:: Calendar of Events

Cambridge River Festival parade image
photo: Erik Fuller

Saturday, June 4, 2011, 12:00 Noon - 6:00 p.m.
Rain or Shine

:: Download the Festival brochure
:: View the Festival Map for stage locations

11:00am; Parade begins at 11:20am
Winthrop Park in Harvard Square (JFK & Mt. Auburn St.) to Charles River

Meet in Winthrop Park to celebrate the opening of the 2011 Cambridge River Festival and welcome in the summer season with Revels singers, musicians and puppeteers. Join in singing a few great songs, including "Down by the Riverside," accompanied by the irresistible groove of New Orleans-style honk band, Dirty Water Brass Band. After this opening ceremony, follow the giant puppet of local legend Brother Blue, created by Behind the Mask Theater, along with a majestic burst of puppet butterflies down to the riverside. Everyone is invited to participate in the parade. Bring a drum or a kazoo! If you think you can't carry a tune, carry a puppet!

Weeks Footbridge at DeWolfe Street (Riverside)
Coordinators: TOAD and The Lizard Lounge
Host: Tom Bianchi, Cambridge-based Musician

12:00 Noon - Margaret Glaspy
1:00pm - Dietrich Strause
2:00pm - Darlingside
3:00pm - Sarah Borges
4:00pm - Ryan Fitzsimmons Band
5:00pm - Fandango

Margaret Glaspy
Born and raised in rural Northern California, Margaret Glaspy, singer/songwriter came to Boston a few years ago on a grant from the National Foundation for the Advancement of Arts, and plays regularly at Club Passim and the Lizard Lounge. Her credits also include performances at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and New York City's Ziegfeld Theatre. She counts Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor among the artists who have won her old soul at a young age.

Dietrich Strause
Dietrich Strause has been drawing in Boston audiences with poetic lyrics brought to life through his flowing finger-picking guitar, a mellifluously woven viola, and the pulse of a roots heartbeat. His band features of some of the Boston area's finest musicians, Billy Beard (Session Americana), Jim Larkin (Jesse Dee), and Laurence Scudder (The Ryan Montbleau Band).


Darlingside is a string rock quintet, based in Northampton, Mass., that features lush five-part harmonies, classical cello-violin duets and compelling break-beats. The band keeps audiences on their toes with their exuberant stage presence, spontaneous a cappella, frequent instrument switches, mind-boggling covers and a widely eclectic, cross-genre blend of original material.

Sarah Borges
Known to many nationwide due to relentless touring with her fiery rockin' band, The Broken Singles, Sarah has drawn praise throughout the country, including accolades from the Boston Globe ("the playfully charismatic Borges truly shines"), Time Out New York ("irresistible") and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ("just a whole lot of fun"). The band received raves in the New York Times for their "vivacious" live show and Borges was awarded "Local Female Vocalist of the Year" at the 2008 Boston Music Awards.

Ryan Fitzsimmons
While still a relative newcomer to Providence, Rhode Island, Ryan Fitzsimmons was nominated for Best Folk Act for 2004, and in 2007, he was awarded "Best Male Vocalist" in the Providence Phoenix Best Music Poll. He has performed at the Newport Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and many other venues throughout New England, including Cambridge's TOAD and The Lizard Lounge. He is currently finishing his second CD with David "Goody" Goodrich (Chris Smither and Peter Mulvey).


Fandango is as much a spiritual renewal as it is a reinterpretation of some of the best soul, blues, gospel, and Americana music ever written. At their weekly Wednesday night residency at TOAD, Fandango frontman Fred Griffeth leads this congregation into soul and R&B righteousness! Fandango also includes Steve Cuoco on bass, Chris Anzalone on drums, Cliff Spencer on organ with Bob Enik and Kevin Belz sharing guitar duties.

Weld Boathouse at JFK Street (Riverside)
Coordinator: The Jazz Club at the Multicultural Arts Center
Host: Eric Jackson of 89.7 WGBH and Shelley Neill of Multicultural Arts Center

12:00 NOON - NAWI
1:30 pm - The Makanda Project
3:00 pm - The New World Jazz Composers Octet
4:30 pm - Kendrick Oliver's New Life Jazz Ensemble Featuring Vocalist Nicole Nelson


A doorway into the rich and diverse musical cultural traditions of Ecuador, NAWI blends modern elements with a deeply rooted folkloric foundation. Utilizing a wide range of traditional instruments from Ecuador and South America, as well as mandolin, violin, piano, electronic keyboards and electric bass, the group performs both instrumental and sung pieces.

Makanda Project
The Makanda Project celebrates Makanda Ken McIntyre, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator. In a distinguished career that spanned from the late 1950s until his sudden passing in 2001, he became very highly regarded within the jazz world for his own recordings and compositions as well as his contributions to recordings by Eric Dolphy and Cecil Taylor among others. Band members include Kurtis Rivers and Arni Cheatham, alto saxophone; Lance Bryant and Sean Berry, tenor saxophone and flute; Charlie Kohlhase, baritone saxophone; Jerry Sabatini, trumpet, flugelhorn; Josiah Woodson, trumpet and flute; Robert Stringer, trombone; Bill Lowe, bass trombone and tuba; John Kordalewski, piano; John Lockwood, bass, and Yoron Israel, drums.

New World Jazz Composers Octet
Daniel Ian Smith's octet is dedicated to the performance of new music. Having given their first performances under the guise of the "Sanctuary Composers Forum" in tandem with the "Jazz in the Sanctuary" concert series which featured jazz and improvised music, the group garnered considerable attention, and word spread that this world-class ensemble was truly one of a kind. The ensemble quickly adapts to and personalizes the compositions that are written expressly for it. They will present music from their latest recording project, Transitions.

Kendrick Oliver's New Life Jazz Ensemble
Inspired by Big Band greats, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie, this New England-based group combines Basie-style swing, foot-stompin', head-bobbin' arrangements with high-powered rhythms, an unrestrained brass section, elegant vocals and a talented assortment of spectacular soloists to produce its infectious sound. Rooted in Gospel music, this outstanding Jazz Ensemble will have you dancing along and shouting out for more from the first song to the last note.

Memorial Drive between JFK Street and Plympton Street (Harvard University Side)
Coordinator: Central Square Theater
Host: Mr. Oberon of American Repertory Theater's
The Donkey Show

12:00pm & 1:30pm - Actors' Shakespeare Project, scenes from Shakespeare & Stage Combat Workshop
12:35 - American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), The Donkey Show and interactive workshop of The Bus Stop
1:10 pm & 2:45pm - Central Square Theater, excerpts and songs from
Silver Spoon
1:50pm & 4:00pm - Company One excerpts from Pig Pen's
Mountain Song
2:10pm - ImprovBoston, excerpts from their Boston Family Show
3:00pm & 4:45pm - The Theater Offensive, OUT in Your Neighborhood
3:35pm - Metro Stage Company, musical excerpts from 2010/2011 Seasons
4:15pm - ImprovBoston, excerpts from their mainstage shows
5:15pm- ImprovBoston Showcase: Featuring songs from T: An MBTA Musical!

Actors' Shakespeare Project (ASP)
Actors' Shakespeare Project resident company members present scenes from the past six seasons and give a taste of what is to come in season seven! Will you meet Costard or Cordelia? Rage against The Tempest or decide All's Well that Ends Well? Ride into battle with Prince Hal in England or with Anthony in Egypt? WORKSHOP: Join ASP's Combat Workshop, led by Resident Company Member Robert Walsh, to learn about making stage battles, between hordes of men or one-on-one, look realistic and seem dangerous!

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.)
Performances from The Donkey Show and interactive workshop of The Bus Stop. The Donkey Show tells the story of A Midsummer Night's Dream through the great 70s anthems, including "We are Family," "I Love the Nightlife," "Car Wash," "Ring My Bell," and "Last Dance." The enchanted forest of Shakespeare's classic comedy becomes the glittered world of retro disco as the lovers escape from their real lives to experience a night of dream, abandon, and fantasy.

Central Square Theater
Excerpts from The Nora Theatre Company's world premiere musical, Silver Spoon, delights with toe-tapping folk numbers and rousing ballads. Working-class Brooklyn and upper-crust Manhattan collide in the idealistic days of the late 1960s as two young lovers fight for justice and search for acceptance from their families, society, and each other. With
book by Cambridge's own Amy Merrill and music and lyrics by popular songwriter and activist Si Kahn. Directed by The Nora Theatre Company's Associate Director Daniel Gidron.

PHOTO CALL Workshop (Ongoing 12:00-6:00pm): A huge hit of the 2010 Cambridge River Festival, this workshop, led by CST's resident companies, Underground Railway Theater and The Nora Theatre Company, is back by popular demand. Try on costumes, learn how to pose on set pieces, and manipulate giant puppets.

Company One
Company One performs songs and storytelling from the upcoming premiere of Pig Pens' The Mountain Song.



The Theater Offensive
OUT in Your Neighborhood: Pride Tour: To celebrate four decades of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) movement, The Theater Offensive presents an original mini-musical for young and old alike about the spark that lit the flame: the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Composer/playwright Melissa Li's (2007 Jonathan Larson Award-winner) raucous, original show tours Boston area neighborhoods during June (LGBT Pride Month). In the spirit of Stonewall, The Theater Offensive's OUT in Your Neighborhood: Pride Tour brings profoundly engaging art into the streets, where people can enjoy free public performances of OUT theater on their own turf, without tickets and other trappings of traditional theater. Celebrate the magic of a community bursting out of the closets and onto the streets!

Metro Stage Company
Metro Stage Company cast members perform excerpts of Broadway favorites from Metro Stage past seasons.



ImprovBoston performs excerpts from their family and mainstage shows: ImprovBoston Family Show at 2:10pm: Winner of the Nickelodeon Parent's Connect Award for Best Children's Theater, the ImprovBoston Family Show offers hilarity for adults and children alike every Saturday at 6:00pm. The ImprovBoston Mainstage at 4:15pm: The ever-evolving show is the cornerstone of ImprovBoston. Blending skillful storytelling, memorable music, audience participation, and joyful chaos, an elite cast of Boston's best improvisers creates a show that redefines itself with every performance every Saturday at 8:00 &10:00pm. Improv Boston Showcase at 5:15pm: Featuring songs from T: An MBTA Musical!

Memorial Drive across from Flagg Street (Rverside)
Coordinator: José Mateo Ballet Theatre & Dance for World Community
Host: Alice Hunter, Cambridge-based choreographer and instructor

12:00 Noon - José Mateo Ballet Theatre YouthWorks
12:30pm - Global Water Dances
1:00pm - Annawan Weeden
2:00pm - Salsa y Control
3:00pm - Boston Bhangra
4:00pm - OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center
5:00pm - Benkadi Drum and Dance


José Mateo Ballet Theatre YouthWorks
YouthWorks is a unique performing group of talented JMBT's Young Dancers Program students, selected by audition that presents public performances. The goal of YouthWorks is to bring ballet to diverse audiences and provide pre-professional students with extensive performance experience. Comprised of students ages 14 to 18, YouthWorks presents original works created by choreographer, José Mateo at venues and festivals throughout Massachusetts.

Global Water Dances
Join a wave of dance that will encircle the earth to bring awareness to local and global water issues. Learn a movement sequence created by dancers around the world inspired by water. Get a sneak peek of local choreographers' pieces created for the Global Water Dance to be performed on the Weeks Footbridge between Cambridge and Boston on June 25, 2011 at 5:00pm. We invite you to be a dance catalyst in the name of our precious resource: water.

Annawan Weeden
Annawon Weeden, an accomplished dancer, singer and performer, demonstrates dance styles from the powwow genre of intertribal Native American dance. His performance also includes social dancing with audience participation. Time will be allotted for questions & answers. Annawon provides education as well as entertainment. Take part in the celebration of Native American culture!

Salsa y Control
Take part in salsa lessons and a high-energy performance! Learn the basic fundamentals of salsa dancing - just enough to get you out on the dance floor. Suitable for all ages and a guaranteed good time!



Boston Bhangra
Boston Bhangra is a non-profit organization that promotes cultural awareness and mentorship of children. Bhangra is a folk dance based out of the Punjab region of India, and is also one of the fastest growing forms of dance in the world.
You will see the energy and vigor of Bhangra through this performance, along with how much fun it can be!

OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center
OrigiNation's NIA Dance Troupe, Girlz of IMANI, Aleye Boyz Troupe and IMANI Jr. present an interactive, energetic performance consisting of jazz, hip hop and African dances. Learn some of OrigiNation's best dance moves during the performance.


Benkadi, meaning "Coming Together Sweetly" in the Bamanankan language of Mali, is a vibrant African dance company directed by Sory Diabate, a professional drummer from Bamako, Mali. Benkadi performs and teaches dances, songs and rhythms from Mali and Guinea, West Africa. Experience the explosive energy and infectious spirit of Benkadi's drummers and dancers.


Memorial Drive between JFK Street and Plympton Street (Harvard University Side)
Coordinator: Cambridge Arts Council

12:00 Noon - Jungle Jim, One World, Many Stories
1:00pm - Beyond the 4th Wall
2:00pm - Double Vision Pantomonium
3:00pm - CRLS Jazz Program
4:00pm - Big Nazo
5:00pm - Pancha Thurya Drum Orchestra

Jungle Jim's One World, Many Stories
Have you ever heard the stories of an indigenous Australian tribe from thousands of years ago? Witnessed a Japanese samurai preparing for battle? Did you know that snakes and a fierce and terrible giant used to live in Ireland? Jim Manning presents his One World, Many Stories family show. Designed for all audiences, Jim shows us just how big and amazing this world can be. Using comedy, magic, improv and even balloons, Jim brings tales to life from all across the globe. This show will leave your young audience full of knowledge and excited to learn about the larger world around them.

Beyond the 4th Wall
Beyond the 4th Wall presents excerpts from this year's children's musical program season: Seussical and Grease. The teen troupe presents one of their "musical happenings" and a preview from their upcoming summer production of Aida.


Double Vision
In the European tradition, Double Vision Theatre Company presents Pantomonium - circus Illusion, theater, mime, sign language, umbrellas tricks, ladder stunts and more -embodied in a one-hour display of magical wonder and clever zaniness.


CRLS Jazz Program
Original jazz arrangements played by students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Each arrangement has an "A" section and a "bridge." Students organize the different sections in a variety of creative alignments, developing an introduction, solo order, varied instrumentation and coda for each piece. They also experiment with various tempos and rhythmic "grooves" in the tradition of stylistic and creative flexibility which is one of the hallmarks of jazz.

Big Nazo
Big Nazo is a larger-than-life-sized, audience-interactive, foam-rubber creature troupe that employs a variety of puppet, mask and wearable sculpture techniques to create mobile visual spectacle and bizarre alien configurations.


Pancha Thurya Drum Orchestra
The Pancha Thurya Drum Orchestra mainly focuses on Sri Lankan music, dance traditions and their interactions with other music genres using traditional musical instruments and performing techniques from different music traditions to produce unique sounds. Pancha Thurya transcends boundaries and bonds different traditions together.


Cambridge Folklife
Memorial Drive at the Weeks Footbridge
Host: Folklorist Millie Rahn
Featuring the arts & crafts of industry: papermaking, printing, publishing and letter pressing demonstrations.
Demonstrators include:
Amy Lapidow, legacy boxes
Jeff Altepeter, bookbinder and decorator
Peter Hopkins of Crane Paper, the leading papermaker in the US and printers of US currency

Cambridge Public School Young Artists Showcase
Corporal Burns Park (Memorial Drive and Flagg Street)
Host: Grace Durnford
An exhibition of artwork by Cambridge Public School students! Participate in a hands-on art-making activity led by a local art teacher.

Cambridge Open Studios (COS) Artist Demonstrations & Workshops
Memorial Drive at the Weeks Footbridge
Hosts: 9 Colors Artist Group and COS Coordinator Jerrie Lyndon
The 9 Colors Artist Group (COS artists) showcase their works and give hands-on art-making demonstrations and instruction. Artists include: Mary Akitomo, Cherif Benattia, Nancy Bronson, Dianne Khan, Bonnie Sloan, and Joyce Wang

StoryStream Cambridge
Memorial Drive at the Weeks Footbridge
Come hear stories for all ages! Learn about the early days of the Washington Elms and Newtowne Court housing projects from former residents. Interactive games related to the immigrant experience. Internationally famous storyteller Judith Black presents stories for families. Teen actors and improv artists dramatize their views of life in Cambridge.

The Art of Words Poetry Tent
Memorial Drive at the Weeks Footbridge
Host: Jean-Dany Joachim, outgoing Poet Populist & Toni Bee, Cambridge's newly elected Poet Populist for 2011/2012.

Ongoing: Take part in a variety of poetry readings and activities on the theme of
Catastrophes & Redemption.
2pm: See the passing of the "laurel" from one Poet Populist to another.

Handmade Mask Display & Interactive Butterfly-Making Workshop
Next to the INSPIRE: Theater Stage
Host: Eric Bornstein, Behind the Mask Theater
See unique hand-made, large-scale puppets and masks. Create your own butterfly puppet in honor of local storytelling legend Brother Blue.

New England Blues
Memorial Drive at the Weeks Footbridge
Hosts: The New England Folk Music Archives and The Boston Blues Society
NEFMA & BBS spotlight the ongoing cultural legacy of folk music and its connections to New England. This unique showcase features archival information, photographs, and live musical demonstrations.

Sculptural Music
An interactive exhibition of kinetic sculptures that make music, created by Viktor Lois, a mechanical genius who brings dead machinery parts back to life and bestows them with the ability to play music. All are welcome to play instruments and compose music!

Roving Performances:
Cady Vishniac and Blake Brasher, Living Statues
Big Nazo, Roving Characters

Public Art Installations:
Sidewalk Sam
Corner of Memorial Drive and JFK Street

Kendall Dudley's Rocks Rolling Closed at the Gates of War
River Bend Park across from Corporal Burns Park