The stars above are no help, they twinkle in a vain freeze.
2016 LOWELL CELEBRATES KEROUAC FESTIVAL, OCTOBER 6-10, 2016
Observing the 50th Anniversary of the Publication of Satori in Paris
“Everybody goes home in October”
—Jack Kerouac. On the Road
Download a program (updated 24 Sept)
7:35 pm. Reimagine Music presents the documentary One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur with Patti Smith, Tom Waits and Sam Sheppard. Score by Jay Farrar of Son Volt and Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie.
The Luna Theater at Mill No. 5. 250 Jackson Street.
8:00 pm: Traditional LCK Kick-off: Music and Readings. Cappy's Copper Kettle, 245 Central St. Performances by Alan Crane, George Koumantzelis, Colleen Nichols, and local readers. Joined by special guest David Amram. Always a kick! Hosted by John McDermott.
9:30 am: The Annual Jack Kerouac Poetry and Prose Competition. Held at Jack Kerouac's alma mater. Lowell High School. Students will read their poetry and prose entries. David Amram will share his memories of collaborating with Jack Kerouac. Lowell High School Theater. LHS is located at 50 Father Morissette Boulevard. [Note: This is a Lowell High School event, and not open to the public at large.]
2:30 pm: Talking Jack. Readings and conversation. Using the Satori in Paris Anniversary motif, we'll start off with the topic of "Jack and His Ancestral Roots" and see where it leads. Bring your favorite passage that speaks to Jack's ongoing quest to answer the "Who am I?" question—it's one we all have to confront at some point in our lives.
Hyper-Text Cafe. 107 Merrimack St.
4:00 pm: Festive Wine Opening Reception: "Be in Love with Your Life—every minute of it." An exhibit by artist Barbara Gagel that explores the deep emotional impact of words from Jack Kerouac's literary language.
Ayer Lofts. 172 Middle Street.
8:00 pm: Jack Kerouac Tribute Concert to Benefit the Proposed New Jack Kerouac Cultural Center. Reimagine Music presents: A Jack Kerouac Tribute Concert at Mill No. 5 in Lowell with critically acclaimed artists William Fitzsimmons and Will Dailey with special guest David Amram. CMuse points out Fitzsimmons "world wide base of loyal and dedicated followers" while the Boston Globe writes that Will Dailey "has a natural charisma, particularly as a vocalist, a clear and confident musician."
Admission: $15.00. Mill No. 5 is located at 250 Jackson Street.
Executive Producer: Cliff Whalen.
9:30 am: Commemorative at the Commemorative. "Honoring Jack's Search for his Roots." In keeping with the Satori in Paris anniversary observance, we'll offer some readings from his writings that point to the importance for Jack of finding his identity and ancestral roots. Led by Steve Edington and Roger Brunelle.
French and Bridge Streets.
10:15 a.m. Bus Tour: The Jack Kerouac Tour of Lowell. This tour takes participants to as many Kerouac places that can be covered in a long itinerary, and within a limited time. Included are visits, with interpretative readings, to the author's birthplace, the schools he attended, the churches and shrines at which he prayed, and his grave. Led by Roger Brunelle.
Leaves from the Commemorative. Donations gratefully accepted. Reservations at 978-970-5000.
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Marathon Reading of "Satori in Paris." This is being coordinated by Sean Thibodeau, Coordinator of Community Planning for the Pollard Library. Sign up to read a passage by contacting Sean at sthibodeau@LowellLibrary.org, or just show up ready to read.
2:00 pm: Annual Parker/LCK Lecture. "Jack Kerouac: Speed Demon."
Presenter this year is Jay Atkinson. By any standard Kerouac was a remarkable athlete. He was a champion sprinter, a speedy baseball outfielder, and a gridiron phenom. In this talk, Jay sheds some light on Kerouac's athletic prowess and its influence on his work.
A former two sport college athlete, Atkinson is the author of two novels, a story collection, and five narrative non-fiction books. He teaches writing at Boston University.
Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center. 246 Market St.
3:30 pm: Kerouac's Library Haunts and Hooky Tour. The tour includes a visit to the Library's recently dedicated "Kerouac Corner," so named to honor the time Jack spent here during high school days—sometimes playing hooky in order to expand his own literary horizons. Led by Bill Walsh.
Pollard Library. 401 Merrimack Street.
4:00 pm: The Brian Hassett Road Show followed by Open Mic at The Worthen. Lead off with Brian Hassett's Road Show. Brian Hassett, author of "The Hitchhikers Guide to Jack Kerouac" brings his theatrical spoken word and music show to LCK for his first ever event in Lowell. He'll be joined by Jason Eisenberg and other musicians and co-collaborators from "The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats." This is a "Road" themed show celebrating Jack's many trips and the journey so many take to Lowell each year.
Following Brian, you are invited to bring your favorite Kerouac passage to share, or a Kerouac inspired passage of you own. Emceed by Cliff Whalen. 141 Worthen Street.
6:00 pm: Opening Reception: "Satori in Paris/Le Jazz Hot." Artists creations based on Kerouac's novel Satori in Paris and Le Jazz Hot, Jack's favorite music. Coordinated by Judith Bessette. Music provided by David Amram.
Lowell Telecommunications Center. 246 Market Street.
8:00 pm: Buddha and the Blues with Rev. Freakchild and Willie Loco Alexander. An exploration of transcendence through music, musical styles, musical traditions, and musical improvisation with emphasis on the crossroads between the American Blues tradition and the Bodhisvatta Path in one of Lowell's Acre neighborhood's Greek establishments.
Olympia's Zorba Music Hall. 438 Market Street. A $10.00 donation at the door requested.
10:00 am: Mystic Jack: Visions of Jack and Gerard. Walking tour begins at the Saint-Louis-de-France Church and moves along Beaulieu St. to the convent and the school, featuring a look inside Jack's parish school and ends inside his childhood church. Tours is based on "Visions of Gerard," the mystical story of Jack's brother who died at nine years. He is portrayed by Jack as the universal symbol of brotherhood and kindness, with emphasis on Gerard's tenderness and dreams in his Catechism class and Friday afternoon Confession. Led by Roger Brunelle. Donations gratefully accepted.
St. Louis de France Church. 241 West 6th Street.
1:30—4:00 pm: Annual Amram Jam! Our annual event featuring David Amram performing with a cast of many readers, poets, and musicians. You can feel the spirit of Kerouac moving here. Special guest readers Jason Eisenberg and Don Ouelette.
Upstairs at the Old Worthen. 141 Worthen Street.
6:00 pm: "Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night" Tour. An evening walk through the streets of the Pawtucketville neighborhood where Jack spent his adolescent years, as he describes them in Doctor Sax and Maggie Cassidy. Readings from his talk-writings at the cottages and tenements where Jack lived when he attended the Bartlett Junior High School and Lowell High. Tour ends at the Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc Church where Jack saw a vision of the BEATific Generation.
Begin at Cumnock Hall. University of Massachusetts at Lowell, North Campus. 1 University Avenue. Led by Roger Brunelle. Donations gratefully accepted.
10:00 a.m. Kerouac's Nashua Connection Tour—By Passenger Van. A tour of the Kerouac sites of Nashua, New Hampshire. Leave from the LNHP Visitors Center at 246 Market Street. Led by Steve Edington. (Will connect with the Loop Walk in progress—see item below—for those who wish to join it upon returning to Lowell.) Donations gratefully accepted. Reservations at 978-970-5000.
10:00 a.m. LCK Loop Walk from the Kerouac Commemorative. Walk goes from Bridge Street to the St. Louis Church in Centralville, past Kerouac homes and landmarks in Centralville and Pawtucketville, finishing at the Old Worthen Tavern. Led by Bill Walsh.