Tag Archive: Mechanics Hall

2010 Brown Bag Concert Series

Wednesdays At Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester, MA, 01608; 508-752-5608. Broadcast live on WICN 90.5 FM and Streaming at wicn.org

November 10            Dan Gabel and The Abletones

Dan Gabel & The Abeltones are a full 18-piece Big Band, including a vocalist and specializing in authentic Big Band sound. Leading these high-level musicians is the very talented Dan Gabel on trombone. Dan recently returned from a year-long world tour with The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

November 17            Yoko Miwa Trio

Japanese-born pianist Yoko Miwa has earned a reputation as one of the jazz world’s lyrical, melodic, and accessible players. Since her arrival in 1997 in Boston, she’s forged a prominent place in the city’s jazz scene. The Yoko Miwa Trio is a favorite at Skuller’s and other Boston venues and has been a house band at Ryles since 2002.

November 24            April Hall Quintet

April’s voice is an instrument of astonishing beauty and versatility, capable of ranging from the subtlest nuance to the most powerful soul-drenched belting with equal ease and mastery. An award winning songwriter, April ’s graceful looks and powerful presence captivate audiences everywhere.  “Glorious” The Boston Globe.

December 1            Beat Kaestli & His Trio

We are delighted to welcome back Beat Kaestli.  A native of Switzerland, vocalist Kaestli was drawn to American popular music, jazz and R&B. Despite a promising career in his homeland he decided to make New York City his home.  Beat is heard on numerous recordings in the US and Europe and has released solo cds including the critically acclaimed “Reasons.”

December 8            USAF Band of Liberty

What’s the Autumn Brown Bag season without the USAF Band of Liberty?! This spectacular performance of fine musicians is a real crowd-pleaser. Audiences love the patriotic, seasonal, and popular selections.

Produced by Mechanics Hall and WICN Public Radio—New England’s Jazz & Folk Station at 90.5 fm and streaming live at wicn.org—in partnership with Bank of America. Concerts begin at noon and admission is free. Bring your own lunch or purchase one at the Hall, prepared by Eric’s LaPatisserie Café. Programs are subject to change without notice.


I had to include a video for this post, these guys are impressive!

Las Vegas Show comes to Worchester Mechanics Hall!

One might think that Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Cher, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli are all in one theatre-one stage, but in reality it is the identical twin celebrity illusionists, The Edwards Twins, bringing a memorable evening, to Worchester for 2 nights. The performances is slated for 8 PM Friday, October 29th and November 12 th , at Mechanics Hall.

Born and raised in Burbank, California, these brothers, Anthony and Eddie Edwards, have astounded audiences for more than 20 years with their realistic portrayal of some of the world’s best-loved celebrities.  Also, they have opened for some of the most popular artists, including Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart and U2 and have lived and headlined in Las Vegas for the past 28 Years.

The Edwards Twins are committed to bring authenticity to each performance and have over 100 superstars in their repertoire.  Though the sound mesmerizes the audience, it’s the extravagant designer costumes and elaborate make-up that add to the magic.  Anthony’s natural tenor morphs from a raspy Neil Diamond to an accented Elton John.  Eddie, who performs all the show’s female characters, transforms himself using tricks learned from top Hollywood make-up artists – in the tradition of Robin Williams’ Mrs. Doubtfire and Eddie Murphy’s Mother and Grandmother Krump – to deliver Barbra Streisand’s warm soprano notes, Chers’ intricate outfits and Tina Turner’s leggy strut in a manner that flatters their childhood idols.

“Our show was born out of a childhood fascination with celebrities,” says Anthony, the act’s producer and elder brother (by 4 minutes).  “When we were very young, we would listen to our parents’ records and found out very early that we had a tremendous gift for mimicking the superstars, so much that now when we perform, people leave feeling like they were watching the actual stars on stage.”


The Edwards Twins, 2-2-2

Advance tickets are available by calling the ticket office at

Mechanics Hall

321 Main Street

Worcester, MA 01608-1522

(508) 752-5608

Tickets Starting at $30.00

Showtime 8:00PM

For more information on The Edwards Twins visit their website at http://www.theedwardstwins.com

By Lisa Denoncourt

In Celebration of the 150th Anniversary Season of the legendary Worcester Music Festival, Music Worcester is proud to present The Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra under the conduction of Hobart Earle, featuring Cellist William De Rosa at Mechanics Hall, Friday March 12.
“[The 150th Anniversary] affords us the opportunity to showcase this distinguished orchestra from the Ukraine which chose a young American conductor to lead its orchestra,” Stasia Hovenesian, Executive Director of Music Worcester says of Earle.
The oldest Music Festival in the United States, The Worcester Music Festival carries a rich history of performances by world-renowned orchestras, chamber music, ballet, and music/choral masterworks; Music Worcester has been the presenter of the festival since 1858.
Internationally regarded as one of the world’s great concert halls, Mechanics Hall is host to the event.  “It is always a thrill for us to welcome performing artists into our famed Great Hall where our renowned acoustics make their beautiful music sound even more special,” Robert Kennedy, Executive Director of Mechanics Hall says.
“If you’re a pioneer, you catch a lot of slack.” Hobart Earle says. As Music Director and Principle Conductor of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, Earle has done his fair share of pioneering since his Odessa debut in 1991.  “I caught slack for all kinds of things in the first year,” says Earle. “I spoke to the audience and I also conduct partly from memory and in the early 90’s that was really unheard of in that part of the world.”
The pairing of an American Conductor and a Ukrainian Orchestra presented its challenges, especially since Earle didn’t speak a word of Russian. Luckily, Earle (who was born in Venezuela but raised in America) was fluent in Spanish and a Cuban violist would translate Earle’s Spanish into Russian.
The blending of cultures has been a learning experience for Earle, who splits his time between Odessa and touring with the Orchestra. “My whole approach toward Russian music has been transformed completely,” Earle says. “As a foreigner you don’t have the same feel. Russian music is very much in their blood.” The Orchestra has been equally as influenced by Earle, with a new repertoire and broadened sense of style. “It’s sort of like a marriage. There is peace and turmoil, love and fighting and that’s all a part of it,” Earle explains. “But when it comes to a performance, we have a very good relationship on stage. They know exactly what I want.”
During his time with the Odessa Philharmonic, Earle has elevated the Orchestra to international attention, with tours in major concert halls across the globe. In part to the international acclaim, the Odessa Philharmonic is the first performing arts organization to have their funding status raised from regional to national by the government of Ukraine. In recognition of his work, Earle was awarded with the title “Distinguished Artist of Ukraine,” the first and only foreigner in the history of Ukraine to be so honored. “The people of Odessa really consider me their own,” says Earle.
Schubert, Saint Saens, & Beethoven by The Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, Hobart Earle Music Director; featuring Cellist William De Rosa. Tickets: $46, $43, student with ID $20. Friday March 12, 8pm. Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester. 508-752-5608

The season includes new and dynamic performers with the sounds of Brazilian Jazz, big band swing, new Celtic music, and award-winning a capella. Produced with funding from Bank of America, the FREE Brown Bag Concerts begin at noon and are broadcast live on WICN at 90.5 fm and online at www.wicn.org.

Bob Kennedy, Executive Director at Mechanics Hall says “The Brown Bag Concert series provides people of all ages free access to a world-class venue and the highest quality of live performances. We are pleased to partner with WICN and Bank of America to bring the Brown Bag Concert Series to Worcester, and are extremely proud that we have been doing so for 25 years!”

March 10         El Eco

El Eco comes out of the heart of South America. The jazz ensemble led by drummer and composer Guillermo Nojechowicz combines the sweet swaying tempos of Brazil with some of the darker themes and complex rhythms of Argentina and Uruguay. This is strikingly original music delivered with strong vocals, percussive drive and real lyric focus. El Eco gives us music that fuses memory with possibility. This is world music at its best.

March 17         Celtic Crossroads

Direct from Ireland, Celtic Crossroads has eagerly agreed to give our Brown Bag Concert patrons a taste of the evening’s St. Patrick’s Day ticketed event. Celtic Crossroads presents Irish music like never before, set to do to Irish music what “Riverdance” has done to Irish dance. Celtic Crossroads is critically acclaimed as “the most exhilarating and authentic show to come from Ireland in decades – not to be missed!” It is an explosion of youthful energy and dazzling musicianship.  Theater seating.

March 24         Beantown Swing Orchestra

Boston’s best in classic big band swing. The Beantown Swing Orchestra, featuring American Idol finalist John Stevens, is one of the hottest and hippest swing bands in the Northeast United States. With eighteen top-notch jazz musicians averaging age 23 and in the prime of their careers, the Beantown Swing Orchestra has enough energy and talent to keep everyone—kids to seniors and everyone in between—dancing for hours.

March 31         Ball in the House

Ball in the House is a tour de force of vocal sound that must be heard and seen to be believed. This five-man, pop/R and B “mouth band” hails from Boston, where they live and perform when not touring on the road. Originally formed as a quartet by founder and current vocal percussionist Jon J., Ball in the House is on its way to becoming one of the best-known and most-loved acts in the a-cappella community today.

Performances are subject to change without notice. A limited supply of lunches are available at the Hall and patrons are welcome to bring their own “brown bag” lunch.


MECHANICS HALL AND WICN 90.5 FM PUBLIC RADIO are hosting Celtic Crossroads on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th in Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester.

This  free Brown Bag Concert begins at noon and will provide the audience with a tempting preview of the evening’s full production concert. Tickets for the evening are $25. The show starts at 7:30pm; doors open at 6:45pm.

Just when you think you have seen the best that Irish music has to offer, a fresh new show from Ireland is taking the art form to an entirely new level. Celtic Crossroads presents Irish music like never before — doing to Irish music what Riverdance has done to Irish dance. These world-class musicians and dancers are taking the performing arts circuit by storm—performing to sell-out crowds in Ireland, Europe, and in the USA.

An explosion of youthful energy and dazzling musicianship, Celtic Crossroads abounds with fusions of traditional Irish music, bluegrass, gypsy and jazz while pulsating with the rhythms of exciting Irish dance percussion. Inventive arrangements and bass-driven grooves steer this Irish music into surprising new territory. With seven world-class musicians captivating their audiences, playing more than twenty instruments on stage.

The show’s musical director is Irish/Australian Michael McClintock. Michael is originally from Dublin, but emigrated like so many Irish to Australia at an early age. In 2005, Michael arrived in Galway, Ireland on a mission to share his experiences of how Irish music influenced musicians throughout the world. It is a dream fulfilled for Michael to now be Music Director of Celtic Crossroads full-time.

Visit www.celticcrossroads.ie for music samples, video clips, images and more information about the performers. Tickets are available in person at the Mechanics Hall Box Office, 321 Main Street in Worcester; by phone at 508-752-0888; or online at www.mechanicshall.org.

WICN, New England’s Jazz & Folk Station, will broadcast the noon concert live. Bank of America is providing support for the Brown Bag Concert at noon. Mechanics Hall: Kathleen Gagne, 508-752-5608; kgagne@mechanicshall.org WICN: Audrey Hall, 508-752-0700 Celtic Crossroads: Kevin Crosby, producer: Ireland: +353-85 148 8312; USA + 1 678 608 1409; Cell: 803-624-6201 Email: kevcrosby@gmail.com

Monterey Jazz Festival tour lands at Mechanics Hall 2/8

After the success of its 50th Anniversary tour in 2007—including a performance at Richmond’s Landmark Theater—the Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) launches a new tour in 2010 that hits Worcester on February 8th at Mechanics Hall.

Kenny Barron

Appearances feature piano legend Kenny Barron, named by The Los Angeles Times as “one of the top jazz pianists in the world;” violinist Regina Carter who, in the words of Time Magazine, “creates music that is wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent and, at times, breathtakingly

Regina Carter

daring:” seven-time Grammy nominee Kurt Elling, whose four-octave baritone and emotional range inspired the San Francisco Chronicle to hail him as “the most flamboyantly creative jazz

singer to emerge in the last decade:” and guitarist Russell Malone, celebrated as Diana Krall’s

right-hand man in concert, on tour and as accompanist on Krall’s recordings. Malone has collaborated with Harry Connick, Jr., Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Branford Marsalis, Clarence Carter, Mulgrew Miller, Roy Hargrove, Cyrus Chestnut and Patti Austin.

Tickets: $39, $36, Students With Id $20

Check out http://www.musicworcester.org for more info and to purchase tix!

Dance Prism presents THE NUTCRACKER, Mechanics Hall

Dance Prism presents THE NUTCRACKER

Mechanics Hall in Worcester

Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:00 & 5:00 pm

Dance Prism is pleased to announce its 27th season of The Nutcracker. Performances will take place throughout the area, including a stop at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall on December 13 at 1pm and 5pm. The performance of the ballet will be followed by a meet and greet with Clara and her Nutcracker along with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavelier.

Dance Prism, a touring ballet company, has performed throughout New England since 1982, when it debuted its rendition of The Nutcracker, choreographed by former director Scott Ranagan and current Artistic Director, Mary Demaso.  This year, Worcester’s own Angela Bonnici, 26, will perform the role of Sugar Plum Fairy with Partner, Matthew Tucker. Ms. Bonnici teaches and choreographs throughout Worcester County and several of her students will be performing with her in the production’s regional Worcester cast. Her mother, Kathleen Bonnici has managed the regional Worcester cast rehearsals since Angela began dancing with the company at seven years old.

The Nutcracker will be played by newly appointed company member Hugh Geller. Lindsey Lavin, Tiana Eaton and Emily Townsend all of Littleton, MA will alternate the role of Clara. Dance Prism’s ranking actor/dancer and choreographer Jonathan Towle will remain the sole performer of Drosselmeyer for the company. Assistant Director Clarissa Eaton will portray several principal roles including The Snow Queen and the Arabian Divertissement.

Tickets are priced at $16 for children and seniors, $22 for adults; generous group discounts are offered. Seating is reserved; handicapped seating is available and easily accessible. For all performances, order tickets online at http://www.danceprism.com or call 978-371-1038.

Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson in Concert, December 4

Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson in Concert at Mechanics Hall on  Friday, December 4, 7:30p.m.

Blues Worcester presents Grammy winner Luther “Guitar Jr. Johnson.”


This Chicago bluesman is a veteran performer, and has perfomred with MagicSam, Muddy Waters, and Magic Rockers.


Blues Worcester is offering a discount coupon to another Blues Worcester concert to patrons who bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots program.

E-mail: info@mechanicshall.org Phone: 508-752-0888

Mechanics Hall 321 Main Street Worcester, MA 01608. Cost: Concert Only: $18; Concert & BBQ Buffet: $33 Promotions: Public Woo Card: 3 points College Woo Card: 3 points

3 Yuja Wang hands up by Peter AdamikMusic Worcester, Inc. presents the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, November 11th at Mechanics Hall, 8pm, with Maestro Long Yu conducting and featuring pianist Yuja Wang. A free, pre-concert lecture will also be offered at 7pm in Washburn Hall (at Mechanics Hall) by Stephen Ledbetter, a scholar, writer, lecturer, and conductor who served as Musicologist and Program Annotator for the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many years.
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is the earliest and the best-known ensemble of its kind in Asia. Formed in 1879 as the Shanghai Public Band, it developed into an Orchestra in 1907, promoted Western Music, introduced the first Chinese orchestral work to Asian audiences and has been reputed as being the “best in the Far East.” Spanning three different centuries, the Shanghai Symphony has now embraced a new era; it has held over ten thousand concerts, including premiere performances of several thousand musical works, and has collaborated with many guest artists (conductors, soloists and vocalists) of world renown.
The orchestra has gained a reputation as the most authoritative explainer of Chinese symphonic compositions and has become increasingly influential both at home and abroad, after most recently completing the audio and video recordings of Zhu Jian’er’s Symphonies, Tan Dun’s multimedia concerto, The Map, and music for the prize-winning film (Oscar and Grammy Awards) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Since the 1970s, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has toured extensively abroad. In 1990, the orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York; in 2003, the orchestra performed in 11 cities in the US; in 2004, it toured Europe to celebrate the Sino-French Cultural Year. The Orchestra’s 125th Anniversary Celebration Concert, given at the Berliner Philharmonie (the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is the first Chinese symphony orchestra to play in this hall), was hailed as a great success.

Maestro Long Yu, Music Director and Conductor for The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, is one of the most distinguished Chinese conductors with an established international reputation. Yu is also Music Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, President of the Beijing Music Festival Artistic Committee and President of the Artistic Committee of the Shanghai Oriental Center.

22-year old Yuja Wang has firmly established herself as one of the most significant pianists of her generation. She first came to international recognition in February 2005 when, on one day’s notice, she replaced Radu Lupu with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman conducting, performing Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4. The success was immediate and dramatic with the Canada press reporting “a star is born.” Wang was immediately reengaged to perform Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in June and has been invited back every season since. Wang is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Wang’s command of the piano has been described as “astounding” and “superhuman,” and she has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence. Following her San Francisco recital debut, The San Francisco Chronicle wrote “The arrival of Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang on the musical scene is an exhilarating and unnerving development. To listen to her in action is to re-examine whatever assumptions you may have had about how well the piano can actually be played,” and The Washington Post called Wang’s Kennedy Center recital debut “jaw-dropping.”

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will be performing works by Mussorgsky (Khovantchina: Introduction, “Dawn on the Moscow River”), Rachmaninoff (Piano Concerto No. 2 in c-minor, Op. 18) and Chen Qigang (“Iris devoilee” – an extraordinary concerto for full orchestra, soprano and traditional Chinese instruments.)

Since 1858, Music Worcester, Inc. has had a rich tradition of offering the finest music programming and currently offers a full season of artistically diverse and world-renowned, international music and dance performances. Concerts are performed at Mechanics Hall, Tuckerman Hall and the Hanover Theatre. For more information on this season’s program, or for tickets, go to www.musicworcester.org or call 508.754.3231. Music Worcester is located at 323 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608.