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Now entering its eighth season, Neighborhood Arts presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston brings the joy of live performance to people of all ages and abilities, drawing deeply on partnerships with Boston area artists and more than 50 community organizations to activate neighborhoods with a rich and varied array of free and low-cost concerts and events. Neighborhood Arts offers a diverse array of performances and workshops across six Boston neighborhoods: Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End.

In 2019-20, Neighborhood Arts will feature 75 workshops and 30 concerts across three themes: a season-long Celebration of Puerto Rico; American and Contemporary Music; and World Music and Dance.

Over 50 community organizations—youth arts groups, neighborhood-based venues, community centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, faith-based organizations, schools and more—collaborate with Celebrity Series to plan and host activities each season. Neighborhood Arts includes interactive workshops for youth, free and $5 community concerts in neighborhood venues, and more than 1,000 free tickets to Celebrity Series main stage performances.

“Honoring cellist Pablo Casals’ work in Boston and Puerto Rico sets the stage for highlighting other events by the Fabiola Méndez Trio, Sol y Canto, Christian Figueroa, and Voci Angelica during our season-long Celebration of Puerto Rico,” says Robin Baker, Associate Director of Community Engagement. “For the first time, Neighborhood Arts is sponsoring two events involving five of Boston’s outstanding collegiate music departments to tie in later in the year with the December Stringfests for youth string ensembles in the South End, Roxbury, and Dorchester. Bringing live performances and workshops into Boston’s neighborhoods and schools allows local artists and residents to connect in a new and meaningful way.”

The dynamic roster of artists performing in 2019-2020 includes: Fabiola Méndez Trio (Puerto Rican folk and jazz); Sol y Canto (Pan-latin); Voci Angelica (world music); Castle of our Skins (Black artistry through music); Hub New Music (contemporary classical); Jason Palmer Quintet (jazz); Ryan Edwards (composer, percussion); Devin Ferreira (hip hop); Maria Finkelmeier (composer, percussion); Veronica Robles female mariachi band (Mexican music); Soul Yatra Trio (world music); Jean Appolon Expressions (Haitian contemporary dance); and Yo-El Cassell (contemporary dance, movement).

We welcome all to the Neighborhood Arts concerts listed below, which are free unless otherwise noted and located in accessible venues. See the full scope of the Arts for All! 2019-20 programming on our Community Calendar.



Our season-long focus on the music and artists of Puerto Rico showcases local artists of Puerto Rican heritage, features rarely-performed works by underrepresented composers, honors the legacy and Boston connections of celebrated cellist Pablo Casals, and celebrates the vibrant Puerto Rican community in Boston today.

A Boston Tribute to Cellist Pablo Casals 
This special project celebrates the legacy of the great cellist Pablo Casals and his connections to Boston and Puerto Rico. Most well-known for rediscovering and popularizing the Bach cello suites, Casals was born in Spain in 1876 and made his Boston debut on November 26, 1901. In 1955, he relocated to Puerto Rico, his mother’s native land, where he was integral to the establishment of the symphony, conservatory, and Casals Festival, which continues to this day.  

Friday, October 18, 2019 at 8 pm (7:15 PM pre-concert talk) 
Union United Methodist Church, 485 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118 
Tickets are $5; proceeds to benefit the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund 
Learn more and purchase tickets>>

Featuring Casals’ godson and New England Conservatory string chair Lluís Claret, Boston Symphony Orchestra Principal cellist Blaise Déjardin, and cellists Mike Block, Eugene Friesen, Yeesun Kim, Robert Mayes, Aristides Rivas, Rhonda Rider, and Nicholas Tzavaras, with Pei-Shan Lee, piano, this powerhouse collective of nine prominent cellists performs music from Casals’ 1901 Boston debut recital, works from the Casals Festivals, and the Boston premiere of Casals’ Cinco Obras for cello and piano. 

A pre-concert talk features Casals scholar Pedro Reina-Pérez, Lluís Claret, and Brian and Rosi Amador. 

Tickets are $5, with proceeds to benefit the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund.

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3pm 
Virginia Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Tickets: Free but Ticketed, advance reservations encouraged

Celebrating the tradition of mass cello choir performances at Puerto Rico’s beloved Casals Festivals, an orchestra of 56 cellists – drawn from students and faculty at Berklee, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory, and 14 professional organizations – share the stage for the first time in the magnificent Virginia Wimberley Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End.

The program includes Spanish Sardanas by Pablo Casals, Puerto Rican folksong arrangements by Aristides Rivas, and works by contemporary composers, accompanied by Jorge and Gabriel Arce on percussion. Joining the ensemble are Casals’ godson and New England Conservatory string chair Lluís Claret, and conductors Eugene Friesen and Aristides Rivas.

In the third and fourth components of the Boston Tribute to Cellist Pablo Casals, cello and vocal trio Voci Angelica leads the Roxbury Stringfest (December 8, 2019) with Boston City-Wide String Orchestra and City Strings United and the Dorchester Stringfest (December 14, 2019) with Conservatory Lab Charter School. Voci Angelica cellist and Venezuelan El Sistema graduate Aristides Rivas will adapt the Puerto Rican song arrangements commissioned for A Boston Tribute to Cellist Pablo Casals for these two community events featuring youth ensembles.

Fabiola Méndez is the first Berklee College of Music graduate with the Puerto Rican cuatro as principal instrument. She makes her Celebrity Series debut in solo and trio Puerto Rican folk and jazz concerts at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (October 6, 2019), Church of the Holy Spirit (October 26, 2019), and CROMA@Arlington Street Church (November 30, 2019). All concerts are free.

Led by Puerto Rican/Argentine singer and bongo player Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist and composer Brian Amador, Sol y Canto showcases Puerto Rican music in free February vacation week concerts at Hyde Park Library and Roslindale Community Center, as well as in a family concert in March 2020 with tenor Christian Figueroa and cuatrista Fabiola Méndez. 


Hub New Music 
Hub New Music showcases 21st century composers, including a performance with Urbanity Dance on October 5, 2019 at Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall, featuring Robert Honstein’s Soul House. Tickets are $5, to benefit the Urbanity Dance youth programs.  Hub New Music will also direct composition residencies culminating in school performances at Josiah Quincy School and Boston Renaissance Charter School. 

Jason Palmer Quintet 
The Jason Palmer Quintet will present a jazz holiday concert on December 7, 2019 (free, but advance RSVP required) at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in collaboration with the Summer Street Brass Band. Their March 21, 2020 concert at the First Church in Roxbury (tickets are $5) will benefit the Unitarian-Universalist Urban Ministry’s youth programs.

Castle of our Skins 
Castle of our Skins is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. Castle of our Skins leads the South End Stringfest (March 14, 2020) with Boston String Academy and Josiah Quincy Orchestra, a community concert at Church of the Holy Spirit (May 2, 2020), and school visits. All concerts are free.

Ryan Edwards, percussionist 
Ryan Edwards will lead composition and African drum residencies with Hurley K-8 School in the South End and Bates Elementary School in Roslindale. Urbanity Dance will choreograph Hurley’s piece for two school showcases.

Devin Ferreira, hip hop 
Hip hop artist Devin Ferreira will direct two fall residencies and culminating events with the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Youth Program and Mattapan Teen Center.

Maria Finkelmeier, percussionist 
Maria Finkelemeier will lead an electronic bucket drum improvisation Beat Bus residency for Yawkey Boys & Girls Club over February school vacation week. 


Veronica Robles Female Mariachi Band 
The popular Neighborhood Arts Day of the Dead family concert returns with Mexican singer Veronica Robles and her all female mariachi band at Union United Methodist Church, on November 2, 2019.  Tickets are $5, proceeds to benefit the Veronica Robles Cultural Center.

Soul Yatra Trio 
Mike Block (cello), Sandeep Das (tabla) and Shaw Pong Liu (violin, erhu) present a concert March 22, 2020 at Hibernian Hall; tickets are $5, with proceeds to benefit Legacy Lives On.  

Shaw Pong Liu leads the Boston Arts Academy in a music/dance residency in November/December and offers workshops in Boston and Hyde Park Schools. Mike Block collaborates with Boston City Singers’ Cantare Choir for a concert at The Boston Home in Dorchester on February 8, 2020, and with additional workshops in Boston and Mattapan. Sandeep Das, a 2019 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and one of the leading Tabla virtuosos in the world, leads a week of tabla workshops in February and a community performance with Boston City Singers at the Epiphany School in Dorchester.

Jean Appolon Expressions
Jean Appolon leads an intergenerational workshop in Haitian contemporary dance, followed by a performance by Jean Appolon Expressions as part of the BAMS Fest at Franklin Park on June 20, 2020.

Yo-El Cassell 
Theatre movement/dance artist Yo-El Cassell conducts a spring movement residency with teens from the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Youth Program, to be showcased at the IBA Gallery in the South End.


Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. The 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 81 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 2019-20 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Institutional supporters include the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., Foley & Lardner LLP, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Outside the Box: A Production of the Boston Arts Summer Institute, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, and many others. 


Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individual donors whose generosity supports Arts for All! programs. Celebrity Series is also grateful to the following corporations, foundations, and government agencies for their support in the 2019-20 season: the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified Initiative, Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, First Republic Bank, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Outside the Box: A Production of the Boston Arts Summer Institute, Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, Tufts Health Plan, Anonymous, and other generous supporters.

Press Contact: Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445,