LENOX -- Expanding on its series of Popular Artists performances at Tanglewood this summer, the Boston Symphony has booked three more performances by diverse artists such as folk icon Joan Baez, joined by the Indigo Girls folk-rock duo, scheduled on June 23.
Later in the summer, a tour dubbed "Last Summer on Earth 2013" will stop at the BSO's summer home, featuring Canadian alt-rock band Barenaked Ladies, along with the Ben Folds Five, the alternative rock band formed 20 years ago in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Guster, yet another alternative rock group that originated in Boston in 1991, on July 23.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, a rock band founded as an indie group in Vermont in 2002, will be joined by singer-songwriter and guitarist Josh Ritter on Aug. 19.
The latest lineup, with tickets on sale Monday, March 25, follows the bookings of Melissa Etheridge (returning to Tanglewood for the first time in 24 years) with Eric Hutchinson on June 21; the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart on June 22; Jackson Browne with Sara Watkins on July 4; the Steve Miller Band (a Tanglewood debut) on July 29; and jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding on Aug. 4.
All Popular Artists events are in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, except for Spalding, who will perform in Ozawa Hall.
The summer bonanza includes four additional Boston Pops dates and a BSO performance of the Leonard Bernstein
The high-water mark for Popular Artists shows at Tanglewood was in 1976, when there were 13. In more recent years, there have been six, on average. According to BSO spokesperson Bernadette Horgan, the goal for this summer was eight; six have been booked so far.
The BSO will perform 22 classical concerts (including a Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra date and the traditional Tanglewood on Parade) during its core eight-week season from July 5 through Aug. 25. In addition, there's a robust lineup of TMCO concerts and performances by ensembles and soloists at Ozawa Hall.
Also slated this summer are two public-radio specials -- the 14th annual "A Prairie Home Companion" live presentation with Garrison Keillor on June 29, and the Tanglewood debut of "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" the humor-laden weekly news quiz show with Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell, which will be recorded live on Aug. 29 for later broadcast.
Joan Baez, now 72 and a Woodside, Calif., resident, made her 1959 debut at the first annual Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. She first sang in the Berkshires at a Pittsfield Boys Club concert (temporarily renamed the Berkshire Music Barn) on Aug. 17, 1963, where she introduced Bob Dylan, then virtually unknown and her paramour at the time, as her surprise guest. The concert, originally slated at the Music Barn in Lenox, was shifted to the larger venue in Pittsfield because of audience demand. Baez returned to the Newport site on Aug. 2, 2009, to celebrate the folk festival's 50th anniversary.
A high-profile civil rights and political activist, she marched with Martin Luther King in 1963, appeared with Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebration in London's Hyde Park, and sang at the Occupy Wall Street protest on Nov. 11, 2011. She received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.
She will be returning to Tanglewood for the first time since 1990, when she also performed with Indigo Girls. Baez made her Tanglewood debut in 1979. On Sunday, June 23, at 2:30 p.m., Baez again shares a twin bill with the folk-rock duo formed by Emily Saliers and Amy Ray when they were in high school. Their first album won a 1990 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. They have released 14 studio recordings.
"We really work hard to not lean on any tried-and-true path in making our albums," Ray said in a prepared statement. "So when it comes to writing new songs and working with different musicians, every record feels like a completely different adventure for us."
BNL, as Barenaked Ladies are known, originated in Ontario 25 years ago and are characterized by a comedic performance approach, including banter between songs and improvised raps. The group has sold more than 15 million albums and singles, according to industry sources. Ben Folds Five released their first album in 1995, broke up more than 10 years ago and reunited in 2008. Folds had embarked on a solo career, performing with orchestras around the world.
Folds, lead vocalist and songwriter, also performs on keyboards. Guster, a band formed 20 years ago by Tufts University students, launched their career with the 1999 album, "Lost and Gone Forever." Experimenting with a variety of styles and arrangements, the group's most recent release, "Easy Wonderful," won critical approval.
The rock quintet Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was formed by St. Lawrence University students in upstate Canton, N.Y., in 2002. The group has released four studio albums, tours extensively and appears on late-night TV. Potter has been called "one of the rock world's reigning elite female vocalists," according to the BSO announcement.
The group has opened for the Dave Matthews Band and has collaborated with country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. Their newest album, "The Lion The Beast The Beat" was released last June and charted to No. 17 on Billboard Magazine's top 200 list.
Ritter, a singer-songwriter, recently put out a new album, "The Beast in its Tracks," his sixth recording.
"I hadn't composed this stuff, I'd scrawled it down, just trying to keep ahead of the heartbreak," he stated. "They needed to be recorded like that. We needed to work fast, make decisions quickly, keep the songs as spare as they could be kept, and above all never allow ourselves to blunt the sharp edges. Some of the songs were mean or evil. So be it."
Ticket information ...
What: Joan Baez and Indigo Girls
When: Sunday, June 23, at 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $23.50 to $69.50.
What: "Last Summer on Earth 2013" featuring Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five and Guster
When: Tuesday, July 23, at 7 p.m.
Cost: $27.50 to $79.50
What: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, with Josh Ritter
When: Monday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m.
Cost: $23.50 to $52.50
All tickets for the additional concerts announced on Monday go on sale at on Monday, March 25, at www.tanglewood.org or 888-266-1200. In addition to the usual free parking, Tanglewood offers paid priority parking for all Popular Artist concerts for $25 in the East Lot.