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Culture to Do: April 26, 2023

Legendary MC/Producer/DJ Large Professor performs with fellow veteran triple threat J-Live for a wild hip-hop double bill at at Daily Operation in Easthampton on Saturday, April 29.

Homework House 8th Annual Adult Spelling Bee
Mill 1 at Open Square, Holyoke
Thursday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Kick off this spring with an evening of drinks, food, fun and a uniquely Holyoke twist on a classic spelling bee contest. Teams comprised of local community members, businesses and civic leaders vie for the honor and glory of being this year’s Homework House Spelling Bee Champs.

Wailing Banshees Spring Concert 2023
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Smith College Department of Music presents the Wailing Banshees Spring Concert. Enjoy a musical feast with the Wailing Banshees as they spotlight tunes and songs which pay homage to food and drink. As always jigs, reels, and the best craic on campus. This event is free and open to the public. Masks welcome.

Baby Animals Festival
Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield
Through Sunday, May 7
Celebrate the cutest season and welcome spring at Hancock Shaker Village’s beloved Baby Animals Festival. Meet their newest farm babies — lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kids (goats, that is) and partake in daily events and village-wide activities, from daily talks about the farm and the Shakers to craft demonstrations to walks along the Farm & Forest Trail and fun in the Discovery Barn.

Astronomy Day 2023
Springfield Museums
Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Astronomy Day began in California in 1973 as a way to share the joy of astronomy with the public and has grown into a worldwide annual event. Head to Springfield Museums for an out-of-this-world day Be among the first to experience all-new shows in the Seymour Planetarium with their new full-dome projector. Enjoy activities and demonstrations on the Museums Grounds and in the Science Museum.

Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
STOMP is explosive, inventive, provocative, witty, and utterly unique — an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments — matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps — to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. Year after year, audiences worldwide keep coming back for more of this pulse-pounding electrifying show.

Loudon Wainwright III + David Howley
Bombyx, Florence
Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m.
"75 is a big number,” says Loudon Wainwright III. He's referring to the age he recently turned, as well as “How Old Is 75?” one of the many reflective songs on his latest release Lifetime Achievement. After thirty albums, countless concert appearances, a Grammy, many film and TV roles, and songs recorded by such artists as Johnny Cash, Mose Allison, Bonnie Raitt and his son Rufus, Loudon sounds as engaged and passionate as ever. David Howley is a founding member of We Banjo 3, described by the Wall Street Journal as “Ultra-talented Irish performers… freshness and finesse bordering on magical.”

Langhorne Slim + John Craigie
The Academy of Music, Northampton
Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
Langhorne Slim took part of his artistic moniker from his hometown of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a place he’s still very much connected to despite making his home in Nashville. Since the advent of Covid-19, he has been traveling back to Pennsylvania to see his mother and grandmother, and, like many Americans, finding strength in his origins and family bonds. Strawberry Mansion is his the seventh full-length album, named after the Philadelphia neighborhood where both of his grandfathers grew up. Portland, Oregon-based singer, songwriter, and producer John Craigie adapts moments of solitude into stories perfectly suited for old Americana fiction anthologies.

Into the Woods
Rand Theater, UMass
Friday, April 28 – Saturday, May 6
Twisted takes on fairy tale conventions make this offering from the late, great Stephen Sondheim an utter delight. What happens when Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, a brace of princes, and a boy with some magic beans are threatened with an ending that’s not so happy? Can they find a way to come together as a community to triumph over adversity? The production is part of the UMass Theater Department’s 50th anniversary season.

The Power of Truths Arts & Education Festival
Bombyx, Florence
Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30
Do you envision a world where arts and education are utilized to bring about communities where justice and equity are the standards, not outliers? Do you believe that the arts and humanities are powerful tools to envision and create a more just world? If yes or even maybe, this festival is for you. It brings together presenters, performances, talks, panels, and workshops with the purpose of inspiring educators and learners alike.

It’s a Saturday: A Native Tongues Tribute
White Lion Brewing Company, Springfield
Saturday, April 29 from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Join White Lion Brewing Company and Holyoke’s Genuine Culture, LLC to celebrate the great legacy of The Native Tongues Collective. The New York-based collective consists of the Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Monie Love, Queen Latifah, Black Sheep, Chi-Ali and more. Known for their feel good, eclectic, progressive style, The Native Tongues have produced some of the greatest party jams in the history of rap music. Enjoy music by Chief Rocka Pzo Pete spinning the best of the Native Tongues and more, and White Lion’s formidable brews.

Large Professor + J-Live
Daily Operation, Easthampton
Saturday, April 29 from 8 p.m. to late
This Saturday, legendary MC/Producer/DJ Large Professor performs at the Daily Operation with fellow veteran triple threat J-Live for a wild double bill. Large Professor is “arguably one of the three best producers of all time, an absolute animal on the mic, and one of the best DJs to ever do it.” Tableek of western Massachusetts’s finest hip hop group, Maspyke rounds out the night.

Emmet Cohen with Houston Person
The Colonial Theater, Pittsfield
Sunday, April 30 at 4 p.m.
The capstone event of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival pairs young lion Emmet Cohen with the “boss tenor,” Houston Person. Pianist and composer Emmet Cohen was a recognized prodigy and is in the vanguard of his generation’s advancement of music and the related arts. With his robust sound and swinging style, legendary saxophonist Houston Person has kept the hard bop and soul-jazz traditions alive. The Berkshires Jazz All Star Youth Band will play the opening set.

Meet Delilah, a life size inflatable right whale!
Robert Crown Center gymnasium, Hampshire College
Monday, May 1 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Delilah is a life-sized inflatable North Atlantic right whale. Her measurements are based off of a real whale who lived along the East coast in the US and Canada. North Atlantic right whales are an endangered species with fewer than 340 individuals remaining. You can actually go inside this life-size whale model. Hampshire College students will be providing information and answering questions about this highly endangered species, including about how you can help to protect them. Crafts and activities will be available for children.