🎶 9th Annual Linda Plaut Newton Festival of the Arts 🎶
May 17-19, 2024

Newton Community Pride (NCP) is excited to announce that the 9th Annual Linda Plaut Newton Festival of the Arts is back and scheduled for May 17, 18 & 19, 2024! The Festival will be a three-day event held at Second Church in Newton, The Allen Center for the Arts, and the Hyde Community Center Bandstand.

There will be something for everyone to enjoy! All festival performances are free, accessible and open to all.

The Linda Plaut Festival of the Arts has been a showcase of Newton and regional talent for years and NCP is excited to once again bring a weekend of building community through music and family-friendly entertainment. The Festival is produced by Newton resident Chris Pitts.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, The Village Bank.

May 17th
Second Church in Newton, 60 Highland St, West Newton
6:00 p.m.  Newton Family Singers – Creedence Clearwater Revival & John Fogerty
7:30 p.m.  Maitreyee Chakraborty – Indian Vocal and Sarod
Empanadas available for purchase from Chiqui’s Kitchen

May 18th
The Allen Center for the Arts, 35 Webster St, West Newton
4:00 p.m.
Amanda Shea & Grey Held – Spoken Word
5:00 p.m.  Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
6:30 p.m.  Hankus Netsky & Eden MacAdam-Somer – Klezmer
7:30 p.m.  
Dominique Eade & George Russell Jr. – Duke Ellington Tribute

May 19th
Hyde Community Center Bandstand, 90 Lincoln St, Newton Highlands (inside if inclement weather)
2:00 p.m.  Olga Lisovska – Opera Classics & Broadway Showtunes
3:30 p.m.  Matt Jenson Reggae Ensemble – Life of Bob Marley
5:00 p.m. Dennis Montgomery III with Pleasant Praise Gospel Choir
6:30 p.m. Thaddeus Hogarth Collective – Soul & Funk

*Check out NCP’s Public Art Exhibit Picture Us! Newton throughout the Festival. 

Friday, May 17th 

Second Church in Newton, 60 Highland St., West Newton MA

Newton Family Singers
6:00 PM

The Newton Family Singers, an intergenerational family chorus based in Newton unites families and friends across a wide age range through the joy of singing American folk and popular music. Renowned within the community for their vibrant performances and captivating energy, their core mission is to foster a sense of community through music. Newton Community Pride is delighted to announce that they will be the official opening act for the 2024 Festival, setting the stage for an unforgettable celebration. They will be performing music from Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty. Register Here

Maitreyee Chakraborty
7:30 PM

Since the tender age of two, Maitreyee Chakraborty has been immersed in the world of music, embarking on a journey of vocal excellence and musical study. Chakraborty is a devoted practitioner of Rabindrasangeet, the musical tradition inspired by the revered poet and Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.  “Bengali,” she asserts, “is one of the most melodically beautiful languages, a language brimming with depth and subtlety.” Her performances have captivated diverse audiences, sparking a curiosity in many to explore further the works of Tagore.  Chakraborty has called Newton her home since 2016. Register Here

Saturday, May 18th 

The Allen Center for the Arts, 35 Webster St., West Newton MA

Amanda Shea
4:00 PM

Amanda Shea is a distinguished spoken word artist, multidisciplinary creator, educator, and advocate, celebrated for her dynamic contributions to the arts and community activism. Her notable roles include hosting BAMSFest and numerous poetry events, leading youth workshops in spoken word, visual arts, and public speaking. She was recognized among WBUR The ARTery’s 25 artists of color shaping the cultural scene in 2021 and honored in 2022 as the first Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards. Register Here

Grey Held
4:00 PM

Newton’s own Grey Held is a recipient of a NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing,and the 2019 Future Cycle Poetry Book Prize Winner. Three books of his poetry have been published.  His poems have been included in numerous anthologies. Held is an arts advocate and directs poetry and public art projects that connect contemporary artists and poets with a wider audience. Register Here

Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
5:00 PM

Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra is a collection of multi-talented and accomplished chamber musicians. They return to the Festival with a supergroup of talents.
Violinist Julia Cash serves as the concertmaster of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and has held principal positions with Opera Boston and collaborates with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Boston Ballet. Cash’s international work includes being guest concertmaster with the Orchestra of the European Uni0n. She teaches at the New England Conservatory, Boston Latin School, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Her festival appearances include Academia Musicale Chigiana and Tanglewood, where she won The National Music Clubs Award.
Steven Laven, Principal Cellist with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Symphony, and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He is an adjunct instructor at Rhode Island College community and performs with the faculty’s Proteus String Quartet. Laven’s past includes prestigious roles with the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, and Omaha Symphony Orchestras, underpinned by his education from the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music.
Violinist Jeff Pearson, with a Master’s from New England Conservatory and a dual degree in math and music from Williams College, performs with the Boston Philharmonic and coaches at NEC’s preparatory school. Pearson is the winner of the Berkshire Symphony Competition.
Violinist Yeolim Nam, born in Seoul, is an accomplished chamber musician and veteran of chamber music festivals. She has performed with multiple orchestras, including the Boston Philharmonic and the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Maine.
Russian-born Liana Zaretsky, educated across top music schools, holds the Principal second violin position with the Portland Symphony. She performs with leading orchestras and teaches at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and the Rivers School. Register Here

Hankus Netsky& Eden MacAdam-Somer
6:30 PM

Since 2013, Newton native Hankus Netsky (piano and accordion) and Eden MacAdam-Somer (violin, voice, and percussive dance) have been blending Yiddish, Hassidic, and Klezmer melodies with their rich backgrounds in Western classical music, jazz, and global folk traditions. They lead the Department of Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston and are releasing their first Jewish music album, “Give Me Back My Heart,” this spring.
Hankus Netsky, a noted multi-instrumentalist, composer, and scholar of Jewish music, founded the Klezmer Conservatory Band, a globally recognized Yiddish ensemble. He has contributed significantly to Jewish music education and composition, collaborating with notable figures like Itzhak Perlman and Robin Williams.
Eden MacAdam-Somer, equally accomplished, has showcased her talents internationally, including performances in Afghanistan and China, and collaborates with various ensembles while maintaining a vibrant solo career. A Houston native, she refined her craft at prestigious music schools before joining Netsky in both performance and educational endeavors. Register Here

Dominique Eade & George Russell Jr.: A Tribute to Duke Ellington
7:30 PM

These two talents are incredible on their own but brought together for the Festival, they form the ultimate dynamic duo of jazz. They will perform a special program dedicated to Duke Ellington’s 125th birthday.
Newtonite Dominique Eade, a vocalist, composer, and improviser, merges musical finesse with emotional clarity, earning critical praise and influencing generations of singers. Celebrated for her ‘exceptional” talents by The New York Times and recognized by the Atlantic Monthly for her “rich voice,” Eade’s innovative blend of jazz and songwriting has made her a standout figure. She has performed at major festivals and venues across the Americas and Europe, including the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival and New York’s The Blue Note.
Signed to RCA Victor in 1998, Eade has collaborated with jazz greats like Dave Holland and recorded seven CDs, earning spots on top ten lists from Billboard to NPR. Her work not only showcases her virtuosity but also her profound impact on the jazz and contemporary classical scenes.
George Russell Jr. has become a familiar figure in Newton, captivating audiences at the Newton Piano Summit, the Festival of the Arts, and numerous local concerts. His performances are a vibrant tapestry of passion, fire, soul, and an indomitable spirit that breathes life into every note. Russell teaches at Berklee College of Music where he is Chair of the Harmony Department. He describes himself as “a drummer who happens to play the piano,” a characterization that resonates in the rhythmic vitality and drive of his performances. Register Here

Sunday, May 19th 

INSIDE-Hyde Community Center Bandstand, 90 Lincoln St., Newton MA

Olga Lisovska
2:00 PM

Newton treasure Olga Lisovska, a soprano from Kyiv, Ukraine, stands out in the classical music world for her remarkable vocal talent and impactful performances. In this year’s festival she will be performing with a string quartet. Critically acclaimed for her “wonderful coloratura soprano” abilities, Lisovska has excelled in roles across a broad operatic repertoire but she is also a celebrated concert singer, having performed alongside renowned soloists from the Bolshoi Theater, The Met, and La Scala.  As the Executive Director of Commonwealth Lyric Theater and a Director of Talents of the World, Inc., Lisovska plays a crucial role in advancing the arts community. She is also passionate about teaching and sharing her knowledge and love for music with students of all ages and levels. Register Here

Matt Jenson, “The Music and Life Bob Marley” Ensemble
3:30 PM

Matt Jenson, a renowned keyboardist, composer, arranger, and performer, leads a captivating homage to Bob Marley with his ensemble, presenting the reggae legend’s iconic songs with authenticity and fervor. Jenson’s diverse career features collaborations with music luminaries like Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley, Chinna Smith, and many more, underscoring his deep connection to Marley’s music and philosophy.
“The Music and Life of Bob Marley” Ensemble is more than a performance – it’s an invitation to explore reggae’s heart, celebrating its messages of love, unity, and resistance and a unique opportunity to experience Bob Marley’s enduring impact, reinterpreted through Jenson’s visionary lens. Register Here

Dennis Montgomery III
5:00 PM

Dennis Montgomery III grew up singing and playing in Baptist churches around the upper Louisiana area under the tutelage of his father and mother. Shortly after he arrived at Berklee in 1983, he headed for the gospel choir which he believes is a fundamental ingredient of the American experience for international students. Montgomery states, “When I was young, I had to learn European musical styles. So when foreign students come to Berklee, I think it is important to educate them in a true form of American music.” The choir has launched some premiere voices in the music industry such as Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Susan Tedeschi, Claude Kelly, Rob Lewis, and Mark Whitfield. Register Here

Thaddeus Hogarth Collective
6:30 PM

“…Take a healthy dose of Sly and The Family Stone, add a liberal pinch of Stevie Wonder, put on your dancing shoes, and boogie to the music of Thaddeus Hogarth…” — Bruce Gelerman, NPR.

So popular with Newton audiences, Thaddeus is making his third appearance at the Festival of the Arts. Bring your dancing shoes because he is a dynamic force in the contemporary music scene. Recognized for his multifaceted talent as a guitarist, vocalist, harmonica player, songwriter and educator, he draws influences from a rich tapestry of genres including funk, blues, R&B, and rock. His unique sound is characterized by a blend of soulful vocals, intricate guitar work, and a deep understanding of groove, making him a standout artist in the industry.

Hogarth’s professional career is marked by a series of successful albums and collaborations that showcase his versatility and creativity. Thaddeus has previously shared the bill or stage with such legends as Tower of Power, Ernie Isley, Average White Band, Fred Wesley (James Brown), Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic), Matt Schofield, Steve Kimock, The Neville Brothers, Eric Gales, Johnny Winter, Donald Harrison and James Montgomery.

Newton Community Pride looks forward to welcoming Thaddeus Hogarth Collective once again to the Linda Plautt Festival of the Arts. Register Here

Presenting Sponsor
The Village Bank

Gold Sponsor
Honda Village
Plaut Mahoney Family 

Silver Sponsor
Wegman’s
Mark Development 

Bronze Sponsor
Gavris Family
Meryl Kessler & Scott Oran
28 Austin Street
Boston College
Nixon Insurance
Prepped and Polished

Programming Grant Support
Mass Cultural Council
Newton Cultural Council