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We'll help you plan your best summer yet with our annual roundup of can't miss events! Plus we've got a Face the Music interview with vocal powerhouse Josh Groban who is performing in Portland on 6/24. And as always, we'll help you have a terrific weekend with our hand-picked selection of events. Have fun out there!
Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald.
She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.
Django by the Sea Festival, Matishayu and The Sweetback Sisters
Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Django by the Sea Festival
Thursday through Sunday. Book + Bar, 40 Pleasant St., Portsmouth & The Dance Hall, 7 Walker St., Kittery, $25 in advance, $30 day of show for Friday and Saturday, $15 in advance, $20 day of show on Sunday, $55 weekend passes. djangobythesea.com For the third year in a row, the Django by the Sea Festival celebrates gypsy jazz and its father, the late, incredibly great guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt. This year's guests include Stephane Wrembel, Rhythm Future Quartet, Daisy Castro Quartet, Scott Tixier, Henry Acker Trio, Matt DeChamplain and Sam Dechenne. And if you're a musician, there are several workshops and clinics all weekend long (separate fees for those). The festival's kickoff party is Thursday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Book + Bar in Portsmouth with the Henry Acker Trio and the rest of the shows are at the Dance Hall in Kittery.
Rhythm Future Quartet photo courtesy of the artist
Matisyahu with Common Kings and Orphan
8 p.m. Friday. State Theatre, 609 Congress St., $26 is advance, $30 day of show. statetheatreportland.com For a performance bursting with love and light, head to the State Theatre and see Matisyahu. He's cornered the market on mixing Orthodox Jewish themes with rap, beat-boxing and hip-hop. His sound also incorporates jazz scat singing and Judaism's hazzan songful prayer with a reggae backbeat. His latest record is "Undercurrent," released earlier this year.
Photo by Nechama Leitner
The Sweetback Sisters
7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, 86 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor, $20 in advance, $25 day of show. boothbayoperahouse.com The Sweetback Sisters have created a sound that turns classic country music on its ear with a honky-tonk infusion. The close harmonies of Emily Miller and Zara Bode will knock you off your feet, but you'll pick yourself up with tapping toes as they play tunes from their brand new album "The King of Killing Time" and the ones that came before it in their decade-long recording career. With snappy tunes like "Gotta Get A-Goin'," "It's All Your Fault" and "Trouble," this show promises to be an absolute hoot. Photo by Anja Schutz