---- — Gin Mill Julep will perform the first concert of the year at the Cat in the Cradle Coffeehouse on Saturday. The Portland, Maine-based group entertains audiences with a mix of American and Finn dance music, jazz, swing and country.
The band includes: Greg Bjork on mandolin, Paul Mattor on upright bass, Ann Murray on accordion, Erik Neilson on guitar, Michelle Leier on violin and Joe Walters on clarinet.
On their website, they describe their genre as “Old European melodies, Prohibition-era pop songs, silly ditties and barnyard hijinx.”
Local musician Greta Schaefer will open for the band. The Cat in the Cradle Coffeehouse is hosted by the Byfield Community Arts Center, 7 Central St., Byfield. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. The Cat Cafe serves beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks throughout the evening.
Pyche’s photos hang
at Merrimac cafe
Local artist Mary Pyche is hanging a new exhibit of her paintings of Merrimac called “Our Towne.” The free show features several of Pyche’s oil paintings of local landmarks and scenery. It runs through Feb. 11 and will hang at Rhythm Cafe, 12 School St., Merrimac. The public can meet with Pyche during a reception on Saturday at 2 p.m.
To create the show, Pyche used a collection of photos taken during her morning walks on Bear Hill Road.
Photography exhibit at Joppa Flats Education Center
The Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Joppa Flats Education Center will host an exhibit of nature photographs by Newburyport Art Association members Linda Dahlberg and Beth Reiter Blanchard. The show, “Take Another Look,” will run in the center’s Juliet Kellogg French Room through Feb. 24.
The public is invited to meet the two artists during a free opening reception at the center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike in Newburyport on Sunday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. A portion of all sales made during the exhibit are given to Joppa Flats.
The natural history education center is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 978-462-9998 for more information.
‘Half the Sky’ presentation next week
The First Religious Society will sponsor a presentation of the “Half the Sky” Movement on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The evening’s presentation will examine gender inequity and the book, “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Meg Ryan which details some of these cases.
Kristof and Ryan also turned the stories in their book into a PBS series.
The First Religious Society is located at 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport. The discussion will occur in the Lower Meetinghouse. It is free to attend.
‘Paint and Sip’ at Flatbread
Budding artists and more seasoned painters can practice their artistic skills at a Paint and Sip party at Flatbread Co. in Amesbury on Wednesday.
Jennifer Clement, the owner of The Artist Bar, will bring her traveling cocktail party to the restaurant beginning at 7 p.m. For 2 1/2 hours, participants will sit at an easel, equipped with art supplies, and listen as Clement, an artist, gives them a lesson in their own section of the restaurant. The $45 fee includes all painting supplies. Experience is not necessary.
To reserve a seat, visit www.theartistbar.com. Guests should arrive a little early to have time to get settled before the class begins.
Thornton to speak at Emma Andrews Library
Author Evelyn Thornton will visit the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport next week to read aloud from and discuss her book, “To Walk with My Brother,” a memoir detailing her special relationship with her younger brother, Wayne. In 1953, 6-year-old Wayne became a paraplegic — and in an era long before the Americans with Disabilities Act — “an involuntary but willing pioneer in changing our expectations and perceptions of the physically disabled.”
Thornton, who lives in Hampton, N.H., wrote the book as a tribute to her late brother — who led a full and active life, graduating from college and pursuing a career as an accountant — while also highlighting the supportive spirit of a small town community.
The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Light refreshments will be served. The program is free to attend, but registration is suggested. The library is located at 77 Purchase St., Newburyport.
First Religious choir looking for singers
The First Religious Society in Newburyport is beginning its new season of music shortly, and is looking for new singers to join the group.
The choir sings in a variety of styles and pieces from numerous faith traditions. Rehearsals are held every Thursday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m. The Choir Room is upstairs in the sanctuary behind the organ.
For more information, email the church’s music director Jay Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historical Society accepting consignments
The Historical Society of Old Newbury is accepting consignments for March’s ’Bury Treasures Auction now through Feb. 1.
The society is seeking a range of items, such as paintings, prints, vintage items, jewelry, toys, mirrors, furniture, china, candlesticks, marine-related items, silver, tools, ceramics, pottery and Newburyport-area related items. Call the Historical Society at 978-462-2681 to schedule a consultation with curator Jay Williamson.
The auction is set for Saturday, March 9, at the Masonic Hall in Newburyport.
‘Lobby for the Arts’ reception for OpArt
The Provident Bank in Newburyport will host an artists’ reception on Thursday, Jan. 24, for the new exhibit in the “Lobby for the Arts” program. This month, the Storey Avenue branch is featuring the works of the artists in OpArt, a program run by the Newburyport Art Association and Opportunity Works. Through the program, instructors from the Art Association teach participating artists from Opportunity Works how to professionally create, exhibit and market their artwork.
“Fresh Paint: An OpArt Exhibit” will run through Feb. 24. The artists will be at the bank on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to meet with the public.
Baseball dinner and silent auction Jan. 25
The Seacoast Mavericks are holding the Inaugural Seacoast Mavericks’ Hot Stove Baseball Dinner and Silent Auction later this month.
The Jan. 25 event will be headlined by Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Durham, N.H., native and Tampa Bay outfielder Sam Fuld at the Residence Inn’s Harbor Events Center in Portsmouth, N.H. The evening begins at 6 p.m. Proceeds will help offset the costs of operations for the not-for-profit Seacoast Mavericks collegiate baseball team.
Tickets are $80. For more information, visit http://seacoastmavericks.com.
‘Shakespeare’s Will’ plays at local theater
The Merrimack Repertory Theatre is hosting a production of “Shakespeare’s Will” by playwright Vern Thiessen this month.
Directed by Miles Potter, it stars Seana McKenna, lead actress of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
Charles Towers, the artistic director at the Merrimack Repertory Theater, called McKenna one of his favorite actresses.
“She’s generally considered to be one of the finest stage actors in North America,” he said in a statement. “Although I am not the director of ‘Shakespeare’s Will,’ I have directed her in four productions over the years and each time her talent has taken my breath away. The last time was David Mamet’s ‘Boston Marriage’ here at MRT. This is a rare opportunity to see Seana in the U.S. (she’s a leading company member of the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival) and especially rare to see her command the stage in a one-woman show.”
“Shakespeare’s Will” opens today and runs through Feb. 3. Tickets begin at $20 and are on sale at www.MRT.org or by calling 978-654-4678.
Steel drum concert coming up
Students at Zach Field Drum Studios will hold a steel drum and percussion ensemble concert on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 3 p.m. at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield.
The steel drum bands range in age from elementary through high school, and students will perform a mix of traditional calypso, contemporary calypso, pop, reggae and a few original compositions. Making their debut will be the Suite Jams project, a collaboration of students from Zach Field Drum Studios and The Musical Suite, which is also located in the Tannery Marketplace in Newburyport
Tickets are $5. Students age 8 and younger are free. For more information, visit www.zachfielddrumstudios.com or call 978-462-1100.
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