Shakespeare-in-the-Park (“Twelfth Night”). The residential students from outside the area are not around for the Lowell Folk Festival and Southeast Asian Water Festival and many of the Summer Music Series shows, but there are some great choices at the end of the Series: Marcia Ball, Natalie MacMaster, Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Robert Randolf & the Family Band, and the perennial Banjo & Fiddle Contests organized by Alex Demas of the Park Service.
For the full schedule and tickets, visit www.lowellsummermusic.org