The annual summer concert season is distinguished by its abundance of world-class jazz festivals. And many of these festivals, including the Playboy Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival, are veritable institutions at this point, having attracted millions of attendees between them. So with that sort of competition, building a new multi-day jazz festival of national note would be a challenge. But a quick glance at the remarkable artist lineup for the 3rd Annual Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont proves that the capital of Virginia is certainly making a solid effort.

From August 10-12, high caliber jazz and adult R&B artists like George Benson, India Arie, Stanley Clarke, Robert Cray and Poncho Sanchez, will blaze the festival’s large, outdoor stage. Additionally, the Friday show, which will be held indoors at the newly resurrected Hippodrome Theater, will feature Richmond native and jazz funk legend Lonnie Liston Smith. Saturday and Sunday’s shows will also be enhanced by the ambiance of the gorgeous Maymont grounds and gardens, as well as scheduled wine tastings and access to international cuisines. Single day and entire weekend ticket packages are available starting at just $20. Visit for more information.

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Ever since its quiet launch during the summer of 2010, Richmond singer/songwriter Jarrard Anthony’s Saturday Soul Social event has continued to grow in local popularity. Held every first Saturday of each month, the free, indie soul music showcase is unlike anything else happening regularly in Central Virginia. Buzz-worthy artists like Jon Bibbs, Alison Carney and Kenny Wesley have performed full acoustic sets at the Social, now being held at Addis Ethiopian Restaurant.

On August 4th, soul singer Candice Anitra performs. There will also be a listening preview of the new CD by The Endangered. As usual, Jarrard Anthony hosts while DJ R. Simms spins the classic soul, house and grown-up hip-hop. There’s also an open mic portion. And again, it’s all free to attend. Visit for more information.

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