Cape Cod for Couples Header

Cape Cod Music

From the Cape Cod Melody Tent to the Cape Cod Symphony,
and All Points In Between

Cape Cod music lovers have plenty of options to hear, experience or even dance to their favorite sounds. Whether it's a brass band on the Whit Tileston Bandstand in Chatham, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra at Mashpee Commons, or a raucous Rock n Roll band at the Cape Cod Melody Tent or the Wellfleet Beachcomber, there's something for everyone's musical taste here on the Cape.

Cape Cod Melody Tent

When it comes to popular music, albeit popular music of years gone by, the center of the Cape Cod music scene is undoubtedly the Cape Cod Melody Tent. This is in Hyannis, just beyond the West End Rotary, and is, exactly what the name suggests, a music venue underneath a big tent.

The Melody Tent may seat only 2,250 people but that is part of the appeal. No seat is further than 50 feet from the stage and a revolving stage guarantees that everyone in attendance will get an excellent view.

Because of its limited size, the Melody Tent doesn't attract the biggest acts in the land, often bringing in artists who, though well known, are at the tale end of their careers. But some of the biggest stars of the last half century have appeared there, including the Moody Blues, Crosby Stills and Nash, Aice Cooper, and Aretha Franklin.

The B-52s, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Huey Lewis and the News are among the most recent acts to appear.

And in spite of its name, the Melody Tent does not only cater to Cape Cod music lovers. Comedy nights are sprinkled in between the music, as is the occasional theatrical production, and even the Annual Cape Cod Chowder Fest in Late June. more...

Cape Cod Jazz Festival

If Jazz is your thing, then you will certainly want to check out the Cape Cod Jazz Festival at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham. Actually, the term “festival” is a little misleading since this is not a one-off event held over several days or nights. Rather it is a series of events, held every Tuesday and Wednesday over nine weeks throughout July and August.

Nonetheless, the festival, now in its seventh year, does attract a terrific selection of world class jazz, blues, swing, world beat and Latin bands and artists to the Cape. What's more, the Wequassett Resort offers a spectacular backdrop to this wonderful music, with a lovely view of Pleasant Bay.

Artists who have recently appeared include Mercedes Hall, the White Heat Swing Orchestra, Bryan Anthony and The Lou Colombo Quintet.

Provincetown Jazz Festival

Adopting slightly more of a traditional music festival format (although we're still not talking Woodstock here), the annual Provincetown Jazz Festival is a three-day event, the only one of its kind on the Cape, that is held in mid-August each year.

Now in its sixth year, the festival is organized by local musician Bart Weisman, and attracts artists from as close to home as Provincetown and as far away as New York City and even Europe.

The festival comprises three concerts, featuring two acts each, held on Friday evening, Saturday evenng and Sunday afternoon. All events are held at the Provincetown High School and tickets are $25 per concert.

Artists appearing this year include String of Pearls, a vocal jazz group from New York City, Shawn Monteiro, an intrnationally acclaimed vocalist from Rhode Island, and New York's Finest Jazz Ensemble, an 18-piece big band made up entirely of New York Ccity police officers.

Wellfleet Beachcomber

The Wellfleet Beachcomber is our favorite surf bar and is perched atop the dunes at Cahoon Hollow beach. By day it's a restaurant serving the beachgoers down below (those with the energy to hike up the dune, that is) with lunch and snacks and the occasional alcoholic beverage.

By night it is transformed into the coolest place on Cape Cod to see live bands. If bands like the Lemonheads, the Original Whalers, the Rip it Ups or the Heavy Pets appeal, the Beachcomber may be just the place for you. Ticket prices range from $7 to about $25 depending on the act, and you can purchase online at the Beachcomber's online store .

Also in Wellfleet, and also offering a similar “semi-alternative” vibe is the Juice, which is a bright orange structure on Commercial Street. Every weekend, local bands perform on the outdoor stage, usually starting around sunset.

Pops By the Sea

The annual Pops by the Sea concert is arguably Cape Cod's single largest cultural event. Held on the Hyannis Village Green, it marks the only Cape Cod appearance each year of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Keith Lockhart and a celebrity guest conductor. (this year's is Angie Dickinson).

Proceeds from the concert benefit the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, which provides artistic, cultural, and educational programs on Cape Cod throughout the year.

The concert regularly attracts a live audience of over 15,000 – Cape Cod's largest single audience of the summer - and Cape Cod Music lovers can sit either at VIP tables, festival seating or on the lawn to enjoy a terrific afternoon of music that benefits art and culture on the Cape all year long.

Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra

The Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra is the second largest professional symphony orchestra in Massachusetts, after the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and presents Classical and Pops concerts throughout the year at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, at Barnstable High School, 744 West Main St., Hyannis.

Throughout its almost fifty-year history, the orchestra has a built a reputation for innovation, combining an accomplished, professional permanent ensemble with world-class soloists and featured artists.

During the “off-season” of September to May, the orchestra, conducted by the acclaimed Jung-Ho Pak, performs one weekend a month at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center. During the summer there are a couple of special outdoor events, which are very popular, one in July at Mashpee Commons, and one in August at Eldridge Park in Orleans.

Other Live Music Venues

Of course, this is just a sampling of the main Cape Cod music attractions. The truth is, you can find live music just about anywhere you go. Here is a list of other venues where you will often find live music on Cape Cod.

Liam Maguires on Main Street in Falmouth features a wide array of musical styles with live acts on weekends.

The British Beer Company has three locations on Cape Cod, in Falmouth Heights, Sandwich and Hyannis, and all three feature Live Music Wednesday through Sunday. Local bands (usually of the rock variety) are reserved for Fridays and Saturdays, and Sundays tend to be tamer acoustic affairs.

The Boathouse on Scranton Avenue in Falmouth usually features live rock music on weekends, and several weeknights during the summer, with shows starting at 10.00pm.

The Sandwich Taverna on Cotuit Road on Forestdale is the closest live music venue to where we live and features live music from local Cape Cod bands Fridays and Saturdays, and the terrific Moonlighters Big Band once a month on Sundays.

Further down Cape in Hyannis, Harry's Blues Bar on Main Street doubles as a Cajun restaurant, but features bands like 57 Heavy and Roots Down below after dark. Sundays from 7-11pm is a particularly fun time when local Cape Cod music aficionados can bring along their own instrument for a jam night with some of the Cape's best musicians.

Also on Main Street, a few blocks from Harry's you'll find the Island Merchant, another restaurant that features live music once the kitchen closes. Here you're as likely to hear the soft Caribbean sounds of Reggae from Mentos and the New Horizon as you are to hear the more traditional rock sounds of Ampasaurus and Jo & Co.

Pufferbellies on Route 28 at the Hyannis/West Yarmouth line is a music venue built out of a converted train depot, and used to be strictly a dance club. More recently, they have widened their musical fare and now feature local and national bands every Saturday.

Further down Route 28 in Dennis is Sundancers. Mentos and the New Horizons are also regulars here, playing every Tuesday through the summer, as are 57 Heavy, Cape Fear and eighties cover band the Spectacular Deloreans.

The Deloreans also regularly play on Saturdays nights at Land Ho. Other bands you might catch at the popular Orleans haunt include the Slater-Short Band, Tripl3crown and the Nate Mott Band. Shows star at 10:00pm

Return from Cape Cod Music to Cape Cod Cultural Activities

Return from Cape Cod Music to Home

Subscribe to our FREE monthly ezine for tips, ideas & updates from




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you the Cape Cod Lovers ezine.

[?] Subscribe To This Site

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines


Subscribe to our FREE monthly ezine for tips, ideas & updates from




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you the Cape Cod Lovers ezine.

Copyright© 2007-2012 Cape Cod For Couples. Please do not reproduce these articles without permission.
Return to top