WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS at the

PORTER-PHELPS-HUNTINGTON MUSEUM CONTINUES WITH

The AFRO-SEMITIC EXPERIENCE

JUNE 19, 2019

Afro-Semitic Experience.jpg

HADLEY—The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues the 38th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions on Wednesday, June 19th with the return of the Afro-Semitic Experience, a group dedicated to preserving, promoting and expanding the cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African diaspora. Comprised of African-American and Jewish-American musicians, their performance creates an artistic response to anti-Semitism and racism of all forms. This and all other performances are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley MA 01035.  Admission is $12, $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museums grounds starting at 5:00 pm. The museum and its grounds are a smoke-free site. For further information please call (413) 5844699 or view www.pphmuseum.org .  

The Afro-Semitic Experience and their eclectic blend of spiritual, world-beat, funk, jazz, cantorial, gospel, salsa, swing, and soul, are “redefining the jazz concert.” Nat Hentoff, of The Wall Street Journal, writes, “Never before have I heard this lyrically powerful a fusion of Jewish and jazz souls on fire.” During their concerts they play great music, tell stories, and offer a positive and meaningful message: Unity in the Community. They weave stories and music together as they celebrate and explain the Jewish and African-American sacred traditions

Originating from an interfaith Martin Luther King memorial service in 1988, co-founders  African-American jazz pianist Warren Byrd, and Jewish-American jazz bassist David Chevan established a mission to celebrate the distinct cultures and heritages of the members of the group.  Over the years the band has worked with outstanding artists from the jazz and klezmer worlds including Frank London and Matt Darriau of the Klezmatics. The group has performed at festivals and major venues in the United States and Europe. Some of the more well known venues and festivals include: the Amsterdam Festival of Jewish Music, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Detroit Festival of Jewish Music, The Greater Hartford Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, The New York Noise Festival, the Charles Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit, New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, and the Paris Festival of Jewish Culture.

This year, the performance falls on Juneteenth which celebrates the end of slavery and of the Civil War. Juneteenth derives its significance from the arrival of Union soldiers to Galveston Texas on June 19th 1865, who brought with them news of Emancipation. Today, Juneteenth is a festival of freedom, community, and the struggle for equality. The Afro-Semitic Experience commemorates the legacy of Juneteenth with their message of cross-cultural unity through music.

To visit the Afro-Semitic Experience’s website, click here.

Wednesday Folk Traditions continues on June 26th with Fusion Nomads, featuring John Sheldon, Derrik Jordan, Tony Vacca and Jo Sallins. Fusion Nomads invite you on a fusion journey exploring musical histories and inspirations from their travels around the world. These four veteran musicians cover everything from Pop Music to the Avant-Garde, from Electro- Funkadelic to Spirit-Guided Improv, from Western Classical to Spoken Word, and from Old School to Nu School to No-Schooling-What-So-Ever.

The Porter-Phelps Huntington Museum’s 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; the Amherst and Hadley Cultural Councils, local agencies, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; Massachusetts Cultural Council Festivals Program, Easthampton Savings Bank, Eversource Energy, Gage-Wiley & Co., and with generous support from many local businesses.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is located at 130 River Drive (Route 47) in Hadley, two miles north of the junction of Routes 9 and 47. The Museum is open for guided tours Saturday through Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The house, which remains unchanged since the family’s occupancy, tells the story of six generations of prominent Hadley residents. The family, prosperous traders turned farmers, fought in both the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, rose to prominence in local government, and embodied a consistently progressive social consciousness. Tours highlight both local and regional narratives, from architecture, material culture, and labor, to early-American theology, economics, women’s history and social movements. For further information about tours or other programs, please call the Museum at (413) 584-4699 or visit our website at http://www.pphmuseum.org .