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Culture to Do: Nov. 8, 2023

Valley Classical Concerts presents the Borromeo String Quartet at Smith Colleges' Sweeney Concert Hall on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m.

Jazz à la Mode to feature Springfield-born musicians
Listen Friday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. on 88.5 NEPM
You’ve probably noticed that local jazz great Avery Sharpe is our new Friday host of “Jazz à la Mode.” Avery is a performer, composer and educator with deep roots in western Massachusetts. Along with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, he was one of the Young Lions of jazz who came to prominence in the 1980s. This Friday, during the second hour of Jazz à la Mode (i.e. starting at 9 p.m.) Avery will be treating us to the music of Springfield-born jazz players including Phil Woods, Joe Morello, Eddie Marshall and Bruce Foreman.

A Gathering: Works from Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists
Springfield Museums
open through March 24
The first traveling museum exhibition to focus on Black ceramic artists working today, this survey of functional and sculptural ceramics shines a light on 36 innovative makers. Inspired by the recently published book Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists and co-curated by authors Chotsani Elaine Dean and donald a clark, the exhibition recognizes the important, current contributions of African American ceramicists.

Ashuelot Concerts
Piano Trios by Mozart and Tchaikovsky
Stonewall Farm, Keene: Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
The Park Theatre, Jaffrey: Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m.
Head to New Hampshire! Cello sensation, Guy Johnston joins Artistic Directors Louisa Stonehill and Nicholas Burns for a program of piano trios. Guy Johnston is one of the most exciting British cellists of his generation. He has performed with many leading international orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and many others. They will play Mozart’s Divertimento in B-flat and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50.

A Stone’s Throw
Artful Bonds: Veterans and their families
New England Visionary Artists Museum / Anchor House for Artists
518 Pleasant St, Northampton
Opening Reception Friday, Nov. 10, from 5 – 8 p.m.
Featuring the work of area soldiers, veterans, and their family members, Artful Bonds sheds light on the connections of family through art. Many of the pieces in this exhibit were made through engagement with Warriors Art Room in Easthampton.

Home/War/Home: An Installation
A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton
Opening Reception Friday, Nov. 10, from 5 ¬ – 8 p.m.
Home/War/Home explores impacts of combat on soldiers, children, and families. Featuring the work of Steve Maxner, who served as a combat medic in Vietnam, and Danny Nguyen, a US military veteran who came to Northampton in 1979 as a 7-year-old Vietnamese refugee. Woven through the installation are recorded audio pieces crafted from interviews with area veterans and their families.

Both exhibits are part of “A Stone’s Throw,” a festival of visual art and performances illuminating the experiences of military veterans and their families.

Climate Crisis Community Photo Exhibit
LAVA Center, Greenfield
Opening reception Friday, Nov. 10 from 5 – 8 p.m.
This gallery exhibition focuses on how climate change is affecting our immediate surroundings in Western Massachusetts. A selection of 12–15 photos, submitted by our neighbors in the Connecticut River Valley and the Hilltowns will be exhibited through the end of the year. The reception will kick off two months of programming at The LAVA Center surrounding the climate crisis.

Open Studios 2023
Brushworks Arts and Industry, Florence
Saturday, Nov. 11 and Sunday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Check out the former toothbrush factory that is now a vibrant artistic hub. Dozens of artists and craftspeople will open their studios to share their creativity and give you a head start on finding unique holiday gifts — paintings, jewelry, pottery, fashion, crafts and more.

Three Grands, Many Hands
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Northampton
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m.
Featuring the musical artistry of Grant Moss, Larry Schipull, Larry Picard, and Max Swisher, this is an afternoon of beautiful music in an inspiring, historical space. Selections will include a Bach Concerto for three pianos and organ (what!?) and two-piano arrangements of pieces by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Scott Joplin, Darius Milhaud, Camille Saint-Saens and more. Plus, at the intermission you can enjoy your choice of wine, seltzer, apple cider and delicious charcuterie.

Bridget St John
The Institute for the Musical Arts, Goshen
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
After an especially active early run that produced classic albums like her psych-tinged 1971 set Songs for the Gentle Man, Bridget St. John moved to New York and all but vanished from public performance for over 20 years. Revived interest in St. John’s body of work has ushered in an era of recording, international touring, and collaboration with a new generation of folk artists. Local folk singer Norma Dream will open the concert performing original songs inspired by travels in Appalachia, England, Corsica, and Bosnia.

Taylor Ashton
The Parlor Room
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Recorded over the course of a 4,000-mile cross-country road trip, Taylor Ashton’s gorgeous new album, Stranger To The Feeling, is a sonic odyssey through the heart of America, one that works its way chronologically and geographically from coast to coast as it meditates on the meaning of closeness and connection in an age of increasing isolation. The performances here are warm and inviting, anchored by Taylor’s deft guitar and banjo work and easygoing melodicism.

Kat Wright Trio
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.
After touring for the last decade as a 7–9-piece soul band with horns and keys blazing, a new era finds Kat Wright being more herself than ever. With restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Wright and her cohorts have come to enjoy writing and touring in a stripped-down formation, mostly trio or quartet, in contrast to the big band she fronted for the better part of the last decade where she was described “a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse.” Fans of Wright’s singing and style have been thrilled to discover this paired down line up which puts the group’s true talents front and center.

Valley Classical Concerts presents the Borromeo String Quartet
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m.
Admired and sought after for both its fresh interpretations of the classical music canon and its championing of works by 20th and 21st century composers, the Borromeo String Quartet has been hailed for its “edge-of-the- seat performances,” by the Boston Globe, which called it “simply the best.” The Borromeo will perform selections from the Well-Tempered Clavier by J. S. Bach, Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga’s Remember, Bartók’s Quartet no. 6, and the Beethoven Quartet in E-flat Major, op. 127.

The Ensemble Harpsichord with Elliot Figg and Caitlyn Koester
Kellogg Music Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Great Barrington, MA
Sunday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m.
This is the second and final concert of the Berkshire Bach Harpsichord Festival. Hear harpsichord music that’s all in the family — the Bach family (J.S. and W.F.) and the Couperin family (Louis and François). Performed on two double-manual harpsichords, it is a special preview of the concert Figg and Koester will present at St. Malachy’s Church in New York City later this month.

Wandering Dance Festival
Downtown Pittsfield
Sunday, Nov. 12 – Saturday, Nov. 18
This week-long community dance festival is a vibrant celebration of movement, rhythm and culture that brings together people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities for workshops and open dance sessions. Held throughout downtown Pittsfield, the festival features an eclectic lineup of dance styles, from contemporary and hip-hop to swing and salsa, providing a rich tapestry of artistic expression. It culminates in a showcase performance at The Colonial Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 18. Featuring headliner Shakia "The Key" Barron.

GBH Music presents a virtual concert with violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing
Stream Monday, Nov. 13 at 7:30
Our colleagues at GBH Music present Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing in a virtual concert from the Fraser Performance Studio at WGBH in Boston. A charismatic violinist, Eldbjørg Hemsing has performed with orchestras and at venues worldwide. She recently released her first solo album on the Sony label, entitled “Arctic,” devoted to the rich natural soundscapes of the far north. We’ll hear selections from it along with music by Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Ravel. This is an opportunity to experience the unique talent of this fascinating young artist.

Marc Cohn
Bombyx, Florence
Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.
After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, Rooted in the rich ground of American rhythm and blues, soul and gospel and possessed of a deft storyteller’s pen, he weaves vivid, tales that evoke some of our most universal human feelings. Among his fans are Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck who invited him to perform at their wedding.

Cocktail Slippers plus The Fawns and Glowbox
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.
Cocktail Slippers is a rock band from Oslo, Norway known for their great rock ‘n’ roll songs, brilliant live-performances, and their longtime cooperation with Little Steven Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band. The last decade Cocktail Slippers have been touring most of Europe and quite a bit in the USA. Based in Northampton, The Fawns play the swirly dreamy jangly psyche rock songs of leader Lesa Bezo. Glowbox is a Boston-area power pop rock ‘n’ roll band.