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Culture to Do: March 13, 2024

For this weekend's Back Porch Festival in Northampton, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays the Academy of Music Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m.

Back Porch Festival
Featuring performances in 10 venues in Northampton
Friday, March 15 – Sunday, March 17
The Back Porch Festival was founded in 2014 as a one-day event at the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton. It has since grown to a multi-venue event featuring the best in American roots music. Each night there will be a special concert at the Academy of Music:

An All-Star Tribute to Willie Nelson
Friday, March 15 at 8 p.m.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m.

Richard Thompson
Sunday, March 17 at 8 p.m.

And every day there’s a ramble with performances all over Northampton. This 10th anniversary year’s ramble line-up includes Jeffrey Foucault, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Town Mountain, Jax Hollow, Las Cafeteras, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, and so many more fabulous musicians and bands.

Tanglewood 2024 Season
Tickets sales start Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m.

The 2024 Tanglewood season will feature more than 100 performances, including eleven weeks of concerts and other events by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Tanglewood Music Center, and Tanglewood Learning Institute. Popular Artist concerts will include the 50th-anniversary performance of James Taylor and his All-Star Band on July 3 and 4. The BSO’s July 5 Opening Night all-Beethoven program with violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn launches a season that will shine a spotlight on a wide spectrum of musical guests and the festival’s rich tradition of presenting on summertime concerts at their best since 1937.

Plus Keith Lockhart, our Tanglewood Correspondent, will soon be appearing on The Fabulous 413 to tells us more about the season.

Espressivo! Piano Quartet
Sweeney Concert Hall
Thursday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
For decades, violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson, together with their piano trio partner the late Joseph Kalichstein, have been considered "chamber music royalty." That term applies equally to their current partners — the stellar violist Milena Pájaro-van de Stadt (formerly of the Dover Quartet) and award-winning pianist Anna Polonsky, one of chamber music's most sought-after collaborators. They will be playing Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2, Mendelssohn’s Piano Quartet No. 1 and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1.

Mohawk Trail Concerts: Joel Pitchon Violin
The Arms Library, Shelburne Falls
Friday March 15 at 12 p.m.
Joel Pitchon has served as the concertmaster of many orchestras, including the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona, the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and others. He has participated in many concerts in the United States and abroad with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. This free concert at the lovely Arms Library will include works by Bach, Prokofiev, and Fritz Kreisler.

3rd Annual Sourdough Bread Contest
Dewey Hall, Sheffield
Friday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m.
The use of yeast is relatively recent in the history of bread making. Before that, sourdough culture was the only leavening agent—and that traditional method has experienced a resurgence in home baking. At this fun culinary experience, you can sample the contestants' loaves of bread along with complementary cheese boards from Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages provided by DARE Bottleshop.

Big Bad Bollocks
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, March 15 at 8 p.m.
Fueled by Guinness and Bushmills, Northampton's own Big Bad Bollocks have been endearing themselves to punks, rockers, mods and pub rockers alike since 1989. This popular St. Patrick’s tradition returns to The Drake.

Mud Season
Marigold Theater, Easthampton
Saturday, March 16 from noon – 11 p.m.
Here’s one-day festival, arguably just when we need it most with music, food, crafts, merch and craft beverages. Mud Season is “earnest and joyous, spirited and loving, open, inclusive, kind, and reveling in the spirit of music and community.” Children under 12 are free and the festival opens with a children’s hour from noon to 1 p.m.

Haley Heynderickx with Tim Baker
Bombyx, Florence
Saturday, March 16 at 3 p.m.
It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but it’s impossible without a certain amount of kindness and care. Haley Heynderickx’s debut album, I Need to Start a Garden, came out of a search for calm through waves of uncertainty and upheaval. Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickx’s music immediately recalls folk music of the ‘60s and ‘70s mixed with a love of jazz radio. But Heynderickx’s vocals, — that range from tender to operatic — belie a tenacity in her soul.

Tim Baker opens, bringing his personal take on the deep songwriting tradition of Newfoundland to western Mass.

Haley's 7 p.m. show is sold out. The 3 p.m. afternoon show has been added. Order your tickets soon!

Pioneer Valley Symphony: Burden of Hope
Elms College Veritas Auditorium, Chicopee
Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m. (preconcert talk at 6 p.m.)
The PVS welcomes prize-winning international soloist Dr. Kinga Augustyn for Roxanna Panufnik’s heart-rending violin concerto, which celebrates the connection between the Abrahamic faiths by weaving music from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions. Panufnik wrote this piece in consultation with faith leaders in the wake of 9/11 as a message of unity and hope out of darkness. This insightful work is paired with Berlioz’s colossal Symphonie Fantastique, featuring extravagant orchestral colors including four harpists and five percussionists on stage with the orchestra!

¡Guitarra! Series: Bokyung Byun
UMass Old Chapel
Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m.
Korean guitarist Bokyung Byun was born in Seoul and began playing guitar at the age of six. At 11, she took the stage for her first solo recital. And at 16, she moved to the United States to go to Juilliard. She is the first woman to win the prestigious JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. Other recent honors include the grand prize at the 2021 Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition and a 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

If Music Be the Food
Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield
Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m.
The young artists of the Junior Extension of the Tuesday Morning Music Club join forces with the professional musicians from the TMMC’s Senior Club — Teri LaFleur and Lisa Woods in the vocal duo Bella Voce; jazz piano and bass duo Jerry & Kara Noble, and the Eclectic Arts Trio with Aaron Lakota, oboe; Jean Jeffries, horn; and Clifton J. Noble, piano. It’s a family-friendly concert of classical, jazz, and Broadway music to benefit Open Pantry Community Services.

Celtic Baroque Band Makaris—A Bach Family Concert with an Irish Twist
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Sunday, March 17 at 4 p.m.
In his dance suites, J. S. Bach ventures into Spanish sarabandes, French bourrées and British gigues. He and family members delighted in arranging Celtic and Scottish folk music. Beethoven and Haydn also forayed into Irish folk music with their own arrangements. Makaris, who formed in 2018 to explore the broad musical heritage of Scotland, will provide a lush sampling of their repertoire.

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares: Anna Webber’s Shimmer Wince
Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Sunday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Anna Webber is a flutist, saxophonist, and composer whose interests and work live in the aesthetic overlap between avant-garde jazz and new classical music. She’s a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow who has also been awarded grants from the Copland Fund, the Shifting Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts and other organizations. The band featured on Shimmer Wince is a new group, consisting of Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Mariel Roberts on cello, Elias Stemeseder on synthesizer, and Lesley Mok on drums.

Plus! Heres’ another concert from Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares: Ingrid Laubrock’s Lilith, Thursday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Hawks & Reed in Greenfield.

Mystery and Wonder: Highlights From The Illustration Collection
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge
Exhibit open through Sunday, June 16
Explore the captivating worlds of mystery and wonder in this exhibition featuring highlights from the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Permanent Collection. You’ll see cover art for award-winning novels and mysteries, children’s book illustrations inspired by classic tales, fantastical anthropomorphic drawings, and heart-stopping editorial images. The image above is from the book cover illustration for The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel García Márquez.