Amherst Life Blog

Welcome to the Amherst Life Blog! Here we will be posting information on activities, events, arts, community concerns, local business, and a variety of other topics related to life in Amherst, Massachusetts. If you are new to the area and looking for housing, please check out our other blog too ------------>> Amherst Housing Blog ::.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar

A Symposium on the Work of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Thursday October 26, 2006

Shirley Graham Du Bois Library,
New Africa House
8:00 pm

A Celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar with reading by Students and Faculty from the English, Afro-American Studies and Theater Departments along with Symposium speakers


Continued: A Symposium on the Work of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Friday October 27, 2006

Moran Conference Room, Bartlett Hall 316

9 AM Welcome Joseph T Skerrett, Jr., Convener

Dean Joel Martin
University of Massachusetts Amherst
College of Humanities and Fine Arts

10 AM Keynote Speaker Joanne Braxton,
The College of William and Mary

11 AM Session 1 Dunbar as Fictionist Gene Jarrett
University of Maryland, College Park

John Wharton Lowe
Louisiana State University

12:30 PM Lunch

2 PM Session 2: Dunbar as Poet James Smethurst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Nadia Nurhussein
University of Massachusetts Boston

3:30 PM Session 3:Dunbar as Influence and Forefather Kalamu ya Salaam, poet

5 PM Reception

Best Local Cafe Award!

The ballots are in and this semester's winner of our "Best Local Cafe Award" goes to the Loose Goose Cafe in Amherst! Not only do they have the freshest & tastiest food, best coffee, friendliest staff, and cleanest shop, they do it all with what we here call ¡Sabó’! (swing, style, and flavor).

You can check out their website and get directions by clicking on the following link:

They also do catering, make delicious cookies, and deliver!

Monday, October 23, 2006

5 College Africa Day @ Smith College!!

Africa Day 2006

11/04/2006 Africa day - Complete details
Starting at 12:30 p.m. at Smith College Scott Gymnasium join us for an afternoon and evening of events dedicated to the Continent & its Diaspora with music, food, talks, performances, and more>

11/04/2006 Five College West African Music Ensemble
1:00, Scott Gymnasium, Smith College more>

11/04/2006 Meet the Five College African Scholars
1:30, Scott Gymnasium, Smith College more>

11/04/2006 Skit and all about Africa & African Studies
2:30, Scott Gymnasium, Smith College more>

11/04/2006 Benefit dinner with African/Caribbean flavors
4:30, Scott Gymnasium, Smith College more>

11/04/2006 SACSA Jam Show
7:00, Sage Hall, Smith College more>

11/04/2006 SACSA Afro-Caribbean Party
10:00, Mwangi Cultural Center, Smith College more>


Judith Butler @ Hampshire

Ninth Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture

October 24 at 4 p.m.
Robert Crown Center

"Judith Butler will deliver the ninth annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture at Hampshire College on October 24. The lecture, “Universality and its Paradoxes: Hidden Histories of Post-Zionism,” will be held at 4 p.m. in the Robert Crown Center and is open to the public free of charge.

A leading theorist of power, gender and identity, Dr. Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University.

She is the author of Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning, a collection of writings on war’s impact on language and thought. Among her numerous other books are Giving an Account of Oneself (2005); Undoing Gender (2004); Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (2000); The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection (1997); and Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990).

She is currently working on essays pertaining to Jewish philosophy, focusing on pre-Zionist criticisms of state violence. She continues to write on cultural and literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism, and sexual politics.

Butler is on the advisory council of the Jewish Voice for Peace, the board of directors of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine and the executive committee of the U.S. chapter of Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture honors the teaching, scholarship and activism of long-time Hampshire College professor, the late Eqbal Ahmad. Professor Ahmad’s faculty colleagues, former students, family and friends from around the globe have joined together to make this lecture series a continuing celebration of his life and work."

For more information, contact Jackie Jeffery at or 413.559.5379

Paquito D'Rivera & The Assad Duo

This is going to be good!!

Paquito D'Rivera & The Assad Duo :: Dances from the New World

Thursday, November 9
Concert Hall 7:30 pm
General: $35, $25, $15
Youth 17 and under: $12
Five College Students: $15, $10, $7

A creative genius, Cuban-born NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera is widely considered the number one Latin American saxophonist and clarinetist of our time. His is known for playing an explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical, and traditional Cuban music and has won four Grammy Awards. He is joined for this program by Brazilian brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad, recognized worldwide as one of the greatest guitar duos in memory. This concert will feature a myriad of works in trio format featuring compositions by D'Rivera, Villa-Lobos, Piazolla and others.

Sponsored by: NEA Jazz Masters, El Diálogo, The River 93.9

The Fifth Commandment (Play)

Thursday, November 2
8:00 pm
Bowker Auditorium
$15-general public.
$8-low income patrons and seniors.
$5 students with valid I.D.

"Elia Arce’s timely and compelling performance and multimedia installation about U.S. soldiers in Iraq explores the complex themes of patriotism, violence, protest and sacrifice. This is a residency designed to engage the local community, students and veterans through integrated workshop activities.

In conjunction with this performance - The Visible Collective Media Presentation and Panel Discussion takes place Nov. 1 at 7:30pm, Cape Cod Lounge. Call for more details 413-545-9591
Our presentation of The Fifth Commandment, the Visible Collective and Project 2050 DeConstructing Dualities are part of a collaboration between New WORLD Theater, the Fine Arts Center and the UMass Department of History’s Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series. This year’s series, Protest and Politics: The 1960s and Now, will feature music, theater, panel discussions, visual arts exhibits, and documentary films."

Check online for a full listing of events:

Niyaz: Persian Fusion

Friday, November 3
Bowker Auditorium
8:00 pm
General Public: $25, $15 / Youth 17 and under: $12
Five College Students: $10, $7

Niyaz is an acoustic electronic project that brings together five musicians to form an exciting new fusion of traditional Persian music and modern electronics. The quintet includes vocalist and composer Azam Ali, multi instrumentalist and composer Ramin (Loga) Torkian of Axiom of Choice, and twice Grammy nominated producer/ remixer Carmen Rizzo. These three veteran masters have all experienced success on their own and have found a new common ground in Niyaz where the mystical poetry of Urdu and Persian Sufi poets of the 14th and 15th century forms the lyrical framework for a fresh new musical adventure.

Sponsored by: The Valley Advocate, Apple, The River 93.9

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Musafir: Gypsy Music & Dance from India

Friday, October 6
Bowker Auditorium 8:00 pm
$25, $15; Youth under 17 and Five College students $10, $7

"Musafir (a Farsi word meaning traveller) is a rich performance tapestry highlighting the different cultures of the Thar Desert. This geographical area, located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, covers approxiamately 92,000 square miles. Believed by scholars to be the birthplace of the Rom, also known as gypsies, the people are well know for their passionate music and poetry.

Lead by master tabla player Hameed Khan, the ensemble consists of artist representatives from many of the districts located in this vast land.The snake charmers come from the Sapera-Kalbleiya district. Langas poets represent the Jaisalmer district, and the classical musicians and dancers are from the Soufi Muslim culture. Fascinating and colorful to watch, this performance will highlight the ancient culture that traveled from India to the West along the Silk route many centuries ago.

Listen to the sounds of some truly unique instruments: the Dholak folk drum, the Naganas- played with sticks, and small, hand-held, wooden clappers called Kartal. Mixed with the Tabla and a variety of bells and cymbals the musicians create pulsating, dynamic rhythms. Also included are a variety of strings and flutes such as the snake charmer's Been, tuned with wax, that functions like a bagpipe but uses a gourd for the wind chamber. The Satara or shepard's flute has two pipes. One pipe serves as a drone while the other plays the melody.

Hold your breath for the magical daunting feats of the Fakir breathing fire and the spinning snake dance performed in multicolored skirts and veils. It is all a part of an incredible fun filled visual and musical learning experience!

Hameed Khan Kawa is the creator and artistic director of Jaipur Kawa Brass Band and Musafir. His father and forefathers were musicians, exponents of both folk and classical Indian music. He is a master tabla player and after arriving in France in 1984, Hameed spread his culture by sharing it with artists of different persuasions. The Trio Erik Marchand was created as a subtle fusion of French Brittany, Arabian and Rajasthani traditions. Hameed Khan has played with musicians Chico Bouchikhi (Gypsy Kings), Najat Aatabou, Thierry Robin Gitans, Lo’Jo Triban, Natacha Atlas and many more." -- Fine Arts Center of UMass-Amherst