The Juanito Pascual Quintet will perform at the Firehouse Center for the Arts tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Flamenco guitarist Jonathan "Juanito" Pascual leads the group. A native of Minnesota, he has won accolades as a respected new voice.

Pascual has been a featured artist in some well-known fine arts centers, clubs and festivals in the United States, including the renowned Tanglewood Jazz Festival, New York's 92nd St. Y, Blue Note Jazz Club, Boston's Jordan Hall and Regattabar, and countless colleges and performing arts centers.

Tickets are $24. They can be purchased in person at the box office through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. or by calling 978-462-7336 or online at

Author discusses book at Jabberwocky

Brendan DuBois will visit Jabberwocky Bookshop tonight at 7 to discuss his recent book, "Deadly Cove, a Lewis Cole Mystery," It is the seventh novel in the Lewis Cole mystery series.

A New Hampshire author, DuBois has received the Shamus and Barry Awards for his short fiction and has been short-listed for three Edgar Awards.

The discussion is free. Jabberwocky Bookshop is at The Tannery, 50 Water St., Newburyport. For more information, call 978-465-9359 or visit

Cancer survivor, author speaks in Port

Newburyport author and interfaith minister, the Rev. Denise DeSimone, will host a discussion and signing for her new memoir about her battle with cancer, "From Stage IV to Center Stage," tonight in Newburyport.

The book signing will be held at 7 at Jabberwocky Bookshop, 50 Water St., Newburyport.

"I am living proof that the unexpected can be achieved," DeSimone writes in her book. She was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer in August 2005 and given three months to live.

"Early on, I had to make a decision to either let myself die or go through the rigors of hell to stay alive. During this discernment process I often talked to God ... 'should you choose to keep me alive, please use my life in a big way to help inspire others.' There is no doubt that God was listening because on July 14th, 2007, just 22 months after my diagnosis, I sang the national anthem before 35,000 fans at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park."

In addition to being an author, DeSimone is also a motivational public speaker and workshop leader. She has a background in interfaith ministry and holistic healing practices. These practices include: sound healing, Reiki, polarity therapy, reflexology, shamanism and process therapy. She travels throughout the country speaking and teaching.

Artist visits Walsingham Gallery

Artist Maris Platais will offer a demonstration on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Walsingham Gallery, 47 Merrimac St., Newburyport. The talk is part of the gallery's Artist in Session series.

Platais was born in Latvia and has lived in New England since 1949. He is a nationally known marine and landscape artist and lives in Carlisle.

Describing his work, Platais said, "Simply put, I'm not trying to be political or say what is wrong with the world. As I see it, in a subtle way I am saying what is right with it. When I paint or draw a landscape, I am seeing a much more complex thing than just trees, streams, clouds, boats. I am seeing a harmony of colors, or place, of feeling, of atmosphere, and that is something I like to share with people."

The Artist in Session series runs from May to October.

Take a creative writing workshop

The First Religious Society is offering a four-week creative writing workshop on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the church, 26 Pleasant Street. There is no cost, but the class is limited to eight people.

The group is free and open to all levels of writers. The program will feature creative writing exercises and shared readings. Currently offered in four-week sessions throughout the year, the group experiments with, and focuses on, different writing genres.

To join the group's next session, send an email to

Artist of the Month Series at wildlife refuge

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is looking for artists to participate in their Artist of the Month series.

One local artist each month will display their work in the auditorium of the visitor center and can also sell their artwork.

The work will be available for viewing each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no cost to display the artwork. A portion of all artists' proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Parker River for programs and education.

Artists who are interested in taking part in the series should contact Jean Adams at 978-465-5753 or by email at, for more information.

Audition for Christmas play

The Union Congregational Church in Amesbury will hold auditions on Saturday for their Christmas production, "Dickens' Little Night Music."

The play's plot brings Charles Dickens to the 21st century "to bring glad tidings and wisdom to a lonely and forgotten recluse," according to the church. "He draws the audience into a mindful awareness of the forgotten message of Christmas and teaches, through his narrative, how people are faced with the same challenges throughout history."

The cast also includes a satirical trio, The Tree Wise and Crazy Men, to help the audience move from story to story.

Director Tom Whateley is holding open auditions for 10 adults and eight children. The auditions on Saturday will begin at 2 p.m. at the Union Congregational Church on Point Shore in Amesbury. The productions are set for Dec. 10 and 11.

Bring music or accompaniment to the audition.

Contact Rosemary Melanson Mijal at 978-388-7196 for more information.

TH/ink at the Bridge Gallery

Bridge Gallery artist Elaine Asplind Russell will hold a new quill pen-and-ink exhibit next month at the downtown gallery.

"TH/ink" will be on display through the end of September. An artist reception will be held on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Quill dip pen-and-ink is a time-consuming and delicate process — Russell doesn't sketch an image beforehand.

Bridge Gallery is located at 1R Water St. in Newburyport. The gallery is open daily from noon to 6 p.m., except Tuesdays.

Family discusses going 'food independent'

The public is invited to join the Robinson family of Newburyport on Saturday to learn more about their quest toward "food independence."

The family will open their garden at 2 Boyd Drive from 2 to 4 p.m. for public viewing. The goal of the garden — now a 550-square-foot raised-bed garden — is to produce enough food to feed the family of four throughout the year.

The program is sponsored by Transition Newburyport as part of its local food series.

Audition Saturday with TTS Players

The theater group TTS Players will hold open auditions on Saturday at 2 p.m. for their upcoming production, "Seussical Jr.," at the Byfield Community Arts Center, 7 Central St., Byfield.

The auditions are open to all area youth, ages 10 to 18, and will consist of readings from the script. Actors and actresses will also be asked to perform some lines from a favorite song and take part in some choreography.

Rehearsals will be held on Thursdays nights from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., beginning on Sept. 22. The performances will be held in November.

Visit the website at or contact Mike Fay at 978-476-6053 or email Sarah at for more information.

'Cat in the Cradle' coffeehouse Saturday

The new season of the Byfield Community Arts Center opens this weekend with the return of the Cat in the Cradle Coffeehouse on Saturday.

The evening will include performances by Honky Tonk Women of Gloucester, who revisit the ïGolden Oldies, and the local group Liz Frame & The Kickers, who will entertain with their "rootsy Americana" music.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the music will start at 8. There is a $5 cover charge. For directions and information about the BCAC, visit or call 978-463-3335.

Raptors lecture Saturday

The Nature Shop at Joppa Flats will host a free book signing and presentation: "Raptor Conservation and Education in the West," by Kate Davis on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike in Newburyport.

Davis will discuss the conservation of western raptors, including hawks and owls, and her efforts to help protect them. Her presentation will include many raptor photos taken by top photographers in the field.

Davis is the founder and executive director of Raptors of the Rockies, a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates injured or orphaned birds of prey.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Steve Grinley at 978-462-0775.

Artist showcases her 'Favorites'

Local artist Anne Recchia will display her oils and watercolors at Plum Island Coffee Roasters in Newburyport this month. Her show, "Favorites," includes paintings of some of her favorite places.

A wine and cheese reception will be held on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Take a barn tour at Maudslay Sunday

Take a walk back through history at Maudslay State Park this weekend.

The park interpreter will lead a tour through the farm complex area of the former Moseley Family estate on Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. The walk includes a tour of the hay and dairy barns, root cellar and other small buildings to learn about their historical significance, plus a visit to see the cows grazing nearby.

Visitors must pay a $2 parking fee or use a parking pass. For more information, call park headquarters at 978-465-7223. The program is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Maudslay State Park Association.

Breakfast buffet in Merrimac

The Women of the Moose, Chapter 307, will host a breakfast buffet Sunday at the Moose Lodge, 34 Broad St., Merrimac.

The breakfast will run from 8 to 11 a.m. The menu includes: scrambled, fried or omelet eggs, pancakes, French toast, home fries, toast, English muffins, bacon, sausage, coffee, tea and juice.

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 12 and under. All proceeds will be donated to Uniformed Firefighters Association's Widows and Children Fund.

Lighthouse open for visitors Sunday

Plum Island Light will be open to the public on Sunday.

The open house will run from 1 to 4 p.m., weather permitting. Sneakers are required. There is a short ladder visitors have to climb. Small children must be 5 years old and meet a height requirement of 42 inches. There is no fee, but donations are always appreciated.

Film screening Monday

A film by Plum Island resident Alison Ellwood will be shown at The Screening Room on Monday.

Ellwood is an editor and collaborator with Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar in 2005. The pair are full co-directors and writers in "Magic Trip" and Ellwood is the film's editor.

"Magic Trip" is based on over 100 hours of footage taken by Ken Kesey, author of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." Kesey died in 2001 and his son sought to sell the footage. Ellwood and Gibney began the long process of creating a film. "Magic Trip" is based on a now-famed bus trip taken by Kesey along with Neal Cassady, the man featured in Jack Kerouac's "On The Road."

Ellwood will discuss the film and answer questions following the 7:30 p.m. show.

Coast Guard book signing Monday

The authors of the book, "The Coast Guard in Massachusetts," the newest addition to the Images of America series, will be signing copies of their work next week.

The pictorial book discusses the agency's history using more than 200 vintage images and stories.

Local authors Donald J. Cann and John J. Galluzzo will be at the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Friends of Amesbury Library meet

The Friends of the Amesbury Public Library will meet on Monday in the Local History Room at 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend to learn more about the group and their programs.

The Friends meet on the first Monday of each month, except on Monday holidays and during the summer.

The Friends work to support the library and enhance its resources and services.

Duo plays at Barking Dog Tuesday

Musicians Dan Kirouac and Dorette Weld will entertain at the Barking Dog Grill, 21 Friend St. in Amesbury on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

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