Master Class Spotlight Series, a new weekly event at the downtown Plymouth BBC, pairs masterful music with expert advice for musicians.
The first thing many people think when someone mentions Plymouth is the Rock. You know the one. It’s the historic boulder with the year 1620 carved into it that’s on display in an elegant enclosure on the waterfront. It’s located where the Pilgrims allegedly first came ashore in the New World. We say “allegedly” because that just might be a bunch of hooey.
But when talking about the other kind of rock in Plymouth – music – there’s no need to use words like allegedly or hooey. The music scene in Plymouth has exploded in recent years. And yes, we realize it’s not just rock music; we’re aiming for pithy over accuracy.
“In the last five-to-seven years, Plymouth has become a real hub of live music,” said Stephen Mazzetta. “There are 30-plus venues, which is more than just about anywhere in the Northeast.”
Mazzetta should know. He’s been part of that scene for more than 20 years. Whether as a solo artist or as part of the duo, Sugar Bears, he typically plays locally at least two nights a week.
Mazzetta came up with the concept of Master Class Spotlight Series, the part-performance/part-education series that debuts on March 6 at the BBC on Middle Street.
“A friend was doing this wildly-successful open mic night in Plymouth that became a place to hang out and network, but it got canceled,” he said. “For the past couple of years, I’ve been lamenting the lack of a place to hang out and talk, so I came up with this structure of a ‘master class.’”
Each Monday, Mazzetta – who is a singer and guitarist – will serve as host, performing as customers get settled. He will then introduce that week’s master. The master will likely intersperse music with an in-depth knowledge of a specific area of the music business. We say “likely” play because not every person Mazzetta has chosen for the program is actually a musician.
“We’ve got an industry executive coming in who will talk about writing original music and getting it out there,” Mazzetta said.
First up on the roster is Brian Hitchings, the lead singer and guitarist for 3rd Left, a three-piece band based in Plymouth.
“Brian’s topic will be ‘Passion in Your Playing,’” Mazzetta said. “Brian could have talked about anything, but he’s just so passionate about his playing and I want people to get that experience.”
Mazzetta chose Monday nights for the Master Class Spotlight Series because it’s typically a night off for the region’s musicians. Several local clubs expressed interest in hosting the event, but Mazzetta chose the BBC for personal reasons.
“I have a great relationship with [BBC’s director of entertainment] John Morelli,” he said. “He’s done so much for all of us [musicians]. He’s so supportive. He’s such a great guy.”
Thanks for the shout-out for Morelli, Stephen. We couldn’t agree more.