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The season opening gala at Saturday, June 16, Jacob's Pillow in Becket will include the presentation of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award to choreographer Faye Driscoll.

Bits & Bytes: Jacob’s Pillow gala; Alsarah and the Nubatones at Race Brook Lodge; Daymark at the Egremont Barn; new concert performance PCTV series

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By Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

Jacob’s Pillow to open season with gala event, after-party

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow will kick off Festival 2018 with a season opening gala Saturday, June 16, at 5 p.m. The event will include the official opening of all 2018 exhibits, the presentation of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award to choreographer and director Faye Driscoll, a tribute to honorary chair and 2018 Kennedy Center honoree Carmen de Lavallade, food and drink from the Old Inn on the Green, and a festive after-party with live music and dancing.

Carmen de Lavallade. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

The gala program includes a cocktail hour performance of pop-up duets by the Scotland-based Janis Claxton Dance in the company’s U.S. debut; an exclusive preview of Ephrat Asherie Dance’s “Odeon” prior to its world premiere at the Festival; a world premiere performed by the School at Jacob’s Pillow’s ballet program dancers choreographed and set in four days by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa; and Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Amanda Smith performing de Lavallade’s “Come Sunday.” A live auction will feature an original painting created specially for the gala by Stephen Hannock. A Fund the Future paddle raise will occur to support the Pillow’s programming. Also taking place will be the official opening of “Gotta Dance, Too!”, an original movie poster exhibition in Blake’s Barn from former film executive Mike Kaplan’s collection, signature cocktails, and a silent auction. Following the performance, guests will enjoy dinner and drinks under a tent on the Great Lawn catered by the New Marlborough-based Old Inn on the Green.

Later in the evening, an after-party will include live music by New York-based Paul Loren and his “One-Night Only” Band, a three-hour open bar, sweet and savory snacks provided by the Old Inn on the Green, and treats from Chocolate Springs and Tyler and Pine Bakery.

Gala and after-party-only tickets are available. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Gretchen Weber at (413) 243-9919 x126.


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Alsarah and the Nubatones. Photo: Carlos Ramirez

Alsarah and the Nubatones to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr at Race Brook Lodge

Sheffield — Alsarah and the Nubatones will perform a concert in celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, the completion of Ramadan, Saturday, June 16, at Race Brook Lodge.

Alsarah is a singer, writer and ethnomusicologist who was born in Sudan. Alsarah and the Nubatones have built a repertoire in which a supercharged oud overflowing with electrified melodies blends with refined jazz-soul bass lines and modern beats give new breath to age-old rhythms. The group was born out of many dinner conversations between Alsarah and percussionist Rami El Aasser about Nubian “songs of return,” modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. Under the leadership of Alsarah, the Brooklyn-based group’s sound grew into what they call “East African retro-pop.”

After the concert, DJ Omar Aena will lay down beats to get the dance floor moving. Aena is an Iraqi-American world music DJ based in New York City. He is a community organizer and the producer of Ecstatic Dance NYC, a monthly event that brings people from all walks of life together to express themselves freely, without alcohol or drugs, through the power of music and dance.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 on the day of the show. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Race Brook Lodge at (413) 229-2916.


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Daymark to return to Egremont Barn

Daymark at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Photo: Louise Bichan

South Egremont — Irish music trio Daymark will return to the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn Friday, June 15, at 8 p.m. to celebrate the release of their new CD.

Fusing the talents of Will Woodson on flute and border pipes, Dan Foster on fiddle and Eric McDonald on guitar and vocals, Daymark presents a classic blend of wind and string instruments. Each member of Daymark is an established musician in his own right, and collectively the three have lived and studied traditional music across Ireland, Scotland, England, the U.S. and Canada. Foster hails from northern England, and developed his music in the session scene there, going on to study at Newcastle University before honing his fiddle style in Limerick, Ireland. Woodson holds a master’s degree in traditional music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and, in addition to his musical work, is an established pipemaker, performing on an instrument of his own construction. McDonald is a native of Boston, and learned his music in the city’s sessions and folk clubs before studying at Berklee College of Music.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Egremont Barn at (413) 528-1570.


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New PCTV series to feature concert performances

Pittsfield — Pittsfield Community Television will premiere its performance production series “SoundBoard” Thursday, June 14, at 8 p.m. on Access Pittsfield, which can be seen on Channel 1301 for Pittsfield cable subscribers. The goal of the series is to capture regional artists performing at the height of their talents in the Berkshires’ numerous local venues and at the PCTV television studios, incorporating the professional media production arts of the PCTV staff and volunteers

The series premiere will feature three episodes recorded at the May 18 “Catch the Fever at the Colonial” benefit concert:

  • “Berkshires Got Talent” winner Madelyn Gardner and southern Vermont Americana band Pinedrop at 8 p.m.;
  • International Acoustic Music Award winner Carl Wockner at 8:30 p.m.; and
  • “Catch the Fever” concert headliner Fabrizio and the Fever at 9 p.m.

The programs will also become available that night on PCTV’s YouTube page and will be featured again on Access Pittsfield over the following month.


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