Sunday, April 21, 2024


Quentin Callewaert (via Instagram).

Quentin Callewaert and Honest Mechanik perform from 2 to 5 p.m. Palmer Street, Harvard Square. Free. Callewaert, who starts this bill, is a 21-year-old classically trained acoustic guitarist and singer who blends Americana, gospel and bluegrass. Honest Mechanik is the indie-pop duo of Susan Cattaneo and Paul Hansen (The Grownup Noise), which starts at 4 p.m. with “quirky lyrics and ear-worm melodies” and “the vibe of The Velvet Underground paired with the intimacy of Belle and Sebastian.” Part of the Cambridge Plays series. Information is here.

Campfire. Festival from 4 to 11 p.m. today and Monday at Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $10 for daily passes or $25 for a weekend pass (or free to stream). Passim’s twice-a-year homegrown festival of Americana, bluegrass, blues, Celtic, country, folk and related musical styles runs throughout the long Memorial Day weekend with 26 hours of live music from 49 acts. Originally just a way to fill a bad booking weekend in 1998, the festival now competes with the rock- and pop-focused Boston Calling across the river. The distressingly punctuated Campfire. aims to develop talent and celebrate the local music scene, with organizers saying shows can blur the line between performer and audience member – just like might happen sitting around an actual campfire, strumming a guitar or two. Information is here for the all-ages festival, now in its 24th year. 


Lidiya Yankovskaya conducts the Refugee Orchestra Project in 2016 (via Facebook).

Memorial Day Observance with the Refugee Orchestra Project from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Cambridge Common, near Harvard Square. A concert to benefit victims of the Ukrainian refugee crisis is a highlight to this daylong event. The nonprofit Refugee Orchestra Project, under the musical direction of founder Lidiya Yankovskaya, plays selections from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. that include works by Ukrainian composers and a rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem, with donations going to a Relief Fund for Ukrainian Musicians from cities such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Severodonetsk. The day begins with the project and a Ukrainian choir accompanying a Memorial Day observance; there will also be marching regiments and bands parading past the review audience on the main lawn. After the concert comes a Prince Hall Masons procession and wreath-laying, and finally musical entertainment from the husband-and-wife Team Ragoza of Springfield. More family fun is by the Kemp Playground, and food trucks will be on hand. Veterans eat free on a first-come, first-served basis. Information is here.

Campfire. Festival continues from 4 to 11 p.m. at Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $10 (or free to stream). Information is here. 


Actor Sessue Hayakawa in 1918 (via Wikipedia).

“Pop Goes the Culture: The History of Asians in American Pop Culture” at 7 p.m. online via the Somerville Public Library. Free. Journalist and author Gil Asakawa looks at the cultural shifts Asian Americans have been through, starting with silent movie stars Sessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong – soon replaced by white actors in yellowface – through to today’s resurgence of talent with stars such as Awkwafina, Bowen Yang, Michelle Yeoh and Steven Yeun. Information is here.

Emma Straub reads from “This Time Tomorrow” at 7:30 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Tickets are $10. The New York Times-bestselling author brings her take on time travel, in which 40-year-old Alice wakes up to find herself back in 1996 reliving her 16th birthday with her once-again 40-year-old dad. Straub will be in conversation with Celeste Ng, author of “Little Fires Everywhere.” Information is here.


Meet a mini (horse) from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the O’Neill Library, 70 Rindge Ave., North Cambridge. Free. Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses will explain what therapy horses do, tell a story and let attendees do what they came for: interact with a mini-horse. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Registration is required for the 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. events.

Songwriters in the Round from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Admission is $10. Inspired by the “guitar pulls” of the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee, these regular events (every first and third Wednesday) have host David Thorne Scott and musician friends seated in a semi-circle and taking turns playing songs, occasionally joining in with each other and chatting as if in their own living rooms. This week: Emily Sangder, Audrey Bussanich and Stephanie James. Information is here.

Barnstar! and bluegrass bingo at 8 p.m. at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $30. This Boston supergroup plays Passim annually – but this year will be handing out bingo cards and prizes and, according to bandleader and bassist Zachariah Hickman, “fate will decide how the set goes every night.” Information is here.

Malinda Lo, author of “Last Night at the Telegraph Club.”

“Telegraph Club: On the Real History Behind ‘Last Night at the Telegraph Club’” from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. Author Malinda Lo talks through the factual basis for her novel, in which two girls fall in love in 1954 America amid repression, threats of deportation and general Red-scare paranoia. Information is here.


Author Katie Kitamura from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. The author of “Intimacies,” a novel listed as one of The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2021, speaks with Meghan O’Rourke, a writer and poet. Information is here.

Barnstar! and bluegrass bingo continues at 8 p.m. at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $30. Information is here.


“Space Invader: An Immigrant Experience Through Immersive Art” from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Road, in the Spring Hill neighborhood. Museum admission is $5. Haruki Rook Murao, an audio-visual artist and spatial sound designer – as well as an immigrant and naturalized citizen – applies comedy to explore the concept of being “alien.” Information is here.

Elon Green reads from “Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust and Murder in Queer New York” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. The Last Call Killer was free to prey in the 1990s – and has been largely forgotten – because of the sexuality of his victims, the sky-high murder rates of the time and the AIDS epidemic. Green talks about the case with Margaret Willison of the “Appointment Television” podcast and pop culture newsletter Two Bossy Dames. Well-fitting masks must be worn to attend. Information is here.

“A Chorus Line: Teen Edition” from 7 to 9 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. This iconic piece of navel-gazing musical theater, in which dancers audition for spots in a show, arrived on Broadway in 1975 and ran for 6,137 performances – a record until “Cats” came along. Drama and dance students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School perform this production. Information is here.

Bluegrass band Barnstar!

Barnstar! and bluegrass bingo continues at 8 p.m. at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $30. Information is here.


Dance party and lawn games from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Timothy J. Toomey Park, Third and Roger streets, East Cambridge. Free. The Cambridge Plays program brings in A Trike Called Funk, a mobile DJ unit born out of the BeanTown Lockers music and dance troupe. Information is here.

Architectural styles overlap in East Cambridge. (Photo: Marc Levy)

East Cambridge history and architecture walking tour from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting at Centanni Park, Third and Otis streets, East Cambridge. Free. Susan Maycock, author of “Survey of Architectural History: East Cambridge” and co-author of “Building Old Cambridge,” leads this walk through one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city – developed in the late 18th century by Andrew Craigie, a land speculator who convinced Middlesex County to build a courthouse here. Information is here.

“Space Invader: An Immigrant Experience Through Immersive Art” continues from noon to 5 p.m. at the Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Road, in the Spring Hill neighborhood. Museum admission is $5. Information is here.

“A Chorus Line: Teen Edition” continues from 7 to 9 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. Information is here.

The All-Mozart Chamber Orchestra’s Concert for Ukraine and Yemen from 7: 30 to 9 p.m. at Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. General admission is $35, but low-income tickets are $10. Members of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra are conducted by Victor Rosenbaum and perform with Jean Huang, violin soloist (on Concerto No. 5 in A Major) and 10-year-old piano soloist Kingsley Chen (on Concerto 23 in A Major). A reception follows at this Massachusetts Peace Action event. Information is here.


Harvard Square Open Market from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Church Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Brattle Street. Free. This new weekly arts and vintage market opens today and runs every Sunday through Oct. 30, boasting more than 50 local artists, makers, vintage vendors as well as live music. Information is here. (The one-day Floralia Spring Market has the same hours at Warehouse XI, 11 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville, is free and features dozens of local she/her/they-identifying artisans, small businesses and vintage vendors, as well as a photo booth area, tarot readers and free flowers to guests. Information is here.)

Drop-in art project crafting sessions from 1 to 4 p.m. at the powder magazine of Magazine Beach, at the river end of Magazine Street in the Cambridgeport neighborhood. Free, but an RSVP is requested. Fiber artist Michelle Lougee and arts organizer Cecily Miller – Cambridgeport residents – invite help creating a Magazine Beach Tapestry warning of the environmental dangers of single-use plastic that will go in the newly opened Mass Audubon Nature Center in the beach’s powder magazine building. Volunteers of all ages are invited to participate, looping small plastic trash items such as bottle tops, packaging and discarded toys (all cleaned and safe to handle) to a mesh background. The work will be outside under a shady tree if the weather is good, inside the powder magazine if it is too hot or rainy. Information is here.

Grooversity performs at the Carnaval Somerstreets festival (via Eventbrite)

Carnaval Somerstreets festival from 2 to 6 p.m. on Lower Broadway in East Somerville (from McGrath Highway to Pennsylvania Avenue, by the Sullivan Square T stop). Free, but registration is requested. The street closes to cars and opens to some 6,000 people enjoying music, dance performances, interactive activities, a craft fair and food from all over the world. Information is here.

Longfellow Student Poetry Awards and reading from 3 to 4 p.m. at Longfellow House and the Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St., West Cambridge. Free. The New England Poetry Club sponsors this reading with Logan Klutse, an undergrad at Yale University and winner of the Victor Howes Prize, as well as prize-winning works by students in grades 3-12. A celebration follows. Information is here.