Cool setting, cool fun, cool music -- the annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival is a great way to beat the early-summer heat.

Cool setting, cool fun, cool music -- the annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival is a great way to beat the early-summer heat.

The festival is being held June 20-22 at Creekside in Gahanna. This year's blues headliner is the incredible John Hammond, while the jazz side is headlined by saxophonist Elizabeth Mis joining Columbus' own Urban Jazz Coalition. But there are five stages, and something will be happening all weekend long -- at almost any time you're going to see the best in central Ohio jazz and blues.

General admission is $5. For details on the festival, visit

BONUS: More great blues outdoors is on tap this weekend as the city of Columbus' Rhythm on the River series of free concerts welcomes Shemekia Copeland to the Bicentennial Park stage Friday, June 20. Visit

Early Music in Columbus has a special summer treat planned, welcoming singer/lutenist Garald Farnham to Capital University's Kerns Chapel Friday, June 20.

The series has welcomed Farnham's ensemble, the Good Pennyworths, on a couple of occasions, and this time gets Farnham in a solo show titled "Passing By: My Life as a Minstrel" that is both old and new. Whether Farnham is a Renaissance troubadour living in a modern world or a modern troubadour living in a Renaissance world matters little -- he's a master either way you look at it.

A freewill donation will be accepted at the door. Visit

Brooklyn collective Turkuaz serves up heaping helpings of foot-stompin', head-bobbin', booty-shakin' funk. Boasting a two-guitar attack and powered by distorted bass lines, a full horn section and wiggy female singers, Turkuaz's tunes are inspired by the Parliament/Family Stone/War canon.

Oh, and jumpsuits. Expect jumpsuits.

Check 'em out Saturday, June 21, at Woodlands Tavern. Tickets are $10. Visit

The inimitable Ben Folds joins the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for its Saturday, June 21, Picnic With the Pops program on Columbus Commons.

The Ben Folds Orchestral Experience is an apt umbrella term for a show that features arrangements from Folds' pop repertoire and a performance of his new piano concerto.

Adult general admission tickets are $23/$25. Table seating also is available. Visit

Like some cosmic amalgamation of The Mars Volta and Taking Back Sunday, San Antonio-based quartet Nothing More unleashes bombastic, intense modern rock on audiences.

And soon, through speakers as well, as the band anticipates the release of its debut full-length record later this summer. Meantime, Nothing More is on tour, and plays a Sunday, June 22, show at The Basement.

This show is free. Satellite Flight and Vice on Victory open. Visit

Austin-based musician Alejandro Rose-Garcia prefers, for professional purposes, to use a name made up by friends around a campfire when they were all giving themselves weird, throwback trail-guide names: Shakey Graves.

The name fits his low-fi, folk-blues style, with Graves as a one-man band accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and various percussion he can play with foot pedals. He tinges his flatpicking guitar style with tonal twists, and delivers his back road street-poet lyrics with a tenor augmented by haunting whispers and untamed howls.

Check out Shakey Graves Monday, June 23, at The Basement. Wild Child shares the bill. Tickets are $12/$15. Visit

Gold & Youth's synth-and-guitar electro-pop is atmospheric and mesmerizing, at times cold and detached and at times melancholy and tender. And really '90s-esque -- imagine if Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins had fronted Depeche Mode, for example.

The Vancouver quartet is touring in support of its debut CD, Beyond Wilderness, and will play The Basement Tuesday, June 24. Ponyshow opens.

Tickets are $10. Visit

Born during the post-grunge era of new heavy rock, Atlanta's Sevendust always stood out to The Beat. At once totally tuneful and totally aggressive, with an earthy beat, chugging riffs and searing guitar work, Sevendust always struck us as equal parts Fishbone and Megadeth.

Twenty years later, the band is proving its musical chops, offering up an acoustic album (Time Travelers & Bonfires) and subsequent tour, which finds the band performing the new songs as well as reimagined works from throughout its heavy history.

The tour stops at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Wednesday, June 25. Tickets are $22.50/$25. Visit

With Rush finally enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the list of contenders for the unofficial "most egregious exclusion" has to include Cheap Trick.

The ultimate fun-time rockers remain one of the most underrated "classic" rock acts, while The Beat has to fairly beg people to go beyond I Want You to Want Me and The Flame in the Trick catalog. (Do it now!)

Cheap Trick plays Newark's Midland Theatre Wednesday, June 25. Tickets start at $55. Visit

Aussie chanteuse Clairy Browne leads a terrific entry into the world of neo-R&B/rock 'n' soul, her nine-piece Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes blending '60s-style jazz and blues with elements of classic torch singing, girl-group harmonies and a little bit of burlesque.

Theatrical, noir elements aside, the Rackettes is really a party band at heart. Witness the tunes on the band's debut, Baby Caught the Bus.

Check 'em out Wednesday, June 25, at The Basement. The Dew Droppers opens.

Tickets are $15/$18. Visit