Whitaker Music Festival

Birds singing in the warm, rose-scented evenings signal it’s time for the summer Whitaker Music Festival. The open-air festival presents free Wednesday evening concerts under the stars every June through August.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic supper, baskets or coolers. Picnic fare, beer, wine, soda and sno-cones are also available for purchase on-site.

The festival is funded by the Whitaker Foundation, which supports St. Louis arts and parks to promote common heritage, celebrate diversity and encourage vitality within the community.


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2015 Whitaker Music Festival Concert Schedule

July 29 Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing
Vocalist and guitarist Tommy Halloran is one of the hardest working musicians in St. Louis. His group Guerrilla Swing, consisting of Mark Wallace on upright bass, Kristian Baarsvik on saxophones and Kevin Cheli on drums, pays homage to the great tradition that is jazz with a vintage swing sound, while simultaneously creating music that is relevant to our modern times. Guerrilla Swing was named the overall Best Band in St. Louis 2014 by the RFT.

Past Performances
May 27 David Dee & the Hot Tracks
Considered by many to be St. Louis’s reining blues king, David Dee has earned the title of one of his original standards, "Workin Blues Man". The moniker embodies the various roles of bandleader, songwriter, guitarist, entertainer, and singer that has been cultivated through 40 plus years of travels, recording and performing.

June 3 Diesel Island
Diesel Island is one of St. Louis' best outlaw country bands. The group formed in 2004 as a just-for-fun side project where key members of the Bottle Rockets could relax and play some classic country faves on their own terms. The result is a band of veterans of honky tonk wrangling up a rousing good time.

June 10 Nikki Hill
Rising star Nikki Hill is a young, powerhouse R&B and rock & roll singer and songwriter, living right here in St. Louis. Along with her guitarist husband, Matt Hill, and their St. Louis-based band, she has become an R&B phenomenon in Europe and the West Coast. Nikki boasts a classic soul belter's voice and rock instincts.

June 17 Joe Mancuso
Award-winning jazz vocalist Joe Mancuso earns critical and popular acclaim for his powerful and dynamic range of baritone stylings. He has won three RFT Readers Poll Awards (Best Album, Cut to the Chase, plus Best Musical Act 2014 and Best Vocalist 2012) since recently coming on the scene. A master at placing notes with the most tasteful use of syncopation, Mancuso swings! All-stars backing Mancuso are Christopher Braig (sax), Adam Maness (keys), Dave Black (guitar), Willem von Hombracht (bass), and Steve Davis (drums).          

June 24 Jeremiah Johnson Band
Jeremiah left St. Louis with his guitar, a fist full of original songs and a ton of ambition and came home and released two albums as The Jeremiah Johnson Band with The Sliders, and most recently, his solo album “Grind.” Though you can taste the Texas in his guitar style, Jeremiah also blends his rich St. Louis blues heritage and early music influences into the mix, giving you a blues-rock sound that rips at your soul and soothes your spirit.

July 1 Saint Louis Social Club
Made up of members from numerous renowned local bands, St. Louis Social Club is the supergroup of the river city. This musical dynamo plays jazz, swing, R&B, zydeco, funk and blues, and has a great time doing it.

July 8 Erin Bode Group
The Erin Bode Group creates music forged from the Americana of its members' Midwestern roots, infused with jazz grooves and made magic by Bode's bell-like voice. Sophisticated arrangements and attention to phrasing, both vocal and instrumental, further distinguish the band's fresh sound.

July 15 Loot Rock Gang
Named for Jesse James' cavern hideout, Loot Rock Gang was formed in 2012 by husband and wife vocal duo Mat and Rachel Wilson. The Loot Rock Gang gathers their diverse set of influences, and the most traditional elements of blues, country, jazz and rock n' roll, in such a striking, unexpected way, that it takes a form palatable to modern listeners as well as traditionalists.

July 22 Magnolia Summer
Magnolia Summer is a St. Louis-based Americana rock band led by singer-songwriter Chris Grabau. Magnolia Summer has released 4 full length records and 2 digital EPs to critical acclaim. The band has toured throughout the Midwest and the UK, where they were invited to perform on the BBC. Magnolia Summer has also performed at many festivals including SXSW, LouFest, Twangfest, and Fair St. Louis, and have shared the stage with many great artists including Counting Crows, Matthew Sweet, Cracker, The Dream Syndicate, Robyn Hitchcock, and The Minus 5.

Hours & Admission

Wednesdays, May 27 to July 29 
Music begins at 7:30 p.m.
Last entry at 9 p.m.

Free admission after 5 p.m.
The Children’s Garden remains open with free admission from 5 to 7 p.m.
Lantern Festival lanterns will not be lit on Whitaker Music Festival evenings. 

Event Information

The Garden is a tobacco-free campus; smoking is not allowed anywhere, indoors or outside, and visitors will be asked to extinguish or discard tobacco items. Soliciting is not permitted. Please no pets or barbecue grills.

In case of rain
Updates will be posted here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Pedestrian Access
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Whitaker Festival performance evenings, visitors may access the Garden through additional pedestrian gates on Alfred Ave. (west side of the Garden) and Tower Grove Ave. (one near the intersection of Tower Grove and Shaw and another at the intersection of Tower Grove and Cleveland Ave.).

Hit a Green Note!

green music noteHelp us create a "waste-free" Whitaker and ensure a sustainable festival experience!

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Free public parking is available at the Ridgway Visitor Center and at other authorized lots nearby, as well as along Tower Grove Avenue. Download a parking map

Please respect our neighbors and refrain from parking on neighborhood residential streets. 

Bicycle Parking
Bike racks provided by Trailnet are located at the Ridgway Visitor Center.