Spoken Word & Music Series

  • Now in its 11th Season
  • Featured musicians, poets and writers from New England, New York and beyond
  • Fall and spring events from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Free and open to the public
  • Sponsored by the MCC Foundation Annual Fund Campaign and the Town of Manchester’s Downtown Arts and Culture Grant Program
  • Hosted by Stephen Campiglio

Note: All Mishi-maya-gat events are held at MCC on Main, Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center, at 903 Main Street,  downtown Manchester.


Mishi-maya-gat is the Algonquian term for “Great Trail System,” a network of foot paths created by the indigenous tribes of Connecticut. Within this system of trails, a “Great Path” connected one region with another. The site of the MCC campus is along one of these great paths, which led to the naming of Great Path as the street leading  into campus. It is in this spirit of historical and cultural significance that the performing arts series takes its name.

September 15, 2016

8:00 PM – Special appearance by acclaimed jazz performers/recording artists MICHAEL BISIO, bass & KIRK KNUFFKE, cornet

Kirk Knuffke and Michael Bisio
Photo credit: Madeleine Ventrice-Knuffke

In promotion of their new CD from Relative Pitch Records – “Row for William O.”

Michael Bisio
Photo credit: Bryon Smith for The New York Times

Michael Bisio, bassist & composer

  • 85 recordings in his discography, with 24 of these as a leader or co-leader;
  • Since 2009, Michael has been a member of the Matthew Shipp Trio, whose recent recording, The Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear), has been critically acclaimed. The trio has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Matthew and Michael also tour extensively in duo context, with their 2016 release, Live in Seattle, receiving critical praise;
  • Other collaborators include Joe McPhee, Charles Gayle, Connie Crothers, Whit Dickey, Ivo Perelman, Barbara Donald, Newman Taylor Baker, Rob Brown, Sonny Simmons, Tani Tabbal, and Sabir Mateen;
  • As a composer, he has been awarded 9 grants and an Artist Trust Fellowship;
  • www.michaelbisio.com

Kirk Knuffke
Photo credit: Ken Weiss

Kirk Knuffke, cornetist & composer

  • Kirk won Downbeat Magazine’s “Rising Star”Critics Poll in 2015;
  • Recipient of the Jerome Foundation composers grant, he has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader, including his 2008 debut, Big Wig (Clean Feed Records), that was lauded with impressive reviews;
  • Joined the critically acclaimed Matt Wilson Quartet in 2009, and tours the U.S. each year with the quartet. Their recording, Gathering Call (Palmetto Records), featured John Medeski;
  • Other collaborations number more than 50 recordings, with leaders such as Butch Morris, Allison Miller, Uri Caine, Michael Formanek, Mary Halvorson, and Ray Anderson;
  • His most recent recording is Arm and Hands (Royal Potato Family);
  • www.kirkknuffke.com

6:30 PM – DAVYNE VERSTANDIG, featured poet


Davyne Verstandig

  • Davyne’s two books of poetry are Pieces of the Whole and Provisions;
  • Her work also appears in the anthologies, Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World; Songs of the Marrow Bone; and Where Beach Meets Ocean;
  • Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Connecticut (Torrington);
  • She has performed improvisational work … “composing on the tongue” … in both painting and poetry at The Knitting Factory and at Housing Works Cafe in New York City;
  • Conducts writing workshops in poetry, fiction and memoir throughout the state;
  • www.davyneverstandig.com


Thursday, October 27




www.davidgiannini.com; www.jaynebenjulian.com



To join the mailing list and receive a flyer via email, please send your email address to Stephen Campiglio, series coordinator, at scampiglio@manchestercc.edu.