PVDFest, Part 3: Music

Over the next few days, the city streets are alive...with the sound of music.
Betty Bonifassi.

So. We’ve covered food. We’ve covered performance art. Now, music. PVDFest has a reputation for drawing international artists to our little city, and this year doesn’t disappoint. Here are ten music events to check out during PVDFest, Providence’s premier artistic festival running June 1 to 4 in Downcity.


  • Salsa y Gaitas, 7 p.m.
    • Where: Alex and Ani City Center Stage
    • The Details: This high-energy salsa band wowed the crowd over the last two years with Caribbean tunes and no small degree of showmanship.
  • Extraordinary Rendition Band March, 7:45 p.m.
    • Where: 10 Dorrance St. to the Spectacle Stage in Kennedy Plaza
    • The Details: Troubadours clad in red and black unite to march through the streets of Providence. Join them, then check out a stunning aerial performance by BANDALOOP.


  • Rhode Island Songwriters Association, noon to 4 p.m.
    • Where: Washington and Clemence sts.
    • The Details: Hear from local singer/songwriters Ray Cooke, Lisa Couto, Ed McGuirl and others.
  • Girls Rock! RI Programming, 3:30 and 6 p.m.
    • Where: Burnside Park, 2 Kennedy Plaza
    • The Details: The nonprofit, which unleashes the rock ‘n’ roll prowess of young girls and women, hosts an instrument petting zoo earlier in the day. In the evening, PVDFest attendees are treated to performances by Girls Rock! alum.
  • Magnolia, 5 p.m.
    • Where: Roger Williams Memorial Park, 282 North Main St.
    • The Details: Cajun music by Magnolia gets you on your feet, no doubt. Let loose and take a chance at the two-step.
  • The ‘Mericans, 5:30 p.m.
    • Where: Washington Street stage
    • The Details: You can count on the ‘Mericans for a folking good time. The local rockers are working on a record, so head down and be the first to hear some new material.
  • Betty Bonifassi, 6:45 p.m.
    • Where: Alex and Ani City Center Stage
  • The Details: This woman, woah. Billed as “Montreal’s great songstress,” Bonifassi bellows soulful tunes to a driving electric blues rhythm.
  • Pallbearer, Lolita Black and Demotion Boys, 9 p.m.
    • Where: AS220 Main Stage, 11 Empire St.
    • The Details: After a day in the sun, you might want to spend a few hours in a dungeon. Pallbearer, a doom metal band from Arkansas, headlines with local bands Lolita Black and Demotion Boys supporting.


  • En Masse led by Daniel Bernard Roumain, 3 p.m.
    • Where: Dexter Park Training Grounds, 65 Dexter St.
    • The Details: The violinist, who aptly blends hip-hop, funk, rock and classical music, leads an immersive music experience where hundreds of musicians (including the What Cheer? Brigade and local youth music groups) perform a large-scale composition together.
  • Community MusicWorks, 6 p.m.
    • Where: Dexter Park Training Grounds, 65 Dexter St.
    • The Details: Faculty, students and alumni of this nonprofit youth classical music program perform. Gonzalo Grau, Johnny Gandelsman and other special guests will also perform.


PVDFest, Part 1: The Food
PVDFest, Part 2: Performance Art