Netsayi @ MASS MoCA’s Courtyard Café, 7/19/14
Story and photograph by J Hunter
I actually cut down on my concert diet this year; that means I only went to 36 shows as opposed to 45 or 50! Therefore, all the usual jokes aside, your experience may really vary from mine. Nevertheless, the artists I did see definitely deserve some recognition, and I’m sure the people who shared these experiences will agree with me – mainly because they were applauding as loud as I was at the time.
As usual, I have a couple of bowling trophies to hand out before we do the thing…
THE LOCAL HERO AWARD (Venue Division) goes to… MASS MoCA
I mean, come on! Between the Hunter Center, Club B-10, and the newly minted Courtyard Café (let alone the space they give to FreshGrass), I think our neighbor to the east covered pretty much every musical genre there is, and may have invented a few new ones along the way. MASS MoCA’s musical curators think just as far outside the box as the museum’s artistic curators, which almost guarantees a new experience with every show; that said, they mastered the lesson EMPAC needs to learn that “experimental” and “fun” are not mutually exclusive terms or states-of-mind. Here’s to the hosts of Solid Sound 2015! WHOO HOO!
THE GOLDEN BOOMERANG AWARD goes to… SHAREL CASSITY
This primo NYC-based altoist hadn’t been seen in Greater Nippertown for several years before she made two knockout appearances in 2014 with two of our best local outfits. First she got on Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s front line with Chris Pasin and Brian Patneaude and blew the doors off the Daily Grind in Troy; then she appeared alongside fellow sax mavens Claire Daly and Ada Rovatti in a fire-breathing appearance with the Empire Jazz Orchestra at the Colonial Theatre as the anchor concert for the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival. Come back soon, Sharel – and next time, we want to see your band, with your music!
Okay, as Chris Hardwick once said, “That means it’s time to get down with the clown! IT’S ‘FOR THE WIN!’”