Arts Beat: Sounds of the season include opera, jazz, Grateful Dead jam festival

The 10×10 New Play Festival Returns to Barrington Stage for the 12th consecutive year, Feb. 17 to March 5, at the company’s St. Germain Theater in downtown Pittsfield. Directed by new Artistic Director Alan Paul and Matthew Penn (who has staged previous 10×10 programs), the 10×10 New Play Festival features ten 10-minute plays, all new Scripts for Barrington Stage. This year’s cast features 10×10 Veterans Matt Neely, BSC Associate Artist Peggy Pharr Wilson and Robert Zukerman. Additional cast members will be announced soon. The participating playwrights include Brent Askari, who has written two full-length plays, “American Underground” and “Andy Warhol in Iran.” Askari won a Berkie Award last year for “Outstanding New Play.” For details: www.barringtonstageco.org.

The Bobby Broom Quartet brings jazz to the UMass Fine Arts Center’s Bowker Auditorium in Amherst on Feb. 16. Guitarist Bobby Broom is joined by Dennis Carroll on bass, Kobie Watkins on drums, and Justin Dillard on piano and Hammond SKX keyboard. Broom has been defying Conventions for four decades. After early years touring and playing with such giants as Sonny Rollins, Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis and Stanley Turrentine, Broom has led and recorded with numerous trios and quartets since the 1990s. Broom was a regular opening act for pop legends Steely Dan. He is a five-time winner for best jazz guitarist in DownBeat magazine’s annual polls. This tour finds Broom and his Quartet performing material from the critically lauded September 2022 release “Keyed Up.” For details: www.fineartscenter.org.

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