Culture to Do: April 19, 2023
The UMass Amherst Bach Festival and Symposium
Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23
Bach’s Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Tillis Performance Hall
Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.
The featured festival event is the performance of Bach’s magnificent Mass in B Minor. Andrew Megill is guest conducts the UMass Bach Festival Orchestra & Chorus, with Kristen Watson and Ava D’Agostino, sopranos; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Brian Giebler, tenor and Andrew Garland, baritone.
Faculty Concert: Steven Beck, piano
Bach’s The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Friday, April 21 at 4 p.m. and livestream
Bach’s Coffee Cantata BWV 211: Bach’s Coffee Cantata BWV 211,
Amherst Coffee, 28 Amity St.
Sunday, April 23, 11:30 a.m.
A free concert with alumni singers and instrumentalists in an informal setting.
Codemakers: Vijay Iyer, Hyeyung Sol Yoon, and Texu Kim
Sunday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m.
This special event features works by Bach as well as contemporary music inspired by his legacy, performed by musicians of Asian descent. Commissioned by the Fine Arts Center and performed by violinist Hyeyung Sol Yoon, Korean-born composer Texu Kim's "Convivio" explores Asian diasporic identity, while world-renowned pianist and composer Vijay Iyer plays solo works, including a new premiere. Yoon also performs the Adagio and Fugue from Bach's C Major Violin Sonata.
Beetle 7 + Soporific!
LAVA Center, Greenfield
Thursday, April 20 from 5:30 – 8 p.m.
The LAVA Center is a community arts space, arts incubator, and black box theater in downtown Greenfield, MA. It’s a place where all artists, including marginalized communities and individuals, can have their voices heard. For this coffeehouse-style concert, LAVA’a house band, led by local musician Steve Koziol, with special guests Beetle 7 and Soporific! You can drop in, hang out, draw, write, make art, make friends, and come and go as you please.
Harmonia V: April in Paris
Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
MOSSO (Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra) presents Harmonia V, an innovative professional Woodwind Quintet from Connecticut. Audiences of all ages will enjoy their refreshing approach to virtuosity and nuance and experience a new world of sound, color and emotion. The program will include works by Fauré, Ravel, Poulenc, Debussy and others.
Della Mae + Maya de Vitry
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m.
Della Mae is a Grammy-nominated all-woman string band founded by lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith and 2-time Grand National champion fiddle player Kimber Ludiker. Rounding out the current touring lineup are guitarist Avril Smith, and bassist Vickie Vaughn. Maya de Vitry first traveled and performed as a fiddling street musician, and then in bars, theaters, and on festival stages as a founding member of The Stray Birds.
Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash: Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare & Company, Lenox
Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
Shakespeare’s tragic love story Romeo and Juliet will be presented as an open-captioned performance with a projection screen above the stage, displaying the text the actors are reciting. The show will be followed by a birthday bash for the Bard, complete with cake!
Avery Sharpe: I Am My Neighbor’s Keeper
Macedonia Church of God in Christ, Springfield
Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
Community Music School of Springfield
Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m.
Internationally renowned jazz bassist Avery Sharpe will perform a multimedia presentation that includes music, movement and a video slideshow. It highlights “concern and compassion for each other,” and recognizes our common humanity at a time when there are deep divisions in the country. Sharpe and collaborating musicians and artists will perform 10 compositions that will combine bass, voice, drums, piano, two violins, a cello, a percussionist and an African dancer into ten movements. The two concerts are free and open to the public.
Valley Malt & Ground Up: SQFT Saturday
4 North Bridge Street, Holyoke
Saturday, April 22 from 2 – 6 p.m.
Learn about the local grain malting and milling scene at the Northeast Grainshed Alliance’s SQFT Saturday, hosted by Valley Malt & Ground Up in Holyoke. Visit their mill and malthouse, learn about how they germinate grains for malt and a mill flour in their New American mill. Other members of the Northeast Grainshed Alliance will be selling fresh baked goods and the Beer Garden will be pouring a SQFT collaboration lager from Kent Falls and Exhibit ‘A” Brewing as well as other delicious libations from their Grainshed. Leave with a fresh bag of flour.
Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters
Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m.
In 1963 Ronnie Horvath’s parents signed him up for piano lessons. They didn’t stick. In 1973, Horvath purchased a Martin acoustic guitar. He returned it the very next day for a Fender Stratocaster. In his early days playing with Muddy Waters, Muddy couldn’t remember his last name when he would call Ronnie up on stage, so he graciously changed his last name to “Earl” as a tribute to blues slide guitarist Earl Hooker. The rest is blues history.
The Brian Patneaude Quartet
Old Town Hall, West Stockbridge
Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 pm
The West Stockbridge Historical Society Jazz Series begins its 2023 season with the Brian Patneaude. The quartet of award-winning musicians features Patneaude on saxophone, Rob Lundquist on keyboard, Jarod Grieco bass, and Danny Whelchel drums. Based in based in New York’s Capitol Region, Patneaude has been a mainstay in the Northeast jazz scene for many years.
Rachmaninoff at 150
Sweeney Concert Hall and Sage Hall, Smith College
Saturday April 22 and Sunday, April 23
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s birth, the Smith College Music Department presents three concerts with all-Rachmaninoff programs featuring celebrated solo piano works interspersed with lesser-known chamber and vocal works. Valley Classical co-presents Armenian-American pianist Sergei Babayan’s Sunday concert at Sweeney Concert Hall.
Shout! Elevate! Inspire!
Scibelli Hall, Springfield Technical Community College
Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Vocalist Samirah Evans and trumpeter Haneef Nelson will present an evening of tasty Jazz and Blues music ladled with a little New Orleans spice backed by a smokin' rhythm section including keyboardist Ben Kohn, bassist Matt Dwonszyk and drummer Conor Meehan. Additional performances by Iyawna Burnett, Fynta Sidime, Jocelyn Pleasant and Asaad Jackson of The Lost Tribe, and Performance Project’s First Generation Ensemble.
Harvesting Dreams: Two Visions of Tarot
Reception, Artist Talks and Tarot Readings
Zea Mays Printmaking, Florence
Sunday, April 23 from 3 – 6 p.m.
Marjorie Morgan’s Magical Nature Tarot and Annie Bissett’s Woodblock Dreams Tarot, while unique and quite different from each other, also have a lot in common. Both decks were created in the crucible of the pandemic and both decks were constructed with printmaking techniques. The show, which runs through May 14, highlights the processes these artists used to make the decks and some of the original artwork that became cards.
Breaking Barriers in Hollywood: A Conversation with John Cho
Johnson Chapel, Amherst College
Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Famed actor John Cho will discuss his journey inside and outside of Hollywood,from participating in Asian American theater to major blockbuster films. Cho is a Korean-American actor and New York Times best selling author. He first came into the national spotlight with the hit comedy American Pie, and starred as ‘Harold Lee' in the comedy series Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, as ‘Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu’ in the motion picture reboot of Star Trek.
Hanif Abdurraqib: A Reading and Conversation
Weinstein Auditorium, Smith College
Monday, April 25 at 7 p.m.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a prolific poet, essayist and cultural critic, and the recipient of a 2021 MacArthur “Genius” Grant. He will read from his most recent book of essays, ”A Little Devil in America,” which was selected as one of the best books of the year by The Chicago Tribune, and which Brit Bennett describes as “gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance.” It’s free and open to the public.