Event Calendar

February 2019

Fri, Feb 1, 2019

Yarmo-Gray and Ramos-Meyer standing outdoors in front of a cityscape

Music Composition Senior Theses: Diego Ramos-Meyer ’19 and Ella Yarmo-Gray ’19

The Amherst College Department of Music presents Garden of Snakes, an original jazz composition thesis by Diego Ramos-Meyer '19, on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., followed by A Thousand Shapes, an original jazz composition thesis by Ella Yarmo-Gray '19, at 7:45 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission.

Garden of Snakes
Garden of Snakes is a five-piece suite exploring African-American and Latinx jazz music. Born to a Costa Rican father and American mother, Ramos-Meyer grew up listening to music from a wide variety of traditions all over the Americas. This 10-piece ensemble, including flute, violin, trumpet, tenor saxophone, trombone and congas, takes the audience on a journey through modern-day manifestations of traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms. From Herbie Hancock to Pérez Prado to J Dilla, Garden of Snakes has something to offer everybody.

A Thousand Shapes
Virginia Woolf writes in her novel To the Lighthouse, “Love had a thousand shapes.” In a five-piece suite, Yarmo-Gray explores the ways in which various forms of love can be encapsulated in music, particularly those that are nonromantic. The music is of the modern jazz idiom and is written for a six-piece ensemble that includes Yarmo-Gray on piano, Fumi Tomita on bass, Austin McMahon on drums, Will Fishell '20 on trumpet, Dean Gordon '22 on tenor saxophone and MacKenzie Kugel '20E on violin. This exploration takes the listener through a multitude of their own experiences with love, and introduces the possibility of many more.

Poster for "Publik Private: Queer History in Performance"

"Publik Private: Queer History in Performance"

This bilingual work grapples with the past, bearing witness to gender-nonconforming historical figures, La Monja Alferéz and The Publik Universal Friend. Puppetry and poetics lift up the lives of these trans ancestors in an exhilarating conversation honoring their genders and refusing to look away from their transgressions.

Praise for Publik Private:
“The infernal and the saintly collide in a bold intertwining of two adventures too wild to be fictional. Publik Private is a show that smashes the binary in more ways than one: out and passing, chaste and carnal, pacifist and warmonger, hero and villain, thwarted imperialist and well-intentioned gentrifier. With a wry smile, Eppchez dances between the polar opposites of these two trans lives, and joins them together in something tender, irreverent and all too human.” -Mary Tuomanen (Barrymore Award-winning playwright)

Sat, Feb 2, 2019

matthew auditions poster

Auditions: Matthew Holliday '19 Senior Dance Project

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Webster Hall, Studio 1 (Room 117)

Using a fusion of modern contemporary, Afro-Caribbean, African and hip-hop styles, the project hopes to explore resistance in diaspora dance as a means of collective healing and self-actualization. Rehearsals begin the week of February 7, with performances on April 11 - 13. Contact Matthew Holliday for more information at mholliday19@amherst.edu.

Black-and-white photo of a man playing an electric guitar

Jazz Concert: Michael Musillami Trio + 2

Free of charge and open to the public, the Amherst College Department of Music presents a special jazz concert by the Michael Musillami Trio +2, featuring Musillami (guitar, compositions), Joe Fonda (bass), George Schuller (drums), Kirk Knuffke (cornet) and Jason Robinson (saxophones, alto flute) at 7 p.m. in Room 3 of Arms Music Center. The group will perform new original music from their 2018 release Life Anthem (Playscape), as well as new music for their forthcoming 2019 release Little Ruby Steps.

"Four stars."
--Downbeat Magazine

“[O]ne of the most stimulating contemporary sets I’ve heard in a long time.”
--Nick Jones, Jazz Journal magazine

“Michael Musillami's music is a treasure, and we are fortunate that he came through his recent crisis unscathed.”
--Tim Niland, Jazz and Blues blog

“It's one of the year's best recordings.”
--Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz

About Life Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAM_tBL4Vkg

Michael Musillami's "compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity," writes Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, "and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean." The Boston Phoenix's Jon Garelick adds, "Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else." Born and raised in California, Musillami studied with renowned guitarist Joe Diorio before moving to the east coast in the early 1980s, working primarily in organ trios led by Richard "Groove" Holmes and Bobby Buster, among others. In addition to paying his dues by sharing the stage with Junior Cook, Dewey Redman and Curtis Fuller, Musillami became part of the circle of musicians connected to the Hillside Club in Waterbury, Conn., throughout the 1980s.

Over his 40-year career, Musillami has led a variety of ensembles, releasing 19 CDs and touring throughout North America, Canada and Europe. Along with his longstanding flagship trio with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet, featuring such prominent collaborators as Mark Feldman, Cameron Brown, Drew Gress, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson. In 1999, Musillami founded Playscape Recordings to give himself more control over his recording career and support other musicians. Built around a cadre of frequent collaborators, the label has garnered extensive critical praise and a catalog of more than 70 diverse releases. "Like Blue Note or CTI in their prime," writes Signal to Noise reviewer John Chacona, "Michael Musillami's Playscape label has a signature sound." When not working with his own bands or managing his record label, Musillami also writes for and directs the 28-piece jazz ensemble Right Brain Logic at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. Learn more at www.michaelmusillami.com and www.playscape-recordings.com.

Michael Musillami Trio

"Working on an almost telepathic level," writes Troy Collins, "they have developed an innate familiarity with each other that enables them to second guess abrupt tempo changes and harmonic detours with split-second timing." "Musillami's trio, his alliance with his longtime friends and collaborators, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, is a superb, finely tuned unit, empathetic, swinging and dramatically expressive of emotions sweeping from joy to sadness," says Owen McNally of the Hartford Courant in his recent feature article. "More impressive than longevity, however, is the trio's remarkably tight, cohesive unity. Nurtured by Musillami's celebratory music, the band functions as a musical family, a democratic clan in which everyone expresses himself." Critics have called the group's music "truly original" (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com), "challenging and adventurous" (Bill Beuttler, Boston Globe), "scintillating and provocative" (Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound) and "honest, frequently surprising and consistently exciting" (Ron Wynn, JazzTimes). "Working on an almost telepathic level," adds Cadence reviewer Troy Collins, "they have developed an innate familiarity with each other that enables them to second guess abrupt tempo changes and harmonic detours with split second timing. Although the trio certainly doesn't need any help navigating Musillami's compelling tunes, they are occasionally joined by a few guest soloists, always to remarkable effect."

Joe Fonda is a composer, bassist, recording artist, interdisciplinary performer, producer and educator. An accomplished international jazz artist, Fonda has performed with his own ensembles throughout the United States, Canada , Europe and Asia. He has collaborated and performed with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Bill Dixon, Han Bennink, Bobby Naughton, Xu Fengia, Randy Weston, Gebhard Ullmann, Carla Bley, Carlo Zingaro, Barry Altschul and Billy Bang.

A native of New York City, drummer and composer George Schuller moved to Boston in 1967, where he was raised and educated, and later received a bachelor's degree in jazz performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1982. For the next 12 years, Schuller was a fixture on the Boston area jazz scene, performing with Herb Pomeroy, Jaki Byard, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, John Lockwood, Ran Blake, Lisa Thorson, Billy Pierce, Bruce Gertz, Mili Bermejo, John LaPorta, Dominique Eade and Hal Crook. Schuller presently resides in Brooklyn and freelances in the New York City area, performing with Ballin' The Jack, Michael Musillami, Burton Greene, Armen Donelian, Morena/Fonda Trio, Seunghee Han, Whirrr! (Music of Jimmy Giuffre), Russ Johnson's Out To Lunch (Music of Eric Dolphy), Yard Byard (Music of Jaki Byard) and Conference Call, in addition to leading his own groups Circle Wide and George Schuller Trio.

Cornetist and composer Kirk Knuffke is the winner of Downbeat Magazine's "Rising Star" critics poll for 2015. A recipient of the Jerome Foundation composers grant, Kirk has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader. "One of modern jazz's most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing," he has "full command of his most demanding instrument" – All About Jazz. Kirk placed in the top five in the world in the El Intruso critics poll and was one of six nominees for Trumpeter of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Knuffke has been based in New York City since 2005. Shortly after his arrival, Knuffke began playing with Butch Morris. Their friendship resulted in four recordings and several European tours. Kirk joined the celebrated Matt Wilson Quartet in 2009, recording "Gathering Call" (Palmetto) featuring John Medeski and touring each year. 2016 brought Matt Wilson's "Beginning of a memory" Palmetto, which received five stars in Downbeat. Michael Formanek's "The Distance" ECM was also awarded 5 stars this year. Knuffke also plays in "Sifter" with Mary Halvorson and Wilson, Ideal Bread, Allison Miller's "Boom Tic Boom," Todd Sickafoose's "Tiny Resistors" and groups led by Ray Anderson, Uri Caine, Mark Helias, Bill Goodwin, Karl Berger and Ted Brown, to name a few. "Arm and Hands," a recent release, garnered praise from every major jazz publication. The Following CDs Little Cross (Steeplechase Records) and Lamplighter (Fresh Sound Records) have also received much praise. Kirk has had feature articles in Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, Germany's Sonic and Denmark's JazzSpecial, among others.

The music of American saxophonist and scholar Jason Robinson ("rugged and scintillating," New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz-- bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde --with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music and electronic music. Robinson's primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress and drummer George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, and drummer Ches Smith. The group's latest release is Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012).

Mon, Feb 4, 2019

Studio Art Faculty Exhibition

until Mar 1 Fayerweather Hall, 105 - Eli Marsh Gallery

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and noon - 4 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Saturdays. This exhibition will close at noon on Friday, March 1.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019

Opening Reception with Studio Art Faculty

4:30 pm Fayerweather Hall, Eli Marsh Gallery

French Film Screening: "Persepolis" (2007)

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm King Hall, French House Common Room

"Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

"Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love."

Fri, Feb 8, 2019

William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art and Chair of Architectural Studies Nicola Courtright teaching the galleries at the Mead

Faculty Teaching Workshop

Do you teach at one of the Five Colleges? Join us to learn more about how to make the most of the Mead’s collection of more than 19,000 artworks and cultural objects in the classroom. Kindly RSVP to meadartmuseum@amherst.edu by Friday, February 1, 2019, so we can prepare accordingly. Space is limited.

Free and open to Five College faculty.

Sat, Feb 9, 2019

Students looking at art at the Mead

Close Looks at the Mead

Stop by the Mead to find new connections among works on view with student museum educators. Each week we’ll focus on different themes that bring student interests to the fore. Come back every week for a fresh perspective on the works on view in our galleries. Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on weekly topics. All programs are free and open to the public!

Event poster showing Nardone and Rauschelbach outdoors, in front of a wooden fence and a field

Music Composition Senior Theses: Patrick Rauschelbach ’19 and Katianna Nardone ’19

The Amherst College Department of Music presents original composition theses Nor Any Tide and Snapshots of Summer. Nor Any Tide, by Patrick Rauschelbach '19, begins at 7 p.m., and Snapshots of Summer, by Katianna Nardone '19, begins at 7:45 p.m. The concert is FREE and open to the public; seating is by general admission.
 
Nor Any Tide parallels the outlook of an increasingly disillusioned people unprepared for the hardships brought about by the First World War. Over 100 years ago, this war carried society into the present era, and many of the concerns faced continue to echo into today. Rauschelbach conveys this period’s voices and their relevant woes for the modern audience. An extended suite comprising movements ranging from blues and R&B to film score and classical, this reflection is written for an ensemble of two dozen, a blend of acoustic and electric sound created from string quartet, bass, brass, guitars, harp, piano, percussion and a chorus.
 
Nardone presents her composition Snapshots of Summer, a collection of short movements depicting moments in time during the period of its composition. The work, scored for string quartet, upright bass, piano and voice, is primarily classical but includes stylistic elements of jazz as well as two original orchestrated pop songs. It is performed by an all-student ensemble composed of Maya Bulos ’20 and Andrea Boskovic ’21 on violin, Daniel Lee ’22 on viola, Jonah Botvinick-Greenhouse ’21 on cello, Sarah Montoya ’21 on bass, Faith Wen ’20 on piano and vocals by Anna Van Der Linden ’20. By taking the listener through a series of the composer’s memories expressed through music, Snapshots of Summer explores the ways that music can capture and preserve the feeling of a memory.

Sun, Feb 10, 2019

Image of members of Mnozil Brass dressed as old-fashioned circus performers

M@A Chamber Series Presents Mnozil Brass: "Cirque"

This septet from Vienna is probably the strangest brass ensemble you will ever hear. With a musical virtuosity mixed with their own special kind of comedy, they really have to be seen to be believed.

Tickets go on sale two weeks before each performance. Evening box office opens one hour prior to the concert. Free Amherst student rush tickets are available on the night of the performance.

Ticket website: https://amherst.universitytickets.com

Chamber Series:
General public: $28
Senior citizens (65+) and Amherst College employees: $22
Students, with valid ID: $12
Amherst student rush tickets on the night of the performance: FREE

Tickets Required

Wed, Feb 13, 2019

mage: Meme of Leslie Knope from tv sitcom Parks & Recreation. Caption: "Oh, it's only the best day of the year."

Galentine's Day: A Celebration of Friendship

Join us for a waffle breakfast to celebrate platonic friendship and the closing of Fragmented Identities: The Gendered Roles of Women in Art Through the Ages. This program is offered with support from Amherst College’s Human Resources Activities Committee.

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Movie poster showing a person dressed in white, lying on the ground amid snow and red berries

Russian Film Screening: "I Am Dragon" (ОН-ДРАКОН)

4:30 pm Keefe Campus Center, Theater (Room 008)

The Department of Russian presents I Am Dragon (ОН-ДРАКОН), a 2015 film directed by Indar Dzhendubaev.

Synopsis: During her wedding ceremony, Princess Mira is snatched by a dragon and is carried away to its lair on a remote island where rescue is impossible. The princess is unharmed and has nothing but a stone cage and a mysterious young man named Arman who finds her food and drink but keeps his distance from her. Who is he, and what's he doing on the island? Is he also the dragon's prisoner?

The movie is in Russian with English subtitles and will be screened at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. The runtime is 110 minutes.

Fri, Feb 15, 2019

Music Department Tea Time

Music Department Tea Time

Come take a break from your busy week and enjoy tea, coffee, snacks and good company in the Arms Green Room. The music department's tea times are casual get-togethers where you hang out and chat with other musical folks from around campus. Everyone is welcome — students, faculty, staff and visitors. No affiliation with the department is required!

This event follows the "Workshop for Non-Majors and Majors: Research in Music" hosted by Faculty in Music.

WAMH Presents: Carinae, Gabe's Mystery Band, and TWEN

WAMH Presents: Carinae, Gabe's Mystery Band, and TWEN

89.3 WAMH presents three bands, Carinae, Gabe’s Mystery Band, and TWEN, at Marsh House on Friday, February 15 at 8:30 p.m. Ring in the weekend with great music, friends, and your favorite college radio station.

Sat, Feb 16, 2019

Students looking at art at the Mead

Close Looks at the Mead

Stop by the Mead to find new connections among works on view with student museum educators. Each week we’ll focus on different themes that bring student interests to the fore. Come back every week for a fresh perspective on the works on view in our galleries. Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on weekly topics. All programs are free and open to the public!

Wed, Feb 20, 2019

Stephen Vitiello performing at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. (Photo: Anna Lee Campbell)

Artist Talk with Stephen Vitiello

"Listening, Hearing and the Human" is a course taught by Associate Professor of Music Jeffers Engelhardt and Associate Professor of Music Darryl Harper that asks us to think about listening and hearing as culturally specific practices that are guided by particular histories, identities, technologies and other factors. All are invited to a talk by sound artist Stephen Vitiello, followed by a discussion led by Professors Engelhardt and Harper. This program is made possible with support from Amherst College Departments of Anthropology and Sociology and Music as well as Arts at Amherst.

This event is free and open to all.

Thu, Feb 21, 2019

A picture of Nate Chinen

"Change of the Guard": A Talk by Jazz Critic Nate Chinen

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

The story of jazz has often been upheld in terms of cultural triumph, as a transcendent response to African-American struggle. Jazz is also presented as a story of succession, a chain of creative genius passing from one "Great Man" to the next. These are persuasive frameworks that define the artform by a canon and a fixed set of values, inscribing a kind of perimeter.

In this multimedia presentation, which draws from the first chapter of Playing Changes: Jazz For the New Century (Pantheon, 2018), Chinen will address the rise of a conservation agenda in the jazz culture of the 1970s and '80s, and the stubbornly powerful trope of a jazz messiah, which now exists in a different form.

Nate Chinen was born in Honolulu, to a musical family: he grew up around the local Musicians Union, as his parents were popular nightclub entertainers. He began writing about jazz in 1996 for the Philadelphia City Paper, and has now authored content for several national music publications, including DownBeat, Blender and Vibe. Chinen spent about 12 years working as a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times and wrote monthly columns for JazzTimes. He is a 10-time winner of the Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association. The same organization presented him with its award for Best Book About Jazz, for his work on Myself Among Others, the autobiography of impresario George Wein. Chinen is currently working as director of editorial content at WBGO, while still closely engaging with programs like Jazz Night in America, The Checkout and a range of jazz programming on NPR.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music, the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst. This event is free and open to the public.

For more music department events, see our department calendar at https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/events.

Photo by Michael Lionstar

Camille Brown performance

Five College Dance: "SPRING"

Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.

The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.

Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or fcddance.reservations@gmail.com

French Film: "Les Petits Mouchoirs" (2010)

"Every year, Max, a successful restaurant owner, and Véro, his eco-friendly wife, invite a merry group of friends to their beautiful beach house to celebrate Antoine's birthday and kick-start the vacation. But, this year, before they all leave Paris, their buddy Ludo is hurt in a serious accident, which sets off a dramatic chain of reactions and emotional responses. The eagerly anticipated vacation leads each of the protagonists to raise the little veils that for years they have draped over what bothers and upsets them. Pretenses become increasingly hard to keep up. Until the moment when the truth finally catches up with them all..."

Fri, Feb 22, 2019

Congolese basket with lid made by the Kongo people, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire).

"On Appreciating and Understanding African Art" with Nichole Bridges '97 and Rowland Abiodun

Nichole Bridges, class of 1997, is the associate curator for African art and the associate curator overseeing the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Saint Louis Art Museum. All are invited to a conversation with Bridges and Rowland Abiodun, the John C. Newton Professor of the History of Art and Black Studies at Amherst College.

Free and open to all!

HLW Poster, image description: sepia photo of two people looking at each other, background in different blues, with text in yellow, blues and red orange.

HLW: Tell em how you survived

An open space for expression, articulation, resistance and gathering that centers healing, affirmation, resilience, and magnificence of/found in our complicated interwoven selves, this space aims to center all folks who hold marginalized identities. All forms of performance/art/expression welcomed.

Sign-up ahead of time is strongly encouraged. To do so, please contact Jxhn T. Martin, at jsmartin@amherst.edu with a brief description or draft of what you intend to perform or submit by the end of the day on Thursday, February 21. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out.

Camille Brown performance

Five College Dance: "SPRING"

Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.

The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.

Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or fcddance.reservations@gmail.com

Event poster showing the face of Nicole Mitchell

M@A Parallels Series Presents Nicole Mitchell: “Mandorla Awakening II”

With her Black Earth Ensemble, Mitchell uses science fiction to address the question: “What would a world look like that is truly egalitarian, with advanced technology that is in tune with nature?”

Tickets are required and are available at amherst.universitytickets.com or the Concert Office at (413) 542-2195.

Single ticket prices:
General Public: $18
Senior Citizens (65+) and Amherst College Employees: $12
Students, with valid ID: $10
AC student rush one hour before each concert: FREE

Recorded in May 2015 at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Mandorla features Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble with new collaborators Tatsu Aoki (bass, shamisen, taiko) and Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi). Also in the mix is Chicago artist, scholar and poet Avery R. Young, who brings the composers’ lyrics to life with visceral humanity; and longtime collaborators Tomeka Reid (cello, banjo), Alex Wing (electric guitar, out, theremin), Mazz Swift (violin) and Jovia Armstrong (percussion).

Mandorla Awakening II explores what Mitchell describes as a “collision of duality,” urban vs. country, hegemonic vs. vulnerable, acoustic vs. electric, with the dialogue of contrasting musical languages: Japanese, African-American gospel, R&B, jazz. The work chronicles the journey of a couple as they find themselves navigating between two civilizations: the World Union, a crumbling society rampant with disease and inequality, and Mandorla, a utopia where spirituality, technology and nature coexist harmoniously. Mandorla Awakening was included among the top 10 jazz albums for 2017 by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR and Wire (UK).

Nicole M. Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having repeatedly been named “Top Flutist of the Year” by DownBeat magazine's critics poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010–17). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late ’90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African-American culture.

“One of the most exciting jazz soloists and composers in the world” –Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Tickets Required

Sat, Feb 23, 2019

Students looking at art at the Mead

Close Looks at the Mead

Stop by the Mead to find new connections among works on view with student museum educators. Each week we’ll focus on different themes that bring student interests to the fore. Come back every week for a fresh perspective on the works on view in our galleries. Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on weekly topics. All programs are free and open to the public!

Camille Brown performance

Five College Dance: "SPRING"

Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.

The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.

Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or fcddance.reservations@gmail.com

Sun, Feb 24, 2019

Black Art at Amherst Matters

Black Art Matters Festival

Join the MRC and the Mead as we conclude Black History Month with the Black Art Matters Festival, a visual art exhibition and performance showcase highlighting the work and artistic talent of Black student artists across the Five Colleges. Sunday February 24 at the Mead. The exhibition opens at 7 p.m., with live performances starting at 8 p.m.

Wed, Feb 27, 2019

Blackalicious Poster

Blackalicious Performance and Q&A

Come see hip-hop group Blackalicious perform and get a chance to ask them about their music and career. Acclaimed for the sublime combination of rapper Gab's verbal dexterity and lyrical eloquence and producer X's bracing beats and distinctive soundscapes, Blackalicious has earned widespread respect, both inside and outside of the hip-hop community, for the wildly inventive, personally charged innovations of its first three albums, 1999's Nia, 2002's Blazing Arrow and 2005's The Craft.

Amherst Poetry Slam

Spoken Word Slam by Amherst Students

As part of LitFest 2019, Daniel Gallant, a playwright and executive director of New York’s famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, hosts a spoken word slam for Amherst College students. All students are invited to attend. Keep an eye out for sign-up information.

The LitFest 2019 schedule has additional event information and biographies of each guest.

LitFest Poetry Slam

LitFest Poetry Slam

Hosted by David Gallant of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City. First place winner will receive a trip to NYC and a guest of honor appearance at the Nuyorican. Second place wins an iPad, and third place will get a free writing session at the Emily Dickinson House. Email studentactivities@amherst.edu to sign up.

Students Only

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Screenshot of the shoulders and head of a green-haired young woman wearing a striped shirt and stocking cap

Russian Film Screening: Mermaid (РУСАЛКА)

4:30 pm Keefe Campus Center, Theater (Room 008)

The Department of Russian presents Mermaid (РУСАЛКА), a 2007 film directed by Anna Melikyan.

Synopsis: A green-haired girl's family is forced to move from their rural home to Moscow. Once there, the quirky, introverted girl comes of age while clashing with the trappings of the big city.

This movie is in Russian with English subtitles and will be screened at 4 and 7:30 p.m. The runtime is 115 minutes.

Image: Sol Lewitt, Nine Part Modular Cube, sculpture. 1978.

"Symmetry in Art & Science"

All are invited to the Mead for a talk on symmetry with Amherst College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chris Durr. Join us to learn more about a chemist’s perspective on symmetry, structure and time. Attendees will walk away with a greater understanding of how scientific principles play out visually in our galleries.

Free and open to all!

National Book Awards on Campus: A Conversation with Jamel Brinkley and Brandon Hobson

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2019, author and WNYC editor Rebecca Carroll hosts a conversation with two 2018 finalists for the National Book Award for Fiction: Jamel Brinkley (A Lucky Man: Stories) and Brandon Hobson (Where the Dead Sit Talking). This event is part of the National Book Awards on Campus program, hosted in partnership with The Common and the National Book Foundation, and will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. It is free and open to the public.

The LitFest 2019 schedule has additional event information and biographies of each guest.

*Please note: The venue for this event is Johnson Chapel, which seats 600 people. We recommend arriving early to get a seat.