A week of events in Cambridge and Somerville, from free ‘Sonic’ to Imbolo Mbue and a Cypher
Exhibition tour of “White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and the Camera-less Photograph” from noon to 1 p.m. at the Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., near Harvard Square. Free, but space must be reserved starting at 10 a.m. Curators give an in-depth tour of a new exhibition devoted to Hager, a master of photography without a camera and noted European surrealist. Information is here.
Seventh Annual Cambridge Jazz Festival continues from noon to 6 p.m. at Danehy Park, 99 Sherman St., in Neighborhood 9 just east of Fresh Pond (and continuing Sunday). Free, though there are guaranteed seats for $20 (and a $2.85 Fee). Up to 10,000 people are expected to attend the festival and see headliner Chelsey Green and The Green Project, as well as the Ron Savage Trio with Bill Pierce and Bobby Broom; Gabrielle Goodman celebrating Aretha Franklin; El Eco with Guillermo Nojechowicz; and Zeke Martin and Oracle. The weekend includes a jazz museum, music therapy, an interactive pop-up exhibit around the science of sound from the MIT Museum, the presentation of a college scholarship and the Cambridge Jazz Foundation’s Cammy Awards. There will be food trucks, a kids’ area with face painting and a market where jazz fans can shop the works of local artists, crafters and other vendors. Information is here.
Donut Villa Diner day party from 2 to 8 p.m. at 20 Prospect St., Central Square. Tickets are $10, but entry is free before 3 p.m. The diner – which specializes in doughnuts and food served on them – hosts a weekly party with music from DJ Huski, Dj FranQ and guest DJs. Information is here.
Nice, a Fest continues, from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets start at $15. This “afterparty” has the final four of 49 bands: Black Beach, Anna Fox Rochinski, Doll Spirit Vessel and Gut Health. Information is here.
Thomas McNeely reads from “Pictures of the Shark: Stories” at 7 p.m. at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. Houston author McNeely has stories plumbing the surreal world of childhood as well as sex, addiction, art and ambition in a collection Kirkus called “emotionally taut and often haunting.” He will be in conversation with Rishi Reddi, author of the novel “Passage West.” Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.
Danehy Park Concert Series from 6 to 8 p.m. at Danehy Park, 99 Sherman St., in Neighborhood 9 just east of Fresh Pond. Free. The performer is singer-songwriter Fabiola Mendez, who began playing the Puerto Rican cuatro – from the lute family of string instruments – at age 6 and in 2018 become the first the first Berklee College of Music grad using it as their principal instrument. She was named an ARTery 25 artist last year by WBUR. Information is here.
Mona Awad reads from “All’s Well” at 7 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Free. Awad, the author of 2019’s “Bunny” (which Margaret Atwood called “genius”) returns with a novel about a theater professor at her breaking point who sees salvation in staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play – only to face a mutinous cast intent on staging “Macbeth” instead. Awad will be in conversation with novelist and freelance journalist Laura Zigman, author of books such as “Animal Husbandry” (made into the movie “Someone Like You” starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd). Masks are required. Information is here.
Smut Slam from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. There’s a $10 suggested donation at the door for this 18-plus show. Real-life, first-person sex stories from eight to 10 tellers drawn at random, competing for the best five-minute tale of debauchery before a panel of local celebrities. They can’t use notes, props or hate speech – although pretty much anything else goes. “Stories are often funny and/or epic wins, but we want to encourage people to consider sharing their sad, disturbing, poignant, serious, simple and/or ’fail’ experiences too,” organizers say. Lucas Brooks hosts. Information is here.
Family Game Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Library O’Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave., North Cambridge. Free. Play your family or meet new friends over board games and puzzles supplied by the library at this all-ages event. Information is here.
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 time it’s Thea Hopkins, who weaves traditional and contemporary Indigenous music into “red roots Americana”; pianist and singer Rene Pfister, who writes musicals with youth around the world and performs poignant and funny one-person shows with an LGBTQ perspective; and Janie Barnett, whose roots music with an alternative twist was honed singing behind Linda Ronstadt, Rickie Lee Jones and Bonnie Raitt. Information is here.
Screen on the Green showing of “Sonic the Hedgehog” from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. at Raymond Park, 106 Raymond St., Neighborhood 9. Free. This city-sponsored event travels from park to park over the summer showing popular films – in this case, a Disney tale from 2020 with voice acting by Ben Schwartz as the video game star, James Marsden as his non-CGI friend and Jim Carrey as the infamous Dr. Robotnik. Though Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregate score from critics is just 63 percent fresh, audiences were popping at 93 percent in favor. Information is here.
John Powhida International Airport from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Plough & Stars, 912 Massachusetts Ave., Riverside. Local songwriting and performing icon Powhida performs with a full band, hopefully still emphasizing tracks from December’s “This Phasor Sounds Divine,” which Jason M. Rubin of The Arts Fuse called a “gift that belongs in everyone’s Christmas stocking” for its stylish march through styles “with the wide lapels and flared jeans of the ’70s.” Attendees must present a proof of vaccination. Information is here.
Music and games at The Farm from 5 to 8 p.m. at the South Street Farm, 138 South St., near Union Square, Somerville. Free, but donations are encouraged. Brockton native and Berklee College of Music student Leah Parrett sings R&B and neo-soul, and there’s rap from former Somervillian Stephond Goler, performing as the witty Sur5ill, and New Bedford’s D Staley. There are games and food as well. Information is here.
Imbolo Mbue reads from “How Beautiful We Were” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. The novel, about the collision of a small African village and an American oil company, is read and discussed by Mbue – whose bestselling 2016 debut “Behold the Dreamers” won a PEN/Faulkner Award and was an Oprah Book Club selection – with Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman, associate professor of American studies and English at Brown University. Information is here.
Mia Asano plays at 7:30 p.m. at Warehouse XI, 11 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville. Tickets are $20. Electric violinist Asano and her band return to performing after a pandemic pause. Her “most viral songs from TikTok” are promised, and Ally the Piper plays too. Information is here.
SomerMovieFest presents “Jumanji: The Next Level” at 8:20 p.m. at Seven Hills Park, Davis Square, Somerville. Free. Body-swapped Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan star in a 2019 action-comedy sequel that critics found 71 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences liked even more, with 87 percent recommending it. Information is here.
Boar’s Tooth Fencing Tournament from noon to 5 p.m., at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville (and continuing Saturday and Sunday). This is less of a public event and more a chance for members of the Boston Armizare historical fencing group to hold classes, games and multiple tournaments – but could be an entertaining stop for people curious about Historical European Martial Arts. Information is here.
Air It Out with Bridgeside Cypher at 5:30 p.m. at Centanni Park, Third and Otis streets, East Cambridge. Free. Hip-hop artists perform in a collaborative and often improvised format, with a band providing backup. There are featured acts to close out the night, but open-mic slots too. Information is here.
“Living My Best Lies” Kathe Farris comedy album recording from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Admission is $10. The Boston stay-at-home mom, stand-up comedian and snack cake enthusiast (also part of the team bringing The Comedy Studio back to Harvard Square) brings her latest and best material to a two-day appearance that’ll go into a audio release. Masks are required. Information is here. (More comedy follows Farris at The Rockwell with the Spotlight Showcase for $10.)
Boar’s Tooth Fencing Tournament continues from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville (and continuing Saturday and Sunday). Information is here.
“Living My Best Lies” Kathe Farris comedy album recording continued from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Admission is $10. Masks are required. Information is here.
Gay Bash’d Four-Year Anniversary at 9:30 p.m. at The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Harvard Square. Admission is $25 for this 18-plus show. “Boston’s most outrageous queer party” unwraps pop legend Alice Longyu Gao for its fourth birthday, and there’s an additional cast of queens including Saint and Violencia (of the Boulet Brothers Dragula), Binx, Static, Destiny, Patty Bourrée and Imani, as well as DJs Math3ca and Rubí. Information is here.
Family Bike Ride Ice Cream Edition at 10 a.m. (but gathering at 9:30 a.m.) from the Somerville Community Path Terminus just north of the VNA Senior Living facility at 259 Lowell St. Free, as its funded by the Bicycle Belle shop and parents’ donations, but more donations are welcome. This chance to meet other families in the area who love to bike rides 2.8 miles to Magnolia Park in Arlington via the Community Path, ending at a playground for those who still have energy and Tipping Cow ice cream for all. The options include an allergen-friendly option. Information is here.
Boar’s Tooth Fencing Tournament continues from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville (and continuing Saturday and Sunday). Information is here.
Sam Cornish Poetry Award presentation and reading by Elizabeth McKim and Askia Touré 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 presents one of America’s oldest literary prizes, The Golden Rose, to McKim, whose roots are embedded in the oral tradition of song, story and chant; and Touré, a pioneer of the Black Arts/Black Aesthetics movement and the Africana Studies movement. Information is here.