Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

FEST: FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA Adds New Bands [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
Lau

Lau

FreshGrass, MASS MoCA’s three-day bluegrass and roots music festival, announces additional bands for its annual September festival. UK experimental folk group Lau, mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull, Texas blues and roots sensation Ruthie Foster, alt-folk, Northampton-based Parsonsfield and Mexican bluegrasser Rana Santacruz join the festival line-up, which already brims with Americana favorites including Old Crow Medicine Show, Glen Hansard, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Rosanne Cash, the Devil Makes Three, a Saturday night hoedown featuring the Infamous Stringdusters, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Aoife O’Donovan, Alison Brown, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Stephane Wrembel, John Reischman & the Jaybirds, Mr. Sun, Mile Twelve and last year’s FreshGrass Award winners Old Salt Union and Zoe & Cloyd. FreshGrass, at MASS MoCA on September 16-18, 2016, features bluegrass traditionalists and innovators on four stages and in every nook and cranny of the museum’s 28-building, 16-acre campus. This year’s festival marks an integrated partnership with No Depression, the quarterly journal for roots music and online roots music authority.

Lau is at the center of the British folk scene. Featuring guitar, fiddle, squeezebox and the hearty vocals of its three members (Kris Drever, Martin Green and Aidan O’Rourke), the band’s name comes from an old Orcadian word for “natural light,” and its music follows suit. “Steeped in folk heritage but with a love for experimentation” (The Guardian), Lau’s shimmering folk melodies and countless instrumental layers shed new light on traditional music. Beginning with its debut album released in 2007, Lau won Best Group for three consecutive years at the BBC Folk Awards, has made appearances at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival and wowed a U.S. audience at last year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival. With three masterful studio albums released, Folk Radio UK names Lau as “the mothership for an extraordinary artistic outpouring and some of the best music being made anywhere in any genre.”

Championed by Alison Krauss as having talent with no boundaries, mandolin extraordinaire and prodigy Sierra Hull hits the FreshGrass stage on her way to a tremendously bright future. Hull began playing mandolin at age eight, was signed to Rounder Records at age 13, and now at 24, after attending and graduating from Berklee College of Music on the prestigious Presidential Scholarship, has already recorded three studio albums, collaborating with mentor Alison Krauss. Her most recent, Weighted Mind, produced by banjo luminary Béla Fleck, is a “stunning coming-of-age album” with which Hull joins the likes of Nickel Creek alums Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins as “pedigreed virtuosos whose youthful, searching musical minds have taken them into postmodern singer-songwriter territory and beyond” (NPR Music).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Le Vent du Nord Blows into the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

vent

Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air, as they blow into the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Thursday (May 26).

Since its founding in 2002, Le Vent du Nord have become compelling Francophone ambassadors, winning critical acclaim and audience adoration across Europe, Oceania and America. The quartet has performed well over 1,400 concerts, racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award and “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.

The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire, while others are original compositions. The group has a rich and varied instrumentation, well-polished musical arrangements, and wonderful vocals.

Both the Quebec folk music quartet and its audience, will share the Colonial stage Thursday, May 26 at 8pm, as part of the theatre’s “On the Stage” Series.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

3rd Thursdays Kicks Off This Week in Pittsfield [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

thursday

Pittsfield’s award-winning street festival, 3rd Thursdays, returns for its 10th season on Thursday (May 19), and this month’s theme is Youth. The event celebrates young performers, dancers, musicians, artists and more. The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays are family friendly and open to all. North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street and will be filled with music, performance, food and community activities.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the 10th season with the return of some favorite 3rd Thursday features and the introduction of some new things including the unveiling of the Pittsfield Paintbox Project,” says Jen Glockner, director of cultural development for the city of Pittsfield.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Lucky 5 Jazz Up the Swing Dance Scene [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
The Lucky Five

The Lucky Five

The Shire City Sanctuary – formerly the Notre Dame church – in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District is hosting the ongoing Shire City Rhythm Club with the Lucky 5 on Friday (May 20). A night of swing dancing from 8-11pm, with a free swing dance lesson from 7-8pm.

The Shire City Rhythm Club will offer a one-hour lesson (7-8pm) prior to the dance that will teach beginners and advanced students alike dance steps to incorporate into the evening’s partner-style dance. The lesson is included in the ticket price. All ages are welcome; beer, wine and pizza will be available at a separate cost. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and Shire City Sanctuary members will receive a 25% discount.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

It’s “Presto Change-O” as Barrington Stage Begins 2016 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 16th, 2016
Presto Change-O stars (clockwise from bottom) Lenny Wolpe, Barbara Walsh, Michael Rupert, Bob Walton, Jenni Barber and Jarrod Spector.

“Presto Change-O” stars (clockwise from bottom) Lenny Wolpe, Barbara Walsh, Michael Rupert, Bob Walton, Jenni Barber and Jarrod Spector.

By Larry Murray

For 2016, things are going to be different at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield. They are ratcheting up their productions.

Usually their season opens with a simple show with one or two characters, followed by bigger and bigger productions as the summer tourist season takes over the Berkshires.

But Julianne Boyd (artistic director) and Tristan Wilson (managing director) have decided to begin instead with the Musical Theatre Lab world premiere new musical, Presto Change-O, which runs from Wednesday (May 18) through Saturday, June 11. The company’s press release describes this intriguing new musical as one that “tells the story of three generations of magicians who find themselves under one roof for the first time in years. When the grandfather causes real magic to happen, they must confront their past mistakes and re-examine what it means to be a family.”

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Comedian Kevin Meaney Brings the Laughs Tonight @ The Garage [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Meaney – who steps into the spotlight at The Garage in Pittsfield tonight (Wednesday, May 11) – had known since he was a teen that he was gay, but like so many in that era, had been afraid he might be shunned or worse if he came out. As reported by Nick A. Zaino III in the Boston Globe, it was in the ’80s, that Meaney felt he might finally be ready, but then the AIDS crisis hit. It wasn’t until he got to Broadway in 2002 that he started to feel safe.

“That turned me around,” he says. “I got a job doing the gayest musical of all time, ‘Hairspray,’ and everybody in the cast and everybody in the crew and everybody in the audience, they were all gay. So it just gave me the courage. People say, ‘Does Broadway make you gay?’ Yes, it does. OK? It does. Even going to see a show, you can become gay. So you’ve got to be careful.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Janis Joplin Documentary Broadcast on PBS Tonight [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

janis

At 8pm tonight (Tuesday, May 3) WMHT-TV and other PBS-TV stations will not only offer the exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg’s Janis Joplin documentary on PBS, but the film Janis: Little Girl Blue will include never-before-seen extended-cut features and new interviews with Pink, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Etheridge, Laura Joplin and narrator Cat Power.

In the documentary, more details of Joplin’s sexual fluidity is revealed, as well as much of the angst she endured from her high school classmates that lit the fire of her extraordinary performances, while at the same time drove her to experiment with drugs, alcohol and lovers of both genders.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

TONIGHT: Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company Celebrates 25th Anniversary @ The Egg [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 29th, 2016
Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (photo: Gary Gold)

Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (photo: Gary Gold)

In celebration of its 25th performance season, the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company performs at The Egg’s Hart Theatre at 8pm tonight (Friday, April 29) in a program that will feature the premiere of Tumble, set to the music of Terry Riley, written for four hands on one piano. The evening will begin with a 7:15pm prelude talk given by Artistic Director Ellen Sinopoli.

The remainder of the program will feature a retrospective of ESDC’s most popular works from the last 25 years:

Sandungera – This dance revels in the groove, sensuality and rhythm of Latin jazz and Cuban music.

Rising Low – With blues and country music, this dance tells a poignant tale of loss and loneliness.

Becoming – Based on a Rainer Maria Rilke poem, this dance for a solo female pulsates with longing, questioning and beauty to Zoe B. Zak’s music for voice and accordion that brings a captivating combination of tonalities that are tied to her Jewish-American roots.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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