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Feb. 7, 2024: Reparative connections

It is another day where we’re looking for ties that might bring us closer to one another.

For example, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has an upcoming program that might bring in a much wider audience. “Havana Nights,” featuring vocalist Camille Zamora and jazz band Mambo Kings, will be an evening of music from traditional to modern samba, merengue, salsa, and more. We speak with Zamora, SSO President Paul Lambert, and SSO Director of Development Heather Gawron about the many ways music can bridge cultures, the importance of pop music in symphonic settings, and the joys of live music.

While across town, another bridge is built. On Feb 15th at Springfield College, NEPM will host a showing of the documentary, “The Cost of Inheritance,” a film by Yoruba Richen. The film focuses on the U.S. debate of reparations for descendants of enslaved peoples on both macro and micro scales. The showing will be followed by a moderated panel featuring local experts. We speak with two of those panelists, Stefan Bradley, professor at Amherst College, and Michele Miller, member of the African Heritage Reparations Assembly, about why economic struggles are often subsumed under social ones, and what local efforts towards reparations might look like.

We’re also connecting our words, and that requires punctuation. A question from listener Anne in Montague has us wondering about the nature and need for commas. Our resident wordster Emily Brewster, senior editor at Merriam-Webster, helps us unparse the use of the serial, Oxford, and Harvard comma.

Christopher “Monte'' Belmonte is host and executive producer of NEPM's The Fabulous 413. He was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years — the last 17 of them as host of Mornings with Monte on The River 93.9/WRSI.
Kaliis Smith is a radio host and producer for NEPM's The Fabulous 413. She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on Mornings with Monte for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings.