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New year, new look: Bombyx Center adds more varied arts programming to its lineup while making infrastructure improvements
02-22-2024 1:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

What a difference a year makes.Late last May, the Northampton Fire Department abruptly shut down virtually all music performances at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity in Florence, citing inadequate fire prevention measures at the venue.The move...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 71 total.
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State ruling bottles up liquor license for Iron Horse revival in Northampton
02-22-2024 4:14 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Almost two months before the Iron Horse Music Hall’s scheduled opening date, its new owners received some bad news that could prove to be a major setback.At Wednesday’s city License Commission meeting, chair Natasha Yakovlev and the...


The Beat Goes On: The Back Porch Festival is just three weeks away, and the Iron Horse announces its opening lineup
02-22-2024 12:25 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

If you’re like me, counting the days to spring, it’s a little over three weeks to the official first day, March 19.Yet that’s just a date on the calendar, and the weather in mid-March can still spell winter. But one antidote to that is to hit the Back...


Music festivals small and large: Jazz Shares mini-fest and a new outdoor indie rock festival are headed to Northampton
02-16-2024 3:54 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It’s still winter, but music festivals, small and large, are in the works. Here’s a look at some coming events, one that’s imminent and one further down the road.First off, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares is offering a mini-fest next weekend, Feb. 22-25,...


The Beat Goes On: Acclaimed dobro player shows her singer-songwriter side in Northampton, an eclectic duo comes to Florence, and more
02-08-2024 1:37 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Parlor Room features a steady stream of singer-songwriters, given the Northampton club’s intimate setting is ideal for acoustic music.The vast majority of those performers come bearing acoustic guitars. But Abbie Gardner will bring her dobro, or...


Dispute brews over Suher liquor licenses in Northampton
02-02-2024 7:57 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The city’s License Commission this week canceled two of business owner Eric Suher’s liquor licenses that were to be transferred to The Parlor Room, the new owners of Iron Horse Music Hall, and Gombo, a downtown Cajun restaurant, as part...


In time for downbeat: Jazz record designer Jack Frisch hosts new jazz show on Valley Free Radio to ‘get the music out there’
02-01-2024 3:13 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Back in the 1980s, Jack Frisch, then in his early twenties, got bitten pretty hard by the jazz bug, taking the ferry from his home in Staten Island, New York, over to Manhattan with some friends and haunting record shops.His interest had been...


‘Creole love call’: Gombo launches new music series starting Feb. 2 with jazz reedman Evan Arntzen
01-26-2024 2:18 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When John Piskor opened his Cajun-style restaurant, Gombo Nola Kitchen & Oyster Bar, in Northampton last year, he said he eventually wanted it to turn it into something akin to a New Orleans cafe, where people come out for a drink and live music after...


The Beat Goes On: A busy couple of weeks at The Drake, a new acoustic music series in Holyoke, and more
01-25-2024 2:58 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In my last column, I mentioned that The Parlor Room in Northampton and the Marigold Theater are maintaining busy schedules right through these early, dead-of-winter days.Another area venue that keeps pumping up the music is The Drake in Amherst, and...


A roller coaster of family history: Lisa Kron’s ‘2.5 Minute Ride’ comes to Academy of Music
01-11-2024 10:56 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

When Lisa Kron was growing up in southern Michigan, her family would make an annual trek to a noted amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio — Cedar Point — one of the oldest operating amusement parks in the country, known in particular for its 16 different...


The Beat Goes On: Busy schedules at The Parlor Room and Marigold Theater, a ‘solo ensemble’ guitar concert in Greenfield, and more
01-11-2024 10:15 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Early January, just after the holidays and New Year’s Eve have run their course, can be a quiet time for a lot of music venues.But The Parlor Room in Northampton has put together a pretty jam-packed schedule right through this month, starting with a...


And to think that I saw it at ACT: Amherst Community Theater readies for its newest production, ‘Seussical’
12-29-2023 9:18 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

He’s one of the most famous and beloved children’s book authors ever, and he grew about 20 miles south of here. So the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel — better known, or course, as Dr. Seuss — seemed like a natural fit for the new musical by Amherst...


Remembering Hawley’s Alice Parker, ‘a legendary figure in choral music’
12-29-2023 4:36 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

HAWLEY — Alice Parker, who composed more than 500 pieces in a life devoted to singing and song, died at her home in Hawley early on Christmas Eve. She was 98.While Parker’s work included operas, song cycles, cantatas and anthems, she was particularly...


The Beat Goes On: A Jeff Buckley tribute show, a slate of New Year’s weekend concerts, and more 
12-28-2023 7:50 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Like father, like son: Tim Buckley and his son, Jeff, both became musicians at a young age, and both died well before their time — Tim of a heroin overdose at age 28 in 1975, and Jeff from drowning at age 30 in 1997.Tim Buckley became a pretty...


A real old-school First Night: Northampton New Year’s Eve festival returns with its old energy
12-21-2023 9:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

As Steve Sanderson sees it, First Night Northampton is getting its mojo back.The annual New Year’s Eve celebration got shot down two years in a row by COVID-19, first in December 2020 and then again in December 2021 when, just days before the event...


Short and sweet: Community show features short films by emerging filmmakers in western Mass.
12-15-2023 11:47 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

People celebrate the holidays in different ways.Lucas Fappiano and Colin Hodgson are doing it by hosting a free screening of movies by area filmmakers, with the goal of bringing people together to recognize some of the Valley’s artistic strength and...


Music as a cultural bridge: Libertad! Artist-in-Residency features Argentinean musical duo
12-03-2023 12:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — For Argentinean Jews, the word “Libertad” isn’t just the Spanish word for freedom — it’s also the name of one of the streets within the old Jewish quarter in Buenos Aires, as well as the name of the largest synagogue in that city.It’s...


Old playbill keys concert revival: Nov. 18 show at Bombyx Center reimagines an 1873 show once staged at church
11-16-2023 2:40 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When staff at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity, in the midst of doing renovations in the basement, came across a tattered but still readable playbill from a concert apparently staged at the property in 1873 — then known simply as the Florence...


Women theater artists flying solo: One-woman productions probe the life of a famed Supreme Court justice and a forgotten chapter of U.S. history
11-13-2023 9:23 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

There’s no shortage of theater in the Valley. But how often can you catch two solo productions by women on the same weekend?On Nov. 17, “All Things Equal: The Life & Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” a solo show starring Michelle Azar as the late...


Metal and more, on players’ terms: New arts co-op looks to be a home for heavy music and independent artists
11-03-2023 10:12 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

In the last few years, a number of music and performing venues in the Valley have embraced the nonprofit model to support the arts, from The Drake in Amherst to the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity in Florence to The Parlor Room in Northampton.Now...


Western Mass musicians up for awards: New England Music Awards and Boston Music Awards nominate only a handful of local bands this year
10-27-2023 6:58 PM

By JULIAN MENDOZA

For the small handful of Pioneer Valley artists nominated between this year’s New England Music Awards and Boston Music Awards, the region’s highest musical honor would not merely be an individual accolade, or even a matter of putting the Valley on...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 71 total.
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