The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

First Night Northampton 2021 Recap


The 36th annual First Night Northampton was unlike any before, withstanding a global pandemic to bring you 12 straight hours of performing arts broadcast to local television and worldwide to the internet on New Year’s Eve 2021.

The day kicked off at Noon with an incredible opening set of performances from SHOW Circus Studio featuring trapeze, hoops and amazing aerial moves. The afternoon moved on with more performances for kids of all ages including storytelling, juggling, a puppet show, the world-record holding Yo-Yo Guy, plus bilingual songs from Latin Grammy winner Mister G. Original songwriting talent featured through much of the mid afternoon such as 16-year-old Zoe Lemos, Blues singer Roger Salloom, scholar Dr. Diana Alzarez as well as local luminary Ray Mason and his Silvertone. After that it was on to bands with global dance rhythms from The Pangeans, soul & blues by StompBoxTrio and the energetic post-rock from Kalliope Jones.

Screens lit up with our fireworks display after 6:00pm, signaling our second half evening presentation starting off with 2021 Grammy Nominees Max ZT + Priya Darshini Duo’s set of virtuosic Indian Classical music. Talented Springfield, MA artist Myles Jéh took the virtual stage for an exciting performance of r&b singing and rapping right before Peter Blanchette, archguitar & friends displayed their extraordinary repertoire of arrangements from medieval, renaissance and baroque music to World Music, New Music and original pieces. New Year’s Eve audiences were sweetly serenaded by special duos Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry, Lisa Bastoni & Sean Staples, and Kimaya Diggs accompanied by Jacob Rosazza. Rounding out the night and leading right up to the midnight countdown ceremony were rocking sets from the Lonesome Brothers and the Fawns, motown magic from The O-Tones, moonlit folk from Izzy Heltai and a Balkan dance party by Klezamir.

Missed part of the show? Want to see your favorite performance again?
Rewatch the full presentation on YouTube.

A Reminder to Artists: the First Night 2022 application will open April 15th, 2021 and close September 1st, 2021. All performers are required to reapply each year to be considered.

If you would like more information about our grant programs, please visit If you would like to learn more about upcoming arts events in downtown Northampton, please visit If you’re a First Night Northampton fan, please visit; we still have some very cool merchandise available for purchase.

And don’t forget, Four Sundays in February is coming right up! One of the longest running community winter arts series in the country, this festival traditionally takes place during the month of February at various performance venues in Northampton and is produced by the Northampton Arts Council. In light of Covid-19, our 2021 series will be a virtual festival broadcast to local tv and the internet with no in-person attendance. Our upcoming events include Silver Chord Bowl 2021: The Northamptones Edition, KidsBestFest 2021: A Film Festival for Kids and Their Adults, The SCDT Screen Dance Festival and The Best of Four Sundays in February a video compilation showcasing a mix of our most popular February series shows.

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