Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, the Providence rock club, turns 40 this year. First opened in 1975, the club started out in the Conrad Building on Westminster St. Two moves later, it's now on Washington St. in the Strand building. To celebrate 40 years of live music, Lupo's sister club, the Met in Pawtucket, hosted several nights of music featuring favorites from years past, including Roomful of Blues, The Schemers, Rizzz and The Young Adults. For this month's Artscape, RIPR's Chuck Hinman talked to founder Rich Lupo about how it all started and what's next.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

The Providence-based arts organization AS220 is celebrating its 30th anniversary Saturday night with a big party at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence. After a humble start in a small room in the Providence Performing Arts Center back in 1985, AS220 has grown to become an arts and performance powerhouse

Katherine Doherty

The din of trumpets, trombones, sousaphones, and bass drums rang out across the mouth of the Providence river on Monday as hundreds gathered for this year’s Pronk! festival. 

John Bender / RIPR

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has filed a free speech lawsuit against the city of Providence.  The suit follows the arrest of a local musician.


62-year-old Manuel Pombo has been performing on the streets of Providence for the last 30 years. Pombo says he’s had a several run-ins with police, and in 2013 he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Those charges were later dropped.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers passed legislation requiring more music performance opportunities in public schools. The bill mandates that all public secondary schools offer performing ensembles such as band, chorus or orchestra.

Most public schools in Rhode Island have performance ensembles, but some are offered before or after school and sometimes for no credit.  Advocates say the new mandate is a step towards incorporating these ensembles into standard arts curricula.

John Bender / RIPR

The lineup has been announced for the first annual Providence International Arts Festival.  Part of the idea is branding the city as a national cultural destination.

The festival will take place over four days this June, and will feature more than 500 artists. International headlining acts include African singer Angelique Kidjo and the Mexican Squonk Opera.

Even with international headliners, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza stressed that festival will showcase dozens of local acts.

John Bender / RIPR

It’s been a year since the death of local musician David Lamb, whose passing threw the future of the folk duo Brown Bird into question. This week saw the release of the band’s final album. Crafted during Lamb’s battle with leukemia, the album was finished by his wife MorganEve Swain, the other half of the band. Music journalists are calling it Brown Bird’s swan song.

John Bender / RIPR

World renowned composer and performer Philip Glass is in Rhode Island.  He performed at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence Wednesday as part of a program put on by local arts non-profit First Works. He continues his visit Thursday, to work with students at the Jacqueline Walsh School for the performing arts in Pawtucket.  For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender examines the draw of Philip Glass’ music, and why it endures.

James Baumgartener / RIPR

Fans of more esoteric pop music, and perhaps of a certain age, may be familiar with the 60's psychedelic rock band Autosalvage.  Former guitarist Rick Turner is a small piece of rock history, and an alumnus of Moses Brown School in Providence.  In addition he's a master guitar maker.

Turner has returned to his alma mater, to teach a course in ukulele making.  Rhode Island Public Radio's weekend host, Chuck Hinman sat down with Turner to talk about his music, life after the band, and returning to teach at his old school.





Newport Folk Festival Tickets Go On Sale Thursday

Jan 8, 2015
Weekly Dig / Wikimedia Commons

Tickets for the Newport Folk Festival go on sale at 10 o’clock Thursday morning.  The music lineup has yet to be announced.

That’s been the norm for the past several years, but it hasn’t stopped the festival from selling thousands of tickets.   Last year, for the first time in its history, the complete three-day festival completely sold out.  Three-day, two-day, and single passes will all go on sale.  Ten percent of the three-day passes will be available at a special ‘early-bird rate.’

Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival go on sale today. This will be the 61st year for the annual Newport Jazz Fest.

Though the music doesn’t start until July 31st, the public will be able to purchase tickets for the historic festival 10 o’clock this morning.  Last year, for the sixtieth anniversary, the Jazz fest added a third day to its typical two-day lineup.  It’s holding onto the three day schedule this year. The festival is introducing a new cheaper one-day ticket, allowing visitors to choose whether they want to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

If you’ve walked through the front doors of a hospital lately, you might remember the friendly volunteer who greeted you, or gave you directions. Volunteers have been a mainstay in health care settings for years. But they’ve become an increasingly critical resource as health care dollars are spread thin.

Groups Kick Off Push To Promote Arts Referendum

Sep 29, 2014

A group of arts organizations from across the state are joining forces to garner support for major arts funding. The money must be approved by voters on a referendum November 4th.

At stake is $35 million in funding.  23 million would go towards matching funds for construction and renovation projects at nine facilities across the state.  Those include Trinity Repertory Company, the Chorus of Westerly, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School.

The 60th annual Newport Jazz Festival kicks off Friday. The three-day line up includes plenty of jazz greats you’ve heard of and many you probably haven’t. You may know the music of one of the festival’s Friday performers, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, from the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire. Giordano’s band creates the series’ authentic 1920s jazz soundtrack, and won a Grammy for it. He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay about his music and upcoming performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

John Bender / RIPR

Earlier this month dozens of musicians from across New England and beyond gathered in Providence for the eleventh annual ‘Rhode Island All-Day Sacred Harp Singing.’ If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a clue: it doesn’t involve any harps.  It's the subject of this month's Rhode Island Artscape.

That’s the sound of about one hundred people, gathered at the Quaker Meeting House on the East Side of Providence.  They’re taking part in the state’s largest gathering of Sacred Harp singers.  The eleventh annual ‘Rhode Island All-Day Sacred Harp Singing.’