Music without borders: Tiny Glass Tavern mixes many genres with lots of joy for Nov. 1 performance at Edwards Church

Members of Tiny Glass Tavern take a bow.

Members of Tiny Glass Tavern take a bow. PHOTO BY CATERINA KENWORTHY

Tiny Glass Tavern’s upcoming show at the Edwards Church in Northampton, which will take place Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., is the fourth that the ensemble has toured. It will consist of 10 musicians and is the biggest project they have undertaken to date.

Tiny Glass Tavern’s upcoming show at the Edwards Church in Northampton, which will take place Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., is the fourth that the ensemble has toured. It will consist of 10 musicians and is the biggest project they have undertaken to date. PHOTO BY CATERINA KENWORTHY

Sophie Michaux, artistic director of Tiny Glass Tavern, lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps.

Sophie Michaux, artistic director of Tiny Glass Tavern, lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps. PHOTO BY ANJA SCHUTZ

The Tiny Glass Tavern show on Nov. 1 will include a variety of talented musicians from across the northeast playing as a string quartet, and will also include instruments such as harpsichord, piano, theorbo (a long-necked loot) and more.

The Tiny Glass Tavern show on Nov. 1 will include a variety of talented musicians from across the northeast playing as a string quartet, and will also include instruments such as harpsichord, piano, theorbo (a long-necked loot) and more. PHOTO BY CATERINA KENWORTHY

Led by Artistic Director Sophie Michaux, who lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps, the music ensemble Tiny Glass Tavern combines a variety of genres to create something truly unique.

Led by Artistic Director Sophie Michaux, who lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps, the music ensemble Tiny Glass Tavern combines a variety of genres to create something truly unique. PHOTO BY CATERINA KENWORTHY

Sophie Michaux, artistic director of Tiny Glass Tavern, lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps.

Sophie Michaux, artistic director of Tiny Glass Tavern, lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps. PHOTO BY ANJA SCHUTZ

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 10-26-2023 2:50 PM

No two shows of the Tiny Glass Tavern sound the same. 

Led by Artistic Director Sophie Michaux, who lives in Conway but was born in London and raised in the French alps, the music ensemble Tiny Glass Tavern combines a variety of genres to create something truly unique.

Their upcoming show at the Edwards Church in Northampton, which will take place Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., is the fourth that the ensemble has toured. It will consist of 10 musicians and is the biggest project they have undertaken to date. It will include a variety of talented musicians from across the northeast playing as a string quartet, and will also include instruments such as harpsichord, piano, theorbo (a long-necked loot) and more. 

Michaux explained she was inspired by this project from a show she performed with the group Northern Harmony (affiliated with Village Harmony), a choral group focusing on traditional polyphonic singing styles from around the world.

Each project Tiny Glass Tavern takes on plays to the strengths and specialized skills of the musicians. Their show on Nov. 1 will feature “17th century horn pipes, jazz manouche, Art Song inspired by American and Spanish popular music, Brazilian sambas, French chansons, Klezmer ... and more,” according to the band’s website.

“I want to create a space where I can do all these styles of music that I love independently from what anyone thinks should and shouldn’t go together,” Michaux says.

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Michaux explained that for a long time in her career she would keep all the different types of music she played separate. She feared that if folk musicians knew she played classical they would think she wasn’t cool, and if classical musicians knew she played folk they would think she wasn’t serious. She said she is over that fear and plays these types of music together so others can experience all the beauty.

The band’s name conjures the image of people coming together and trying different drinks in small sips. “Having a sip in small vessels makes them appreciate it more,” Michaux said.

“Good music is good music for any reason. When it is really well done and it has a lot of spirit and joy it can be anyone’s,” Michaux said.

Michaux said it is critical to think of music and dance together. She said while dancing is not required to enjoy the performance on Nov. 1, she would be delighted if people felt moved to dance.

“I’ve danced to every one of these pieces” Michaux said. There will also be audience sing-along opportunities throughout the concert.

Michaux says that she loves performing locally because of the open-mindedness of people in western Massachusetts.

“People in New England are excited about this kind of mix,” she said. “To feel the joy in all this music no matter what style it is in, I wish that for everyone.”

Information about the show can be found on the band’s website: tinyglasstavern.com.