Arts Briefs: Rising indie pop star Caroline Rose comes to Florence, UMass Amherst hosts a literary festival, and more

Rising indie pop star Caroline Rose will play songs from their newest album, “The Art of Forgetting,” April 2 and 3 at the Bombyx Center in Florence.

Rising indie pop star Caroline Rose will play songs from their newest album, “The Art of Forgetting,” April 2 and 3 at the Bombyx Center in Florence. COURTESY CAROLINE ROSE

Rising indie pop star Caroline Rose — this is the cover of their 2018 album, “Loner” — comes April 2 and 3 to the Bombyx Center in Florence, where they’ll also perform songs from their newest album, “The Art of Forgetting.” 

Rising indie pop star Caroline Rose — this is the cover of their 2018 album, “Loner” — comes April 2 and 3 to the Bombyx Center in Florence, where they’ll also perform songs from their newest album, “The Art of Forgetting.”  COURTESY CAROLINE ROSE

Amherst College composers, musicians and poets come together for a unique free show March 30 at the college.

Amherst College composers, musicians and poets come together for a unique free show March 30 at the college. Image from Amherst College website

Acclaimed novelist and non-fiction writer Susan Straight of California, a graduate of the UMass Amherst MFA Program for Poets & Writers, is one of the speakers at the university’s Juniper Literary Festival April 5-6.

Acclaimed novelist and non-fiction writer Susan Straight of California, a graduate of the UMass Amherst MFA Program for Poets & Writers, is one of the speakers at the university’s Juniper Literary Festival April 5-6. Photo by Felisha Carrasaco

Amherst College Associate Professor of Music Darryl Harper is part of the “Words and Music” showcase at the college March 30.

Amherst College Associate Professor of Music Darryl Harper is part of the “Words and Music” showcase at the college March 30. Image courtesy Amherst College

Amherst College Professor of Music Jason Robinson is part of the “Words and Music” showcase at the college March 30.

Amherst College Professor of Music Jason Robinson is part of the “Words and Music” showcase at the college March 30. Photo by Michael Klayman/courtesy Amherst College

Published: 03-28-2024 12:24 PM

Hot tickets at Bombyx

FLORENCE — Indie pop singer and songwriter Caroline Rose, who’s gained increased attention and acclaim from the national music press in the last several years, is coming to the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity for two shows, April 2 and 3, at 7 p.m.

Rose, whose most recent album, “The Art of Forgetting,” was nominated for a 2024 Grammy Award, began their career as a more conventional acoustic folk/Americana performer before crafting the 2018 album “Loner,” featuring pop and alternative rock elements as well as a memorable cover: Rose posed with their mouth crammed with about 16 cigarettes, a lighter in front of the cigs.

“Loner” picked up excellent reviews, giving Rose a bigger audience, one that’s grown with their 2020 album, “Superstar,” TV appearances and profiles in publications like the New York Times, and now the release of 2023’s “The Art of Forgetting,” which Rolling Stone calls Rose’s “most fascinating and forward-thinking song cycle to date … a moody collection of downcast orchestral pop.”

The Bombyx shows are the kick-off for Rose’s 2024 national tour to perform the songs from “The Art of Forgetting,” and they’ll be joined by Metropolis Ensemble, a professional chamber orchestra from New York City that performs with a variety of musicians.

Tickets and additional information can be found at bombyx.live.

 

Verse and melody, in an unusual combination

AMHERST — Poets and composers who teach at Amherst College are joining forces March 30 for a special program, “Words and Music: An Arts Faculty Showcase,” that will feature four musical premieres alongside three poetical readings, with two of the performances blending music and text.

The event, which is free and takes place at Buckley Recital Hall at 7 p.m., is part of the Arts@Amherst Initiative and features others performers from around New England. In addition, Amherst professors Kirun Kapur, Amy Dryansky and Dennis Sweeney will intersperse readings from their work with the musical selections.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Scott Brown: Road to ruin for Northampton schools
Around Amherst: High school sleuths point out $2M mistake in town budget
Mayor’s budget boosts schools 8.5%: Advocates protest coming job cuts as spending falls short of demands
Michigan man indicted on alleged $1M construction fraud of Northampton company
Fire at Rainbow Motel in Whately leaves 17 without a home
Rutherford Platt and Barbara Kirchner: ‘Magical thinking’ in downtown Northampton

Musical pieces include “Sonata 1 for Clarinet and Soprano Saxophone,” a performance by Amherst professors and reed players Darryl Harper and Carl Clements of Clements’ new composition, which was inspired by the duets of Yusef Lateef.

In addition, composer Ravi Krishnaswami’s “Collide-scope (Grief is not our only name)” features text by Meghana Mysore in an electronically-enhanced setting,  as well as live movement by Nicole Cox, all of Amherst College.

For more information, contact the Amherst College concert line at 413-542-2195 or email concerts@amherst.edu.

 

Celebrating 60 yearsof writing

AMHERST — The 2024 Juniper Literary Festival at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, on April 5-6, will recognize the 60th anniversary of the university’s MFA Program for Poets & Writers.

The event includes a number of readings — by alumni, students, and guest writers and editors — and different discussions, an open mic and two receptions.

Events April 5 will be held at Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall beginning at 2:30 p.m. The April 6 schedule begins at 1:30 p.m. at South College 3rd Floor Commons with an alumni luncheon and continues with additional events 3:30 p.m. in Herter Hall, 231.

Among the participants is California novelist Susan Straight, a 1984 graduate of the UMass MFA program whose books have won a number of awards and acclaim. She was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction for “Highway Moon,” and her most recent novel, “Mecca,” won the Southwest Book Prize for Fiction and was named a best book of the year by NPR.

Poet Sarah Ghazal Ali, another MFA graduate and festival speaker, has won a number of awards, including the 2022 Alice James Award, and has published her work in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Yale Review and several other forums.

All events at the Juniper Festival are free and open to the public.

 

New day for Art Walk

EASTHAMPTON — Beginning in May, the city’s monthly Art Walk will move from the second Thursday of each month to the first Saturday of the month, and the event will also take place slightly earlier in the day.

In announcing the decision, staff at Easthampton City Arts (ECA) said they’d made the change based on extensive feedback from residents and art venues themselves, through surveys, emails, and public meetings, which has helped gauge “what people enjoy, find challenging, and want to see changed.”

In addition, ECA says, the city has changed and grown since Art Walk began, which has also factored in to the switch of the event from Thursday to Saturday.

“[W]e recognize that no one single day of the month can meet each person’s preferences,” ECA said is a statement. But “we heard the community loud and clear that weekends are greatly preferred over weekday nights — and that earlier in the day would be helpful as well.”

Beginning May 4, Art Walk will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. The April Art Walk will still be held on Thursday, April 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.

 

A JEDI advisor forHappier Valley Comedy

HADLEY — No, she’s got nothing to do with “Star Wars.” But Angélica Canlas Castro, who has worked in theater, education and a few other fields, is now serving as a JEDI: a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion advisor for Happier Valley Comedy.

Castro, who also works in DEI (Diversity, Education, and Inclusion) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will be involved in helping expand the comedy ensemble’s efforts to engage BIPOC communities, building on initiatives HVC has already introduced, such as equity pricing.

“We’ve wanted a DEI expert on our board for a very long time,” Pam Victor, HVC’s president and founder, said in a statement. “But not just anybody. It always was Angélica.”

Castro has worked in theater in California, was an extra in a few Hollywood films, and has performed with HVC as part of the group’s “Scripted/Unscripted!” shows. In addition, she once was the youth director for the former New WORLD Theater at UMass Amherst.

In a statement, Castro said she’s been asked to serve on the boards of other organizations but declined the offers, feeling she was expected to create their DEI programs. But with HVC, she says she feels she’s part of an organization that’s already doing that work and has made her feel welcome.

“I have been part of this thriving and growing community for several years,” she said, “and have deeply appreciated the work that’s being done ... ensuring that everyone who enters HVC’s spaces feels accepted and included.”

— Compiled by Steve Pfarrer