THE SIXTY-NINTH OPENING OF THE PORTER-PHELPS-HUNTINGTON MUSEUM

            The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museuman historic house museum dating to 1752 in Hadley, Massachusetts opens Saturday May 19, 2018 for its 69th season. Guided tours will be available Saturday through Wednesday from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. The museum is closed on Thursdays and Fridays. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.

            The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today interprets life in rural New England over three centuries.  Through the words, spaces and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants and slaves made Forty Acres an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks.  Through the 19th century the generations transformed the estate into a rural retreat. In the 20th-century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family.

            The rooms in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum remain as they were arranged by members of the family to accommodate the procession of relatives, neighbors, community leaders and workers who crossed the house’s threshold.  From farmers and businessmen, to religious leaders and social workers, to servants and slaves, the stories of many men, women, and children spanning 250 years of American History are told  within the house. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

             Programs this summer include the thirty-seventh season of WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS, featuring some of New England's finest ethnic folk music performers and ensembles. Performances will be held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 P.M starting June 13 with Grammy nominated Senagalese Master Kora player Youssoupha Sidibe who performs ancient African Harp styles blended with Sufi devotional chanting and western music to create a unique musical expression that he has shared around the world.  The WFT series continues with weekly performances through July 25. 

             "A PERFECT SPOT OF TEA" will be held each Saturday in July and August with seating at 2:30 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. on the museum's back veranda.  Local musicians will perform while guests sip tea and taste pastries donated by local restaurants.

             Special exhibits in the Corn Barn this summer will include a solo exhibition of paintings entitled Massachusetts by award winning artist Philip Grant.  Described as a visual autobiography, the portraits and scenes feature neighbors and places around Grant’s home in Hampden. Grant paints in oil on linen laminated panels or stretched canvas using traditional methods combined with modern realist techniques. This series of images reflect influences from Andrew Wyeth to the Dutch Masters.  The exhibition will be on view June 1 to July 24.

          The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is also the designated Way-Point Center for the National Connecticut River Scenic Byway. The Museum hosts a panel exhibit on the natural history of the Valley, the Museum’s history, and sites along the by-way for travelers. A newly created trail system begins at the Museum, traverses the farm fields along the river and continues along the old buggy path to the top of Mount Warner where the family grazed their cattle in the 18th century.

Next Week: A Perfect Spot of Tea with A. Burris Jenkins

On Saturday, August 26 "A Perfect Spot of Tea" will continue featuring a performance by A. Burris Jenkins. Jenkins will premier some of his most recent compositions of famous classical pieces re-imagined in a jazz style.

Admission is $12 per person, and there are seatings at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Reservations will not be taken in advance. Tours will be given for an additional fee every hour on the half hour; at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30.

 

Next Week: A Perfect Spot of Tea continues with The West County Jazz Trio

On Saturday, August 19th "A Perfect Spot of Tea" will continue with a performance by The West County Jazz Trio. The group plays mostly mainstream jazz music including some originals and with an occasional foray into standards and jazz Latin tunes. The group includes Judith Williams who comes from Greenfield, plays keyboards and sings on occasion; Tony Rice, who focuses the beat with his drums, and lives in Conway; and Tom Ulrich who plays double bass and comes from Ashfield.  The trio has been together for five or six years as part of a quintet and other formats, and play here and there around Franklin County and beyond in a variety of settings and functions. 

Admission is $12 per person, and there are seatings at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Reservations will not be taken in advance. Tours will be given for an additional fee every hour on the half hour; at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30.

Next Week: A Perfect Spot of Tea featuring The Blackbird Effect

On August 12th, 2017 the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum's "A Perfect Spot of Tea" will continue featuring a performance by The Blackbird Effect. John Cabán and Pan Morgan play bent blues, greenjazz, in addition to other genres.  With deep roots in more than one America, The Blackbird Effect presents an exciting, improvisational blend of musical colors in more than one language. John Cabán plays steel guitar and atmosphere, and also sings. Pan Morigan brings vocals, banjo, hunter’s harp, viola, and various other instruments. Together they create new music and interpret the old, drawing on a deep wellspring of multi-roots: From Appalachian folk, blues, and jazz, to Scottish music, Irish balladry, and Puerto Rican rural song tradition.

Seatings are held at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is $12.

Next Week: A Perfect Spot of Tea featuring 56 String Duo

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea.” Since the house’s construction in 1752, Hadley residents and other passers-by have visited the farmstead for good conversations, a beautiful view, lively music, and a beverage that, as original resident Elizabeth Porter Phelps once wrote, “cheers but not inebriates.” We are pleased to welcome Robert Markey and Andrew Jenkins’ 56 String Duo, a hybrid of classical guitar and traditional hindustani ragas, to perform for “A Perfect Spot of Tea” on August 5th. Seatings are held at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is $12.

Next Week: A Perfect Spot of Tea featuring West & Jackson

On Saturday July 29th "A Perfect Spot of Tea" will continue with a performance by West and Jackson. The group takes audiences on a melodious and stimulating turn through their songbook of instrumental jazz, pop, and original songs. Peter West has been performing at "A Perfect Spot of Tea" for over a decade. At his side is Bert Jackson, another highly skilled guitarist, with over 25 years of playing experience in blues, jazz, and other styles.

Admission is $12 per person, and there are seatings at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Reservations will not be taken in advance. Tours will be given for an additional fee every hour on the half hour; at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30.

Next Week: Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble performs at Wednesday Folk Traditions series

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On Wednesday, July 26th, the Wednesday Folk Tradition concludes its 36th season with a performance by Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble. The group will entertain with traditional and popular music of the Arab world.

The concert will begin at 6:30pm. Picknickers are welcome on the grounds beginning at 5:00pm. Admission is $1 for adults and $2 for children and under.

SUNDAY, JULY 30TH: THE PORTER PHELPS HUNTINGTON MUSEUM PRESENTS A VERY SPECIAL PERFORMANCE BY THE SOUTH HADLEY MANDOLIN ORCHESTRA

HADLEY, MA—The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum will present a performance by the South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm. The program will feature Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major, J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G Major, and the Summer suite, a series of trios by Phillip Tenta and Frenceso Barsanti. Admission to the concert is free, donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, click here.

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Next Week: Wednesday Folk Tradition featuring Zikina

On Wednesday, July 19th, Zikina will be performing at our Wednesday Folk Tradition series. Music lovers of all varieties will find something to enjoy in their performance. World music fans will be intrigued by rare instruments placed in a highly original context. Rock and funk fans will find some heavy head nodding grooves to soak in. Jazz lovers will appreciate the improvisational melodic interplay between Gideon Ampiere's instruments and Mike Cardozo's guitar.

The concert will begin at 6:30. Picnickers are welcomed on the grounds beginning at 5:00pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $2 for children 16 and under.

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Next Week: Wednesday Folk Traditions continues with the Eighth Annual Horacace Clarence Boyer Memorial Gospel Performance featuring the Amherst Area Gospel Choir

On Wednesday, July 12th, the Eighth Annual Horace Clarence Boyer Memorial Gospel featuring the Amherst Area Gospel Choir will continue our 36th Season of the Wednesday Folk Traditions.

The performance will continue Horace Clarence Boyer's tradition of bringing gospel to all. The choir performs songs inspired by slave spirituals, the African Diaspora, Tommy Dorsey's Big Band hits, Boyer's original music, and contemporary pieces.

The concert will begin at 6:30pm. Picnickers are welcome on the ground beginning at 5:00pm. Admission is $12 for adults and $2 for children 16 & under.

Hadley Community Day, 4th Of July

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington-Museum invites all residents of Hadley to a Community Day on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 from 10:00am to 3:30pm. All residents are welcome to the Museum for free tours on the half hour. Afterwards, guests can relax on the back veranda with complimentary lemonade and cookies. Members of the community are encouraged to explore the homestead and grounds of one of the founding families of Hadley, and learn about the history of the Connecticut River Valley.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum provides a detailed look at the role of one family in the span of over 200 years of history in the Connecticut Valley. The home, built in 1752, is preserved to its circa 1800 structure and interior décor. During a tour of the house, visitors witness the impact of historical events like the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, learn more about the changing role of women, and the impact of various theological movements on local society. A visit to the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House allows guests to experience the evolution of a nation as seen through the eyes of one local family.

Today, the house is not only host to historical interpretation, but also to weekly concerts and teas. Wednesday evenings from June 7th through July 26th, the Museum presents Wednesday Folk Traditions, an annual concert series featuring talented musicians working in a vast array of traditions, cultures, genres, and sounds, ranging from traditional American folk singers to diverse international ensembles. Every Saturday afternoon in July through August, the Museum hosts “A Perfect Spot of Tea,” where guests are invited to relax on the back porch, sample desserts and tea from local restaurants and bakeries, and listen to talented local musicians.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" With Honest Harmony

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea will kick off for the season at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series starts Saturday, July 1st with musical guests Honest Harmony.

Honest Harmony has been performing together for over a decade. The group’s a cappella performances explore a repertoire of small-ensemble singing from the 12th-20th centuries, often highlighting historical pieces and masterfully juxtaposing works of a single style, era, or composer. Their music brings audiences on “a musical journey through the last millennium.” The ensemble is comprised of soprano Barbara Matthews, alto Cindy Naughton, baritone Ijod Schroeder, and tenor John Vance.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

This Week: Youssoupha Sidibe & Charles Neville!

HADLEY, MA – The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues its 36th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series with a performance by Youssoupha Sidibe and Charles Neville on June 28, 2017. Neville, the legendary Grammy-winning saxophone virtuoso known as “The Horn Man,” joins Sidibe, the Grammy-nominated Senegalese Master Kora player, weaving jazz, reggae, and blues together with musical styles from New Orleans and West Africa. 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. General admission is $12, or $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds beginning at 5:00 pm. The Museum and its grounds are a smoke free site.

Youssoupha Sidibe is an accomplished Kora player who blends aspects of western music with reggae and West African harp styles. Sidibe’s musical career began 26 years ago in Senegal, where he trained as a Kora player at the National Music Conservatory of Senegal. The Kora is a traditional African instrument fashioned from a large gourd cut in half and covered with cow skin for resonance; it resembles a guitar in appearance, but sounds similar to a harp. Since his initial training on the Kora, Sidibe’s music has developed into a fusion of traditional West African sounds and the Sufi devotional chanting of the Senegalese Bay Faal community. His musical expression springs from his desire for the full realization of divine love in this world. His sacred and celebratory sound incorporates devotional lyrics sung in Arabic, French, English, and Wolof-- the most widely-spoken language in Senegal. An inspirational and prolific presence with thousands of fans across the globe, Sidibe has collaborated, performed and recorded with a plethora of extraordinary artists, including not only Charles Neville, but also India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the Chris Berry Trio, Shimshai, and others.

Influenced by his time living in New Orleans, New York, Memphis and Oregon, Charles Neville’s expert saxophone repertoire includes rhythm and blues, funk, jazz, be-bop, and popular music. Since the age of 15, Charles has showcased his musical skills in a diverse range of professional venues—from a traveling variety show to the house band of Derby, Connecticut’s renowned Dew Drop Inn. He has collaborated with his brothers Aaron, Art, and Cyril in many different iterations: performing in New York as the Soul Machine, playing Mardi Gras American Indian songs as the Wild Tchoupitoulas, and finally becoming “New Orleans’ First Family of Funk” as the Neville Brothers. Neville has played with some of the biggest musical names from New Orleans and beyond, including Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Huey “Piano” Smith, Ernie K. Doe, and B.B. King. His saxophone won him a Grammy in 1989 for his haunting rendition of “Healing Chant” on the Neville Brothers’ album Yellow Moon. Neville’s more recent albums include Safe in Buddha’s Palm (2001), a reflective, spiritual collection that pays homage to eastern philosophy; and Tree of Life (2010), Neville’s collaboration with Youssoupha Sidibe that echoes Black culture from ancient times through the present.

Wednesday Folk Traditions will continue on July 12, 2017 with the 7th Annual Horace Clarence Boyer Memorial Gospel Performanc featuring the Amherst Area Gospel Choir ho ontinue Boyer’s tradition of bringing gospel to all with a compilation of songs deriving from slave spirituals, African Diaspora, Tommy Dorsey’s Big Band hits, Boyer’s original music, and contemporary pieces. This is our 36th annual Gospel performance.

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; Eversource Energy, Easthampton Savings Bank, PeoplesBank, and Wal-Mart Foundation, and many additional local businesses.