:: Calendar of Events


The Department of Conservation & Recreation along with the Cambridge Arts Council have decided to cancel the Cambridge River Festival due to severe weather conditions, concerns for public safety and possible flooding at stages. There is no rain date for the event.

Cambridge River Festival parade image
Photo: Erik Fuller Photography

Saturday, June 2, 2012, 12:00 Noon - 6:00 p.m.
Rain or Shine

:: View the Brochure

CONNECT: Folk & Roots Stage
Location: Weeks Footbridge at DeWolfe Street (Riverside)
Coordinators: TOAD and The Lizard Lounge
Host: Tom Bianchi, Cambridge-based Musician

Abbie Barrett & the Last Date

Featured regularly on 92.5 The River, their vast sound, featuring Barrett's soaring, smoky voice, ranges from uptempo honky-tonk to anthem-like crescendos. Described by the Noise as "refreshing-a bright light among others of her genre."

Rusty Belle
With a style all their own and music that swings easily from sweet, simple melodies and whiskey lullabies to tongue-in-cheek, candy-pop and down-home porch-tunes, Rusty Belle combines sweet nostalgia, swaggering poise, and grimy dancing.

Amber Rubarth
The winner of the Grand Prize in this year's New Song Mountain Stage Contest for her song, "Letter from My Lonelier Self," her quirky and endearingly candid songwriting has attracted enthusiasm from NPR's All Songs Considered, the Huffington Post, BBC Radio, a glowing feature in Acoustic Guitar magazine, and a Sun Studio Session airing nationwide on PBS.

Todd Thibaud Band
This Vermont-born, Boston-based singer-songwriter's songs are a slice of "real life." Thibaud derives inspiration from songwriters such as Elvis Costello, Neil Finn, Johnny Cash and John Hiatt in creating a unique sound that meshes elements of Americana, Folk, Country and Roots, Pop, and Rock, giving them a both familiar and new feel.

The Four Legged Faithful
This band stands on the creativity of four ordinary men who thrive on creating beautiful, heartfelt, and genuine music using traditional folk/bluegrass instruments. The group achieves an incredible level of intensity using foot percussion and layered rhythms throughout every measure.

Kingsley Flood
Named the "best live band in Boston" by the Boston Herald and the winner of New Artist of the Year at the 2010 Boston Music Awards, Kingsley Flood is best known for its high-energy live shows. Creating what the New Yorker calls "a modern brand of Americana," the six-piece band is "a potent mix of gypsy folk and roadhouse rock." (music blog, Twangville)

CREATE: Jazz and World Music Stage
Location: Weld Boathouse at JFK Street (Riverside)
Coordinator: The Jazz Club at the Multicultural Arts Center
Hosts: Eric Jackson of 89.7 WGBH & Shelley Neill of the Multicultural Arts Center

Tre Corda
Whether reinventing jazz standards, breathing new life into classical repertoire, or premiering their own original works, Tre Corda generates a compelling sound all its own. They blend composition and improvisation using the musical vocabulary of classical composers like Bartok and Stravinsky, as well as songs and ideas from the worlds of jazz and popular music. Tim Ray, piano; Eugene Friesen, cello; Greg Hopkins, trumpet and flugelhorn.

Modern Impression: The Ron Savage Trio
Featuring Ron Savage, drums; Ron Mahdi, bass; and Jetro daSilva, piano, the group describes their unique and fresh sound as "Modern Impression." The trio creates a seamless meshing of music from the African Diaspora, including bebop, swing, gospel, African R&B, and Brazilian music.

Marco Pignataro Jazzet featuring Joanne Brackeen
Marco Pignataro, saxophonist and the Managing Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute at Berklee College of Music, leads this ensemble featuring Joanne Brackeen, the only female piano player to ever play in the Grammy Award-winning Art Blakey Jazz Messengers. Completing this assemblage of master musicians are flutist Matt Marvuglio, Dean of the Performance Division at Berklee College of Music, drummer Yoron Israel, and Barry Smith on bass.

Kevin Harris Project featuring Terri Lyne Carrington
Their distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary music brings together Thelonious Monk, Danilo Perez, and Charlie Parker with J.S. Bach, Scott Joplin, and the folkloric rhythms of Cuba into a one-of-a-kind celebration of sounds and influences. Boston-based jazz pianist Kevin Harris joins Kendall Eddy (bass) and Rick Dimuzio (tenor saxophone) with famed drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington.

5:00-6:00 pm
The Joel LaRue Smith Afro Cuban Jazz Trio
The Joel Larue Smith Trio performs both nationally and internationally. Chip Boaz of The Latin Jazz Corner writes that Smith's "compositions dance around Afro-Cuban rhythms and traditional jazz ideals with a knowledgeable movement that reflects a solid foundation in both worlds. His ideas often place one foot in each genre, placing his compositions firmly in clave while his band interprets them with the loose freedom of swing." Joel LaRue Smith, piano; Fernando Huego, bass; and Tago Michelin, drums.

INSPIRE: Theater Stage
Memorial Drive between JFK Street and Plympton Street (Harvard University Side)
Coordinator: Central Square Theater
Host: Keith Mascoll

12:50pm, 1:35pm, 1:55pm, 2:45pm
Photo Call Workshop 12:00-5:45
Central Square Theater
Enjoy excerpts from Car Talk: The Musical!! and Get Ready: A Cabaret (The Cabaret Series). Car Talk: The Musical!!! is just like the radio show: more than auto repair, it's about life, love, laughter, and the American Dream, opening June 14 at Central Square Theater. You can see Get Ready: A Cabaret in its entirety on June 26 at Central Square Theater.

PHOTO CALL WORKSHOP: Join CST's resident companies, Underground Railway Theater and The Nora Theatre Company for PHOTO CALL! Try on costumes, learn how to pose on set pieces, manipulate giant puppets, and find out how to do it all for the camera.

Lyric Stage Company of Boston
The Lyric Stage Company of Boston produces quality theatrical production of varying genres and styles which are entertaining, challenging, and provocative that reach a wide variety of audiences through reasonable ticket prices and outreach programs, and supports and nurtures the talents of Boston-area theater artists. See them perform excerpts from their production of Avenue Q!

New Repertory Theatre
New Repertory Theatre produces plays that speak powerfully to the essential ideas of our time. Through the passion and electricity of live theater performed to the highest standards of excellence, New Rep expands and challenges the human spirit of both artists and audience. See an excerpt from their Summer Studio production of Working by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso.

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.)
Check out performances from The Donkey Show and join an 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.

2:15-2:45pm, 4:10- 4:40pm
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Take part in a Stage Combat Workshop with Omar Robinson.


3:35-4:05pm and 5:30-6:00pm
Representing some of the finest comedic talent in the Boston improv community, ImprovBoston TourCo performs for diverse audiences from corporate clients to elementary school students to sold-out shows at the Hynes Convention Center.

Behind the Mask
Behind the Mask and Teatro Delle Maschere present The Esteemed Dottore of Bologna Offers His Authoritative, Erudite, and Thoroughly Supercilious Meditation on the Mask, featuring, Ian Thal: Arlecchino; Stacey Polishook: Columbina; and James Van Looy: Il Dottore. The performance also includes excerpts from Shakespeare's As You Like It with Ian Thal: Arlecchino/Touchstone; Stacey Polishook: Columbina/Audrey; and James Van Looy: Pierrot/Jacques.

ENGAGE: Dance Stage
Location: Memorial Drive across from Flagg Street (Riverside)
Coordinator: José Mateo Ballet Theatre/Dance for World Community
Host: Alice Hunter, Cambridge-based choreographer/instructor

José Mateo Ballet Theater: YouthWorks
YouthWorks is a performing group of pre-professional students, ages 14 to 18, from José Mateo Ballet Theatre's Young Dancers Program, who are committed to serving the community through dance while gaining valuable experience as developing young artists. YouthWorks brings it own repertory of original and traditional ballet works to diverse audiences with a focus on providing access to the art form.

Chien-Hwe: 1000 Virtues Dance School
1,000 Virtues Dance is a school that creates and nurtures a safe and comfortable, yet challenging and exciting space for students, dancers of all styles, training levels and backgrounds. Watch this spunky, energetic performance, and pick up some new moves!

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.

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!

MASs Dance Project
MASs Dance Project utilizes dance, music, and stories to introduce the art of dance to people of all ages through observation and participation. Their short ballets are designed to spark the imagination and energy of all who participate.

Etnia Fusion & Friends
Join in a multicultural journey through Ancient Japan and the Far East with an eclectic Asian Fusion of performing arts, Odori dance and martial arts.

Boston Swing Central: New School Swing
Boston Swing Central and New School Swing partner to bring their enthusiastic, upbeat performance to the stage. Bring your family and friends to learn swing and lindy hop, and have fun on the dance floor!

Benkadi Drum and Dance
Benkadi is a vibrant African dance company directed by Sory Diabate, a professional drummer from Bamako, Mali. Experience the explosive energy and infectious spirit of Benkadi's drummers and dancers as this group performs and teaches dances, songs, and rhythms from Mali and Guinea, West Africa.

IMAGINE: Family and Children's Stage
Location: Memorial Drive between JFK Street and Plympton Street (Harvard University Side)
Coordinator: Cambridge Arts Council

Odaiko New England
Odaiko New England (ONE) integrates the powerful sound of the taiko (drum) with graceful movement to create a dynamic and visual performance. With its own unique style, ONE fuses the traditions of Japanese rhythms with the musical influences of many cultures to create a contemporary American taiko aesthetic.

Rona Leventhal, Storyteller
Travelin' Shoes: A Multi-Cultural Storytelling Extravaganza!
Rona Leventhal is one person, but she tells her stories through many voices! Dance, sway in your seats, make funny noises, sing and laugh as Rona shares stories from the silly to the serious, from the mysterious to the monstrous.

Free Hands Productions: Three Blessed Brothers
Free Hands Productions brings modern American tales to life with live music, puppets, and storytelling. The Three Blessed Brothers is an original tall tale about three magical sons who set out to explore the wild world beyond their home.

Rolie Polie Guacamole
Brooklyn-based Rolie Polie Guacamole comes to Cambridge for an afternoon dance party of funk, rock and folk music mashed into original tunes about natural living, eating healthy and staying active.

Piti Theatre Company: To Bee or Not To Bee
To Bee or Not to Bee, Piti Theatre Company's new play, blends puppetry, dance, live music, and audience participation to offer all ages a profound sense of the positive impact their actions can have on our environment, communities, and the future of the honeybee - while having a great time!

Inkas Wasi
In current day Andean costumes and with the traditional Inka flutes, unique percussions and stringed instruments, enchanting melodies and infectious rhythms, Inkas Wasi Peru showcases the music of the Inka people and their homeland.

Interactive Arts, Art Demonstrations & Workshops

Beekeepers & Follow the Honey
Location: between Community Tables and Family and Children's Stage
Interested in urban beekeeping? Concerned about colony collapse disorder? Want to help honeybees? Fascinated by honeybees' social instinct? Follow the Honey (a Harvard Square boutique), Best Bees, and members of the Boston Beekeepers answer questions about all things honeybee. Come taste honey from around the world, and take a look at an observational hive to see these amazing insects up close!

Behind the Mask Theater Mask & Puppet Display
Location: between the Family & Children and Theater Stages
See unique hand-made, large-scale puppets and masks created by Eric Bornstein and the Behind the Mask Theater. Use your imagination and be transported to a wonderland where mystical creatures live and frolic in a field of butterflies honoring the memory of legendary Cambridge storyteller Brother Blue.

Cambridge Open Studios Tent
Location: Weeks Footbridge
Get creative with artists from Cambridge Open Studios!
Marcia Cohen, a member of NoCa (North Cambridge Arts), demonstrates making pens from bamboo garden stakes and using them in watercolor paintings. Find out how you can make a pen from drinking straws.
Janet Hobbs, a member of NoCa (North Cambridge Arts), shows how she experiments with combinations of techniques and overlays of color to create paintings with surprising results. Experiment creating your very own painting with Janet.
Cambridge organization TRACK: Traveling Art Cards for Kids brings the Art Card experience to diverse groups of kids across Massachusetts. Visit their activity table to design and trade your own Art Cards.

StoryStream Cambridge
Location: Weeks Footbridge
StoryStream Cambridge, a collaboration of many individuals, city agencies and organizations, connects people of all ages and backgrounds with the joy and power of telling and listening to stories. The StoryStream Cambridge Storytelling Tent presents stories of ordinary and extraordinary life in Cambridge and beyond.

12:00-12:50 Doria Hughes and artist/ Recycling
1:00-1:30 Beyond the 4th Wall
1:40-2:30 Tony Toledo and KR Glickman (stories for families in English and ASL)
2:45-3:25 Spare Change News vendors
3:30-4:15 Story Flag stories and Memory stories with Jo Radner and immigrant residents

Events include:
Unseen Borders: stories for all ages in English and American Sign Language, told by popular storytellers Tony Toledo and KR Glickman.
How did you come to Cambridge? Memory stories by Cambridge residents from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, the US and elsewhere. Audience participation!
Doing Business in Cambridge: Learn about the lives and times of your working neighbors from the vendors of Spare Change News to other local retailers.
Create your personal Cambridge Story Flag! Clara Wainwright, fabric and celebration artist, inspires our creativity as we print our own stories about Cambridge on fabric and display them in the Storytelling Tent.
• Storytelling games for children.

Cambridge Folklife: Weaving Community
Location: Weeks Footbridge
Cambridge Folklife celebrates the arts and crafts of industry and innovation by showcasing textile traditions in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses strike in Lawrence, MA. Weaving Community explores the many forms that textiles can take and focus on their conservation so that today's textiles can become tomorrow's heirlooms.

Poet Populist
Location: Weeks Footbridge
Cambridge Poet Populist Toni Bee, brings both sides of the river together by hosting Cambridge and Boston-based poets and "Poet Crews" in addition to her signature "Music/Poetry Mash-Ups." Participate in a creative writing, interactive activity. All are encouraged to mix and mash words together on the community magnetic poetry boards.

Maud Morgan Visual Arts Center
Location: Between the Folk & Roots and Interactive Dance Stages
Take part in art-making activities! Transform the Maud Morgan area throughout the day by wrapping and decorating it with brightly colored string. Work together and draw parts of an imaginary creature on a giant chalkboard.

Chromodynamic Playground
Location: Corporal Burns Park
The Chromodynamic Playground art installation transports you to a world of saturated color and sound. Participate in a collective work of art by creating paintings under highly-saturated LED light. As the lights cycle through a variety of color combinations, the paintings appear to change color in surprising ways. Made possible by the Cambridge Arts Council and the MIT's Council for the Arts.

Healthy Parks and Playgrounds: How Do You Play?
Location: Next to the Interactive Dance Stage, across from the World of Food
Meet members of the Community Development Department's Healthy Parks and Playgrounds Advisory Committee and help make Cambridge a more playful place for people of all ages. Unstructured, "unprogrammed" play isn't a waste of time! It contributes to physical health, emotional well-being, human development and learning. Come tell us what play means to you, and learn why Cambridge is taking play seriously.

Sunday Parkland Games & Knucklebones
Location: Next to the Interactive Dance Stage, across from the World of Food
The Charles River Conservancy and the Department of Conservation and Recreation present a special Saturday edition of the Sunday Parkland Games at the River Festival! Join in fun games and athletic activities for all ages. Games are provided by Knucklebones, New England's most diverse athletic services, retail, and consulting company dedicated to "the love of play." Sunday Parkland Games occur on the banks of the Charles River between the Weeks Footbridge and the Weld Boathouse in Cambridge every Sunday, starting June 2 through September 30, between 2:00 and 5:00pm.