On the occasion of the commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr., it is no coincidence that Old Sloop Coffeehouse in Rockport presents an unusual musical program called “Deeper Than The Skin.” 

The program — described as “a conversation about race in story and song” — features two friends, Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway, one black and one white, one from the North and one from the South. The two men, born three days apart, are musicians, storytellers, students of history and world travelers.

The concert takes place Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Rockport, 12 School St. Both Harris and Greenway also will take part in the church’s Sunday service.

“This is a project they’ve been working on together for a while,” said Geof Lyon, an organizer of the coffeehouse. “I find the program to be really thought-provoking and quite moving.”

Harris, from Philadelphia, has slave ancestors he can trace back to Richmond, Virginia. Greenway is from Richmond, Virginia.

In their performance, two separate narratives are forged into one powerful story, with the mission of finding common ground among everyone.

“‘Deeper Than The Skin’ is an experience of singing and listening, of experiencing a connection so deep that it makes you laugh, smile, cry and reconsider what you know about our history,” according to a press release. “It’s an invitation to open your heart and mind to a story of shared humanity that resonates with your own.”

The event is supported by the Rockport Cultural Council. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door for adults, $5 for ages 18 and under, and $28 for families. Tickets are available at John Tarr Store in Rockport and The Bookstore of Gloucester, or visit www.oldsloopcoffeehouse.org for more information.

A weekend of kirtan and reggae

Floating Lotus, 169 Main St., Gloucester, presents a weekend of events starting with Shiva Lila, known to perform “music of the yogis,” on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.

These high-energy kirtan players, whose singing occurs in a call-and-response format, said that they are eager to return to the venue. Admission is $15; proceeds support a nonprofit yoga program.

On Sunday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m., Craig Akira Fujita, The Naya Rockers and Pier Ave perform roots reggae music in an evening of original tunes and classic Jamaican music. The Rockport-based Pier Ave will join The Naya Rockers for a set featuring a collection of new songs. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. 

For reservations or more information, visit www.floatinglotus.net/collections/events, stop by the store or call 978-675-3352.

A fishing tale from across the pond

Cape Ann Community Cinema — currently operating at Rogers Street Theatre, 68 Rogers St., Gloucester — is screening “Bait,” the story of a cove fisherman without a boat, through Jan. 24.

Rob Newton, the cinema’s founder and curator, said that while the film takes place in Cornwall in the United Kingdom, it may as well have been made here in Gloucester. “Bait” tells the story of Martin Ward, whose brother has repurposed their father’s vessel as a tourist tripper, driving a wedge between them. Their childhood home is now a getaway for London money, displacing Martin who struggles to restore the family to its traditional place.

Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $11 for students and seniors 60-plus, and $9.50 for cinema members. For a full schedule of show times and other films, visit www.capeanncinema.com.

A ‘musical tapestry’ across the Americas

“The Soul of the Americas,” a concert featuring musical influences from across North and South America, takes place Sunday at 3 p.m. at Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport.

The program will highlight the works of seven composers, including Aaron Copland’s “El Salón México”; George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture”; Leonard Bernstein’s “Three Meditations from Mass”; Samuel Barber’s “Souvenirs for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 28”; and music from Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos and Argentinian Alberto Ginastera.

Additionally, Osvaldo Golijov’s “Mariel for Cello and Marimba” will be performed. The Argentinian-born Golijov has appeared at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival on more than one occasion.

The concert program is curated by Michael Brown and Nicholas Canellakis. They will be joined by Orion Weiss and Ian David Rosenbaum. The program features combinations of piano, cello and percussion.

Tickets are $36 to $42. A pre-concert talk with Brown and Canellakis starts at 2 p.m. For more details, visit www.rockportmusic.org.

Palaver Strings celebrates the solstice

Rockport Music’s education ensemble-in-residence Palaver Strings will perform “On the Nature of Daylight” on Thursday, Jan.  23, at 7 p.m. at Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport.

This concert explores the return of light marked by the winter solstice. The program opens with “Winter,” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” and includes Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Delight” and Mendelssohn’s “Octet.”

Tickets are $15. For more information, visit www.rockportmusic.org.

Winter Shorts at Cape Ann Museum

Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant St., Gloucester, brings back its mini-specialty tours this month with its Winter Shorts on Saturday mornings starting at 11.

Each tour is crafted by one of the museum’s docents and focuses on different areas of the collection. Three or four tours are offered each day, and visitors can sign up for as many as they like. Each tour lasts approximately 20 minutes, with time to transition in between. 

Featured tours this Saturday are “The Material World” with docent Gail Anderson, who will explore artwork and artifacts to discover hidden meanings “folded into fabric”; “Geology as Destiny” with docent Ed Becker; “Cape Ann Really Rocks” with docent Hazel Von Rosenvinge; and “Let’s Have a Show of Hands” with docent John Huss, who will explore how artists’ portrayal of “hands” helps deliver their message, whether on canvas, in stone or on film.

The tours are free with museum admission. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information, visit www.capeannmuseum.org or call 978-283-0455, ext. 10.

Annual meeting for Cape Ann Symphony

Cape Ann Symphony holds its annual meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m. at Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers St., Gloucester. The group’s music director, president, treasurer, manager and board officers will present reports of the past year’s activities. Directors and officers for the coming year will also be elected.

A cocktail reception with a cash bar will precede the meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. The buffet dinner ($45 per person) starts at 7 p.m. It is not necessary to attend the reception in order to participate in the annual meeting.

For tickets or more information, call the Cape Ann Symphony at 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706 or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com, at least two weeks in advance.

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