Providence Public Library presents Don't Stop the Music

Providence Public Library Announces DON'T STOP THE MUSIC!

Multi-faceted Exhibition, Programs & Events - April 2 through June 30

Beginning April 2, Library Visitors Can Take in a Collaborative Exhibition Entitled

“From Pop to Punk: Highlights of 20th Century Music in Providence”  

– Providence Public Library (PPL) and Presenting Sponsor Rosalyn Sinclair announce DON'T STOP THE MUSIC! – an exhibition & program series celebrating the history of music in Rhode Island.  PPL's multi-faceted DON'T STOP THE MUSIC exhibition and programs formally begins April 2 with the opening of the in-library exhibit entitled “From Pop to Punk: Highlights of 20th Century Music in Providence.”   The exhibit will run through June 30.  In addition, the Library has mounted a web site devoted to the music celebration at PROV.PUB/RIMUSIC (  Detailed program information, as well as continuing additions, can be found here throughout the three-month celebration.

Melody and song, music and music making has been at the heart of Rhode Island since the very beginning.  “We've created a multi-faceted, live and digital exhibition and program series to celebrate and honor Rhode Island's long musical history!  We have mined our rich historical music collections and collaborated with local musicians and organizations, scholars and performing groups, to bring a unique educational and inspirational experience to the Rhode Island community this spring,” said Library Director Jack Martin.

Music lovers can get a jump on the celebration by visiting PPL's Don't Stop the Music website, which features an interactive Rhode Island Music History Timeline, along with an opportunity to share personal stories and music.  The timeline is a selection of some of the most memorable and significant events in the history of music in Rhode Island.  Based on the Library's primary sources and the work of local historians, this timeline begins in 1733 with the first church organ in the state, which was shipped from England, and chronicles the changes in the Ocean State's audiences and enthusiasms:  from sacred music, to comic or ballad opera, through swing, jazz, blues, to present day genres.  In addition to experiencing the RI Music History Timeline at a special kiosk, visitors to the Library will also be able to listen to local and favorite performers on CD or vinyl at our listening stations on Level 1. 

Beginning April 2, visitors to the Library (150 Empire Street, Providence) can take in a collaborative exhibition entitled “From Pop to Punk: Highlights of 20th Century Music in Providence.”  To celebrate the musical legacy of 20th Century popular music in Providence, the Library is exhibiting items from its Rhode Island Collection along with varied organizational and personal collections, including photographs, scrapbooks, concert programs, posters, stage costumes, albums and more.  The exhibit is made possible through the generosity of multiple organizations, including temporary exhibition panels and other installed materials on loan from the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence Federation of Musicians, Dirt Palace, Armageddon Shop, and the private collections of Brian Simmons, Tom Zannini & Erica Saladino, and Sylvia Ann Soares.

Music programs and events officially kick off with the Library's annual gala -- XANADU -- on Friday, April 10.  PPL has invoked our resident muse Terpsichore (the goddess of dance and choral song) for this mythical, musical escapade.   Proceeds from the gala will support the Library's new youth program initiatives and projects to provide Providence's young adults with the ultimate Downcity learning place.  The event will feature unique performances by Ten31 Productions and Chifferobe Events.  Continuing from April through June, programs and events will include live concerts featuring all genres from jazz to folk to alternative, lectures, classes, workshops, films, family activities and community gatherings around all things musical, including a Rock ‘n' Roll Yard Sale (presented by What Cheer Records & Vintage), which will take place during the citywide Providence International Arts Festival on Saturday, June 13.  The event will feature DJs spinning vinyl and live music by Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores, The Nonpareils and more!

Major concerts include a collaborative presentation by the Providence Gay Men's Chorus, which will bring its Spring Concert entitled “Get Happy!” to the PPL from June 4 through June 7.  Legendary Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame rhythm and blues band Steve Smith and the Nakeds will kick off the weekend concert series in the Library's Grand Hall on Friday, May 1.  Other weekend concerts include: Natural Element (Reggae) on Friday, May 8, a one-of-a-kind collaborative performance (outside the Library on Washington Street) by The American Band and the What Cheer Brigade on Saturday, May 9.  (In case of rain, the performance will be held inside, in the Library's Grand Hall.)  The weekend concert series will wrap up on Friday, June 19 with Indie Art rockers Roz and the Rice Cakes and special guests, female fronted Megafauna (from Texas) and Classical Gas! -- the Classical High School Jazz Band.

Additional special events include the performance of musical excerpts from the operetta The Romany Maid by Opera Providence on May 29.  Composed by Providence's John B. Archer in 1912, this operetta was last performed over 100 years ago -- in 1914.  In the musical style of the great composers of the golden era of American operetta, Archer's operetta is a delightful piece with melodic charm and an exotic quality with both Spanish and French musical cultural setting.   Opera Providence will give new life to this work with colorful costuming and setting; a three-piece chamber ensemble will accompany the production with the music adapted from the archival score. 

Music lovers and supporters of the Library will even be able to Keep Music Live & support PPL at the same time by purchasing a limited edition (175) Rhode Island Music History Poster ($25).  The 26” x 40” poster is a visual encapsulation of the research for Providence Public Library's 2015 Don't Stop The Music! exhibition & program series, based on primary sources and the work of local historians.  It was drawn by Jim Reynolds and silkscreened on archival blend French paper at AS220. Beginning April 6, you can pick up your poster at the Library or have it shipped. By purchasing this unique poster, you'll have supported the research and coordinated community effort that goes into exhibits like this, as well as the series of live music at Providence Public Library. 

Find a complete listing of programs, performances and events, including music classes /workshops for all ages, lectures, and a film series, as well as newly added and program & event updates at PROV.PUB/RIMUSIC.

(release from Providence Public Library)