The Arts Maven: A selective guide to free arts happenings in Greater Boston

By David Fillingham


Monday Aug 8 8:15 PM
Berklee School of Music Summer program presents 5-Week Vocal Night.
This show features a number of Five-Week Summer Performance Program vocal groups, including the Five-Week Chorus directed by Lucy Holstedt; the Five-Week Musical Theater Workshop directed by Rene Pfister, Ana Guigui, and Jeri Sykes; the Five-Week Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble directed by Christiane Karam; and the Five-Week Singer Showcase finalists directed by Ken Zambello.

Wednesday Aug. 10 7 PM at the Half Shell the continuing Longwood Orchestra Series. Guest Orchestra – The New Philharmonia Orchestra Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, #8
Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)
Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Francesca Bass, violin
Symphony No. 5, Op. 64
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)

Thursday, August 11 8:15 p.m.
Five-Week Instrumental Showcase
This concert features Five-Week Summer Performance Program audition winners who will perform in the All-Star Rock, the All-Star Jazz, and the All-Star Funk ensembles. Joining them will be the Five-Week Tower of Power Ensemble directed by Bobby Gallegos. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue.

Monday, August 15 6:00 p.m.
Nadia Washington Quartet Regattabar Courtyard Series
One Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA Harvard Square Where the Charles Hotel is as well. Often compared to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, Nadia Washington’s style incorporates a fusion of different musical avenues. Her smooth, velvet-cloaked vocals draw in an audience, leaving many feeling quite misty.

Weds August 17 7 PM
At the Half Shell on the Esplanade the continuing Longwood Orchestra Series.
Die Fledermaus Overture
Johann Strauss II (1825 – 1899)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, op.23, 1st movement
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Featuring the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts competition winner
Symphony No. 8 in G major, op.88
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Thursday, August 18 12:00 p.m.
Julia Easterlin
Kendall Square 300 Athenaeum Street
Julia Easterlin is a vocalist, songwriter, and performer from Augusta, Georgia. Her talents have been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensembles, DownBeat, the John Lennon Foundation, and the New York Songwriters Circle.

Saturday, August 13 5 p.m.
Hailey Niswanger Quartet Derby Square, Salem
Berklee student Hailey Niswanger has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Portland, Oregon and well beyond her years. She has shared the stage with DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield, and other jazz greats. She leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and other jazz venues around Portland. In September 2009, she was selected as the new alto saxophonist in the internationally acclaimed big band the Either/Orchestra, occupying the chair previously held by Miguel Zenon and Jaleel Shaw, among others.

Saturday, August 21 & Sunday, August 22
The 4th Annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival takes place at the Salem Willows in Salem, MA on This free, family-friendly event featured 2 days of live music, music education classes, an arts and crafts fair, and a kid’s play tent. We also had our first ever 21+ beer garden, sponsored by Ipswich Ale.

Saturday, August 20 1:30 p.m.
Nicky Egan Salem Jazz and Soul Festival 157 Fort Avenue
Nicky Egan, originally from Philadelphia, spreads her love for music through a sound that blends elements of soul, R&B, and rock. With her influences ranging from Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, and Janis Joplin to the Beatles, James Brown, and Joe Cocker, Egan drives her performances with memorable songs, young energy, and a positive message. Since Egan formed her band in 2007, they’ve played throughout the East Coast and have played shows from L.A. to Santa Cruz. They’ve shared a bill with Boston’s Eli “Paperboy” Reed and London’s Sam Bradley.

Saturday, August 20 4:30 − 5:30pm.
The Beantown Tap Fest will have an informal student showcase of the previous week’s work. There will be some very good tap dancing going on by students aged 8 to 75. It takes place at Green Street Studios, 185 Green St., Cambridge, MA 02139.

Monday, August 22 6:00 p.m.
Creative Music Front Regattabar Courtyard Series One Bennett Street, courtyard in Harvard Sq next to the Charles Hotel. The Creative Music Front is an international collective born within the community of Berklee College of Music. The collaboration of artists from different continents and cultural backgrounds engaged the CMF to experience the combination of jazz, funk, Latin rhythms, European harmonies, and oriental influences.

Thursday, August 25 12:00 p.m.
Grace Kelly
Kendall Square, 300 Athenaeum Street Saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, and arranger Grace Kelly received a full scholarship to Berklee and started college at the age of 16. She has already performed over 500 concerts as a leader all around the world. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly’s three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert.

DAVID FILLINGHAM can be emailed at





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