Every Saturday night through August, Centennial Park holds their Free Summer Big Band Concert Series mixed with dancing, free dance instructions, and happy people picnicking under the moonlight. The event premiered with the opening of Riverfront Park in 1983, and over the years the popular dances have moved to Centennial Park’s Event Shelter, on the north end by the locomotive and the jet plane. Through August 29, the free music and dancing will include free ballroom dance lessons twice during the evening.

Dance the night away! This popular event happens every Saturday, June through August (except Saturday, July 5th) at the Centennial Park Even Shelter from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM. You’ll hear some of Nashville’s finest musicians playing genuine big band era music. There are two free group dance lessons provided by Dance World at this event. The first dance lesson is from 7:00 PM until 7:30 PM and the second is from 8:30 PM until 8:50 PM. The rest of the time it’s live big band music! Because the safety of our patrons and staff is the highest priority, Metro Parks reserves the right to cancel any performance due to weather conditions.

DATE: Every Saturday, June through August except Saturday, July 4th

TIME: 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM

One reporter offered this view of a typical Saturday night:

“These dances are family affairs, bringing in a whole menagerie of different people. There were kids, teenagers, octogenarians, and everything in between. The dance floor was filled with two-left-footed college students and experienced dancers that needed no lessons, elderly couples that clearly still got it and a few couples that maybe one day would, and kids that just clasped hands and swung around and children that put the rest of us to shame.”

More information at http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Cultural-Arts/Music/Summer-Concerts.aspx

This year’s lineup:

June 6: Music City Swing
June 13: The Moonlighters
June 20: Debbi Bailes & Her Band
June 27: The J. Bradley Big Band
July 11: The Merchants of Cool
July 18:The Paul Ross Orchestra
July 25: The Jazz Alliance
August 1: The Jerry Vinett Big Band
August 8: Radio Daze
August 15:The South Jackson Street Band
August 22: Rory Partin & HIs All Star Big Band
August 29: The Moonlighters

Photo credit: Tennessee Trip Tales, http://www.tnvacation.com/triptales/