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The Jeff Holmes Big Band with vocalist Dawning Holmes will be one of the headlining acts of the 2018 Berkshire Gateway Jazz Festival this weekend in downtown Lee. Photo courtesy Jeff and Dawning Holmes Music

Bits & Bytes: Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend; Grizzly Bear at MASS MoCA; ‘A Novel Night Out’; HVA Stream Teams; waste oil & paint collection

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By Monday, Jun 11, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

Frank Vignola, Jeff Holmes to headline Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend

Lee — Berkshires Jazz Inc. and Berkshire Gateway Preservation Inc. will present the seventh annual Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17. The festival will feature mainstage performers the Frank Vignola Trio and the Jeff Holmes Big Band with vocalist Dawning Holmes, al fresco jazz, food vendors, a jazz brunch, vintage automobiles and more in downtown Lee.

Frank Vignola, right, with co-guitarist Vinny Raniolo. Photo courtesy Frank Vignola

Vignola’s guitar skills have made him the guitarist of choice for top musicians such as Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops and Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List” for the Wall Street Journal. Marking his first date at the festival, Vignola recently resumed performing and touring after a near-fatal vehicle accident in 2017. He has performed at two Pittsfield CityJazz festivals to critical and popular acclaim, and his trio includes co-guitarist Vinny Raniolo and bassist Elias Bailey.

Trumpeter, composer, arranger and Grammy Award-winning pianist Holmes is a nationally published and commissioned composer/arranger, and a recipient of multiple National Endowment for the Arts jazz composition grants. He has written music for jazz musicians including John Abercrombie, Max Roach, Sheila Jordan, Yusef Lateef, Rufus Reid and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. In addition to its standards and originals, the band’s repertoire will include a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, whose 100th birthday is being celebrated this year by many musical organizations across the globe.

A number of vintage automobiles will be on display in the Park Square parking lot Saturday, June 16, and will represent the time period from Roaring 20s to the World War II era when jazz was the popular music of the day. Food vendors will also be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and kicking off an afternoon of al fresco jazz provided by local musicians, which will continue until 4 p.m. while Andy Kelly’s Jazz Ambassadors provide a movable jazz feast, strolling the downtown area and leading back to the park by mid-afternoon.

Tickets for the concerts are $25 in advance and $30 on the days of the events. For tickets and more information, contact the Lee Chamber of Commerce at (413) 243-0852 or the Lee Congregational Church at (413) 243-1033.


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MASS MoCA to welcome indie rockers Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear. Photo: Tom Hines

North Adams — MASS MoCA will welcome indie rockers Grizzly Bear Saturday, June 16, at 8 p.m. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith will open the show.

With humble beginnings as the home recording project of Boston-bred singer-songwriter Edward Droste, Grizzly Bear—consisting of Droste; multi-instrumentalists Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear; and vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Chris Taylor—made waves in 2005 with their release “Horn of Plenty.” In the ensuing years, the quartet’s prog-rock-meets-chamber-pop sound helped to define a new wave of psychedelic-leaning musical styles. Grizzly Bear’s following six albums have received widespread critical acclaim. The bands newest album, “Painted Ruins,” was released last August, making the 2017 year-end lists of Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today.

Tickets are $32-$50. One dollar from each ticket sale will benefit Everytown for Gun Safety. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendaror contact MASS MoCA at (413) 662-2111 or info@massmoca.org.


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Lenox Library to host ‘A Novel Night Out’

Lenox — The Lenox Library Association will present “A Novel Night Out” at the Lenox Library Thursday, June 14, at 5:30 p.m. Inspired by the recent inclusion of Lenox as one of Expedia’s “20 Must-see literary destinations around the world,” the gala night out will benefit the programs and activities of the Lenox Library.

The “novel” event is expected to be a star-studded evening that will attract the community and beyond. Guests are encouraged to get GLAM, walk the READ carpet for photos by professional LIT-arazzi Tricia McCormack Photography, enjoy live music by HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” jazz chanteuse Margot Bingham, partake of libations at the cock-TALE Bar created by bartender Jon Burns, delight in hors d’oeuvres provided by Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort, and dance to the groovy beats of DJ BFG. There will also be custom dessert treats by Chocolate Springs and the Dessert Bar. Guests will also be able to get take-home mementos from the CENSORSHIP room by the Berkshire Photo Booth and participate in the high-end raffle drawing with prizes such as “A Tale of Two Cities” (a duo of ticket packages to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park), “The Devil Wears Prada” (a collection of gift certificates for Lenox shops), a Canyon Ranch spa day, a Cranwell spa and golf day, and more.

Tickets are $75. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Lenox Library at (413) 637-2630.


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Housatonic Valley Association to form Stream Teams to assess waterways

Stockbridge — The Housatonic Valley Association invites interested individuals to help form “Stream Teams” of two to three volunteers to complete stream assessments of 1- and 2-mile sections the Williams and Konkapot rivers this spring and summer. Stream Team volunteers will walk (sometimes in the river) or paddle along an assigned segment of the river and record information along the way. All of the information collected will be compiled into a final Stream Assessment Report that will include conditions  and use of the river sections plus possible recommendations for future projects. The surveys will help HVA better assess the health of the rivers and what is needed in specific parts of the watershed. The final reports, which are expected to be compiled in late summer, will be submitted to the local municipalities and state government and should also be available to the public by October 2018.

A training session is scheduled for Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. – noon at the Monterey Library with an optional in-the-field training session from 1 to 2:30pm in the nearby Konkapot River. For more information, contact Alison at (413) 298-7024 or adixon@hvatoday.org.


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Waste oil and paint collection scheduled

Great Barrington — On Wednesday, June 20, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the South Berkshire Household Hazardous Waste Collaborative will hold a paint and oil collection for the 15 participating towns of Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge. The Center for EcoTechnology will coordinate the collections.

Acceptable materials are oil-based paint, oil-based stains, paint thinners, spray paint and turpentine as well as waste motor oil. No other type of oil or fuel will be accepted, nor will latex paint. Empty cans can be recycled with scrap metal. Dried-up cans of latex paint as well as empty cans of oil-based paints, stains and solvents can be disposed of with the regular trash.

Those wishing to participate in the collection must register online or contact Thomas Jakubasz at (800)-369-3333 x142 or Thomas.Jakubasz@cetonline.org by Tuesday, June 19. Residents from communities that are not participating should call their city or town halls for information about hazardous household product collections.


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