It’s summertime, and the music is free

Fernando Gonsalez and Bonnie Hatt dance during Healdsburg's "Tuesdays In The Plaza" in 2012. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG/ PD FILE)


Need some fun? Don’t have a lot of money? Don’t worry about it. Come summertime, there is music in the air, and a lot of it is free.

While you’ll find live music outdoors at street fairs, farmers markets and wineries all over Sonoma County this summer, there’s also an impressive list of long-established weekly or bi-weekly free summertime concert series.

Venues range from Healdsburg Plaza to Cloverdale Plaza to Windsor Town Green, and from Ives Park in Sebastopol to Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa, but everywhere the spirit is the same.

You’ll find local and regional live bands of all kinds, a chance to picnic, fresh air and a friendly atmosphere.

Here’s a healthy sample of Wine Country’s free outdoor summer concert series:

May 29 — “Friday Night Live,” presented by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, opens with Bay Area blues rocker Tommy Castro and the Painkillers. Concerts start at 7 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 4 at Cloverdale Plaza.

May 30 — Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Village shopping center brought back all three of its summer concert series this month. “Rockin’ Concerts” continues from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays until Oct. 10, featuring the Tom Petty tribute band, Petty Theft, this weekend at the center’s Village Court. The “Sunday Concerts” series presents classic rock ’n’ roll oldies by the J Silverheels Band this weekend, and continues from 1 to 4 p.m. most Sundays through Oct. 11 on the Village Terrace, next to Cattlemen’s restaurant. The “Concert Under the Stars” series continues June 11 with the Journey Revisited tribute band, and continues from 5:30 to 8 p.m. most Thursdays through Oct. 8 at the shopping center’s Village Court.

June 2 — Healdsburg’s popular “Tuesdays in the Plaza” series, which opened May 26, continues with jazz by Ritmos Unidos. Concerts run from 6 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, closing Aug. 25 with Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings. Healdsburg Plaza, downtown Healdsburg. 431-3301,

June 4 — “Wine Down Thursdays,” already under way, continues from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday throughout the year with live music, wine, pizza and bocce ball at D’Argenzio Winery, 1301 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa. 546-2466,

June 9 -- Sonoma’s “Tuesday Night Market Jazz” series, presented by the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society, presents saxophonist Charles McPherson and his quartet. The concerts continue at 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 8 on Sonoma Plaza, downtown Sonoma.

June 11 — A local hidden treasure, the KRSH Backyard Concerts series started May 28 and continues at 6 p.m. with Texas blues, gospel and rock singer-songwriter Shelley King, plus Donny Maderos and Levi Lloyd. The series runs on selected Thursdays through Sept. 10. KRSH Radio, 3565 Standish Ave., Santa Rosa.

June 11 — Windsor’s “Summer Nights on the Green” series opens with rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll music by Deke Dickerson. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Aug. 27 on the Windsor Town Green, 9455 Bell Road, Windsor. Don’t miss blues harmonica star Charlie Musselwhite on Aug. 6. 838-1260,

June 14 — Tommy Castro and the Painkillers kick off Ukiah’s “Sundays in the Park,” continuing at 6 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 23 at Todd Grove Park.,

June 18 — “Rockin’ the River” opens with Bay Area blues and soul singer Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, and continues at 6:30 p.m. on alternate Thursdays, closing Sept. 10 with Zepparella. Guerneville Plaza, River Road and Armstrong Woods Road. 869-9403,

June 26 — The Peter Welker All Star Jazz Sextet begin its 20th summer of concerts on the Petaluma River, outside the Graffiti Restaurant in downtown Petaluma. No cover charge. The shows run from 6 to 8 p.m. every Friday through September.

July 1 — “Peacetown Concert Series” opens with Joe Craven and the Sometimers, Tom Corbett and Mike Mullins. The series continues from 5 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday through Sept. 2 at Ives Park, Jewell Avenue and Willow Street, Sebastopol.

July 5 — “Live at Juilliard” opens with country music by Buck Nickels and Loose Change, and continues from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays through Aug. 9. Juilliard Park, 227 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.

If you don’t mind paying a little, there is another series worth mentioning. Even though it’s not free, the popular “Funky Friday” series at Sugarloaf State Park is not extravagantly expensive, either, priced at $10 each for adults and free for ages 18 and younger. It started May 22 and continues on May 29 with blues, R&B, rock, swing, funk and more by Ragtag Sullivan. It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 4 at the park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood. 833-6288,

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or