jazzy night

Jazz piano virtuoso Miro Sprague (mirosprague.com) will make his Pittsfield debut at 8 p.m., Saturday, in a special performance sponsored by Berkshires Jazz Inc. at the Back Room at Baba Louie’s restaurant, 34 Depot St., in Pittsfield.

Sprague, whose family owned Sprague Electric Co. in North Adams, began playing piano at age 13. He returns to the Berkshires for his first gig after just finishing a two-year program with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, in which only seven musicians were accepted.

On Saturday night, he’ll play in a trio setting, with Marty Jaffe (son of Williams College jazz director Andy Jaffe) on bass and Alex Snydman (alexsnydmanmusic.com) on drums.

Tickets are $20 in advance at BerkshiresJazz.org, or $25 at the door. word slam

WordXWord will on Friday and Saturday bring the arts of poetry slam and storytelling to the Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., in Pittsfield.

Both events will be hosted by poet Robbie Q. Telfer, co-founder and curator for The Encyclopedia Show, a live literary variety show. They will also serve as qualifying events for the WXW semifinals and the chance to compete in the finals held during the annual WXW festival in August.

The weekend kicks off at 7 p.m., Friday, with a WordXTeen Open Mic, followed by a WXW Story Slam.


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Storytellers will be prompted to tell fantastic and true stories related to the theme "note to self." At 7 Saturday night, poets will throw down in three-minute rounds for a WXW Poetry Slam.

Both events are free and open to the public. Audience members should be advised that there may be some "salty language and/or adult themes." For more information, visit http://wXw365.org or berkshiremuseum.org.

block party

The Hinsdale Firemen’s Association/Muster Team will host from 6 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday its annual Block Dance. Gates open at 5. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for kids under 12, and free for and kids under 5.

Music will be provided by Country Line, Arthur Holmes Blues Band, Shyne and Whiskey City Band. A giant fireworks display is promised at 9:30 p.m. Free parking will be located behind the firehouse on Route 143 in Hinsdale. Food, beverage and novelty vendors will be on site. No backpacks, coolers or pets are allowed on the grounds. Persons over 21 are required to have a positive photo ID to purchase alcohol.

The annual Hinsdale Firemen’s Muster party will be held next Saturday, July 26, starting at 7 p.m. The event will include free music from White Liger and Who Are You, a tribute band to The Who. A bonfire will be held at 9:30 p.m.

in the round

The next installment of the Berkshire Songwriters in the Round concert series will take place at 8 p.m. Friday in Dewey Hall, located on Main Street in Sheffield.

Featured performers included: Berkshire Mountain Rambler, Chris Merenda, Graham & Barbara Dean and host Todd Mack. Doors open at 7:30. These singer-songwriters will be on stage together taking turns performing their songs round-robin style, at times accompanying one another.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students 18 and younger, and up to $25 for families. For more information, visit deweyhall.com or call (413) 229-2357.