City Guides » Wood River Valley Summer Guide

Music in the Valley

Music festivals and concerts create a summer soundtrack


Next time you head to Sun Valley, take your bike because you may need those pedals to avoid traffic while cruising from one musical event to another this summer.

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents three outdoor concerts, two in Hailey and one in Ketchum. The Fandango! concert with Jose Conde and Nu Latin Groove is Friday, June 18, at the center in Hailey.

The funkadelic Zap Mama performs Friday, June 25, at Hop Porter Park in Hailey. This group defies easy categorization with its blend of world music, fusion, African-beat, soul, hip-hop and dance music. And on Tuesday, Aug. 3, comic, author and musician Steve Martin plays with the Steep Canyon Rangers, an award-winning traditional bluegrass band from North Carolina. The group plays regularly at the Grand Ole Opry and major festivals, including MerleFest, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and RockyGrass. Steep Canyon Rangers play both traditional and unexpected bluegrass, but considering the reputation of the banjo player (Martin), that's hardly surprising.

The Rhythm and Ride Concert on Saturday, June 26, at Festival Meadows on Sun Valley Road features Sambada and Pimps of Joytime with openers House of Quist and Molly Venter. For more information and a full list of bands that are taking the stage, visit

Who doesn't love kicking it in the Wood River Valley for the Fourth of July weekend? Uptown in Ketchum, the holiday weekend features Tony Furtado on Friday, July 2, with the Kim Stocking Band opening. Stocking's vocals and her band's prowess are famously superlative and promise a charged kickoff to Furtado's masterful guitar licks. For tickets, visit

On Saturday, July 3, the Street Town Plaza hosts a free show with bands Up A Creek and FourStroke Bus opening for Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights.

Do you like the monthly gallery walk, but wish it was music instead of art and that people could dance? Well, your wish will be granted on Monday, July 19, when the Hailey Night of Music lights up downtown for the third year. Live music fills the streets throughout the evening, ringing out from the many venues with outdoor decks, terraces and balconies.

The 33rd Annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival is one of the true gems of our Gem State. Great touring bands hit the stage at Hop Porter Park in Hailey for two days of incredible music and festivity. This year, headlining acts are Grammy-nominated Lisa Hailey and the Zydekats on Friday, Aug. 6, and the country crooner Kelly Wills on Saturday, Aug. 7. Among the other performers are hot young indie bands Olin and the Moon, Leslie and the Badgers, and Boise's own Joshua Tree. For more information, visit

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony begins its 26th season with the Edgar M. Bronfman Chamber Music Concert on Monday, July 26. Performances follow on Wednesday, July 28, and Friday, July 30.

The 2010 Orchestra Festival runs Aug. 2-17. The shows are one of the best bargains in the valley, considering they are absolutely free. Just grab a blanket and a picnic and enjoy. A benefit concert on Sunday, Aug. 1, features country legend Garth Brooks along with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Just the idea is worth the price of admission, and yes, there is one for this event, although it hasn't been announced yet. For more information call visit