Culture to Do: Oct. 4, 2023
An Evening with David Sedaris
The Academy of Music, Northampton
Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David will be offering a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A session and book signing. This event is sponsored by New England Public Media!
Thursday, Oct. 5 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Head to Springfield Museums for beer tasting featuring local breweries and homebrewers, music by the Real DJ TJ Music Entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar for additional beverage options. A great way to get an early start to the long weekend!
Concert & Conversation with Carli Muñoz
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
While Carli Muñoz may not be a household name, chances are you’ve heard his exceptional playing when he was the long-time keyboardist for The Beach Boys, or on the tracks he laid down with the likes of George Benson, Peter Cetera, Rickie Lee Jones and Chico Hamilton. And you may have heard him on the Fabulous 413 on Monday. Now a renowned solo artist in his own right, the virtuoso Puerto Rican pianist and composer is releasing his tell-all memoir: A Fool's Journey.
An Evening with Branford Marsalis
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Saxophonist and bandleader Branford Marsalis is an NEA Jazz Master, three-time Grammy Award winner, and Emmy and Tony award nominee who is equally at home performing concertos with symphony orchestras and sitting in with members of the Grateful Dead. But the core of his musical universe remains the Branford Marsalis Quartet. After more than three decades of existence with minimal personnel changes, this celebrated ensemble is revered for its uncompromising interpretation of a kaleidoscopic range of both original compositions and jazz and popular classics.
New England Repertory Orchestra
Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
The New England Repertory Orchestra seeks to “dismantle the exclusivity of symphonic music as a discipline and build pathways for all to realize a true place for themselves within the performance, study, and support of this art form.” NERO returns to the Shea Theater for a season opener that promises drama, humor, and energy. This performance features violinist Thomas Cooper and his own edition of the Violin Concerto in A Major of Joseph Bologne, Mendelssohn’s Overture, "Die schöne Melusine” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4.
Alliance for a Viable Future presents: Honoring Native America
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
The second annual Honoring Native America kicks-off Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend in the Berkshires with distinguished leaders: R. Carlos Nakai, the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute; Shawn Stevens, celebrated Mohican storyteller; Cheryl Fairbanks, Esq, renowned Indigenous Peacemaker, and opening words from Lev Natan, executive director of Alliance for a Viable Future. This unique event goes beyond performance into the interactive realm of ceremony and collective prayer.
Then, on Monday at 12 p.m., meet Lev Natan and friends at the Giggle Park Gazebo behind the Great Barrington Town Hall for Indigenous Peoples' Day Walk, designed to foster unity and create new connections.
New City Brewery 8th Anniversary Celebration
Mill 180, Easthampton
Saturday, Oct. 7
New City Brewery crafts beautiful ales and lagers and their signature pre-prohibition style alcoholic ginger beer. They’ve been in Easthampton’s Mill 180 for eight years, now, and are celebrating with music from 1 – 5 p.m. and a dance party hosted by DJ McCoy Jamison from 9 p.m. until midnight. Tip: the non-alcoholic version of the ginger beer is really refreshing!
Showcase South Hadley
Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8
Make your way to South Hadley for a multi-day celebration of local arts and culture featuring live music — including the Harlem Gospel Travelers and the Young@Heart chorus —dance, art exhibitions, presentations, and workshops. You’ll find pop-up events in restaurants, schools, churches, concert halls, and other gathering spaces throughout South Hadley.
Ashfield Fall Festival
Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8
This is one of my favorite town festivals. I love the low-tech vibe of the lawn games and the local music, and I spend lots of time (and pick up holiday gifts) in the arts and craft fair tents. But what propels me to the festival every year? The sweets — home-made fresh pumpkin donuts, blueberry cobbler and apple pie.
Paradise City Arts Festival
Three County Fairgrounds, Northampton
Saturday, Oct. 7 – Monday, Oct. 9
It’s like visiting a wonderful museum, but you can bring the work home with you. With its unique indoor-outdoor ambiance, the Paradise City Arts Festival brings together an extraordinary selection of artists and makers, from fresh new talent to artists with national reputations. Stroll three airy buildings filled with the best in fine art, craft and design. Check out the sculpture promenade. Enjoy delicious food by local chefs, craft cocktails and toe-tapping music in the festival dining tent.
Snow White: Pothole Pictures Season Opener
Shelburne Town Hall Memorial Hall Theater, Shelburne Falls
Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
In March 2020, Pothole Pictures was on the verge of celebrating 25 years as a volunteer-run community movie theater in Shelburne Falls when you-know-what happened. Now, they’re back with a new season that opens with the 1916 silent film, “Snow White” with an original music score performed live by harpist-composer Leslie McMichael and her sister Barbara McMichael on viola. Plus, arrive early at 7 p.m. for eclectic warm-up music played by Rob Adams, John Clark and Eveline McDougall.
serpentwithfeet: Heart of Brick
MASS MoCA, North Adams
Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m.
Three genre-defying artists join forces to tell the story of unpredictable romance and self-discovery in Heart of Brick, a theatrical dance and music production that ponders on the spirit and magic of Black queer nightlife. Experimental R&B musician serpentwithfeet embarks on his first stage work alongside multimedia artist Wu Tsang and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly. This gentle and sincere love story features music from serpentwithfeet’s newest album, weaving together music and dance into a theatrical experience. Co-presented with Jacob’s Pillow.
Great River Ride 2023
Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail
Sunday, Oct. 8
Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail offer a choice of three of fabulous rides, including the popular 28-mile Vineyard Ride along the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail, the Southwick Rail Trail, and the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. You’ll ride to the Brignole Vineyard in East Granby, CT for a snack stop before returning to Westfield. This one’s great for all riders, especially families who wish to take advantage of a great rail trail network.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, Hadley
Sunday Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.
Viva Quetzal draws on a diverse soundscape and folkloric themes to connect the rain forests of Central and South America, the carnivals of Brazil, the high plateaus of the Andes, and the urban barrios of Latin America and the United States. Their concerts are a high-energy musical experience.
Bab L’ Bluz
Sunday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.
Signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World record label, Bab L’ Bluz are reclaiming the blues for North Africa. Fronted by an African-Moroccan woman in a traditionally male role, the band is devoted to a revolution in attitude which dovetails with Morocco’s ‘nayda’ youth movement — a new wave of artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija.
Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m.
Amherst Cinema presents a collection of experimental, documentary and narrative shorts by trans filmmakers including “Light on a Path, Follow, which was directed by Elliot Montague, assistant professor of film production at Mount Holyoke College. Stay for a post-screening discussion with Elliot and Rox Samer, assistant professor of screen studies at Clark University; and Vick Quezada, assistant professor of studio arts and visual culture at Hampshire College.