Moonlight Davis and Morning Star Chenven perform a concert celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. Proceeds will be split between the performers and the social justice programs of the Unitarian Society of Northampton, for now focused primarily on our immigration and sanctuary work.
Moonlight and Morning Star are a multicultural vocal duo known for their original songs and spoken word collaborations. They perform songs of many genres: gospel, r&b, jazz, folk and blues; a collection of music reflecting the times and their lives. They are happy to have shared the stage with wonderful musicians such as: son, Miro Sprague; Charles Neville; Samirah Evans; Derrik Jordan, Billy Preston. Their performances have taken them up and down the East Coast, into the Bay area and Canada; and they have released 2 CDs, “Thank You To Life” and “Fantasy.”
Our sanctuary is a beautiful space, with wonderful acoustics and a Steinway model B, built in 1907 and thoroughly refurbished in 2018. While nothing can equal a live performance, we will broadcast with Sennheiser MKH 40 RF microphones, which are designed to resist humidity, into a Sound Devices MixPre-6.
Archguitar pioneer Peter Blanchette will play selections of arrangements of music by JS Bach and other composers, from medieval to modern, in this Valentine's Day benefit. Donations will be split 50/50 between the musician and the social justice work of the Unitarian Society, for now focused primarily on our immigration and sanctuary work.
“Being a classical violist, I am very familiar with the Bach cello suites, having played and heard them countless times. I don't think I have heard the Courante, Sarabande, and the two Gavottes from the Sixth Suite played any better. The ornamentation and rhythmic intricacies in the Courante were so creative that they gave the impression that Blanchette was composing the music on the spot. Each phrase was a new delight. He highlighted and danced rhythms that I had never heard before in the music. After a short pause wherein Blanchette joked about how hard the Courante is (the entire concert was performed by memory), he continued with the Sarabande, which left me crying and speechless from its serene beauty.” —“Recital Review: The Divine Peter Blanchette,” by Kirsten Swanson, Classical Voice of North Carolina
Noted jazz singer Ellen Cogen and guitarist John Mason perform favorites of Tuck and Patti, Joe and Ella, and... John and Ellen! Donations will be split 50/50 between the musician and the social justice work of the Unitarian Society, for now focused primarily on our immigration and sanctuary work.
Musical and real-life partners John Mason and Ellen Cogen have been performing together since 2009, when John invited Ellen to sit in with him on a gig. They collaborate in a variety of styles, from classical to jazz and rock, and also enjoy improvisational explorations. They recorded an album of originals and their arrangements of a diverse selection of covers, called “Chord of Longing”. Both are also professors of music, and met as colleagues at Holyoke Community College.
Ellen began her musical life as a classical pianist and cellist, but shifted her focus to vocal music after her senior year at UMass as a music theory major. She earned her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and performed as a classical singer before shifting her focus to jazz. She is also active as a choral and musical theater director.
John earned his degree in music from Middlebury College, and also studied for a while at Berklee, where he later served on the faculty of its summer program. He won first place in the national championship of the Guitarmageddon competition, which honored the country’s best undiscovered guitarist. He has performed throughout the Northeast with a number of groups, including a progressive improvisational rock duo with drummer Gary Rzab, the GB Band One Step ahead, and the internationally touring Back Bay Guitar Trio.
The Bob Sparkman Trio , with clarinetist Bob Sparkman, pianist Jerry Noble and bassist Kara Noble, bring their light-hearted traditional jazz improvisations in support of the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The Toy Fund provides certificates redeemable at participating local retailers to eligible families who can use them to buy holiday gifts at participating stores
“[Sparkman's sound is] wry and rough-toned... hover[ing] midway between Pee Wee Russell’s tortured notes and the straightpositive phrases of Rod Cless... [yet with a] style and manner... distinctly his own.”—The New York Times
Celebrate the power of singing with the creators of Rise Up Singing. An evening of rejuvenation, inspiration and healing through song. For this special event, donations will be split between the artists and the Movement Voter Project.
Annie Patterson has a rare voice that spreads hope, stirs your soul and makes you glad to be working together for a better world. She is a singer songwriter, old timey banjo player as well as jazz vocalist with the swing trio, Girls from Mars. Her long-time partner, Peter Blood, accompanies her on fiddle & guitar. Together, Annie & Peter have played a central role in helping create a quiet revolution of group singing in North America. A new documentary film, We Began to Sing, follows their musical journey as well as the work of friend and mentor Pete Seeger in creating peace and social justice through communal singing. https://www.riseupandsing.org
“Annie Patterson is one of the true lights in my universe. Her expressive voice and sparkling presence makes every song she touches come alive. Her musicality and her commitment to sharing the magic and the power of song makes her the real deal. I’m a big fan.”
StompBoxTrio is a Western MA-based band that blends classic 20th-century American music with 21st-century mojo to create a sonic, soulful, and hip-shakin' sound all their own. They came together and found a collective feel, mutual love & admiration for American roots and blues music. Its history & tradition was something they wanted to share together. No matter the outcome of this historic election, StompBoxTrio will always send their positive sounds, vibes, and love into the universe.
Featuring Evelyn Harris, vocals & percussion; John Cabán, dobro, vocals & stompbox; and David Rodriguez, wood bass, vocals & foot tambourine.
Heather Reichgott and Gregory Hayes: Together...but Apart, a concert of works for piano four hands dedicated to the memory of Nadine Shank, a superb musician and beloved colleague.
Featuring Waltzes, op. 39 (1865), Johannes Brahms; Sonata in D major, K. 448 (1781), W.A Mozart; and Petite Suite (1886-1889), Claude Debussy.
Internationally-acclaimed performer Reggie Harris performed a joyous concert of songs and stories celebrating unity and social justice.
A man who brings stories and music and justice to a world that needs to hear it in every form.
— ARNIE ARNESEN, HOST OF “THE ATTITUDE” RADIO SHOW
This was more than a concert! This event provided both an anchor and an inspiration . . . I don't know if Bass Hall has ever heard such gorgeous and invigorating harmonies. Thank you for bringing Reggie.
— GORDON PEERY, MONADNOCK CENTER FOR HISTORY AND CULTURE, PETERBOROUGH, NH
Soprano Christien Beeuwkes joined pianist Dana Maiben in a song recital including works by Franz Schubert, and W.A, Mozart, along with Vincent Persichetti’s settings of four Emily Dickinson poems, and the online premiere of a new set of songs by Maiben, “Love Is Not All—Six Poems of Edna Saint Vincent Millay.”
Here is the recording of the live stream:
On August 23, the Society’s incoming Music Director, pianist Lemuel Gurtowsky, performed with the talented young mezzo-soprano Natalie Lewis, a rising senior at UMass Amherst, in a recital of art songs, opera arias, spirituals and jazz.
On August 9, Monica Jakuc Leverett, (www.monicajakucleverett.com), internationally distinguished pianist and Smith College Professor Emerita of Music, performed A Program of Pieces in the Pandemic, music for solo piano and toy piano, with works by J.S. Bach, John Cage, Kaeza Fearn, and Franz Schubert:
On July 26, the Bob Sparkman Trio inaugurated the series, with veteran jazz clarinetist Bob Sparkman, pianist Clifton “Jerry” Noble, Jr, and electric bassist Kara Noble in a freewheeling improvisatory journey through traditional jazz and the American Songbook.