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Culture to Do: April 17, 2024

The Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag in Stockbridge opens Friday, April 19.

The Night Visitors
Amherst Cinema
Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m.
Amherst Cinema welcomes filmmaker Michael Gitlin for a screening of his film The Night Visitors, which world premiered at the 2023 New York Film Festival. Following the screening, Gitlin will take the stage for a Q&A. While the film is interested in moths as organisms, with fascinating life histories, staggering biodiversity, and a functional importance as indicators of climate change and habitat degradation, it also looks at moths as aesthetic beings and as carriers of meaning.

Pittsfield CityJazz Festival
Downtown Pittsfield
Thursday, April 18 – Sunday, April 28
The 18th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival will starting with an open jam session, end with a jazz brunch at Dottie’s, and include the popular Jazz Crawl, a swing dance, the jazz prodigy concert introducing two young musicians to Berkshires audiences, and headline concerts featuring 18-year-old Brandon Goldberg and Marcus Roberts. The festival is a highlight of Jazz Appreciation Month, a national observance that was conceived by the Smithsonian Institution in 2001, and later sanctioned by Congress.

Daffodil and Tulip Festival
Naumkeag, Stockbridge
Opens Friday, April 19
The Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag returns for its 5th year. Stroll through the 8 acres of the world-renowned gardens decorated with daffodil, tulip and other beauties. The 48-acre estate in the heart of Stockbridge will come to life with the colors and spirit of spring with a variety of blooms, containers, displays and decorations against the backdrop of stunning views of Monument Mountain and the Berkshire Hills.

Stephen Rich Merriman
The Leverett Co-op
Friday, April 19 at 6 p.m.
Stephen Rich Merriman is an accomplished international jazz pianist, composer and accompanist. In addition to doing studio work in Boston and New York, he has played publicly on a regular basis, including as an opening act performer for Stan Getz, the Thad Jones /Mel Jones Big Band, the Buddy Rich Big Band, and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Music@Amherst: Ray Chen
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College
Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
Ray Chen is a violinist who redefines what it is to be a classical musician in the 21st century. With a media presence that enhances and inspires the classical audience and reaches out to millions through his unprecedented online following, his remarkable musicianship transmits to a global audience. This is reflected in his engagements with the foremost orchestras and concert halls around the world.

La Ruta by Isaac Gómez
Theatre 14, Smith College
Opens Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
This Smith College Department of Theatre presentation is directed by Monica Lopez Orozco. To the U.S.-owned factories in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, La Ruta is just a bus. But to the hundreds of women who live, work and often disappear along the route, it's so much more than that. Inspired by real testimonies, and using live music to evoke factory work and protest marches, La Ruta is a visceral unearthing of secrets buried in the desert and a celebration of the Mexican women who stand resiliently in the wake of loss.

Pan Opera: A Tribute to Jewish Broadway Composers
Sinai Temple, Springfield
Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Rachel Abrams, Emily Baker, David Cavallin, Kate Saik DeLugan and Liam Shannon are joined by pianist, Elisabeth Weber to share their favorite showtunes spanning the history of American Musical Theatre. They showcase the rich legacy of Jewish composers on Broadway with classics from Gershwin and Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim and composers of the modern age. Important Note: you must reserve a ticket ahead of time. No walk-ins will be permitted.

Joanne Shaw Taylor
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m.
Join Joanne Shaw Taylor and her stellar band performing songs from her critically acclaimed studio album, Nobody’s Fool, as well as songs from an upcoming new album. Joanne will also dig deep into her rich back catalogue where she will hand-pick songs from her previous recordings along with classic blues songs.

Amherst Sustainability Festival
Amherst Town Common
Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Head to Amherst for a day of family fun, education and entertainment. The Sustainability Festival is in its 12th year and there is something for everyone with performances, workshops, vendors of renewable energy, energy efficiency product suppliers, advocacy groups as well as sustainable crafts and artisans.

Young@Heart presents Mash-Up 8
Academy of Music, Northampton
Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
This is the eighth edition of Young@Heart’s Mash-Up series in which they collaborate with amazing singers of all ages. This promises to be the most eclectic Mash-up ever with three dynamic and very exciting guest artists: The Children’s Chorus of Springfield from the Community Music School of Springfield, The Pride Chorus, run out of the Northampton Community Music Center, and Noah Britton (from the HBO series “On Tour with Asperger’s Are Us”) with Jen Page on cello.

Michael & Carrie Kline with Joe Blumenthal
Mount Toby Concerts, 194 Long Plain Road, Leverett
Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
Carrie and Michael Kline are inspired by Appalachian music and culture. With their lifelong focus on West Virginia history and tradition, their performances celebrate old-time singers and songs. They met in the Valley and have recently returned after 26 years as West Virginia-based folklorists, oral historians, and music makers. Their guitar accompaniments are in closely arranged harmony, with Michael’s melodic lines and Carrie’s rhythm and runs elevated by Joe Blumenthal’s upright bass arrangements.

Dustbowl Revival w/ GoldenOak
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m.
Dustbowl Revival has always been about pushing the boundaries of what American roots music can be. After celebrating over a decade of sonic adventuring and playing thousands of shows together in ten countries and counting, the group collected a devoted fanbase coast-to-coast. After spending years on the road, selling out hometown shows at LA’s famed Troubadour, headlining festivals and wowing crowds from Denmark to China, Dustbowl Revival never stopped making their joyful, booty-shaking soul songs and cut-to-heart folk-rock ballads.

Unsilenced - Hearing Afghanistan Today!
First Congregational Church Amherst
Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m.
Arson Fahim is a pianist, composer, and conductor from Afghanistan. A fierce believer in the power of music to be a tool for activism and social change, and a symbol of resistance, perseverance, and hope, Arson’s music is often inspired by the tragedies and injustices of war. The concert of chamber music for piano and strings by Arson Fahim will include the premiere of a newly commissioned piano quartet and will be performed by the composer and the internationally recognized Cuatro Puntos Ensemble.

Orange Community Band Pops Concert
Orange Town Hall Auditorium
Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m.
One of the oldest bands in the state, the Orange Community Band descended from the Orange Brass Band of 1850. It has been known as the Mechanics Band, the New Home Band, among others. It became the Orange Community Band in the 1970's, after its previous sponsor, Minute Tapioca Company moved to Delaware and asked the Band to stop using the name, “Minute Tapioca Band.” Their concert will include works by George Gershwin, Stevie Wonder, Ernest Gold, and others.

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana presents FRONTERAS
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m.
Founded in 1983, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana seeks to promote flamenco as a living art form and a vital part of Hispanic heritage; produce and perform high quality dance works; provide arts education programs that catalyze connections among young people; and nurture the next generations of Spanish dance artists and educators. FRONTERAS is a new work choreographed by two of flamenco's most exciting artists: Jose Maldonado and Karen Lugo, with an original score by Jose Luis de la Paz.

Valley Classical Concerts: Junction Trio
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m.
Three renowned visionary artists of the next generation combine talents in this eclectic new piano trio, the Junction Trio. Violinist Stefan Jackiw, recognized for musicianship that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique, returns with pianist Conrad Tao and cellist Jay Campbell. Tao has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” and Campbell has been called “electrifying” by the New York Times. They will perform “Ghosts” by John Zorn, Charles Ives’s Piano Trio, and Beethoven’s “Archduke” Piano Trio.

Earth: Rustic Classical
Musicians of the Old Post Road
Worcester Historical Museum
Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m.
Musicians of the Old Post Road is a chamber ensemble, based in the Boston area, that specializes in the period instrument performance of dynamic and diverse music from the Baroque to early Romantic eras. This program explores boisterous chamber works from the Classical era with a Bohemian flair, including an arrangement for flute and strings of Mozart’s Rondo “alla Turca” from his Piano Sonata in A Major, set of toe-tapping Hungarian dances, and many other delightful, rarely-heard pieces.

The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today
Springfield Museums
Closes Sunday, May 5
Launched in 2006 to support contemporary portraiture in the United States, the National Portrait Gallery’s celebrated triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition returns to the Springfield Museums. A major survey of the best American portraits, selected by internationally prominent jurors and curators, The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today presents 42 works selected from over 2,700 entries, that foreground the vibrancy and relevance of portraiture today.

In addition to paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures, The Outwin includes video, performance art, and textiles, highlighting the limitless possibilities of contemporary portraiture. Open to both emerging and established artists, the 2022 entrants were encouraged to submit work that moved beyond traditional definitions of portraiture and engaged with the social and political landscape of our time.