This Week’s Distractions: March 8 to March 15

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

As last week’s snow storm quickly melts away, the NoBo region eagerly awaits spring.  In the meantime, wine, art, and jazz music are in the air!  Spend an evening experiencing the jazz revival happening right here on the North Shore, taste some wine with local celebrities, or take in some local art.  Whatever mood you are in this weekend, NoBo has you covered like a breath of fresh spring air.

Stay tuned for special St. Patty’s Day events and a pub crawl highlighting the best Irish pubs North of Boston.  The big day is almost a week away!


Rebecca Muir at Chianti

As part of Chianti’s ongoing jazz schedule, rising star Rebecca Muir will perform tonight.  Her impressive list of credits includes the debut EP “Misfit” released in December 2010 and the recent release of her first music video for her “Angel Undercover.”  She has worked with Grammy-winning producer George Massenburg and Grammy-winning superstar Linda Ronstadt, sung a live duet with rocker Steve Winwood, and performed the national anthem at Fenway Park.  Rebecca has performed with the likes of Gloria Estefan, The Edge of U2, and Melissa Ethridge.

Becoming a fixture on the Boston music scene, Rebecca is a finely crafted mix of jazz, classic rock, R&B, pop, country, and electronica.  Lucky for the people of NoBo, she will be performing in Beverly for an intimate show at Chianti.  Chianti boasts some of the best Italian food on the North Shore.  Couple that with some creative jazz music and you got yourself a perfect night out.

When?  Thursday, March 8th, 9:30pm-12:30am

Where?  Chianti, 285 Cabot Street, Beverly

Cost? No cover, just cost of food and drinks


March Wine Madness!

If you like wine, you will love this event.  The Wine ConneXtion in North Andover will be hosting its version of a March Madness tournament in the hopes of crowning the best bottle of wine under $25.  Over 30 sommeliers, media personalities, chefs and restaurateurs will choose their favorites, and the wines will be pitted head-to-head in a single emanation battle.

This Saturday will kick off the tastings to be held every Saturday for the rest of the month.  Stop by to taste the wines and vote on your favorite.  The top three weekly wines will make it to the final tasting round on March 31st, where one winner will be named the champion.  Some of the area’s best known chefs, food writers, and wine fanatics. Wine tasting and chatting with local celebrities are certainly a fantastic way to spend an afternoon this March.

When?  Saturday, March 10th, 17th, 24th, & 31st, 12pm-5pm.

Where?  The Wine ConneXtion, 117 Main Street, North Andover

Cost?  FREE, Must be 21 years of age


Irish Family Day

The St. Patrick’s Day pre-parties are continuing to paint the NoBo region green!  Bring the family to The Claddagh Pub this Sunday for a little holiday cheer.  There will be live music by Beyond The Pale & The McTeggarts, traditional step dancing, bagpipers, and face painting.  And of course there will be a Guinness or two on tap for those family members over 21.  What better way to get in the spirit?

When?  Sunday, March 11th, Noon-6pm.

Where? The Claddagh Pub, 399 Canal Street, Lawrence

Cost? FREE


March Exhibits at the Marblehead Arts Association

In celebration of the Marblehead Arts Association’s 90th anniversary, the organization will be hosting a special exhibit on its founding members.  The exhibit will also feature work by MAA artist members Richard Pohl and Eyal Oren of Marblehead, and Joan Frank of Gloucester.

As an artist Pohl is “drawn by the relentless passage of time and recent travels have stimulated that perception, especially the juxtaposition of ancient and modern, old and new.”  His painting highlights some the world’s most interesting architecture.   For Oren, he took the notion that it takes an “outsider’s” view to show us what we take for granted each day, and ran with it via his photography.

He decided to focus his landscape photography on his new home–Marblehead.  He captures charming images, such as the lighthouse throughout the year and with varied compositions.  Frank begins her painting at the site if possible, working the composition quickly with brushwork and turpentine thinned paint. She lets her eyes find the colors and shapes that she needs to create the painting. It is an intuitive process that is the result of many years of learning how to paint in the company of mentors.

The works of the founding members will highlight the North Shore area’s beautiful landscape and illustrate the history of a core of Marblehead artists who were emerging and formed the Marblehead Arts Association in 1922. Many of the artists lived as neighbors in the Circle Street-Front Street area and met in individual homes frequently for family gatherings and picnics.   To hear more on the history, of the MAA, you will just have to attend!

When? Opening Reception to be held on Sunday, March 11th, 2-4pm.  Exhibit open through March 25th.

Where? Marblehead Art Association, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead

Cost?  FREE, donations always welcome

For more information and to preview some of the artist’s work, visit the MAA official website.


Ice Age Trail Hike

As winter is coming to a warming close, you can still get in the last bit of the icy outdoors.  This event for adventurers, explores the causes of an Ice Age.  Until 12,000 years ago, the entire New England region lay under a mile or more of ice.  Cape Ann is actually one of the most significant geological areas of the country and one of the best places to find signs of the last Ice Age.  This guided hike will help you discover the clues left behind by the Ice Age and to understand what defines this phenomenon.

When?  Sunday, March 11th, 1-3pm.

Where? Ravenswood Park, 481 Western Avenue, Gloucester

Cost?  Trustees of the Reservations members, FREE, non-members, $5


Community Heroes Breakfast

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for next week’s breakfast event that will recognize the heroes that walk among us.  The American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts will honor men, women, and youth of the area for their unselfish “heroic” deeds and standing as leaders and role models.  These people make a difference in our communities and they deserve to be recognized.  Awards will be given for Enduring Hero, First Responder Hero, Healthcare Hero, Education Hero, Youth Hero, International Hero, Community Hero, and Fallen Hero.  Susan Wornick of Channel 5 News will be the Mistress of Ceremonies.  All proceeds will benefit The American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts.

When?  Thursday, March 15th, 7:30-9:00am

Where? CoCo Key Hotel, 50 Ferncroft Road, Danvers

Cost? $40 per individual ticket, other sponsorship and table opportunities available, log on to for more info.


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