Festival Fever: Bluegrass in Greenville, 8/9-11/13

August 7th, 2013, 10:00 am by Greg
Louie Setzer and the Appalachian Mountain Boys

Louie Setzer and the Appalachian Mountain Boys

The annual three-day Bluegrass in Greenville festival returns to the Freehold Airport this weekend.

Single Day tickets (Friday): $15
Single Day tickets (Saturday): $30
Single Day tickets (Sunday): $15
All-Fest Three Day tickets (including camping): $48 in advance; $55 at the gate

Here’s the schedule:

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LIVE: Michael Benedict & Bopitude (Featuring Gary Smulyan) @ Greenville High School, 4/6/12

April 9th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
Michael Benedict conducting the Greenville Middle School Jazz Ensemble.

Michael Benedict conducting the Greenville Middle School Jazz Ensemble.

Review and photographs by J Hunter

School should be all about education, and that’s what was happening at the drop party for Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s second Planet Arts release in two years, “Five and One.” The proceeds from the evening – after expenses – were to go to the Greenville Educational Foundation, and thanks to underwriting from a local insurance agency, those expenses were completely taken care of. (While revealing this, drummer/Greenville HS music czar Michael Benedict threw a smile at baritone saxman Gary Smulyan, who’d broken his ankle stepping off a bus the previous month, and cracked, “You need insurance, man!”) The real education happened when Bopitude showed Greenville Central Schools’ students what master musicians look and sound like when they’re plying their craft.

Anyone who saw Bopitude at the Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest last fall knows they hit hard in concert, but the power with which they launched Sonny Stitt’s “The Eternal Triangle” really snapped heads back. Teaming Smulyan up with tenorman Brian Patneaude and trumpeter Chris Pasin straps a supercharger onto an already-hot front line, not to mention expanding the harmonies tenfold. As a result, Bopitude in full cry is – in a word – massive! Smulyan may have limped onstage with the help of a cane, but he leapt on his solo spot like a famished wolverine and simply tore it to shreds, inspiring Patneaude and Pasin to do exactly the same. Benedict was dropping bombs from the back, and really brought the noise before the group nailed the last chorus. After the applause, Benedict deadpanned, “We like to start the evening with a ballad…”

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CD Release Celebrations Galore This Weekend!

April 6th, 2012, 12:00 pm by Greg

If April showers bring May flowers, then Albany winters must bring a blossoming of new CDs…

By our count, there are five big CD release celebrations going on around Nippertown this weekend. You won’t be able to catch ’em all, but here’s the lowdown:


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Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s CD Release Party @ Greenville High School, 4/6/12

April 3rd, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg


Jazz drummer-bandleader Michael Benedict hasn’t been wasting any time. Bopitude’s self-titled debut album was released just last June, and it popped up on a number of 2011 Best-of-the-Year lists. But before the year was even wrapped up, Benedict and the rest of the band – bassist Mike Lawrence, tenor saxman Brian Patneaude, trumpeter Chris Pasin and pianist Bruce Barth – were back at Cotton Hill Studios in Albany to record their sophomore album.

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Poetry Idol? Here Are the Rip Van Winkle Poetry Competition Winners

August 26th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

All Arts Matter in Greenville has announced the winners of the 12th Annual Rip Van Winkle Poetry Competition.

The winning poets in the Young Poet category (14 years old and under) are Sasha Shablovsky of Catskill (“How To Build A Ziggurat”) and Thomas McGahan from Cairo (“Basketball”).

In the Adult division, Anita Sanchez of Amsterdam (“A Short Story”) shares third prize with Lauren Maisenbacher of Hudson (“Characteristics of a Snowflake”). Edward Clopman of Coxsackie takes second prize (“Neo-Slavery”). And top honors go to veteran Albany poet and open-mic ringleader Dan Wilcox for “Poems on Poems,” his two-part glimpse into the moment of writing.

We’d like to add our congratulations to all of the winners and participants.

Cash prizes will be handed out at the awards ceremony at 12noon on Saturday (August 27) at the Greenville Public Library. The ceremony will also include readings of the winning works by the poets. Readings by other poets will also be part of the program. The event is free and open to the public.

CD Release Party: It’s “Twilight” Time on the Jazz Scene

October 27th, 2010, 10:01 am by Greg

Luis Bonilla

Luis Bonilla

Grammy Award-winning trombonist Luis Bonilla was sliding through a masterful performance with the SFJAZZ Collective at The Egg in Albany lesser than two weeks ago.

Jazz pianist Bruce Barth was leading his trio in concert at A Place for Jazz’s latest concert offering just last weekend.

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