Jazz & Art Festival
July 8-10: A Mardi Gras theme will kick off the 5th annual Hampden Bank Hoop City Jazz & Art Festival on July 8, featuring Glenn David Andrews with the Soul Rebels, and hosted by Wendell Pierce, star of the HBO series Treme. The celebration, planned at Springfield’s Court Square on the Esplanade, continues throughout the weekend with a lineup of world-class entertainment. On July 9, performances are slated by Marcus Anderson, the UK Kings of Jazz Groove, Down to the Bone, 17-year-old jazz newcomer Vincent Ingala, and Gerald Albright. On July 10, performances begin with the Eric Bascom Quintet, followed by Samirah Evans and Her Handsome Devils. Kendrick Oliver and the New Life Orchestra will also perform, and Latin jazz performer Poncho Sanchez will close out the festival. Organizers will also be increasing the number of merchandise vendors, artisans, and crafters, as well as food vendors. For more information, visit www.hoopcityjazz.org.
Big Band Celebration
July 9: The Springfield Armory National Historic Site will be the setting for an evening of music and dance to salute Benny Goodman’s 1943 concert in the city. The Memories Big Band Sound will kick off the celebration from 6 to 8 p.m., performing the music of Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers, the Andrew Sisters, and Benny Goodman. The USO Retro Show will be performed by two dance troupes as Jitterbug Dancer, of Chicopee, and Small Planet Dancers, of Springfield, take the stage at 8 p.m. with a look back at the 70th anniversary of the USO. The dancers will be dressed in World War II-era uniforms. Jitterbug will also offer free swing dance lessons to the audience from 5 to 6 p.m. The evening culminates with a performance by the U.S. Northeast Navy Pops Band from 8:30 to 10 p.m., playing top-10 music hits from the past three decades. Picnicking is encouraged. There will be ample parking, including handicap parking, and indoor restroom facilities. The rain site is Scibelli Hall at Springfield Technical Community College. The museum will also be open during all event hours. For more information, call (413) 734-8551 or visit www.nps.gov/spar.
July 9: The Elms College Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders, along with the River Street Autism Program, will host “The New Face of Autism” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the college’s Alumnae Library Theater. This first annual conference is designed for parents and professionals, and topics will include critical communication skills in autism, the future of autism treatment, teaching children with autism to ask for what they want, making psychoactive medication decisions, and quality-of-life issues for individuals with Asperger’s. Educators and professionals in the field of speech and language pathology and board-certified behavior analysts will conduct the conference sessions. The $95 cost to attend includes all presentations and lunch. Registration is required. For more information, contact Dee Ward at (413) 265-2253 or [email protected]
Western Mass. Business Expo
Oct. 18: Businesses from throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties will come together for the premier trade show in the region, the Western Mass. Business Expo. Formerly known as the Market Show, the event, produced by BusinessWest and staged at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, has been revamped and improved to provide exposure and business opportunities for area companies. The cost for a 10-by-10 booth is $700 for members of all area chambers and $750 for non-members, corner booths are $800 for all chamber members and $850 for non-members, and a 10-by-20 booth is $1,200 for all chamber members and $1,250 for non-members. For more information, log onto www.businesswest.com or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.