© 2024 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
PBS, NPR and local perspective for western Mass.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Culture to Do: Feb. 21, 2024

The Trinity Irish Dance Company performs JIG at The Tillis Performance Center at UMass on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The Bulb Show
Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge
Wednesday, Feb. 21 – Sunday, March 17 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
I usually go to the bulb show at Smith College (which opens on Saturday, March 2), but the Bulb Show at the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fitzpatrick Greenhouse opens today! It features thousands of bulbs in dozens of varieties, each one identified, including an evolving collection of traditional New England favorites such as narcissus, tulips and grape hyacinths together with hardy varieties new to the show.

Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary Celebration starring The Blue Note Quintet
Bowker Auditorium, UMass
Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
The Blue Note Quintet is in the middle of a 35-stop North American tour next month in celebration of Blue Note’s 85th Anniversary. Lucky for us — but hardly surprising — the tour includes a stop here in western Mass. The combo Blue Note has assembled to play their traveling birthday party features five absolutely stellar current-day exponents of America’s greatest music form. Led by pianist Gerald Clayton, a six-time Grammy nominee, the band features vibraphonist Joel Ross, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, drummer Kendrick Scott, and bassist Matt Brewer. Their recorded output as leaders and sidemen has been remarkable.

Courtney M. Leonard
University Museum of Contemporary Art, UMass
Opening Thursday, Feb. 22
The artist Courtney M. Leonard, a citizen of the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, explores marine biology, Indigenous food sovereignty, migration, and human environmental impact through visual logbooks that investigate the multiple definitions of the term "breach.” Her exhibition is the result of a multi-year artist residency hosted by the UMCA and the UMass College of Natural Sciences. It includes paintings, sculptures, and video based on the life and kinship ties of Staccato, a North Atlantic Right Whale killed by a ship strike in 1999, whose remains are housed in the UMass collections.

LitFest: Illuminating Great Writing & Amherst College’s Literary Life
Amherst College
Friday, Feb. 23 – Sunday, Feb. 25
Amherst College is hosting the ninth annual LitFest, a festival celebrating fiction, nonfiction, poetry and spoken-word performance along with the College’s extraordinary literary life. This year’s lineup of luminaries includes three Pulitzer Prize winners — novelist Paul Harding, poet and memoirist Natasha Trethewey, and science writer Ed Yong — as well as National Book Award winner Justin Torres; stand-up comedian, author and actor Aparna Nancherla; and renowned poets Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris.

Pioneer Jazz Shares: 4 Nights of Jazz
Northampton Center for the Arts
Thursday, Feb. 22 – Sunday, Feb. 25
Four concerts from Pioneer Jazz Shares start on Thursday with Tomas Fujiwara's 7 Poets Trio and the Tomeka Reid Quartet. Then, from Friday through Sunday we have a 3-day solo series called “A World of Piano” featuring Alexis Marcelo on Friday, Kris Davis on Saturday, and Rob Schwimmer on Sunday. What’s a jazz share and how do you get one? Learn more here.

The Kwinitekw/Quonektikut: Rights of Nature for the Long River
Greenfield Community College
Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
Western Mass Rights of Nature and the Nolumbeka Project invite the public to a presentation and discussion about rights of nature for the Long River (also known as the Connecticut River) led by Hartman Deetz, activist, artist and member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Plus! On Saturday, Feb. 24, from 1 – 4 p.m. it’s the Full Snow Moon Gathering & Eastern Woodlands Social Dance. Learn and participate in Northeastern Woodlands Native social dances led by Hartman Deetz and Asa Peters, members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. The single file call and response dances will be taught and are easy to learn and enjoyed by people of all ages.

Springfield Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Introduction to the Pipe Organ for Pianists
St. John's Episcopal Church, Northampton
Saturday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m.
If you are a piano player who feels mystified or intimidated by all the buttons and keys and gizmos on a pipe organ, then this event is for you. Experience a hands-on workshop that will have you playing on keyboards and pedals. AGO professional instructors will give you the basic information needed to help launch your new interest as an organist.

Valley Classical Concerts
Itamar Zorman, violin and Ieva Jokūbavičiūte, piano
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Itamar Zorman is the winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition. He is known for emotionally gripping performances and his gift for musical storytelling. Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute’s powerfully and intricately crafted performances have earned her critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe. Their program includes works by Franz Schubert, Sofia Gubaidulina, Grażyna Bacewicz and César Franck.

Steven Banks
Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass
Saturday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.
Steven Banks is an ambassador for the classical saxophone who has established himself as a compelling and charismatic soloist. He is dedicated to showcasing the vast capabilities of the instrument and advocating for the expansion of the instrument’s repertoire. In 2022, he was chosen to join WQXR’s Artist Propulsion Lab, a program designed to advance the careers of artists and support the future of classical music. With Xak Bjerken, piano.

This concert is part of the UMass Department of Music and Dance’s 41st Annual New England Saxophone Festival. It’s open to the public and there are lots of wonderful concerts all day!

The Wildmans
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
The Wildmans come from the hills of Floyd, Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian mountain music tradition. From campsite jamming at festivals and fiddler's conventions and a college level music education comes the foundation for musical exploration that sets this group apart, taking the audience on a musical journey that reflects their growth and passion.

Johanna Hedva in Concert
Saturday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
Johanna Hedva will debut songs from their upcoming, in-progress album, Fist. Written on a haunted acoustic guitar that disappeared for ten years and then returned in the winter of 2023, the songs from Fist materialize as hag blues, succubus folk, and bog-witch lullabies. Hedva’s trademark voice, trained in both traditions of classical opera and Korean P’ansori, finds an uncanny other place in croaking, screeching, growling, and screaming, while it slouches toward a serenade.

Rebirth Brass Band
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
Hailed by the New York Times as “a New Orleans institution,” the Rebirth Brass Band has been at the forefront of the brass band revival that started over 30 years ago. Formed by the Frazier brothers, Phil and Keith, along with Basin Street labelmate Kermit Ruffins in 1983, The Rebirth Brass Band has gone from playing on corners in the French Quarter to selling out concert halls across the world and appearing in David Simon’s HBO hit Treme. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they’ve also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound.

JIG, a Trinity Irish Dance Company Production
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Offering everything you expect and nothing you’d imagine, the Trinity Irish Dance Company brings a cutting-edge, integrity-filled vision to the stage. JIG, a Trinity Irish Dance Company Production, is a brand new work that offers a fresh take on TIDC’s internationally renowned, alternative approach to a traditional form. In its premiere season, JIG will redefine what’s possible for Irish music and dance. Centered by a live band, JIG will immerse audiences in an authentic experience that celebrates the power of vibrations, rhythm and movement.

You on the Moors Now
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College
Wednesday, Feb. 28 – Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The Smith College Department of Theatre presents You on the Moors Now by Jaclyn Backhaus. In the play, directed by Monica Lopez Orozco, a group of four literary heroines of the nineteenth century join forces to set conventionalism ablaze when they turn down marriage proposals from their equally famous gentleman callers. Everything you’ve learned about love from the pages of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Little Women is turned upside down in this grand theatrical battle royale of the sexes.

The Ladyslipper
The Majestic Theater, West Springfield
Through Sunday, March 24
Majestic Theater Producing Director Danny Eaton's latest play is a heartfelt exploration of family, friendship, and finding love in the least likely of places. When the local watering hole's proprietor dies, her long-lost daughter arrives from "across the pond" to make decisions about the future of the restaurant. She is invited into the lives of a group of local folks who each have their own ties to the place and to the woman who founded it. T