5 Things To Do This Weekend, From Global Music To Spoken Word

The Yes Ma'am Brass Band plays into the evening at HONK! in 2017. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
The Yes Ma'am Brass Band plays into the evening at HONK! in 2017. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
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Music, theater and especially poetry take a front seat this weekend in the Boston arts scene. Check it out:

HONK! Festival | Friday, Oct. 5 - Sunday, Oct. 7 | Davis and Harvard Squares

Now in its 13th year, the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands — which launched a proliferation of outdoor brass band festivals around the globe — once again takes Somerville and Cambridge by storm. On Saturday, more than 20 bands will pour into Somerville’s Davis Square, filling it with the clamorous sounds of New Orleans second lines, Balkan brass, Haitian Rara, funk, jazz and everything in between. On Sunday the bands will parade down Massachusetts Avenue and join up with the Harvard Square Oktoberfest. This year’s festival features lots of familiar faces, including Somerville’s Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society and Providence’s What Cheer? Brigade, as well as newcomers Unidos do Swing from São Paulo, Brazil.

Native American Poets Playlist | Through Nov. 30 | Peabody Museum, Cambridge

In honor of Cambridge’s Indigenous Peoples' Day, Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology is offering a special playlist featuring poems by eight contemporary Native American poets for visitors to listen as they explore the museum's galleries. The playlist is drawn from the anthology “New Poets of Native Nations,” and includes poets from the Dakota, Kumeyaay, Anishinaabe, Onondaga, Diné, Mojave, Minneconjou Lakota and Inupiat-Inuit peoples.

BU Global Music Festival | Friday, Oct. 5 - Saturday, Oct. 6 | Boston University

Boston University’s inaugural Global Music Festival kicks off Friday evening and runs through Saturday with tons of free workshops and concerts. The lineup is truly eclectic, with groups from Mali, Hawaii, China and beyond — plus some great musicians from right here in Boston. It’s tough to pick a single standout, but I’m personally a fan of the percussion-forward, pan South American band LADAMA and the new collaboration between balafon masters Balla Kouyaté and Mamadou Diabaté.

'Hamnet' | Through Sunday, Oct. 7 | ArtsEmerson, Boston

This weekend is your last chance to catch ArtsEmerson’s “Hamnet,” an innovative exploration of one of history’s forgotten figures — Hamnet, William Shakespeare’s only son. The play asks questions about ambition, greatness and familial responsibility in a poetic investigation of the relationship — or lack thereof — between father and son. (Read more about the production from our arts fellow Cintia Lopez.)

Ollie West in "Hamnet" (Courtesy Gianmarco Bresadola)
Ollie West in "Hamnet" (Courtesy Gianmarco Bresadola)

'Black & Ugly As Ever' | Friday, Oct. 5 - Sunday, Oct. 7 | Haley House Bakery, Lilypad, Midway Cafe

Boston-based spoken word artist Porsha O debuts an ambitious new work titled “Black & Ugly As Ever.” The World and National Slam Poetry champion brings her sharp lyricism (and considerable charisma) to bear on thorny issues of identity, privilege and oppression. (Read more on Porsha O from our arts fellow Arielle Gray.)

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the Onondaga people. We regret the error.

This article was originally published on October 04, 2018.

Amelia Mason Twitter Arts And Culture Reporter
Amelia Mason is an arts and culture reporter and critic for The ARTery, WBUR's arts and culture team. She covers everything from fine art to television to the inner workings of the Boston music scene.