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Brown Bag Concert Series

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

Brown Bag Spring 2023 Concert Series

Wednesdays at Noon, March 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th
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.

March 8th: Steve Kirby

Guitarist, composer, educator Steven Kirby is known for performing exciting, melodic, lyrical, and expressive jazz, as well as being active in other contemporary styles. He has appeared on multiple recordings, including three as a leader: “Point Of Balance” and “North Light”  with Challenge Records and “Illuminations” with WCS records. “Illuminations” was Downbeat Magazine’s “Editors Pick” and was included on the Grammy Nominations long list in four categories.

Kirby has performed and/or recorded with many of today’s most respected contemporary musicians including Chris Potter, Mike Manieri (Steps Ahead), Joe Lovano, Harvie S, Allan Holdsworth and others. He has toured in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Europe, China, and Africa. In addition, Kirby’s music has been played on over 100 radio stations in the US and internationally including features on National Public Radio’s “Here and Now”, “Jazz with Bob Parlocha,” and “Eric in the Evening.”

March 15th: Matt Savage

At the age of 30, Bösendorfer piano artist Matt Savage has already had a remarkable 20+ year professional career as a jazz musician, bandleader, and composer with ensembles of different size.  He’s played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Chick Corea, the Ellington All Stars, Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Arturo O’Farrill, John Pizzarelli, Joshua Redman, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi and Donny McCaslin among others.  He’s also opened for rock legends Neil Young and Stephen Stills, and has performed with Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin and Al Stewart.  Along the way, he’s recorded twelve albums and an extended play record as a leader.

Savage has toured worldwide, including performances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Blue Note (NYC), Bohemian Caverns, Smalls Jazz Club, The Town Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Scullers, the Jazz Standard, the Pantages Theatre, the Iridium, the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Heineken Jazzaldia (Spain), the Costa Rica International Jazz Festival, the International VSA Arts Festival, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Earshot Jazz Festival, tours of Japan, China, India, Spain, Curacao, Aruba and Singapore.

March 22nd: Pamela Hines

Pamela Hines is a prolific and consistent presence in American jazz as a pianist and composer. She has received national and international critical acclaim for her edgy instrumental compositions, as well as jazz originals. In 2000 she was a guest on “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz”on National Public Radio (NPR). Her 2018 release, “Music of Richard Whiting,” earned 4.5/5 stars and was a Top 10 of 2018 by Dan McClenaghan, on the website, “All About Jazz.”  In addition, three of her trio CDs have reached the top 20 on national radio charts and her all-original Christmas CD with vocalists made the national radio list in 2008.

In her 30+ year career, Hines has appeared at Scullers, Les Zygomates, Thelonious Monkfish (renamed Mad Monkfish), Prudential Summer Music Series, Boston Harbor Summer Music Series, New Haven Jazzfest, The Duplex, Mechanics Hall, Ryles and hundreds of clubs and festivals on the east coast, including New York City, Richmond, and Norfolk. Additionally, she has played with many great jazz artists, including Jerry Bergonzi, David Clark, John Lockwood, Elias Bailey, Bob Guilotti, Yoron Israel, Darren Barrett, Greg Abate, and more.

From 2012-2017, Hines was the host/pianist for “Live Jazz New England/Saturday Jazz Matinee” on NPR affiliate 90.5- WICN from 2012-17.  She currently hosts the station’s “Saturday Jazz Matinee” and also hosts the “Jazz Journey” on WFPR, Franklin, MA.

March 29th: Rory Stuart

Rory Stuart is a critically acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer based in New York. Since 1982, he has performed as sideman or leader in groups that included artists George Garzone, Jaleel Shaw, Robert Glasper, Becca Stevens, Anthony Cox, Reggie Workman, Francois Moutin, Matt Penman, Brandon Owens, Chris Tordini, John Lockwood, Doug Weiss, Calvin Hill, Chip Jackson, Keith Copeland, John Riley, Dan Weiss, Ari Hoenig, Dafnis Prieto and Obed Calvaire.

Rory also teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, where he designed and teaches the Advanced Rhythm Curriculum.

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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Brown Bag Concert Series: Fall 2011