AMHERST — While the doors to The Drake will soft open on April 26 with the Green Street Trio of Northampton Jazz Workshop fame, a grand opening will take place April 28 at 44 North Pleasant Street in Amherst.
The grand opening weekend will showcase performances by celebrated jazz violinist Regina Carter (April 28), Titans of Ethio-Groove & Funk Gili Yalo & the Anbessa Orchestra (April 29), singer/songwriter and chronicler of life Loudon Wainwright III (April 30), homegrown electro fever-pop from Home Body + NOVA ONE (May 1) and culminate in a Ribbon Cutting on May 2.
Tickets for grand opening weekend and beyond are available at www.thedrakeamherst.org.
The Downtown Amherst Foundation (DAF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is the driving force behind this venture, which will bring arts and culture to downtown Amherst. The Drake will present nightly entertainment from nationally and internationally recognized performers under the purview of Laudable Productions, known for presenting successful music festivals, concerts, and other cultural events across the Pioneer Valley.
Envisioned as a true community-based venture, The DAF is collaborating with the Art and Music departments of Amherst College, UMass Amherst, and Amherst-Pelham Regional High School to offer students, faculty, and alumni musicians the opportunity to perform live in an intimate space. Once a month, proceeds from the new “FEEDBACK LIVE” series will be donated to a local nonprofit. Many communities and education forward series will be announced soon.
Founded on a vision of diversity and inclusivity for both performers and audience, and adopting its name from the original Drake, a storied Amherst bar that closed in 1985, the Drake will welcome local residents of all ages and attract visitors coming to hear top talent in an intimate and familiar space.
Located on the second floor of the Amherst Bank Building (44 North Pleasant St.), the space has been completely transformed with state-of-the-art lighting and audio installed by Klondike Sound, and a Steinway Grand piano courtesy of Amherst College. The venue is open to all ages. For patrons 21 and over, it will house a full-service bar featuring craft cocktails, wine, and beer. It will feature both seated and dance floor configurations.