A week of events in Cambridge and Somerville, from Memorial Day music to a new open market
Quentin Callewaert and Honest Mechanik play from 2 p.m. 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 mixes 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 “offbeat lyrics and earworm melodies” and “The Velvet Underground vibe paired with the intimacy of Belle and Sébastien.” Part of the Cambridge Plays series. The information is here.
Campfire. Festival from 4 p.m. 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 streaming). The twice-yearly local Passim Festival of Americana, bluegrass, blues, Celtic, country, folk and related musical styles runs throughout the Memorial Day long weekend with 26 hours of music live of 49 acts. Originally just a way to fill a badly booked weekend in 1998, the festival now competes with the rock and pop-focused Boston Calling across the river. The painfully punctuated campfire. aims to develop talent and celebrate the local music scene, with organizers saying the shows can blur the line between performer and audience member – just as might happen sitting around a real campfire, scratching a guitar or two. The information is here for the all-public festival, which is in its 24th edition.
Memorial Day observance with the Refugee Orchestra Project from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Cambridge Township, near Harvard Square. A benefit concert for the victims of the Ukrainian refugee crisis is a highlight of this one-day event. The non-profit Refugee Orchestra Project, under the musical direction of the 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 celebration; there will also be regiments and bands marching past the reviewing audience on the main lawn. After the concert comes a procession and laying of wreaths from the Masons of Prince Hall, and finally musical entertainment from husband and wife Team Ragoza of Springfield. More family fun is by the Kemp Playground, and food trucks will be right at your fingertips. Veterans eat free on a first-come, first-served basis. The information is here.
“Pop Goes to 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 reflects on cultural shifts Asian Americans have been there, starting with silent film stars Sessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong – soon to be replaced by yellow-faced white actors – to today’s resurgence in talent with stars such as Awkwafina , Bowen Yang, Michelle Yeoh and Steven Yeun. The information is here.
Emma Straub reads “This Time Tomorrow” at 7:30 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Porter Square. Tickets are $10. The New York Times bestselling author takes us on a journey back in time, in which 40-year-old Alice wakes up to find herself in 1996 reliving her 16th birthday with her 40-year-old father. Straub will be in conversation with Celeste Ng, author of “Little Fires Everywhere”. The information is here.
Meet a mini (horse) from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the O’Neill Library, 70 Ringge Avenue, Cambridge North. 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 shoes are recommended. Registration is required for the 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. events.
Touring songwriters from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Armory Arts Center, 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 fellow musicians sitting in a semi-circle and taking turns playing songs , occasionally joining in on each other and chatting as if in their own living room. This week: Emily Sangder, Audrey Bussanich and Stephanie James. The 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 every year – but this year will be giving out bingo cards and prizes and, according to bandleader and bassist Zachariah Hickman, “fate will decide how the set plays out every night”. The information is here.
“Telegraph Club: On the real story 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 about the factual basis of her novel, in which two girls fall in love in 1954 America amid repression, threats of deportation and widespread red-scare paranoia. The information is here.
Author Katie Kitamura from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. Author of ‘Intimacy’, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2021 novel, talks to Meghan O’Rourke, a writer and poet. The information is here.
“Space Invader: an immigrant experience through immersive art” from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Road, in the Spring Hill neighborhood. Admission to the museum is $5. Haruki Rook Murao, audio-visual artist and spatial sound designer – as well as immigrant and naturalized citizen – applies comedy to explore the concept of being “outsider”. The information is here.
Elon Green reads “Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust and Murder in Queer New York” at 7 p.m. at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. The Last Call Killer was free to hunt in the 1990s – and largely forgotten – due to the sexuality of its victims, the era’s sky-high murder rates and the AIDS epidemic. Green discusses the case with Margaret Willison of the “Appointment Television” podcast and pop culture newsletter Two Bossy Dames. Properly fitting masks must be worn to attend. The information is here.
“A Chorus Line: Teen Edition” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central place. Free. This iconic piece of navel-gazing musical theatre, in which dancers audition for spots in a show, came to Broadway in 1975 and ran for 6,137 performances – a record until the arrival of “Cats”. Drama and dance students from Cambridge Rindge and the Latin School perform this production. The information is here.
Dance party and lawn games 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Timothy J. Toomey Park, Third and Roger Streets, Cambridge East. Free. The Cambridge Plays program introduces A Trike Called Funk, a mobile DJ unit born out of music and dance troupe BeanTown Lockers. The information is here.
East Cambridge History and Architecture Walking Tour from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., from Centanni Park, Third and Otis streets, Cambridge East. 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 city’s oldest areas – developed in the late 18th century by Andrew Craigie, a land speculator who convinced Middlesex County to build a courthouse here. The information is here.
“Space Invader: An Immigrant Experience Through Immersive Art” continues from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Road, in the Spring Hill neighborhood. Admission to the museum is $5. The information is here.
Concert of the All-Mozart Chamber Orchestra for Ukraine and Yemen from 7:30 p.m. 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 John Huan, violin soloist (on Concerto No. 5 in A major) and 10-year-old solo pianist Kingsley Chen (on Concerto 23 in A major). A reception follows at this Massachusetts Peace Action event. The information is here.
Harvard Square Open Market 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 until October 30, with over 50 local artists, makers, vintage vendors as well as live music. The information is here. (The day Floralia Spring Market has the same hours at Warehouse XI, 11 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville, is free and features dozens of local artisans, small businesses and vintage vendors, as well as a photo booth area, tarot readers and free flowers for guests. The information is here.)
Somerstreets Carnival Festival from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Lower Broadway to East Somerville (from McGrath Highway to Pennsylvania Avenue, via the Sullivan Square T stop). Free, but registration is requested. The street closes to cars and opens to some 6,000 people who enjoy music, dance performances, interactive activities, a craft fair and food from around the world. The information is here.
Longfellow Student Poetry Awards and Reading 3-4 p.m. at Longfellow House and Washington Headquarters National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St., West Cambridge. Free. The New England Poetry Club is sponsoring this reading featuring Yale University undergraduate and Victor Howes Prize winner Logan Klutse, as well as award-winning works by students in grades 3-12. A celebration follows. The information is here.