Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime. While the official start of summer is still a few weeks off, one of St. Louis' favorite warm-weather events gets a leg up this week. The Missouri Botanical Gardens' (4344 Shaw Boulevard) eleventh annual Whitaker Music Festival starts Wednesday, June 1, and runs every Wednesday evening through July 27. Owing to construction, the Linnean Lawn hosts this year's concerts (follow the signs), but the rest of the drill is the same as the previous ten years: BYO blanket or chairs, mood lighting (a.k.a. citronella candles on a stick), picnic basket or backpack, and whatever goodies will trump the delicacies brought by the people on surrounding blankets (you have nothing if you can't leave them salivating over your sauvignon blanc and wild-pheasant-and-rice-filled crêpes). If you can tear yourself away from the portable fondue set and listen to the live music (that's Danita Mumphard, from last year), you might be surprised to hear something truly amazing. The James Matthews Trio starts off the series with jazz piano, but this summer's lineup boasts a huge mix of jazz, bluegrass, rock -- even a harmonica master. For a... More >>>