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Culture to Do: March 8, 2023

Kimaya Diggs releases her new album "Quincy" at the Drake in Amherst on Saturday, March 11 at 8 p.m.


Zlatomir Fung, cello with Richard Fu, Piano
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Do you listen to “From the Top” on Sundays at 3 p.m. on NEPM 88.5? It’s the show that introduces us to very young, very witty, and very capable young classical musicians. Zlatomir Fung has been on the show six times, and he’s the youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Cello Division. He’ll be playing Beethoven, Wagner and more tonight at Sweeney Concert Hall.

Eight Elements in Eight Hours
MASS MoCA Co-presented by Jacob’s Pillow
Thursday, March 9 - Saturday, March 11
In conjunction with William Kentridge Studios, Thulani Chauke, a principal dancer in Kentridge’s The Head and the Load—which was developed and previewed at MASS MoCA in 2018— will be in residence developing a new site-specific durational dance work set in a gallery space. Created in collaboration with Chauke’s fellow South African dancer, Albert Fana Tshabalala, and featuring improvised live music, museum visitors are welcome to come and go throughout the day, and it’s free with admission.

Exhibit Opening: Currents
Featuring the Work Of Lee Thomson And Sophie Chambers
Northampton Center for the Arts
Friday, March 10, from 5 - 8 p.m.
Head to the Northampton Center for the Arts, for the opening of “Currents and Coastlines” with artwork by Lee Thomson on the mezzanine level, and “Cutting Currents” with artwork by Sophie Chamberson on the ground floor level. It’s a two-in-one event. No, wait, I’d say it’s a four-in-one event because in addition to the two exhibits, there’s music and refreshments. And it’s free!

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
Bombyx, Florence
Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m.
Harmony, rhythm, indelible songs – these are the hallmarks of Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, the New England-based folk quartet now in its 20th year. From the Newport Folk Festival to California World Music Festival and beyond, this band’s steadfast brew of wit, camaraderie, and musicality leaves audiences everywhere humming and hopeful, spirits renewed. From bluegrass barnstormers to sultry swing, old-time gospel to bluesy folk-rock, they consistently turn in lush arrangements.

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares Presents
Angelica Sanchez/Wadada Leo Smith Duo
Buckley Recital Hall-Amherst College
Friday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Pianist Angelica Sanchez’s debut solo CD “A Little House” was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition and her recording “Wires & Moss” featuring her Quintet was chosen as one of best Releases of 2012 in “The New York City Jazz Record.” Wadada Leo Smith is a multi-instrumentalist and composer whose notational system for improvisation in an ensemble context, which he calls Ankhrasmation, has been critical to his music and work as an educator and ensemble leader.

2023 Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention
Northampton Center for the Arts,
Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Here’s your chance to sing the rich four-part harmony of the Sacred Harp, a tradition of sacred choral music that originated in New England that uses “shape-note” notation. You’ll see squares, triangles, diamonds and circles on the noteheads, and after a bit of time it really makes sense! There will be potluck lunches both days, extra tunebooks to borrow, and childcare provided. No experience is needed, there is no cost to attend, and newcomers are warmly welcome.

On the Same Page: Olga Dies Dreaming
Jones Library, Amherst
Community reading program starts Saturday, March 11 at 3 p.m.
The Jones Library is holding its eleventh “On the Same Page” community reading program, this year featuring the novel Olga Dies Dreaming by author Xochitl Gonzalez. A variety of programs and events are being offered to enrich the reading experience of this title. According to NPR, “This debut book is a gossipy, funny NYC novel with a multigenerational queer and straight cast of characters you feel like you know, layered on top of a Puerto Rican political and historical thriller [with] secrets, ethics, power, identity, activism, love, guilt, and healing." I read Xochitl Gonzalez’s newsletter in the Atlantic. She’s a fine writer.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra: Fearless Women
Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
The SSO’s celebration of women in music commences with Joan Tower’s bold and dramatic Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman. Then you’ll be swept up by the nineteenth-century contrapuntal master Louise Farrenc’s elegant Symphony No. 3 and an excerpt from Florence Price’s flowing yet turbulent Mississippi River Suite. Young and fearless piano virtuosa Wei Luo closes the program with Sergei Prokofiev’s powerful Piano Concerto No. 2. Maestro Mark Russell Smith returns to Springfield to conduct the concert.

Kimaya Diggs Album Release Show
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, March 11 at 8 p.m.
I first heard Kimaya Diggs at the NEPM Asparagus Festival. I love her! The sounds of her childhood, right here in western Mass, included Emily Dickinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, 70’s soul, and songs around the table with her family. She found her voice across the facets of neo-soul, jazz, and R&B, and crafted a genre-defying style that is all her own. Created over the course of three years, Kimaya’s new album, “Quincy,” showcases her beautiful voice, emotional songwriting, and newfound love of the guitar.

Klezmer Brunch Series: Myrtle Street Klezmer
The Parlor Room, Northampton
Sunday, March 12 at 10:30 a.m.
Families, hipsters, klez fans unite! It’s the Parlor Room’s first ever Sunday morning klezmer brunch featuring Myrtle Street Klezmer and some special guests. There will be food, dancing, and Jewish tarot readings. Myrtle Street Klezmer delivers ecstatic exploration into the past, present & future of klezmer, featuring: Jason Ditzian, clarinet; Myk Freedman, electric guitar; Jesse Olsen Bay, vocals/bass/acoustic guitar; Doug Plavin, drums; Dan Baker, Tuba; Marié Abe, accordion.

The Silver Chord Bowl
Academy of Music, Northampton
Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m.
You probably know about the Northampton Art Council’s “Four Sundays in March” series. It started last week with the amazing Back Porch Festival. This Sunday, it’s the Silver Chord Bowl — the oldest (39 years old!) and most respected collegiate a cappella showcase in the region. This year Berklee Upper Structure, MIT Ohms, UMass Dynamics, Tufts’ sQ!, the Vassar Devils and the Bates College Crosstones will bring their A-games to the competition. Northampton High School’s Northamptones open the show.

Holyoke Civic Symphony: Such Sweet Sorrow
Fine & Performing Arts Building, Holyoke Community College
Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 3 p.m.
This is a fine, big-hearted and talented community orchestra, led by David Kidwell. Their March concert features local soloist Ron Gorevic playing violin and viola (not simultaneously). The romantic theme includes music by Gounod, Dvorák, Delius, Bruch, and Tchaikovsky. It’s free.

Paddington Gets in a Jam
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m.
Michael Bond’s loveable, accident-prone bear, Paddington, has delighted readers and audiences of all ages for more than half a century. In this original slapstick comedy, Paddington only wants to help his neighbor, the ever-grumpy Mr. Curry prepare for visitors: repairing pipes, vacuuming floors, installing wallpaper, baking a cake. But in typical Paddington fashion nothing goes according to plan.

Greater Westfield Choral Association: Annual Spring Concert
UCC Second Congregational Church, Westfield
Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m.
The 45th anniversary concert of the Greater Westfield Choral Association will include the world premiere of the Mass in A Major for orchestra and chorus by Jay Ducharme. This project has been in the works for two years, was delayed by the pandemic, and is now ready to go. The concert, under the direction of Marc Winer, will also include works of Mendelssohn, Rutter, Manuel, Paulus and Hayes.