Brookline: The author of more than a dozen novels, including “Affliction,’’ “Continental Drift,’’ and “Cloudsplitter,’’ Russell Banks will talk about his work Thursday, 6 p.m., at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St. $5. 617-734-2500, www.brooklinebooksmith-shop.com.
Holliston: The inaugural Metrowest Brewfest, featuring more than 27 top brewers and distributors, live music and local food in a benefit for the Holliston Community Action Fund, takes place Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m., on the Holliston Historical Society property at 547 Washington St. $30, $25 advance. www.hollistonbusinessassociation.com.
Arlington: Drawing from his latest album, “Up On Rockfield,’’ Vance Gilbert explores the influence various songwriters and performers have had upon his writing in a show Friday, 8 p.m., in Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Ave. $25. 781-316-3000, www.passimcenter.org.
Newton: Exsultemus and Newton Baroque continue their joint Telemann cantata series Saturday, 8 p.m., at Second Church in Newton, 60 Highland St. $30; $25 for students, seniors. 617-244-2690, www.exsultemus.org.
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