Folk Tradition music series returns to Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum 

  • The Afro-Semitic Experience plays at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley on June 19 at 6:30 p.m. Photo by CJDeutsch

Staff Writer
Published: 6/12/2019 8:25:12 PM

For nearly 40 summers, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley has opened its doors not just to local history buffs but to music fans — and 2019 is no exception.

Folk Traditions, which began in the early 1980s, features outdoor summer concerts on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. that explore folk and traditional music from different cultures.

Next Wednesday, June 19, the series continues with The Afro-Semitic Experience, a group of African-American and Jewish-American musicians that is “dedicated to preserving, promoting and expanding the cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African diaspora,” according to press notes.

The group, which blends spiritual, funk, jazz, salsa, swing and other sounds, was formed in 1998 by African-American jazz pianist Warren Byrd and Jewish-American jazz bassist David Chevan and has since performed across the U.S. and abroad.

Next Wednesday’s performance, fittingly enough, falls on Juneteenth, the day that officially recognizes the end of slavery, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 and brought news of the emancipation of slaves and the end of the Civil War. 

Folk Traditions continues June 26 with a performance by Fusion Nomads, a local supergroup that includes guitarist John Sheldon and percussionist Tony Vacca and plays a wide variety of music reflecting the players’ inspiration from traveling to different parts of the world.

Additional shows in the series, which continues through July 24, include world music, rock/reggae and folk.

In addition, on Saturday afternoons at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., July though August, visitors to the Hadley museum can hear a range of sounds — jazz, blues, folk, a capella — from small ensembles or solo artists during the “Perfect Spot of Tea” shows, which take place on the museum’s back veranda. Along with the music, tea and pastries are part of the $12 package.

Folk Traditions shows take place in the sunken garden at Porter-Phelps, at 130 River Drive in Hadley. Admission is $12, $2 for children, and picnickers are welcome starting at 5 p.m. Smoke-free environment. For more information on this and the “Perfect Spot of Tea” events, call (413) 584-4699 or visit 


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