Strike Up the Band Bristol-Style

It may not exactly feel like summer, but if you need a reminder that our favorite season is, in fact, here, head out to Bristol tonight. The biggest and longest-running 4th of July celebration in the country kicks off at 7 p.m. with the first of ten concerts marking the occasion. Tonight, the New Era Jazz Band takes the stage; the seventeen-piece orchestra belts out the big band sounds of Glenn Miller, Doc Severinsen and Harry James. Each night brings a different style of music — jazz, swing, military, Broadway hits; there’re even Buffett and Beach Boys tribute bands and a night devoted to the little ones (RI magician and ventriloquist Steve Zany performs this Sunday). The concerts are all free, and they’re all held at the Colt Memorial School on Hope Street. Those in the know bring lawn chairs and get there early for prime viewing.

For a complete schedule go to