porch party mamas
The Porch Party Mamas play Portsmouth Book & Bar on Friday.

Top five things to do: Feb. 28-March 1

A roundup of weekend entertainment on the Seacoast

The leap-day edition of our top five features lots of live music at local venues. Here are our highlights.

Two shows at Book & Bar

palaver strings

Portsmouth Book & Bar is hosting two great shows with a focus on female artists. Americana band the Porch Party Mamas performs on Friday, Feb. 28, from 7-9 p.m. ($10). The group is composed of Boston-area women who have shared stages with Willie Nelson, the Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, and others. On Saturday, Feb. 29, from 7-9:30 p.m., Maine-based string ensemble Palaver Strings plays classical music by women composers in a concert titled Ready or Not ($15-$20).

Three shows at The Word Barn

seamus egan solas

The Word Barn in Exeter presents a trilogy of terrific concerts featuring celebrated singer-songwriters this weekend. First up is Canadian folk musician Taylor Ashton on Friday, Feb. 28, from 8-10 p.m. ($15). Next comes Folk Music Awards nominee Caitlin Canty on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 8-10 p.m. ($22). Finally, multi-instrumentalist Seamus Egan, best known as head of the supergroup Solas, brings his solo project to town on Sunday, March 1, from 8-10 p.m. ($25).

Bill Frisell: Harmony

bill frisell harmony

Revered guitarist and composer Bill Frisell will bring his latest project to 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Friday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. Frisell is touring in support of his latest album, “Harmony” — his debut release on legendary jazz label Blue Note Records — which came out last fall. The band also features violinist Petra Haden, cellist Hank Roberts, and multi-instrumentalist Luke Bergman. Tickets are $55-$60. For more information, click here.

Weird Turn Pro Album Release

weird turn pro

The great Hunter S. Thompson once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” It’s in that spirit that experimental jazz collective Weird Turn Pro creates its beautiful and chaotic music. The local ensemble, featuring an all-star cast of Seacoast instrumentalists, will release their third record, “Leap Day,” with a show at The Dance Hall in Kittery on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $14-$18 (plus a $2 venue fee). For more information, click here.

The A-Beez — A Funkification


The Stone Church in Newmarket will host an evening of world-class funk on Saturday, Feb. 29. The A-Beez, a Boston-based collective led by keyboardist Amy Bellamy and bassist Aaron Bellamy, will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. They’ll be joined in Newmarket by vocalist Melissa Bolling and guitarist Jeff Lockhart. Together they’ll perform a funky blend of hip-hop, jazz, and soul. Tickets are $7-$10. For more information, click here.

For a complete calendar of local events, click here.