Culture To Do


For many of us, live performances are among the things we have missed the most during the past year, and we've been waiting for the day when our local artists could return to the stage. It's therefore great news to see some venues now offering limited public events. We'll continue to provide information about programming, events and concerts that will bring you inspiration and diversion — either from your couch OR out and about.

Saturday, May 8 at 7 p.m. on Zoom

Join the Pioneer Valley Symphony for a virtual event marking a year of collective grief, resilience and hope with a unique virtual performance of the Fauré Requiem interspersed with video stories from local community members reflecting on the tragedy and triumph they have experienced during the pandemic. Music lovers, singers and musicians are invited to listen, sing, or play along with the beloved work.

World Premiere of Written-for-Zoom Play by Steve Wangh
March 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.
March 28 at 3 p.m.
April 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.
April 4 at 3 p.m.

Rhiannon Giddens’ lifelong mission is to lift up people of color whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied opera, Giddens has been Grammy-nominated six times, and won once, for her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group she co-founded.

Hosted by MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rhiannon Giddens, the Aria Code podcast pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history. Each episode explores how these musical moments have imprinted themselves in our collective consciousness. For the Season 3 premiere, Metropolitan Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin joins Giddens and other guests to explore “Nessun dorma,” a hopeful declaration of love and victory from Puccini’s Turandot.

Phase 2 Now on View at the Springfield Museums

Inspired by the special exhibition The Outwin: American Portraiture Today, "This Is Us" showcases local portraiture and highlights the rich artistic talent of our region. Drawn from a relatively small geographic area, the works on view – produced in a range of media including painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture – represent diverse methods and viewpoints. Created within the last two years, many submissions respond to current events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for social justice.

Friday, April 2 at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

By honoring the blues harmonies and swing rhythms of the African-Caribbean-New Orleans music lineage within his own genre-bending style, Jazz pianist Zaccai Curtis has earned fans from multiple musical backgrounds and interests. For this virtual concert, Curtis is joined by the knockout percussionists in his Afro-Cuban Jazz Quartet and his brother, acclaimed bassist Luques Curtis, for a program ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to Machito.

Friday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Live on Jorgensen Digital Stage from Germany, Munich’s own Arcis Saxophone Quartet will show their charismatic and authentic stage presence that sets audiences aflame burning passion for this rare form of chamber music. In their highly professional, exact interpretations, they explore the relationship between individual expressivity and artistic collaboration, captivating listeners with their joy for playing and emotional depth.

Sunday, March 21 at 6 p.m.

Join this live, online discussion with Nora Valdez, a sculptor from Argentina, and Silas Kopf, award-winning furniture maker specializing in the art of marquetry. Learn how their perspectives on transforming materials like stone and wood into masterful creations inform insights into nature and community engagement. The artists will be in conversation with artist and WHMP Artsbeat Report radio host Donnabelle Casis.

Thursday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Listen Thursday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on NEPM 88.5

Wednesday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Best of Valley Voices

Mar 18, 2021

Saturday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Join us for the Valley Voices Season 6 finale and get the chance to vote for your favorite story. During this unprecedented season, stories were told at the New City Brewery in Easthampton and Hawks & Reed in Greenfield, taped at home, and livestreamed from the Academy of Music Theatre. Now, we gather the best of the best to tell their stories live from the Academy stage into your living room through Zoom.

 Jorgensen Digital Stage Presents An Evening with Ben Folds: Livestream from Australia on Thursday, March 4 at 8 p.m. Grammy-award winning music influencer, Ben Folds, performs live from Australia on Jorgensen Digital Stage. Mr. Folds has created an enormous body of music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album, which included his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.

On Saturday, March 6, Latin Grammy Award nominee, Claudia Acuña, presents two concerts, broadcast live from Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre. At 3 p.m. it’s “Wind from the South,” a musical tapestry that chronicles Claudia’s journey from her birthplace in Chile to her home in New York City. Then at 8 p.m., “The Art of Bolero,” includes Claudia's interpretation of traditional songs, a tribute to Armando Manzanero, and contemporary material.

The Holyoke Civic Symphony presents a free virtual concert featuring recorded performances by orchestra members as well as guest soloists Jean Jeffries on horn, Sheldon Ross on trumpet, and Matthew Russo on trombone. The Holyoke Civic Symphony is dedicated to providing a variety of opportunities for people in the community to perform and listen to symphonic works. Conductor and composer David Kidwell has been Music Director of the group since 1997.

Holyoke Civic Symphony Presents
You Bet Your Brass!
Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m.

Join a special ‘dancefilm’ and conversation event with two of America’s leading hip-hop dance artists, Rennie Harris and Jon Boogz, as part of UMass Dance Department’s “Beyond the Proscenium” Conference. Harris and Boogz will show new and rarely seen dancefilms and will be joined by acclaimed dance artist-scholar Thomas DeFrantz for a special conversation around the intersection of street dance, Black culture, and social justice.

Bodies at Risk: Rennie Harris and Jon Boogz
Saturday, March 13 at 5 p.m.

Leading up to its 40th anniversary, the Ashfield-based Double Edge Theatre presents a magical stage work inspired by the notorious life of the surrealist artist and feminist Leonora Carrington, created by director Stacy Klein and performed by Double Edge. A multi-camera 4K shoot of the performance was captured in high definition at Peak Performances at Montclair State University on the Alexander Kasser Theater stage.

Double Edge Theatre Presents ‘Leonora, la maga y la maestra’
Online Premiere Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m.

Hemingway, a three-part, six-hour documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, which examines the visionary work and the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway, premieres Monday, April 5 on NEPM. In the meantime, you can attend a number of free preview discussions with Ken Burns to learn more about one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced. Availability is limited.

Register Now

Mass MoCa’s ‘Auditory After Hours’ gives visitors a chance to engage with art in an all-new way — while listening to a bespoke experience curated by favorite musicians. Wander the museum’s cavernous spaces after hours, and prepare to have eyes bedazzled and ears enthralled. For this month, guitarist Kaki King recorded new music specifically for wandering MASS MoCA’s art-filled spaces. From ethereal guitar loops to high-voltage drums, she has created a journey into the recesses of musical mastery.

Do you remember how it all started? When the Titanic went down, Lord Grantham lost his immediate heirs and his daughter Mary lost her fiancé, throwing Downton Abbey and its servants into turmoil. The new heir turned out to be Matthew, a lowly lawyer with novel ideas about country life. Downton Abbey, the award-winning series from Julian Fellowes, went on to tell the 12-year story of a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. Now, all six seasons of the wildly popular series are available to stream with PBS Passport.

Simply Ming @Home

Feb 18, 2021

Cook with Ming on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

Acclaimed chef Ming Tsai is known for his melding of Eastern and Western flavors, a theme he furthers in his public television cooking show, "Simply Ming." This season, Chef Ming Tsai is cooking at home, with a few fun surprises and quick home recipes. You can find each week’s ingredient list on Facebook and then head to your own kitchen Tuesdays at 5 p.m. to participate in these weekly culinary adventures.

Learn More

Nightly Met Opera Streams Continue

We’re in the middle of a week of Nightly Opera Streams from the Met celebrating Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian director and designer whose grand, historically informed, and intricately detailed productions have delighted generations of operagoers. The free lineup features many of Zeffirelli’s most beloved stagings, including Mozart’s Don Giovani, Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s Turandot (pictured above).

Sunday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m.

Next in the “Live from the Sanctuary” series from the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence is newgrass band Mamma's Marmalade. Since their formation in 2014, the Northampton-based string band has been fusing diverse musical backgrounds into a sound that bursts at the seams with energy, exuding a pure joy for creating music. PLUS! You can listen to the Smithereens, Peter Blanchette, Annie Patterson with Peter Blood, and others local artists who have performed in the series anytime.

Watch Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. on NEPM TV

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the Loretta Lynn song that became a book, a feature film, and an indelible part of popular culture. Like so many other songs written by Lynn, the lyrics told the story of her life and spoke to women who struggled to make ends meet. Lynn’s simple, straightforward song stories gave legitimacy to the joys, heartaches, struggles and triumphs of daily life.

Listen Weekdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturdays from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

KidsBestFest 2021: Virtual Edition
Daily Through Friday, Feb 19

Usually, this movie festival for kids and their adults, held during the winter school break, is shown on the big screen at the Academy of Music Theatre. This year it’s virtual.

SCDT Screen Dance Festival
Sunday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.

The School for Contemporary Dance & Thought — the Northampton-based art organization, that provides innovative programming for all ages — presents an innovative collection of dances for film.

Feb. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.

Formed by the late Joseph Shabalala in 1960, Ladysmith Black Mambazo became one of South Africa's most prolific recording artists, with their releases receiving gold and platinum honors. Within this music are the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical tradition. For this virtual event, the artists perform some of their most beloved selections and speak about their inspiration and legacy. Can't watch live? Ticket holders will have access to the film through Wednesday, March 3.