Spotlight on Arts: Guitarist, art shows, music form Ireland, Irish dancing

MILFORD >> Bolivian classical guitarist Marcos Puña will perform Saturday, April 8 at 8 p.m. at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S.

Puña’s program will include virtuoso guitar favorites by Granados, York, Dyens, Moreno-Torroba, Chopin and arrangements of Bolivian traditional music by Eduardo Caba.

Tickets are $20, $15 for MFAC members, $18 for seniors, and free for 15 or younger.

Also, on Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m., he will be at the MAC for a “meet the artist” reception and master class.

His appearance is part of the New England Guitar Society’s International Performer series.

MILFORD >> The Milford Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery will present its “Springtime Showcase,” an invitational group show of state artists April 13-May 5.

A reception will be held 6-8 p.m. April 13 at the Firehouse Gallery, 81 Naugatuck Ave.

Exhibiting artists:

• Paul Baylock primarily works in acrylics exploring old magazine ads depicted in an abstract manner.

• Jon Bristol is a filmmaker, puppeteer and artist, founder and creative director of Elmwood Productions.

• Clinton Deckert’s contemporary art was selected for the Societé Nationale Des Beaux Arts exhibit at Carrousel Du Louvre, Paris.

• Jacquelyn Etling works primarily in infrared photographs.

• Florin Ion Firimita works in painting, mixed media, writing, photography.

• Sean Michanczyk is an oil painter.

• Andre Rochester works in acrylic, charcoal and pastel.

• Greg Shea is a photographer and craftsman.

• Eric Stegmaier is senior conservation assistant at the Yale Center for British Art.

His archaeological illustrations have appeared in a number of books and articles.

• Cheryl Wilczak is an award-winning photographer.

For information, go to or call 203-306-0016, 203-878-6647, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

MILFORD >> Artwork is sought for “Waterscapes,” a maritime/marine “pop-up” exhibit, set for April 8, 9 at Milford Yacht Club, 131 Trumbull Ave., sponsored by the Milford Arts Council.

Work will be received 9-11 a.m. April 8. It must be taken home 1-5 p.m. April 9.

It may include ships, sailing, beach, coastal wildlife or the sea.

A reception, with awards, will be 5:30-7 p.m. April 8.

Winners will be displayed at the MAC Center for the Arts until May 31.

For more information, call MAC at 203-878-6647 or visit

MILFORD >> Loretta Egan Murphy, playing the concertina and button accordion, will join the P.V. O’Donnell Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann traditional Irish music session at 7:45 p.m. April 20 at St. Gabriel’s Parish hall, 26 Broadway.

Admission is free. Musicians, dancers, singers and guests may attend. BYOB.

Murphy has taught Irish music to hundreds of students in New York and Connecticut. Her recent CD is “Beyond the Watery Lane.”

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was founded in 1951 in Ireland to promote Irish traditional music, song, dance and language. There are 415 branches worldwide. For information, call Tim at 203-257-8737.

MILFORD >> A class in old-style Irish step dancing (sean-nós) will be offered by the P.V. O’Donnell Comhaltas chapter, 7-8 p.m. April 20, prior to the traditional music session, at St. Gabriel Parish hall, 26 Broadway.

The class will be led by Rebecca McGowan, a dancer and teacher, and Jackie O’Riley, a traditional Irish dancer, both from Boston.

It is open to all and no dance experience is necessary. Flat, hard-soled shoes are required.

Sean-nós Irish dance is improvised, rhythmic and expressive step dancing, closely tied to traditional Irish music.

Participants may stay and practice their steps at the traditional music session that follows.

Cost is $15. For information, contact Louise Whelan at 203-876-9973.

MILFORD >> Live @ the Mac will present Emily Haviland Baker, fiddler, singer, songwriter, and student at the Berklee College of Music.

The 8 p.m. April 14 concert is at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave S.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Snacks, beer and wine will be sold; coffee is free.

Tickets are $15, $10 for MAC members, $5 students.

For tickets, go to or call 203-878-6647, Tuesday-Friday.

For details:,

MILFORD >> Tickets are on sale for the Devon Rotary Club’s 2017 Comedy Night, set for 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 21 at Costa-Azzurra Restaurant, 72 Broadway.

Tickets are $50, and include an Italian-style buffet dinner, an open bar and the show, with three professional comics.

They are:

• Dan Stack, who derives his comedy from his experiences growing up Irish Catholic in the late 1970s and ‘80s.

• Claudia Stavola, who has been a guest on Howard Stern’s Sirius Channel 101. When not performing, she stays sharp with freelance writing projects, including ghostwriting a column for the Huffington Post.

• D.C. Benny, whose unusual style of telling autobiographical stories, inhabited by original characters has been sharpened for almost 30 years as a performer.

His personal essays, stories, and articles have been featured in New York Magazine and The New York Observer.

Benny is co-host of the story-telling podcast “Tall But True.”

For tickets, go to and click on the “Get Tickets” PayPal button. Tickets are also available at Beachwood Florist, 325 New Haven Ave., or from any Devon Rotarian.

For more information, call 203-556-7610.

MILFORD >> The Milford Arts Council and Milford Photo will sponsor Milford Photo Expo 2017, an open-theme show for photographers of all levels at Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S.

The show is May 11-June 22, with a reception 5:30-7 p.m. May 11.

All photographic mediums, styles and processes are acceptable.

Fee is $10 per entry. Drop-off is April 28, 29.

Milford Photo will do cut-rate framing; call 203-882-3415.

For information, contact the Milford Arts Council at 203-878-6647,,

MILFORD >> Milford Arts Council’s Firehouse Art Gallery is accepting applications for its artist in residence.

The residency was created to support aspiring or professional artists with temporary, low-cost housing and studio space. The apartment will be available June 1.

The deadline for applications is April 7.

The 750-square-foot residence includes studio space, one bedroom, with a living/dining area, a kitchen and bath. There is off-street parking, a large terrace and a bicycle rack.

The monthly cost, which includes heat, hot water and electricity, is $850 (with deposit of $850). The “artist in residence” is expected to be active in the maintenance and management of the gallery and workshop.

Download an application at or contact the Milford Arts Council at 203-878-6647 or email

MILFORD >> Jazz musician and composer Jay Rowe returns May 5, 6 with the 15th annual “Smooth Jazz For Scholars” concert series to benefit the public schools music department.

Over 14 years, about $75,000 has been donated to the program.

Rowe, of Milford, donates a portion of the ticket sales to thank the educators who were there at the beginning of his musical career. He is a graduate of Calf Pen Elementary and Joseph A. Foran High schools.

Rowe has played in many jazz festivals across the U.S. and around the world. As a solo artist, he has released six CDs, “A Dream I Had” (1994), “Jay Walking” (1997), “Laugh Out Loud” (2001), and “Red, Hot and Smooth” (2006) “Live At Daniel Street” (2011), and “Smooth Ride” (2016).

The series has two separate artist line-ups:

• Friday, May 5, features Rich Braun on trumpet, saxophonists Will Donato and Jeff Kashiwa, and guitarist Nick Colionne.

• Saturday, May 6, features guitarists Chieli Minucci and Steve Oliver, saxophonist Steve Cole, and Nelson Rangell, saxophone and flute.

The event will take place at the Parsons Government Center Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 70 W. River St. Doors open at 7 p.m., and show time is 8.

Tickets are $40 for one night, and $70 for both nights. The first 250 tickets sold are for reserved seating.

Tickets can be purchased locally from Rowe, or from Arciuolo’s Shoes, on South Broad Street; Café Atlantique and The Canvas Patch, both on River Street; and the Milford Fine Arts Center on Railroad Avenue South.

Also, at, or by sending a check or money order payable to Smooth Jazz For Scholars Inc., P.O. Box 3723, Milford 06460.

Limited sponsorships are available, and raffle/silent auction items are being accepted.

For more information, visit or call 203-874-4150.

MILFORD >> The Milford Arts Council presents Open Mic Nites every second Wednesday 7-10 p.m. through May 10.

Registration starts at 6 p.m.

They are open to performing arts: singers, musicians, comedians, poets, magicians.

There is a audience fee of $5; performer admission is free.

Events are held at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S. For more information, call 203-878-6647 or go to