As the temperature rises outside, the eighth annual Rockport Jazz Festival promises to bring in the musical heat when it kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 4, at 5 p.m. with the John Scofield Trio featuring Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart.

The festival, which runs through Aug. 11, features diverse musicians and vocalists bringing their own brand of jazz to the waterfront stage at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport.

A three-time Grammy Award winner, Scofield draws from myriad influences, from blues and funk to rock and R&B. He has won numerous other awards and recognitions, including an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in Boston and was accepted into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. His latest release is “Combo 66.” 

Rockport Jazz Festival continues on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m. featuring Trinidadian jazz trumpeter and percussionist Etienne Charles, recent winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship Award; Thursday, Aug. 8, at 8 p.m. with jazz singer Kat Edmonson; Friday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. with pianist Aaron Diehl, a master of both jazz and classical; Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. with Hot Sardines of New York City; and two shows on the final day, Sunday, Aug. 11, with Ulysses Owens Jr. performing at 2 p.m., followed by the closing show featuring Jack DeJohnette, who, together with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison, performs the music of John Coltrane.

For information and tickets, visit

Thursday concerts at Harbor Loop

The free outdoor Harbor Loop summer concert series on Thursdays in Gloucester continues on Aug. 1 with Cold Engines from 6 to 9 p.m.

The line-up for the rest of the month offers Tony Frontiero and Eagle in the Attic on Aug. 8, Gold Velvet Sofa and Soulpax on Aug. 15, Chris Fritz-Grace and Mamadou Diop on Aug. 22, and Isle and Old Cold Tater on Aug. 29.

Bring chairs or blankets to the concert site at the Fitz Hugh Lane House near the U.S. Coast Guard station and 24 Harbor Loop. Food will be available for purchase. For more information, visit

‘Extremes and In-Betweens’: A female view

The Rocky Neck Art Colony presents “Extremes and In-Betweens,” a juried exhibition featuring members of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Women Artists, opening Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson St., Gloucester.

The exhibition, which runs through Sept. 1, will showcase the works of 47 artists whose contemporary pieces explore the title theme. The collection of artwork includes oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; sculpture, photography and mixed-media creations.

Among the Cape Ann artists selected for this show are Lorrie Berry, Donna Caselden, Michele Champion, Jennifer Costello, Terry Del Percio, Cheryl Dyment, Susan Guest-McPhail, Cindy Journey, Carmela Martin, Kat Masella, Sallie Strand, and Heidi Caswell Zander.

The public is invited to meet the artists at an opening reception on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. For information, visit

Denovo Quartet plays in Annisquam

The Annisquam Village Church concert season continues on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m. with the chamber music of Holbrook Robinson, performed by the Denovo Quartet.

Robinson has close ties with Annisquam from his childhood summers spent there. His mother, the late Kira Robinson, emigrated to the U.S. during the Russian Revolution.

Following in the academic footsteps of his parents, Robinson is a French professor at Northeastern University in Boston. A self-taught composer, he is strongly influenced by works in the romantic and modern repertoire. Robinson’s quartets reflect his French propensities as well as “a strong spiritual message.”

The church, known for its resonant acoustics, is at 820 Washington St., Gloucester. A reception will follow the concert. Admission at the door is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. For advance tickets visit

Broadway star headed to Rockport

Broadway and TV star Matthew Morrison, who played Mr. Schuester on the award-winning TV show “Glee,” will perform Broadway favorites and selections from the Great American Songbook at Rockport Music’s Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.

Rockport Music’s Education and Outreach Program will take center stage at the fundraiser as current students and alumni of Rockport High join Morrison in singing several Broadway medleys.

The gala opens with cocktails and dinner at 5:30 p.m. Doors for the show open at 7:30, followed by Morrison’s performance at 8:30. For ticket pricing and other event details, visit  

‘Cheers to the Pier’ in Magnolia

“Cheers to the Pier,” a Magnolia pier fundraiser, takes place on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 4 to 9 p.m. on Shore Road, hosted by the Magnolia Pier Fundraising Committee.

The family event will feature music, food and more. Lobster will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 6 p.m., along with burgers, hot dogs and corn, plus a cash beer and wine bar. There will be a raffle for local gift certificates, live auction starting at 7 p.m., music supplied by DJ Leo Francis, and a Kids Korner with activities for children. Visit for more information.

‘Kinky Boots’ on Shalin Liu screen

“Kinky Boots” — with songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper — comes to Rockport Music’s Great Musicals on Screen series on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. at Shalin Liu Performance Center. For details, visit

Gallery 53 summer artist reception

After heavy rain deterred some crowds from an earlier artist reception, the public will have another chance to meet Gallery 53’s summer artist Vanessa Michalak at a closing reception on Friday, Aug. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck, 53 Rocky Neck Ave., Gloucester. The show closes Aug. 6. For more information, call 978-282-0917.

‘Art of a Cape Ann inventor’

Jane Deering Gallery presents “Gloucester Blue — the art of Cape Ann inventor Paul Neily” with an opening reception on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 4 to 8 p.m. at 19 Pleasant St., Gloucester. On view will be 50 small painted drawings by the Essex artist bathed in the light of blue, evoking memory and flashback, impression and recall.

“Neily’s charmed drawings document his memory of the streets and lanes, houses and rooftops of Gloucester, a city that is changing.,” an exhibition statement reads. “Neily’s reminiscence echoes his reflection of a city real and beloved.”

Also on view will be a selection of furniture designed by Neily, a painter, poet, composer, designer and inventor. The exhibit runs through Aug. 31. For information, visit the Facebook page of Paul Cabot Neily.

Artist reception at Hammond Castle

Bonnie Jeanne Faulkner takes the spotlight as the featured artist for August at the Hammond Castle Museum shop, 80 Hesperus Ave., Gloucester. The public is invited to meet Faulkner at a reception on Monday, Aug. 5, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Faulkner’s art is known for its colorful interpretations of well-known cities and villages. Her career as a singer is a strong influence on her art. In 1996, Faulkner established her own artist-run gallery, the B.J. Faulkner Gallery, in Lenox in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Soon-after, she was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra to design the Tanglewood music festival poster. Her illustrations focus on travel, leisure, luxury, lifestyle, children and theatrical projects.

For details on her exhibit, visit

Lunchtime lecture by the sea

Historic New England will host “Lecture by the Sea: Old House Dos and Don’ts” on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 11 a.m. at Coolidge Point: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, 9 Coolidge Point, on Manchester’s waterfront. 

Sally Zimmerman, Historic New England’s senior preservation services manager, presents an illustrated talk with tips and ideas for approaching common old-house projects, including updating, expansion, energy efficiency and more, all based on preservation best practices. The public is encouraged to bring their questions.

The cost for the general public is $35, and includes a boxed lunch and an opportunity to stroll the grounds. For information, visit or call 978-522-5540. 

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706, or, at least two weeks in advance.

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