For 2014, the Dark Dining Room concert series brings the warmth and coziness of your living room to the grandeur of The Music Room at Wistariahurst Museum. Concert curators Matthew Larsen and Greg Saulmon will serve up several courses of amazing local and national musicians over the first four Saturdays of February through May. While no dinner is served, there will be light refreshments provided by Tony Jones Catering as well as a cash bar. Shows start at 7:00pm.
Wistariahurst is the former home of two generations of the Skinner Family, manufacturers of nationally renowned silks and satins, and prominent residents of Holyoke. The 26 room grand estate and gardens have been a focal point in the Holyoke landscape since 1874.
Why “Dark Dining Room”?
Matthew Larsen is a singer/songwriter who started doing these types of shows after going through cancer treatment at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in 2005. Recovery was slow and isolating, so he started inviting musicians over to play their songs in his mostly empty unlit dining room. There was something special about being in a cozy room with a group of other people listening to live music in the dark. It made everyone focus on the performance and enjoy a shared experience. Since then, Dark Dining Room shows have been held in various houses, lofts, and apartments throughout Western Massachusetts. Past performers include The Low Anthem, Winterpills, Kaiser Cartel, Amber Rubarth, Native Run, Will Stratton, Matthew Carefully, Haunt, Andrew Vladeck, Dennis Crommett, Henning Ohlenbusch, Darlingside, and Matthew Larsen and The Documents.
As a nod to Matthew’s cancer history, certain shows have been held to raise money for charitable organizations that make a difference in the cancer community. Dark Dining Room has raised money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, The SAMFund, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Typically, organizations such as these are highlighted in some way at each show.
Matthew Larsen and Greg Saulmon coordinate the Dark Dining Room series as well as perform in Matthew Larsen and The Documents.