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Culture to Do, Nov. 16, 2022

The Young@Heart Chorus celebrating their 40th anniversary at the Academy of Music in Northampton.
The Academy of Music
The Young@Heart Chorus performing at the Academy of Music in Northampton.

Shakespeare & Company
The 34th Annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare
Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox
Thursday, Nov. 17 – Sunday, Nov. 20
When high-energy teenagers are turned loose through the power of Shakespeare’s language, the thrill is contagious. The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a residency program at 11 high schools in Massachusetts and New York. Shakespeare & Company directing teams lead students at each school through a language-based exploration of different Shakespeare plays, culminating in full-scale productions at their own schools and then on the main stage at the Tina Packer Playhouse on the Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox, Mass. A live stream is available.

Lakecia Benjamin Quartet: Billy Taylor Jazz Residency
Bowker Auditorium, UMass Amherst
Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Lakecia Benjamin infuses her conception of jazz with the sounds of James Brown, Maceo Parker, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Meters, producing soaring, dance-floor worthy rhythms. This concert is the finale celebration of her Billy Taylor Jazz Residency at UMass Amherst. It promises to pull the educational experience out of the classroom and lead her audience in an exciting exploration of jazz.

Colonial Entanglements: Native American Artwork from the SCMA Collection
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton
Open through June 2023
Entangled in American artists’ depictions of settler society are the displaced lives, lands and cultures of Indigenous peoples. Paintings of idyllic landscapes arranged in ornate gold frames depict Indigenous peoples, if at all, fading into the wilderness. At the time of their making, such scenes romanticized and justified colonial expansion and settlement in early America; when exhibited in museums today uncritically, they continue to do so.

Pioneer Valley Jazz Share: A World of Piano|
Thursday, Nov. 17 – Saturday Nov 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Northampton Center for the Arts
Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares presents a 3-day series of concerts featuring master jazz piano improvisers. Lafayette Gilchrist brings Washington D.C.’s unique go-go sound to open the series on Thursday. On Friday, it’s Ron Stabinsky, who enjoys working in many stylistically diverse musical contexts. The series closes on Saturday with New England Conservatory of Music grad and Woodstock, New York resident Marilyn Crispell. What’s a jazz share? NEPM’s Connecting Point explains it.

Samara Joy
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, Storrs
Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Rising star Samara Joy’s velvety, smooth voice puts her own enchanting interpretation on jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. She won the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition at the age of 19. Now she’s 22 and with her new album, “Linger Awhile,” she’s making a case to join the likes of Sarah, Ella and Billie as the next jazz singing sensation.

Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Upstate is a band guided by clear ambitions: to write honest songs, play rich music, and “leave it all” on the stage and in the studio. The band weaves traces of Americana, Jazz, Gospel, and R&B with their eyes towards music that tells the truth above all.

Roomful of Blues
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Even though Roomful of Blues’ lineup has changed over the years, the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor.

On the Horizon: Art and Atmosphere in the Nineteenth Century
The Clark, Williamstown
Opens Saturday, Nov. 19
Over the course of the nineteenth century, scientists, artists, and society at large developed a deeper understanding of air. Suddenly, the atmosphere had a visual role to play in artworks — the aerial dimension came to be recognized as an essential and active pictorial element. To nineteenth-century artists, air offered a major representational challenge: How is it possible to portray something typically characterized by its transparency?

Josh Ritter
The Academy of Music, Northampton
Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m.
Our friends at Signature Sounds share a note from a note from Josh about this stop on his tour: “I don’t know about you, but for me this past year has had more than its fair share of long nights of the soul… Now I get the chance to perform again. I’m so excited I almost can’t contain it.”

Elizabeth Hungerford, soprano & Andrew Arceci, viola da gamba
Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, Amherst
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m.
The Kinney Center hosts a free concert featuring soprano and early music specialist Elizabeth Hungerford with the Arcadia Players’ new Artistic Director, Andrew Arceci, on viola da gamba. The program will include works by Tobias Hume , Giulio Caccini, Tarquinio Merula and others. Arcadia Players is Ensemble-in-Residence at the Kinney Center.

Young@Heart Chorus: 40th Anniversary Concert
Academy of Music, Northampton
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m.
Celebrate 40 Years of Young@Heart with new reinterpretations of the most iconic songs from Y@A’s repertoire throughout the years. The Young@Heart Chorus strives to present a positive image of aging through music. They perform songs not commonly sung by older people to build bridges between communities and create shared musical experiences for young and old alike.

Pioneer Valley Symphony: Resilience Through Serenity
Bowker Auditorium, UMass Amherst
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 4 p.m.
The PVSO presents an intimate concert with international prize-winning flutist Dr. Cobus du Toit. Elgar’s lush soundscapes in Serenade set the emotional tone for a concert of musical reflection. Composer Michael Daugherty leads us to a reflection on the forced displacement of Native Americans from their ancestral lands with Trail of Tears. The concert closes with Symphony No. 4 by Emilie Mayer, one of the most prominent female composers of the 19th century.

Ms. Lisa Fischer
Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity, Florence
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
After decades of background singing with icons like Luther Vandross and The Rolling Stones, the 2013 Best Documentary Oscar winning film “Twenty Feet from Stardom” altered the course of Ms. Lisa Fischer’s musical journey. She set out on her own with co-conspirators JC Maillard and Grand Baton. Their fusion of Caribbean psychedelic soul and jazzy progressive rock ignited Lisa’s freedom of expression.