Music and the Summer Mass(es)
Massachusetts in the north east of the United States is known for being the home of the Kennedy clan, the location of Salem and those witches, beautiful Autumn foliage, for being one of the founding states of the country and music. Music? Apart from Tanglewood what is there?
More than you might imagine. Through the summer there over fourteen different music festivals and for the first time, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism has created a website, www.massjazz.com, where you can find details of all of the music festivals across the state.
This weekend began with the Cambridge River Festival which attracts 200,000 to what is known locally as Boston’s left bank. Being in the area where Harvard university is located needless to say that students flock to it but so do people who come from out of the state as well. Even a major water mains break didn’t put people off. It was all free and was as busy as ever yesterday. Cambridge is one of those places too often lumped in with Boston whereas it has a character of its own. Well worth a full day if your visiting Boston.
Today is the start of the Berkshire Choral Festival which runs right through the summer until mid-September. This festival is unlike many others. People, rather than paid professional performers, come and stay for a week rehearsing and practicing pieces which they then perform. It’s as much about the training of performers as it is about the music they perform.
Tanglewood starts at the end of the month. Hard to believe but this is the 74th year of its existence and it runs until early September at the Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival. If you’ve not been to Tanglewood before, then it’s hard to describe. What other concert series begins with a relay raise that has two purposes. To raise awareness and also money to support education and youth facilities?
The season ends with the Bean Town Jazz Festival on September 24th. In between there is a bit of every type of music imaginable.
If you’re travelling to Massachusetts to see the Autumn leaf change then you might consider combining in with the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival which runs from October 7th – 20th. Leaf fall is usually in the middle of the month, so you should be lucky.