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May 18, 2022

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Cheekwood Launches “Under the Stars” Concert Series

Building on the success of Songwriters Under the Stars, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens presents an expanded Under the Stars concert series.

Building on the success of Songwriters Under the Stars, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens presents an expanded Under the Stars concert series. The series brings world-class musicians to Music City, with the 55-acre botanical garden and arboretum as the backdrop.

With the stars in the sky and music in the air, the series kicks off with Jazz Under the Stars on June 10, followed by Bluegrass Under the Stars on July 1 and 2, and culminates with Songwriters Under the Stars on August 26 and 27. Visitors can bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy wine by the bottle, specialty beers, craft cocktails and tasty fare from local food trucks.

“We are excited to host these renowned performers in the unique setting of Cheekwood’s beautiful gardens,” says Director of Music and Public Programs Mark Mason. “With a variety of sounds and styles being showcased, everyone can find something to enjoy. Great music combined with the lush scenic backdrop make for a magical summer evening.”

Jazz Under the Stars brings New Orleans to Nashville with Grammy Award winning trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist, Nicholas Payton. Payton and his all-star band will headline the June 10 concert located in the meadow between the ponds and the Wills Perennial Garden. Attendees will enjoy New Orleans-inspired eats and treats and a special opening performance by the Nashville Youth Jazz Ensemble. Jazzy 88’s Sharon Kay of media partner WFSK will be the emcee of the evening.

Nicholas Payton has released over 20 recordings as a leader, pushing musical boundaries and showcasing a variety of contemporary and traditional styles, while displaying his ambidextrous ability to play both the trumpet and keyboard at the same time. The multi-hyphenated composer, producer, and social activist seeks to defy musical and artistic categories, honoring his roots with what Payton terms as “postmodern New Orleans music” as well as the spirit of Black American music. Payton’s most recent albums “Quarantined with Nick” and “Maestro Rhythm King”, were both released in 2020.

Bluegrass Under the Stars brings a bluegrass celebration to Independence Day weekend, featuring Rhonda Vincent and The Grascals, on stage in the meadow between the ponds and the Wills Perennial Garden. Rhonda Vincent, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and seven-time Grammy nominee, including the winner of the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017, takes the stage on Friday night, July 1 following an opening performance by O’Connor Lee. On Saturday, July 2, Carley Arrowood kicks the evening off for three-time Grammy nominated bluegrass powerhouses, The Grascals.

Songwriters Under the Stars features top hitmakers Brett James, Hillary Lindsey, and Cary Barlowe, performing with the critically acclaimed Music City Symphony, for this two-night event on Cheekwood’s gorgeous Swan Lawn. Guests will enjoy this one-of-a-kind gathering highlighting the songwriters and stories behind their chart-topping hits.

“We are delighted to expand upon Cheekwood’s longstanding music offerings with the addition of these exciting jazz and bluegrass concerts,” says Cheekwood President and CEO Jane MacLeod. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear talented musicians perform and inspire against the backdrop of Music City’s botanical garden and arboretum.”

Under the Stars Tickets

  • $55 members
  • $65 not-yet members

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 3-year-old Ezra.