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Brown Bag Concert Series

The Brown Bag Concerts are produced by 90.5 WICN & Mechanics Hall.

Brown Bag Fall 2023 Concert Series

Wednesdays at Noon, November 8th, 15th & 29th, December 6th
Free Admission

Mechanics Hall
321 Main Street, Worcester, MA, 01608; 508-752-5608
Broadcast live on WICN 90.5 FM and streaming at

For over 35 years, Mechanics Hall and WICN have been proud to provide quality live performances free to the general public! Every concert begins at noon and ends promptly at 1:00 pm. Bring your own “brown bag” lunch, as Mechanics Hall will not be offering food or beverages at this time.

Brown Bag Concerts are broadcast on 90.5fm and stream live on as they happen. All concerts are free and subject to change without notice.

November 8th – Laszlo Gardony Trio

Internationally acclaimed Boston-based jazz pianist and composer Laszlo Gardony is one of the most expressive and technically skilled pianists working in jazz today.  “A formidable improviser who lives in the moment” (JazzTimes), Laszlo Gardony has performed in 27 countries and released 14 albums on the Sunnyside, Antilles, and Avenue Jazz labels during his distinguished decades long career. His 14th album as a leader, “Close Connection” (Sunnyside Records), which features his trio, Yoron Israel (drums) and John Lockwood (bass), was released in December, 2022 and received much critical acclaim, including a four-star review in DownBeat Magazine. (See Recent Reviews page for details.)

Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Gardony has been noted for his “fluid pianism” by The New York Times, and the legendary Dave Brubeck called him “a great pianist.”

Laszlo Gardony’s recordings and performances convey the joy of inspired creation; they draw on a deep well of emotions, a prodigious technique, and a playful curiosity that thrives on creating music that is truly alive in each unique moment.

November 15th – Dan Gabel’s Stop Time Revu!

Hailed by the Boston Globe as “the real deal, [a bandleader] that looks and sounds like the 1940s” and by the Syncopated Times as “the champion of Big Bands and vintage jazz”, Dan Gabel is a trombonist, arranger, bandleader, historian, and educator. His popular Big Band, Dan Gabel and The Abletones, has played throughout the northeast and is featured on numerous recordings and video/television programs.

As busy sideman, Dan Gabel tours internationally and has recorded with The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, on the road full-time, as well as first-call with many other groups including the Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, and Hal McIntyre Orchestras. AS a great honor, Dan Gabel was chosen as the Musical Director of the new Vaughn Monroe Orchestra, as well as curator of the famous bandleader’s archive by Monroe’s family. He is currently working on a biography of Monroe, and has brought the Vaughn Monroe Show, a 24-piece group, successfully on the road.

Since 2014, Gabel has served as the President and CEO of the American Big Band Preservation Society, a non-profit organization based in Boston and dedicated to preserving, promoting, and performing while keeping music in schools.

November 29th – Alex Minasian

As a pianist, Alex has has studied with some of the greatest pianists in jazz history, including Hank Jones, Don Friedman, Jean-Michel Pilc, and James Williams, and has performed in most of the country’s most famous jazz rooms, such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Cafe Carlyle, Yoshi’s, Bohemian Caverns, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato, Iridium, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, and the Apollo Theater. Alex has also headlined such important jazz celebrations as the Rochester Jazz Festival appearing as co-leader of a trio with Canadian bassist Brandi Disterheft.

December 6th – The U.S. Navy Band Northeast

The primary components of Navy Band Northeast: Marching and Ceremonial Bands; popular music group, Rhode Island Sound; brass quintet, Top Brass and woodwind trio, Crosswinds. Other units consist of various smaller protocol ensembles: Solo Pianist; Solo Guitarist; Jazz Combo, solo Vocalist and solo Guitarist. All ensembles perform a wide range of music from patriotic, classical, contemporary, big band swing, country, and the latest top-40 hits.


Brown Bag Concerts started out as free organ recitals as a way for Mechanics Hall to thank the community for the dollars it donated to restore the Hall’s world-famous Hook Organ. WICN realized that Mechanics Hall was getting great audiences and tried a noontime series of its own….another great success. The following year they decided to become partners…Mechanics Hall provides the stage, the staff, and the tech support including sound; WICN programs and books the talent and broadcasts the performances live on 90.5 FM and streaming at Mechanics Hall and WICN share promotional responsibilities.

Brown Bag Concerts is sponsored by:




WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) has recognized the historical significance of the 30+ years of the Brown Bag Concert Series. WPI has documented the series history in its Jazz History Database. The database includes information from 1989 – 2008.

“Studio 3”, a half-hour music and interview television program featuring some of the best jazz groups in New England and beyond, was taped between 1993 and 2000 before live audiences in the studios of WGMC-TV3 or on location, including Brown Bag concerts at Mechanics Hall. All shows were produced and hosted by jazz vocalist Toni Ballard, with production support from Greater Media Cable, and aired from 1993 to 2003 on WGMC-TV3. The WPI Jazz History Database includes Studio 3 videos.


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