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Bits & Bytes: Gateway Jazz Weekend; Alecson on end-of-life issues; Columbia County art classes; Bidwell House Nature workshop

Alecson teaches and lectures on death, dying, bereavement, and the ethics of healthcare, assisting professionals in understanding their patients' experiences.

Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend

Lee — Once again Lee offers up a great weekend of jazz music in the 2015 Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, June 18 – 21. The event features ticketed headline concerts plus free Jazz Showcase events on Saturday afternoon, a gallery art show, a film screening, food vendors, and more

Frank Potenza.The festival will kick off with a Thursday evening performance by the Berkshire Jazz Collective, West Coast-based guitarist Frank Potenza performs on Friday nightand, on Saturday, seven-time Grammy Award nominees Bobby Sanabria & Ascención, a nine-piece Afro-Cuban jazz group from New York, will take the stage. Saturday afternoon’s Jazz Showcase event features live performances by several different groups such as Highland and Andy Kelly’s Jazz Ambassadors, who will be wandering through downtown spreading New Orleans-style sounds. A showing of the film A Not So Average Joe, highlighting the life of prolific jazz guitarist Joe Pass, will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Lee Library

An opening reception for the gallery art show at Lee Congregational Church on Friday at 4 p.m., a lecture by Jeremy Yudkin at Spectrum Playhouse on Saturday at 4PM, and the College Internship Program’s outdoor art exhibit in Church Park round out the formal offerings, with more jazz-themed events happening throughout the weekend.

— E.E.

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Author Deborah Golden Alecson speaks on end-of-life issues

Deborah Golden Alecson.
Deborah Golden Alecson.

Pittsfield – On Monday, June 22, at 10:45 a.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires presents Deborah Golden Alecson, a poet and writer who has worked through experiences of loss and grief through the written word. Alecson teaches and lectures on death, dying, bereavement, and the ethics of healthcare, often working in the genre of narrative medicine assisting healthcare professionals in understanding their patients’ experiences.

The talk will take place at Congregation Knesset Israel, 16 Colt Road in Pittsfield. For more information, please call the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360, ext. 10.


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'E S DeSanna, Cloud Kiss, pastel on paper, courtesy of the artist.'
E S DeSanna, Cloud Kiss, pastel on paper, courtesy of the artist. DeSanna is an instructor at the Art School of Columbia County.

Summer art classes at the Art School of Columbia County

Ghent, N.Y. – Entering its third year of offering high-quality art classes to the community, the Art School of Columbia County presents its summer lineup of classes. Full class descriptions and additional summer offerings are available on the school’s website.

Classes are held at the Old Schoolhouse, 1198 Route 21c in Harlemville, at the intersection of Harlemville Road and Route 21, next to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store.

To register online for classes, go to For more information, email or call 518-672-7140.


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Nature workshop: Reading the forested landscape

Monterey — Ecologist Tom Wessels will present a workshop on Saturday, June 27 at the Bidwell House Museum at 100 Art School Rd. in Monterey. Based on Professor Wessels’ book Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England, this workshop introduces Wessels’ approach to interpreting a forest’s history.  Wessels will show how evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land allows one to unravel complex stories etched into the forested landscape.

Participants of the workshops will gain a better understanding of cultural and natural disturbances on the land and how they have shaped the use and enjoyment of the woods and fields. They will also learn methods and skills to identify and understand these cultural and natural historical events in order to apply this knowledge to their own land or on any walk in the woods.

Two workshops are scheduled, the first from 10-11:30AM with a talk and slideshow; BYO lunch and conversation at 11:30 a.m.; and Exploration of the Bidwell Forest from 12:30-2:30 p.m. There is a charge of $15/$10 for members per workshop. Please contact the museum for details and reservations: or 413-528-6888.



The Edge Is Free To Read.

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