(RSVP to Esther or Ben)

Has it already been a year?! The Junk Kitchen is turning one year old, and we want to celebrate with you!

The Outpost is where it opened its eyes for the first time, gazing into the portraits of musicians so inspirational, and unfurled its ears to the sounds of the preview show. Like any healthy, growing concert series, each night became a unique milestone in its development: Music for Toys taught Junk Kitchen how to play with others and proved that we still know how to be kids. Get Out Your Mini was short but sweet. With the clashing of pots and pans, the series made music out of Found Objects. Do You Do Duo, Too? taught us about relationships. We went through a time warp with the Raymond Scott Review, and New Music Night told us not to fear trying new things. Postcards from Brazil was a (field) trip, and Burt Bacharach was Junk Kitchen's first exposure to grown-up problems of love and loss. Reed It and Weep extemporized on the changing seasons and explored the depths of emotions. In short, it has been a great year and one that brings a tear to our eyes when we think of all the growing the series has done!

To celebrate, we are inviting past performers and patrons to a night of Junk Kitchen music, to let the concert series have its own concert for once. You provide the talent, instruments and booze, and we’ll supply the place, some leadsheets and... more booze! What will come out of it? We're dreaming of a... 7-minute "Light Works" jam, a drunken loopy-eyed “Look of Love,” and improvisations on empty beer bottles. Let's give Season One its proper send off, and ignite the flame for Season Two, which starts February 15th.

Now a note from Junk Kitchen "dad," Ben Dicke:

As I write this and think of earlier times, I can’t ignore the Junk Kitchen's current growing pains as it's becoming quite a destructive little devil around the house! The series is now crawling around with a full set of teeth and an appetite, pushing the limits of a baby-proof home environment: it's biting on extension cords, playing with staplers, figuring out what body positions are best for sliding down the stairs and, like all children at this age, it gets into cheerios-throwing sippy-cup-dropping temper tantrums from its high chair, shouting “NO!” (a “new” word, the understanding and usage of which I tried my best for months to delay.)

All in all, my tough love can’t hide the fact that the series needs new home. So starting next year the Lily Pad (1353 Cambridge Street, Inman Square, Cambridge) will host our shows. This will be the place where the series learns to walk, talk and get potty trained. (I spoke to Gill at length about this, and he said it was ok as long as I would take care of any “accidents.”) Also on the horizon is a new website which will post the current show updates, past shows' sound and video clips, and will help you keep informed of all our shenanigans throughout the season.

The aspirations of a growing concert series comes with growing costs. I have already spent plenty on organic formula, new baby shoes (every 6 weeks!) a few Baby Einstein DVDs, at 20 something dollars a pop! But when it comes to the cost of rent and a website (not to mention a musicians' payment fund) I just simply cannot find the coupons for all of it! So this winter we will be asking you, the Boston/Cambridge music and arts community, to help us with our indiegogo campaign, which we hope to launch with this event. I mean, what better way to celebrate the past year than to spark life into the 2013 season? With your help we can avoid malnourishment as one of next year's themes...

Your support of our series has meant a lot to me this past year, as it has given a place and a purpose for so much creative energy. Next year will undoubtedly be even better: sillier, savvier, more mature! But first, I want to celebrate our musical highlights with all of you who have been there for us by being a part of the Junk Kitchen community. Hope to see you on the 8th!





(an emotional coffeehouse for seasonal change)

FRIDAY SEPT. 28, 2012
@ 8PM

Melancholiness always accompanies the twilight of summer as the days become shorter and cool air breathes gently through the brittle leaves of the resplendent trees. It wasn’t that long ago when we were soothing our bodies in the warm hands of endless sunlight, losing ourselves in barefoot explorations through thickets of tall grass and chirping meadows, only to find ourselves once again crashing our bodies to the earth at dusk with hearts beating, gazing beyond the heavens as a blanket of stars comforted us with a cadence of crickets drifting us to sleep, letting our minds frolic in imaginary pastures of dreams so real...

As we awake from our sleep now, the world around us is less forgiving of such adventures. Some of us are lucky to escape the inevitable winter looming over us: the geese fly south. But for the rest of us, we have to prepare ourselves for the colder months ahead: the squirrels must gather acorns.

Like the school children who spend their last day of summer vacation holding on to those final hours of independence and freedom, we are likely to spend these days before hibernation reflecting on the months gone by, while reluctantly outgrowing them. The squirrel cannot spend his time playing games during the acorn hunt or he will not survive the winter. We shouldn’t pretend that summer will last forever, for the sight of morning frost on bare trees will soon signal the specter of icy gloom. Yet another of life's cycles is nearing its end. Autumn leaves must fall.

This installment of the Junk Kitchen is dedicated to helping you come to grips with the seasonal changing of the guard. In true Junk Kitchen fashion we are transforming the Outpost once again. This time to a mid-90s open mic coffee house complete with dim lights, small tables and a written-in-chalk chalk board menu of hot drinks and day-old half-stale pastries. Performances will feature a diverse mix of reed players who will layer their somber tones underneath reedings of poetry that will help you ponder the past and contemplate the coming winter. Sorry, no Wi-Fi available.


This Sunday, September 16, the Junk Kitchen Players will be performing on the concert series

3rd Sundays @3 

Kumantzelis Auditorium
Bentley University
175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452

See you there!




186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Cambridge, MA

Composer Alfred Bachelorach seems to have it all: hit songs to make hearts melt, upscale gigs where top-shelf whiskey flows freely, and a new chick every night of the week. His bachelor pad is furnished with inviting fauteuils and a fully stocked bar, and the air sways with the lush arrangements and luring melodies of his songs. Many a girl has gambled all to gain entry to this palace, only to be banished again by daybreak.

Edith, an aspiring singer, proves equally unable to resist the pull of Alfred's talent and charm. However, unlike others before her, she turns the tables of the chase, and in pursuing Alfred she discovers a secret neither his loyal bandmates nor his trusted lyricist, Hal, have ever learned.

As the mystery deepens, it becomes clear that Edith's friend Faith knows more than she initially lets on. And Alfred's drummer, Max, may have developed a smoother, truer technique in playing his hand in the game of seduction. Ultimately, Alfred Bachelorach will be forced to face the fact that while a chair may still be a chair, a bachelor pad penthouse is most certainly not a home. And if he is ever to get what he really wants, he may have to relinquish his womanizing ways. The question is not how he can make this change, but who will inspire him to do so?

William Kenlon as Alfred Bachelorach
Esther Viola as Edith
Evelyn Hurley as Faith
Paul Jacobs as Sully, piano
Al Marra as Mugsy, vibes
Scot Fitzsimmons as Scott, bass
Ben Dicke as Max, drums

and special guest appearance by...
Will Dicke as Hal, lyricist


Photos from Brasil

Obrigada Brena for the beautiful photos of our last show, Postcards from Brasil!

To see more of Brena's fabulous photography, visit her blog, Treasure Chest.




FRIDAY 27 JULY, 2012 @8PM

Outpost 186
186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Cambridge, MA

postmarked: Rio de Janeiro, 13 July 2012

Hope you're having a great summer! We've been traveling all over Brazil for the past few months, and it is incredible! The food is amazing, the people are so warm and friendly—we're already talking about coming back next year. But what is really blowing us away is the MUSIC!

Everywhere we go—from Bahia in the northeast, where we heard the berimbau and saw capoeira on the streets, to here in Rio, where we saw Guinga live in concert (!) and met musicians who play with Hermeto Pascoal, and went to choro rodas—everywhere there is music playing. We're trying to record all this music with our ears, because we can't wait to play everything for you!

In fact, our flight gets back into Boston on Friday, July 27th, and we're heading straight to Outpost 186 to play all this music for you! We've had all kinds of ideas, and we've been talking about things like authenticity—can we as Americans just pick up and play Brazilian music?—as well as the definition of a “classic.” As always at the Junk Kitchen, we want to play music that's got a slightly different take on the common interpretation. So we've found some great classics here in Brazil, a few even from the late 19th century! While they're quite well-known here, we think back in Cambridge they will sound fresh and new, like instant life-long friends.

We've also heard so much music that doesn't sound at all like the standard Brazilian bossa export, and yet we've also heard some “bossas” which are so fresh and infectious—we've just got to bring it all back for you! So we're going to do our best, fully acknowledging that this music is pretty new for us, we're just going to dive in and do it—just like a gringa jumping into the samba de roda and shaking her hips like she didn't know any better! Why not? Life's too short not to groove, dance, sweat and swing!

So we hope you'll join us July 27th at 8pm! And don't forget to bring some limes for the caipirinhas!

Esther & Ben




8PM @ Outpost 186
186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Inman Square
Cambridge, MA

If you were to go to your favorite diner and order lunch, you would expect (or at least hope for) your sandwich to be made fresh, just for you. Made minutes before your first bite, without the evidence of someone else’s, right?

If you were on the market for a new jacket, you wouldn’t expect to have some previous owner's loose change and half pack of cigarettes in the left pocket. Not if it was sold to you as new, am I wrong?

If you were to buy a new car, you would expect it to be brand new, wouldn't you? I mean we’re talking new-car-smell, reeking of well-fitted suede-barracuda-sport-coat new (no need to turn it inside out, unless you bought a convertible, of course.) It wouldn’t be right to pay full price for a “new” car that’s been owned and driven by other people, with a few thousand miles racked on the odometer and a few treads missing on the tires.

When it comes to new music, though, countless times don’t we settle for music that is, well . . . only sorta new?

I mean is John Cage really new anymore? Would you drink a 20 to 60-year-old cup of coffee? No! You'd expect it to be fresh, hot and tasty. So shouldn’t new music be the same way?

This Junk Kitchen show is dedicated to defining our standard for new music. All the pieces here are written especially for this night. And just as the FDA qualifies that food is only considered fresh within 72 hours of preparation, we are requiring that our composers create their pieces no more than 72 hours before the first performance – and I mean the very first, no rehearsals, no run-throughs – just as is, when served up steaming and aromatic, by our Junk Kitchen Players. The strike of the notes will be the first time ears ever hear it. (One might also call this a “sight reading” night but we figured that it would make it sound even more like a nerd event... Oops.)

Featuring NEW compositions by:
Ian Dicke, Todd Brunel, Eric Biondo, Brian Abbott, Rob Manthey, Pam Marshall and others

Played by:
Matt Samolis - flute
Deirdre Viau - flute
Esther Viola - oboe
Honjo Tsuyoshi - saxes
Ryan Fessinger - bassoon
McMillan Gaither - trombone
Marion Campos - guitars
Brigham Hall - piano
Paul Jacobs - piano
Ben Dicke - drums
...and others




FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012

8PM @ Outpost 186
186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Inman Square
Cambridge, MA

This night is dedicated to an unsung hero of modern American music: composer, bandleader, pianist, engineer, and electronic instrument pioneer Raymond Scott.

The show will feature two sections, one highlighting his major contributions to Jazz (also recognizable from adaptations used in classic cartoon soundtracks) and the other "unplugging" his electronic music for TV and radio. We're arranging tunes, snippets, and jingles from his experimentations under the Manhattan Research Inc. project, some of his earliest and most distinctive electronic works.

Collaborating musicians:
Jerry Sabatini—trumpet
Andy Volker—tenor sax
Kyle Moffat—alto sax
Esther Viola—oboe
Brigham Hall—piano
Paul Jacobs—piano
Al Marra—vibraphone
Eric Hofbauer—guitar
Scott Fitzpatrick—bass
Sven Larson—bass
Ben Dicke—drums



FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2012
8PM @ Outpost 186
186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Inman Square
Cambridge, MA

Junk Kitchen turns armchair psychologist with this one, as its patients will be coming tonight to get things off their chests! Couples tired from the daily grind, frustrated by a flirting affair or just sick of no one paying attention to them will have a chance to vent out in stream-of conscious improvs.

Pairs who “just want to make it work” will display their communication skills by hashing out old emotional scars, coming to amends and forging new bonds which will help send them off onto the sunset.

And perhaps new partnerships will be sparked, as the series also sets up some worthy singles on blind-date improvisations or gently nudges newly-met duos to keep on playing.

In the process JK is going to keep its big mouth shut and take the Freudian approach. It will dim the lights, place fake plants around the room, put up generic pictures of beaches on the walls as patients lying down on a big cold leather couch will have the Doc saddle up next to them with a legal pad and an expensive pen. I can’t guarantee you that its notes won’t be full of doodles though . . . (Co-pay required)

Garrison Fewell and Eric Hofbauer (guitars)
Skinny Vinny (drums and sax)

Esther and Shelly (oboe and bassoon)

Brian Abbott and Joshua DeScherer (guitar and contra-bass)



Music of Found Objects and Homemade Instruments

Click here to listen to the show!!!

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2012 @ 8PM

Outpost 186
186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Cambridge, MA

featuring special guests:
Matt Samolis and Dovina -- bottles, buckets, glass, and more
Gary Fieldman--home-made percussion-kit

Geni Skendo
Al Marra
Ben Dicke
Esther Viola
and others!
-- on bottles, pans, jars, tins, wheels, balloons, plastic bags, tin foil, boxes, and more!!!
There is a real problem with Music these days: its ego is way out of control!

Music’s strong arm on the public has slapped the artists to the waysides for years while tricking the neighborhood kids to grab a guitar, grab a microphone and play by the rules. Believe in the hype and fame and fortune will follow. A few tired blues licks later these pop stars are mistaken for visionaries of creative sounds. The Junk Kitchen Concert Series is going to give it a reality check!

Music of Found Objects and Homemade Instruments is a full-on intervention at the Outpost, cornering Music to the front of the room and having it fess up to its faults, its wrong doings and to hopefully show Music what it can be and not what it has been for years on end.

The performers of this show will act like surgeons spending the evening undressing Music to its frail and skinny core, putting it under the knife with the scalpels of bare hands on the back of cold metal chairs. Old spoons on empty paint buckets will play ugly rhythms underneath disjointed melodies made out of twine. Old rusty nails will poke through in attacks of dissonance as a climax of hubcaps will loudly crash together scaring Music out the door and back into the streets, delirious and humbled.

In the end there is something to be discovered while performing music on anything that is not an instrument. It will showcase the fact the music is made by people and not the instruments that they play. Torn away are the rich textures, controlled range, and harmonic potential that we are all used to.

This night Music is in its purest form. Whether it’s drumming on the back of a stop sign or blowing into empty beer bottles, the music here will exist simultaneously on either end of the spectrum by exploring the fringes of acoustic sound art while throwing us back into our primal urges to create.

Audience members are encouraged to bring there own homemade “instruments” to play in a group performance at the end of the evening. For those less savvy, the requirement is that you only bring in what you have found on the way to the Outpost!


Friday, February 24, 2012 @8PM
Outpost 186
186 1/2 Hampshire St.
Inman Square, Cambridge, MA

While mini skirts are more than welcome, and may even get you a surprise at the door, this night is about an altogether other kind of mini: the miniature piece of music.

The miniatures featured in this Junk Kitchen installment are very, very short pieces of music, ranging from a matter of seconds to a minute, maybe two. But anything over two minutes isn't very mini anymore, now is it?

So this program will feature dozens of pieces—composed, improvised, covered or stolen—performed on oboe, piano, vibraphone, guitar, voice, and more!


Special guests!! duo Cotton Candy

& compositions/performances by:
John McDonald, piano
William Kenlon, voice/percussion
Brigham Hall, piano

First Worst Thirst:
Ben Dicke, drums
Esther Viola, oboe
Eric Hofbauer, guitar 



Join us FRIDAY JANUARY 27, 2012 at 8PM

Click here to listen to the show!!!

Have you ever graced through the aisles of a toy store, spotting various musical instruments on display? Has the temptation of creativity hit you enough that you’ve banged out a few chords at the toy piano, broken into a beat on “My First Drum Kit,” or tried to come up with something... anything interesting on a one-octave xylophone in the key of C?

Well, the folks at the Junk Kitchen Concert Series have concocted a remedy for those of you with such childish urges: a musical pursuance that will relieve you of being seen in a toy store and getting kicked out by security. This first installment will feature music written for and improvised on toy instruments and will feature many area performers and special guest Jaggery.

Our mission here is not only to give these instruments their due, but also to pose a challenge to those performing on them. We‘re keeping the Jazz Box in its case, and the Mark 7 at home, 'cause this is a night for musicians to get in the zone with the most interesting sounds this side of Christmas.