Emerald Necklace Concerts

Boston is one of the few cities in the world that possesses an extensive urban park system. The first large public space in Boston was Boston Common (1640), followed by the Public Garden (1837). By the 1870s, the Back Bay mud flat had been land filled-in, with residential houses built upon the new land, but ecological issues were still a huge concern. In 1880, America's most famous Landscape Architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, proposed a linear park system to be built from the Charles River to the Arnold Arboretum, resolving the drainage issues while creating beautiful open green spaces in an urban area.

When viewed on a map, the park system resembled a green crescent, and was quickly nicknamed the Emerald Necklace. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit organization to bring citizens together to renew and advocate for the Emerald Necklace parks designed by Olmsted. The organization supports projects including park restoration and maintenance, youth education, and volunteer and visitor services. In recent years, free concerts have been sponsored by the Conservancy to foster further enjoyment of the parks by residents and visitors alike. 

Pinebank Park Concert Venue
Pinebank Park, Jamaica Pond

The Emerald Necklace park system includes: Boston Common, Public Garden, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, The Fens, The Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, Jamaicaway, Arborway, Arnold Arboretum, and Franklin Park. Adjacent east, the Charles River Esplanade and Boston Harborwalk allow one to walk almost uninterrupted in a path from the Seaport District in South Boston to Franklin Park. 

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied engineering and scientific agriculture at Yale, worked on a farm to study the methods of cultivation, and then relocated to Staten Island. He was superintendent of the commission for laying out Central Park in New York (1856–61). During the Civil War, he was Secretary of the US Sanitary Commission. He also was one of the principal designers of the Riverside and Morningside Parks in New York, the Washington and Jackson Parks in Brooklyn, and of public parks and grounds in Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Montreal, and Rochester. He managed the first survey of Yosemite Park, and was a commissioner of the Niagara Falls Reservation. He was also employed to beautify the Capitol grounds at Washington, and the grounds of Amherst College and Harvard and Yale Universities. Omsted was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History, and of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

An amusing note about the Emerald Necklace system is that people have purported that the first UFO sighting in America was seen at Muddy River in 1639. Muddy River feeds the Charles River near Commonwealth Avenue & Charlesgate West, which is the start of the Emerald Necklace through Back Bay The Fens area and points south.

Boston is blessed to have an extensive urban park system, owing to the legacy of politicians and citizens during the 1800s, and Frederick Law Olmsted. The following is a schedule of free concerts in the Emerald Necklace in summer, generously sponsored by The Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Boston Parks & Recreation Department, Friends of Jamaica Pond, and Brookline Parks and Open Space. The concerts are about 60 to 90 minutes in length. The main venues are grassy areas at Pinebank Park at Jamaica Pond and Olmsted Park in Brookline.

The concert series is known as Summer on the Emerald Necklace and previously Summer Sundays in the Park.


July, 2018

Sunday July 8, 6:00 pm

Karen K and the Jitterbugs 
Location: Allerton Overlook, Olmsted Park, Brookline, MA 
(Rain Cancel posted by 3 pm at

Sunday July 15, 6:00 pm

Boston Opera Collaborative 
Location: Allerton Overlook, Olmsted Park, Brookline, MA 
(Rain Cancel posted by 3 pm at

Sunday July 22, 6:00 pm

Henry Acker Jazz Trio 
Location: Allerton Overlook, Olmsted Park, Brookline, MA 
(Rain Cancel posted by 3 pm at

Sunday July 29, 6:00 pm

Metropolitan Wind Symphony 
Location: Sugar Bowl, Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, MA 
(Rain Cancel posted by 3 pm at

August, 2018

Sunday August 5, 6:00 pm

Melissa Ferrick 
Location: Sugar Bowl, Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, MA 
(Rain Date: Sunday August 26)

Sunday August 12, 6:00 pm

Boston Landmarks Orchestra Ensemble 
Location: Sugar Bowl, Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, MA 
(Rain Cancel posted by 3 pm at

Thursday August 16, 7:30 pm

Movie Night featuring "TBA" 
Location: Fenway Victory Gardens 
(Rain Date: Thursday August 30)


Contact Information & Address:

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy 
125 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115


Fenway Victory Gardens (Movie) 
Boylston Street & Park Drive
Boston, MA 02115 


Jamaica Pond (Pinebank Park) 
Perkins Street & Jamaicaway
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 
Jamaica Pond Description 
Jamaica Pond Park Map


Olmsted Park (Google Map Below) 
Pond Avenue & Allerton Street
Brookline, MA 02445 
Olmsted Park Description 
Olmsted Park Map

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