NASHVILLE, Tenn. – 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
$65 not-yet members
Member pre-sale begins on May 2nd. Tickets go on sale to the public on May 9th.
The Under the Stars Concert Series is presented by Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC (GSRM Law).
With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Check cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.