trumpet says don't stop the music

Melody and song, music and music making has been at the heart of Rhode Island since the very beginning. Providence Public Library has created a multifaceted exhibition and program series to celebrate and honor Rhode Island’s long musical history. We have mined our rich historical collections of music and have collaborated with local musicians and organizations, scholars and performing groups to bring a unique educational and inspirational experience to the Rhode Island community.

Live Music

Experience live music in the Library's Grand Hall. Join us for weekend concerts featuring music that spans generations and genres. Check out some photos from these live performances.


"From Pop to Punk: Highlights of 20th Century Music in Providence." Celebrating Providence's 20th century musical legacy.

Lectures, Classes & Workshops

Let's learn something! In these lectures, we'll take a look behind the artists and their music. We are also offering family programming where your little one can learn more about and create music.


Our 2015 Creative Research Fellow is exploring the Library's collection of Civil War ballads to share with the community.


Sweet Dreams and Back Beats: Mighty Music Bios. Delve into the background of American music legends in this biopic series selected and moderated by Dave Lussier, a Providence composer/arranger.


Humans started creating music as a way to build and strengthen their community. From galas to rock n' roll yard sales, let's hang out!

Schedule of Events


02 "From Pop to Punk: Highlights of 20th century Popular Music in Providence"
Exhibit opening; Runs through June 2015
Providence Public Library's 2015 Gala
12 Drumming Workshop with Sidy Maiga
Family Learning Sunday. Registration required, space is limited.
13 Get On Up
Part of the Sweet Dreams and Back Beats: Mighty Music Bios film series
16 Do It Man: The Story of The Celebrity Club
Documentary film
19 The History of Ragtime
Featuring pianist Deborrah Wyndham
20 Eddie Soares Tribute: RI Ambassador of Jazz, Deacon of Dixie
Presentation with Sylvia Ann Soares
23 Lloyd Kaplan and the Aristocats
24 Duke Robillard Trio
26 R.I. Clarinet School Student Recital
27 Backbeat
Part of the Sweet Dreams and Back Beats: Mighty Music Bios film series
30 Todne and the Hi Tex


01 Steve Smith and the Nakeds
Rhythm and Blues
03 "Honoring the Earth & Each Other" - Music with Christopher Kavi Carbone
Family Learning Sunday. Registration required, space is limited.
03 The Beauty of My Music with Dr. Clarice LaVerne Thompson
African American Folk Music From Spirituals through Blues to Gospel
04 History of Vaudeville
Presentation with Lloyd Kaplan
08 Natural Element
Reggae with elements of hip-hop, jazz, funk, afro-beat
09 Bands on the Block: A Collaboration between the American Band and the What Cheer Brigade
Brass band
09 Chris Daltry of the 'Mericans/Allysen Callery/John Faraone
11 Bird
Part of the Part of the Sweet Dreams and Back Beats: Mighty Music Bios film series
14 Folk Song Sing-Along
with Chris Monti
14 In the Mood
A Time Capsule of Classics from 1939 with Tim Harbold and Valerie Anastasio
16 Community MusicWorks Experimental Music Concert
Featuring CMW resident musicians & MediaLab student projects
18 A Treasure of Musical Gems: Selections from the Great American Songbook
Featuring Jazz pianist Rod Luther
21 "Ellingtonia" with Tish Adams
22 Beta Motel
Electronic/Alternative dance
28 Introductory Harmonica Lesson
With Chris Monti
29 The Romany Maid
Operetta performed by Opera Providence

Sights and Sounds from some of the events


Support the Library

don't stop the music original poster limited edition

This poster is a visual encapsulation of the research for Providence Public Library's Don't Stop The Music! 2015 spring exhibit and program series, based on primary sources and the work of local historians.

The poster is 21.75"x32", drawn by Jim Reynolds and silkscreened on archival blend French paper at AS220. This is a limited edition of 200 prints.

If you purchase this poster online, we will ship it to you. If you prefer to pick it up in person, visit the library during our regular hours to buy one and save on shipping. We will also be selling the poster at many of our Don't Stop the Music Events events until they are sold out.

By purchasing this unique poster, you'll have supported the research and coordinated community effort that goes into exhibits like this, as well as the series of live music at Providence Public Library. Keep music live!

Price: $15
Shipping: $5

Your Stories & Music

We hope to have an open dialogue where you can reminisce about great shows you've seen, or a local artist you know. Whatever comes to mind, we want to hear it. If you would prefer to submit a memory privately, you may do so with this form.

If you are (or were) an artist making music in Rhode Island and have the permission to distribute your music, add it to this conversation. Post from YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Vine or upload images from your computer.

Presenting Sponsor

Rosalyn Sinclair

Sponsors and program partners

partner logos