ALL THAT JAZZ: Lowell fills with the varied sounds of jazz Friday and Saturday thanks to the second annual Merrimack Valley Jazz Festival.
The event kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at the Sampas Pavilion at Lowell Heritage State Park.
The free evening of music and entertainment features contemporary jazz by Mike Dettoree and Friends, of UMass Lowell; Dixieland jazz by the Seacoast Stompers; latin jazz with Les Fish and the Latin Jazz Cats; jazz standards with Adagio; swing jazz with Richie Dee and the Sextets; and funk jazz with We Jazz Up.
Visitors should bring lawn chairs or blankets. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
The festival’s main event is Saturday at The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell Park. It features six bands including singer Amanda Carr;
Compaq Big Band;
UMass Lowell Jazz Ensemble; Adagio’s big band; Greg Hopkins Jazz Orchestra; and Henri Smith’s New Orleans Friends and Flavors.
Continuous music is performed on two stages.
There also are food vendors, sketch artists, face painters, and live dance performances.
Gates open at 2 p.m. for the 4 p.m. show. Visitors should bring lawn chairs. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
“By bringing to life the American tradition of jazz, we are fostering the history, diversity, and richness of this timeless music while also educating the community in the depth of its artistic value and the ingenuity of those presenting it,” said Deb Belanger, executive director of the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Visitors on both days are requested to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.
Tickets for the main event are $15 in advance; $20 the day of the show. Family tickets (good for a family of four: two adults and two kids up to age 14) are $35 in “Glass Impressions: The Avian Art of Tim Ward” is at the Topsfield Town Library through Aug. 31. Tickets can be purchased online at merrimackvalleyjazz.org.
AUTHOR’S CORNER: The Tannery Series launches a program of creative writing workshops, “Write Where You Are,” at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport Friday through next Sunday. The program includes a range of creative activities for writers of all backgrounds and levels. It culminates with a master class taught by author and editor Edie Clark, who has written extensively about New England in Yankee Magazine for more than 30 years.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, she was senior editor for Yankee, and she continues to write features and has two regular columns in the magazine. Clark also is the author of several books and has taught writing and journalism at area colleges. Cost for the entire weekend is $350. Call 617-794-0995 or visit tanneryseries.com. Clark also gives a free public reading at Jabberwocky 4 p.m. Saturday.
IN LOCAL GALLERIES: The Goetemann Residency Studio on Rocky Neck in Gloucester opens a solo exhibition of recent oil paintings and drawings by Lully Schwartz on Wednesday A Beverly native, Schwartz grew up visiting studios of family friends on Rocky Neck. In her paintings, she re-imagines and reinvents Gloucester views. Schwartz is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is inducted in the National Association of Women Artists, New York City. A reception is 7-9 p.m. Thursday and the exhibit runs through Aug. 19 … “Glass Impressions: The Avian Art of Tim Ward” is on display at the Topsfield Town Library through Aug. 31. The production technique for the labor-intensive works is equal parts painting and sculpture. The pieces are composed of layers of individual, finely crafted and fitted glass pieces, sometimes numbering in the thousands in a single artwork. Component pieces range from sixteenth-of-an-inch wide feathers and pine needles, to eight-inch long eagle feathers. Ward said the technique is well suited to birds and plants, where color variations in the glass can be used to create shading and perspective. Ward has been creating stained glass art since the 1970s. He is an environmental scientist who lives in Topsfield with his wife, Susan. A reception with the artist is 6-8 p.m. Aug. 16… Watercolor paintings by Joan Gessner of Amesbury are on display at Plum Island Coffee Roasters in Newburyport during August. Her work features local landscapes with an emphasis on Woodsom Farm in Amesbury, dry-docked boats on the Newburyport waterfront, and garden floras. A reception with the artist is 2-4 p.m. today.