Celebrity Series of Boston Announces 2023/24 Neighborhood Arts Season 

High Resolution Image Gallery Link | Link to video trailer 

(For Immediate Release, BostonJune 21, 2023) Celebrity Series of Boston announces its 2023/24 Arts For All! Neighborhood Arts season today, with 16 free in-person events and 10 streaming events. Taking place throughout Boston and Cambridge, Celebrity Series' signature community engagement program embodies the organizational commitment to bring the arts to everyone and everyone to the arts. Highlights of the season include a weekend of music from Brazil; Stringfests in Dorchester with local youth musicians and the Chelsey Green Quartet and the Soul Yatra Trio; string quartet repertoire from around the globe; and celebrations of the music from the Afro-Latin diasporas. 
Robin Baker, Associate Director of Community Engagement, says, “Our 2023/24 Neighborhood Arts season presents 16 public performances highlighting 14 artist ensembles, many featuring ethnically diverse string artists and three programs featuring both African and Latin historical influences on the jazz scene. Neighborhood Arts debuts this season include composer-saxophonist Edmar Colón, violinist Chelsey Green, Nebulous and Rasa String Quartets, and pianist Leo Blanco. Twelve artists will lead lecture demos and school visits prior to their public events for community partners. Events will take place in six accessible venues throughout Boston and Cambridge neighborhoods, with 10 digitally streamed performances.” 
All performances are free and open to the public, with general admission seating and no tickets or reservations required. Signing up for reminders is encouraged at celebrityseries.org/neighborhood. All venues are fully physically accessible. Neighborhood Arts programming is anchored in partnerships with Boston-area artists and ensembles, and showcases the rich diversity of their musical offerings. Since 2012, Neighborhood Arts has brought the joy of live performance to people of all ages and abilities through programming primarily centered in Dorchester, Roxbury, the South End, Jamaica Plain, Back Bay, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roslindale, as well as East Cambridge and Harvard Square. 
Celebrity Series’ Arts for All! community engagement programs reach more than 10,000 individuals annually, through master classes with artists in public schools and conservatories, commissioning of new works by award-winning composers to be premiered by local artists and ensembles; hands-on, interactive workshops for youth led by Boston-area artists; community concerts in Boston neighborhoods; free and discounted tickets to performances; and public performance projects.  
Partner schools and community organizations in the 2023/24 season include: Ágora Cultural Architects, Arlington Street Church, Bethel A.M.E. Church, Big Sisters of Greater Boston, Black Market Nubian, Boston Arts Academy, Boston City Singers, Boston City-Wide String Orchestra, Boston Latin School, Boston Conservatory, Boston String Academy, Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music (BEAM), Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, City Strings United, Community Music Center of Boston, Conservatory Lab Charter School, Harvard-Epworth Church, Hamilton-Garrett Music & Arts, Hernandez K-8 School, Hurley K-8 School, METCO Inc., Margarita Muñiz Academy, Mission Hill Arts Festival, Multicultural Arts Center of Cambridge, Project Step, Sumner Elementary School, Quincy Elementary School, Roxbury Community College, Salvation Army Kroc Center, St. Stephen’s B-Ready Program, Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, and others. 


Neighborhood Arts is also partnering this summer with the Mission Hill Arts Festival for the second year. The theme of this year’s festival is EXUBERANCE—to remind us that we are strong, and capable, and creative, and daring, and that we have a good chance of doing something new and important, with the anticipation of the joy it could bring. 
Jalen Bunch: Finding Joy: A Celebration in Dance 
Sat. June 24, 6:00 PM 
The Yard at the Tobin Community Center, 1481 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02120 
Tickets: $0-$40, through Eventbrite 
Jalen Bunch, an exciting young choreographer currently a BFA student at Boston Conservatory, invites you to consider where you find joy, and how you make it your own. Using a SOMi-1 wearable sensor that will translate their movement into spontaneous music in real time, Bunch (along with nine other dancers) will create a one-of-a-kind dance and music experience that celebrates the return of exuberance to our lives after the loss and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.  
Lee Fish Quintet: Sounds of a Starr 
Sat. July 22, 6:00 PM 
The Yard at the Tobin Community Center, 1481 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02120 
Tickets: $0-$40, through Eventbrite 
Drummer Lee Fish, Boston-born and Berklee-educated but now based in New York, returns to his hometown to pay tribute to his late mother, composer and musician Lori Starr. He presents her compositions, rearranged for his quintet, to share the life, work, and passion as he helps her legacy live on. 
Kevin Harris Project: P U L S E: chamber music | improvisational music, featuring Winsor Music 
Sat. August 19, 6:00 PM 
The Yard at the Tobin Community Center, 1481 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02120 
Tickets: $0-$40, through Eventbrite 
Pianist and composer Kevin Harris brings jazz and chamber music together in P U L S E, a part-notated, part-improvised concert that celebrates the exchange of ideas. With jazz musicians from his own ensemble, and winds and strings players from Winsor Music, Harris has created a composition that aims to stretch the boundaries of genre and repertoire, and foster connection among different audiences. 
Edmar Colón Jazz Quartet: Original works and selections from the Puerto Rican Songbook 
Sat | September 23 | 3pm 
Arlington Street Church, 25 Arlington Street, Back Bay  
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/edmar-colon-jazz-quartet/  Puerto Rican saxophonist, pianist, and composer Edmar Colón makes his Neighborhood Arts debut as he explores the connections between the West African musical heritage in the Americas and the idiosyncrasies of classical music from Europe and beyond. By amplifying the similarities of these and other musical traditions, Colón achieves a distinctive homogenous blend of sounds, textures, and rhythms in his original work. This program also includes selections from the expansive and ever-so-beautiful Puerto Rican songbook by composers such as Bobby Capó, Julio Gutiérrez, and Sylvia Rexach. 
Gregory Groover Quartet: A Modern Exploration of Negro Spirituals 
Sat | October 21 | 3pm 
Bethel A.M.E. Church, 38 Walk Hill St., Jamaica Plain 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/gregory-groover-quartet/  

Saxophonist Gregory Groover, Jr.
returns to Neighborhood Arts for his fourth performance, his second as a bandleader. He and his quartet interpret the Negro Spiritual Songbook in an ambitious multi-year project. Groover pays tribute to the hope and resilience of those who have gone before, updating their songs into today’s musical expressions. Hip-hop, blues, and jazz combine as Groover and his quartet make the powerful songs their own.
Eduardo Betancourt & Charles Overton, harps 
Fri | October 27 | 7:30pm | Harvard-Epworth Church, 1555 Mass Ave., Harvard Square 
Sat | October 28 | 3pm | Arlington Street Church, 25 Arlington Street, Back Bay  
Tickets: Free
Two expressive and versatile harpists from across the Americas join forces for this memorable harp duo concert. Venezuelan harpist Eduardo Betancourt and American harpist Charles Overton perform traditional interpretations, jazz standards, and originals in a unique concert that unites music from across the Americas. Charles Overton returns for his fifth Neighborhood Arts concert, and Eduardo Betancourt for his second performance with the series. These two brilliant artists will make you hear the harp in a whole new way! 
Nino de los Reyes Flamenco Quartet  
Sat & Sun | November 4 & 5 | 3pm 
Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, East Cambridge, MA 02141   
GRAMMY award-winning Spanish flamenco artist Nino de los Reyes returns to Boston – a city he loves to visit for residencies and performances – for his second pulse-pounding performance with Neighborhood Arts. He will wow you with grand and explosive movements, and the intimacy of East Cambridge’s Multicultural Arts Center will give you an up-close look at the subtle details of his artistry. Dance, vocals, and hand percussion unite for a thrilling afternoon! 
Chelsey Green Quartet 
Sat | November 18 | 3pm 
Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury Crossing 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/chelsey-green-quartet/  

Violinist Chelsey Green makes a return to the Series (and a Neighborhood Arts debut) with her quartet for an afternoon of electrifying and innovative jazz that will make you hear the violin and viola in a whole new way! Now an in-demand performing artist and professor, Chelsey Green grew up as a standout on the classical viola, soloing at Carnegie Hall while still in high school. As she has grown as a musician and a bandleader, she has created her own sound. The Green Project tears down stereotypes about the violin and the viola, blending jazz, soul, pop, funk, R&B, gospel, and more.  
Castle of our Skins: As I Heard When I Was Young 
Sat | December 2 | 3pm 
Bethel A.M.E. Church, 38 Walk Hill St., Jamaica Plain 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/castle-of-our-skins-as-i-heard/  

Castle of our Skins, nationally renowned collective dedicated to Black musical artistry, celebrates the holiday season with Brian Raphael Nabors’ Kwanzaa Suite, as well as chamber music with African roots and Pan-African ideals in their 10th Neighborhood Arts event.   

Monthati Masebe (South Africa): Nomadic Nirvana for string quartet 
Bongani Ndodana Breen (South Africa): Apologia for string quartet 
Justinian Tamasuza (Uganda): Ekitundu Ekisooka for string quartet 
Derrick Skye (USA): As I Heard When I Was Young for string quintet featuring double bassist Ian Saunders 
Brian Raphael Nabors (USA): Kwanzaa Suite for tenor and string quartet featuring tenor TBD 
Stringfest, with Chelsey Green Trio, Boston Music Project, City Strings United, and Project STEP 
Sat | December 9 | 3pm 
Salvation Army Kroc Center, 650 Dudley Street, Dorchester 

Stringfest concerts give young string players the chance to learn from and perform alongside top professional musicians. Violinist Chelsey Green and her trio share a program of jazz, funk, pop, and more with talented students from local string ensembles: Boston Music Project, City Strings United, and Project STEP.
Music of Brazil: Nebulous String Quartet, Musica sem Fronteiras 
Fri | February 9 | 7:30pm 
Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, East Cambridge, MA 02141   
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/nebulous-string-quartet/  

Nebulous Quartet might have traditional string quartet instrumentation, but their sound is all their own. They create unique arrangements and beautiful original compositions that reflect the members’ distinct musical identities and the joyful spirit that brings them together. 

This young quartet, all recent Berklee alumni, create arrangements and original compositions from an improvisational and nebulous state. They take inspiration from their diverse backgrounds and musical identities. Their joy at creating and performing together will make their Neighborhood Arts debut concert a unique and memorable experience! 
Music of Brazil: Fernando Brandão Sextet: Brazilian contemporary jazz 
Sat | February 10 | 5pm 
Harvard-Epworth Church, 1555 Mass Ave., Harvard Square 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/fernando-brandao-sextet/  

Flutist Fernando Brandão and his Sextet
make their Neighborhood Arts debut performing Brazilian contemporary jazz and northeastern Brazilian music styles in this concert that celebrates the vibrant diversity of Brazilian music and culture. Using concert, alto, and bass flutes, and pífanos, Fernando performs across an eclectic repertoire of traditional and contemporary jazz and classical music.  
Hub New Music: to hear the things we cannot see 
Sat | February 24 | 3pm 
Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, East Cambridge, MA 02141  
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/hub-new-music-2024/  

Hub New Music, a “nimble quartet of winds and strings” (
NPR), has built a national reputation for commissioning and performing fresh, dazzling, and ambitious contemporary works. Hear the Grammy-nominated group in their fifth Neighborhood Arts performance for an exciting collaborative program that features an exciting spoken word and electronics collaboration, the world premiere of a work by Marcos Balter, and more. 

The program’s title, to hear the things we cannot see, comes from composer Nina C. Young’s collaboration with Hub New Music and poet Rosie Stockton, whose voice is broken down into its components and woven into the composition almost like another instrument. The program also includes a Neighborhood Arts and Hub New Music world premiere commission, part of Hub New Music’s tenth anniversary celebration, by composer Marcos Balter, called “the most exciting Brazilian composer of his generation” by O Estado de São Paulo 
Zahili Zamora's Jazz Ensemble featuring works of Afro-Latin Composers  
Sat | March 9 | 3pm 
Bethel A.M.E. Church, 38 Walk Hill St., Jamaica Plain 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/zahili-zamoras-jazz-ensemble/  

Cuban pianist, composer, and bandleader
Zahili Zamora showcases compositions by Black, Afro-Latin, and Latin jazz artists in this wide-ranging concert.

Zamora has appeared on four Neighborhood Arts concerts with 3Nity and Claudio Ragazzi (2022) and ensembles with Sheila del Bosque and Patricia Zárate Pérez in 2023. She is also a guest co-curator with Ken Fields for the 2023 Jazz Along The Charles public performance project with 25 jazz ensembles. She was also featured in a Solo(s) Together video for Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Music for Black People, No. 1: Relentless filmed at Futura Studios in 2022. 
Stringfest, with Soul Yatra Trio & Boston String Academy 
Sat | March 23 | 3pm 
Salvation Army Kroc Center, 650 Dudley Street, Dorchester 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/soul-yatra-trio-2024/  

Three acclaimed musicians and longtime Neighborhood Arts favorites -- violinist and erhu player Shaw Pong Liu, cello innovator Mike Block, and tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das -- come together as the Soul Yatra Trio to showcase folk music from around the world, revealing new beauty in traditional melodies. The Trio will share folk tunes from China, India, and the United States, as well as new and original works as they coach and play alongside young musicians from Boston String Academy in their second Stringfest together.  
Rasa String Quartet: Folk Music from East Asia 
Sat | April 6 | 3pm 
Arlington Street Church, 25 Arlington Street, Back Bay  
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/rasa-string-quartet/  

The Rasa String Quartet explores the musical space where classical and global folk traditions intersect and influence one another, inspiring
curiosity and powerful emotions. They bring together folk and anime selections from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese backgrounds in this fascinating and beautiful program for their Neighborhood Arts Debut.
Leo Blanco and the Sugar Road Ensemble: The Sugar Road, a musical journey of the African Diaspora through Latin-America 
Sat | April 13 | 3pm 
Bethel A.M.E. Church, 38 Walk Hill St., Jamaica Plain 
Tickets: Free: https://www.celebrityseries.org/productions/leo-blanco-sugar-road-ensemble/  

miss an unforgettable and powerful musical performance by Leo Blanco and the Sugar Road Ensemble in their Neighborhood Arts debut. The ambitious and important project illustrates how traditions treasured by Africans enslaved on sugar plantations shaped musical styles across Latin America. Hear how African influences have endured and evolved across the centuries in today’s Latin music and culture.

Bandleader Leo Blanco was born in the Venezuelan Andes where he absorbed folk music genres that were a mix of Afro-Caribbean, North American, and European musical stylesBy age eleven he was a violinist in the Merida Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 1996, his interest in world music and jazz brought him to Boston’s Berklee College of Music and he later earned a Master’s Degree in Composition at New England Conservatory. In 1997 Blanco became the first Latin American to win the prestigious Boston Jazz Society Award. The next year, he received the Billboard Grant Award for his commitment, achievement, and contribution to society through music. Currently, he is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music. 


Celebrity Series will record and stream six of this season’s Neighborhood Arts performances and re-release four streaming concerts from last season. These performances will remain live for on-demand viewing for three months each at celebrityseries.org or at Celebrity Series' YouTube channel: 
Edmar Colón Quartet | Oct. 5, 2023 
Gregory Groover Jr. Quartet | Nov. 2, 2023 
Chelsey Green Quartet | Nov. 30, 2023  
Nebulous String Quartet | Feb. 22, 2024 
Rasa String Quartet | Apr. 18, 2024 
Leo Blanco and the Sugar Road Ensemble | Apr. 25, 2024 
Re-released streams from the 2022/23 season: 
Balla Kouyaté, Mike Block & Friends: “Bamako to Boston” | Dec. 7, 2023  
Stringfest: Aristides Rivas’ “Suite Boricua,” with Boston String Academy | Dec. 21, 2023 
Charles Overton, harp & Lucia Lin, violin | Jan. 11, 2024 
Sheila del Bosque Quartet | Jan. 25, 2024 
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers—from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more—to Boston’s major concert halls for 85 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives, and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience—on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods—everywhere. 

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2023/24 Season Sponsors Stephanie L. Brown Foundation and Susan & Michael Thonis, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose generosity supports Arts for All! and help fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Individual and institutional supporters include Jill & David Altshuler, the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Amy & Joshua Boger, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Esplanade Association, Liberty Mutual Foundation, George & Lizbeth Krupp, Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Outside the Box: A Production of the Boston Arts Summer Institute, Eleanor & Frank Pao, Royal Little Family Foundation, Schrafft Charitable Trust, Stifler Family Foundation, Belinda Termeer, Yawkey Foundation, Anonymous (3), and many others. 

Arts for All! programs are also made possible by support from the LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Endowment & Innovation Funds of the Celebrity Series of Boston.  


Media Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com