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Bits & Bytes: Music Mountain opening concert; Clinton Church Restoration benefit concert; ‘A Year of Dance Dates’; Vita Kay at Sandisfield Arts Center

“Common Ground: A celebration of Jazz and Jewish Music” will benefit Clinton Church Restoration’s effort to restore and repurpose the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church as an African-American heritage site, visitor center and community space.

Music Mountain to open 90th season

Falls Village, Conn. — Music Mountain will open its 90th season Sunday, June 9, at 3 p.m. with a concert and reception featuring pianist Benjamin Hochman. The program will include Mozart’ Piano Trio in B-flat Major, K.502; Brahms’ Clarinet Trio in A Minor, Op. 114; and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 #1 “Ghost.”

Winner of the 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Jerusalem-born pianist and conductor Hochman has established an international musical presence through concerts with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver symphony orchestras; Prague Philharmonia and Istanbul State Orchestra; and his Carnegie Hall debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. A graduate of the Juilliard School’s conducting program, Hochman also served as musical assistant to Louis Langrée at the 2016 Mostly Mozart Festival. Recent and upcoming guest conducting appearances include the Orlando Philharmonic, Santa Fe Pro Musica and The Orchestra Now. He is founder and music director of the Roosevelt Island Orchestra in New York City. Hochman’s latest album “Variations” was named by the New York Times one of the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015. He is currently on the piano faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Tickets are $75. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Music Mountain at (860) 824-7126 or info@musicmountain.org.

–E.E.

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Paul Green and Wanda Houston. Photos courtesy Clinton Church Restoration

‘Common Ground’ concert to benefit Clinton Church Restoration

Great Barrington — Jazz singer Wanda Houston and clarinetist Paul Green will present “Common Ground: A celebration of Jazz and Jewish Music” Sunday, June 9, at 7 p.m. at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. The concert will benefit Clinton Church Restoration’s effort to restore and repurpose the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church as an African-American heritage site, visitor center and community space. The concert is an example of one type of programming the nonprofit hopes to present in the former church once it is restored.

A professional vocalist who has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia and who also sang at Liza Minelli’s wedding, Houston is known and loved for the repertoire of jazz, R&B, blues and standards she performs in and around the Berkshires. She grew up in Chicago, steeped in the music of the church where her mother directed the choir and in the creativity of her father’s theater company.

Green is a Juilliard School-trained clarinetist grounded in the classical tradition and an expert and distinguished lecturer on Jewish music. In between classical performances, Green regularly performs klezmer and jazz concerts. His recent recordings “A Bissel Rhythm” and “Two Worlds: Music Coming Together” explore the fusion between the jazz and Jewish idioms with original compositions.

Admission is a suggested donation of $25 per person. A reception will follow the concert. For more information, contact (413) 329-8748 or admin@clintonchurchrestoration.org.

–E.E.

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Olga Dunn School of Dance to hold ‘A Year of Dance Dates’ recital

Rosa Barnaba rehearses for the June 8 Olga Dunn School of Dance recital. Photo courtesy Olga Dunn Dance Company

Great Barrington — The Olga Dunn School of Dance will hold its 43rd annual June recital, Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Monument Mountain Regional High School auditorium.

This year’s show, titled “A Year of Dance Dates,” will feature faculty members Hope St. Jock, Julie Webster and Jamal Ahamad as well as students of varied ages. Kate Goble will be the master of ceremonies for a program that will move quickly, last about 75 minutes with no intermission and be followed by a complimentary reception. Dancers will perform in a variety of styles including modern, ballet, pointe, hip hop and jazz. The finale will be accompanied by opera music and focuses on humor and fun.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children under age 12, and will be available at the door. For more information, contact the Olga Dunn Dance Company at (413) 528-9674.

–E.E.

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Vita Kay to perform jazz, bossa nova at Sandisfield Arts Center

Vita Kay. Photo: Bret Cohen

Sandisfield — The Sandisfield Arts Center will host an evening of jazz and bossa nova with Vita Kay Saturday, June 8, at 8 p.m.

Kay grew up in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan studying classical piano and singing Soviet pop and patriotic hymns. She later sang in a variety of choirs, from classical to gospel, in Russia and the UK. In London she was introduced to jazz, bossa nova and traditional Indian kirtan, and began to develop her repertoire which currently consists of songs in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, English and Sanskrit.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Sandisfield Arts Center at (413) 258-4100 or info@sandisfieldartscenter.org.

–E.E.

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