Wednesday Folk Traditions at the PPH Museum Presents: Evelyn Harris with Giving Voice!
June 14 @ 6:30 PM EDTCost: $2 – $16
The Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series at The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum kicks off its 42nd season on June 14th at 6:30 pm with Evelyn Harris and Giving Voice in our 11th annual Horace Clarence Boyer Memorial Gospel Performance. Evelyn Harris, the powerhouse vocalist whose remarkable instrument creates stirring interpretations of the traditional African-American spiritual canon, joins with Mary Witt and Ellen Cogen in Giving Voice. Harris performs as lead vocalist, Cogen performs vocals and piano, and Witt specializes in harmony. The concert will be held on the grounds of the museum at 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley MA 01035. Admission is $12, $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum’s grounds starting at 5:00 pm. The museum and its grounds are a smoke-free site. For further information please call (413) 584-4699 or view www.pphmuseum.org.
A former member of the internationally acclaimed Black women’s acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, Evelyn Harris has traveled the world as a performer, recorded over ten albums, and received a Grammy nomination for one of her compositions entitled “State of Emergency.” Following her retirement from Sweet Honey in the Rock, Harris relocated to western Massachusetts and established herself as a solo artist, teacher, performer, lecturer, stage director and mentor. Her celebrated collaborations fuse varied instruments, vocalists and musical genres. Currently, she is lead vocalist in the blues band StompBoxTrio.
Ellen Cogen began her musical life performing in orchestras and chamber ensembles as a professional accompanist from her early teens. She studied voice and music theory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and earned her Masters of Music in Voice Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She has recorded jazz originals and arrangements in other styles. Ellen is currently Associate Professor of Music at Holyoke Community College, Visiting Lecturer of Voice at Westfield State College, and organist and choir director at the Unitarian Universalists of Northampton and Florence, Massachusetts.
Mary Witt grew up in North Carolina, studying classical piano and french horn. She became an accomplished harmony singer performing duets with her older sister and in the Southern Baptist Church choir in their little town, gradually expanding into folk, rock ‘n’ roll, spirituals and gospel. Mary is the lead singer and bass player in her swing and soul band, The O-Tones. She has also recorded “Groove Duets,” a collaboration with a dozen singers creating duets of popular tunes, and recorded “Fearless, Celebrating Women Singers” with Annie Patterson.
This annual memorial performance commemorates the life and work of the late Horace Clarence Boyer, a beloved and internationally acclaimed musician and scholar of gospel music. Dr. Boyer, who for 25 years presented an annual gospel performance at the museum, was a pivotal member of the Pioneer Valley musical community, a long-time professor at UMass, and minister of music at the Goodwin Memorial African Methodist Episcopalian Church. Boyer often performed with the groups he introduced, and he cited as part of his mission nurturing Gospel here in the Valley and throughout the world. The museum aims to further that goal with this memorial series, continuing the tradition he supported and preserving his legacy.
Wednesday Folk Traditions continues on June 21st with ReBelle. The multi-talented musical force consists of musicians, composers, and activists Manou Africa and Kalpana Devi. Conceived in love, rebellion and the musical vigor of collaborators Manou Africa and Kalpana Devi, ReBelle demonstrates musicianship and vocals that are powerful, vital, and contemporary. Kalpana and Manou are musicians, composers, activists, parents, and upholders of love and justice.
A PROGRAM NOTE CHANGE: The July 5th WFT performance will now present:
The Wholesale Klezmer Band, a New England treasure, will present “Jewish Life in Song,” including a mix of Yiddish songs of tradition and social justice, Ashkenazic Jewish prayer melodies, and instrumental music to meditate and dance to. “Music to bridge the gulf of war.” -Amherst Bulletin
Wednesday Folk Traditions is funded, in part, by grants from: the Marion I. And Otto C. Kohler Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, through its Festivals and Programs Grants; the Amherst and Hadley Cultural Councils, local agencies funded by Massachusetts Cultural Council; Robinson and Cole; Easthampton Savings Bank; Gage-Wiley and Company, and with generous support from many local businesses.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is located at 130 River Drive, Hadley MA on Route 47 just two miles north of the junction of Routes 9 and 47 North in Hadley. For information concerning tours or special events, phone (413) 584-4699 or check the museum website: www.pphmuseum.org
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation acknowledges that it occupies the unceded lands of the Nonotuck people. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House was built in 1752 by Moses and Elizabeth Porter and was central to the 600-acre farmstead known as “Forty Acres.” The Museum portrays the activities of an 18th-century household including numerous artisans, servants, and enslaved people who made “Forty Acres” an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks. In the 19th century the house evolved into a rural retreat for family and in the mid-20th century became an early example of historic preservation. The museum is listed on the National Historic Register and contains a collection of the belongings of seven generations of one extended Hadley family. Open June 3rd through October 15, Saturday through Wednesday. For more information check out our website at: www.pphmuseum.org or call the museum at (413) 584-4699.