Sunday, May 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Delightful & Delectable Holiday Market; ‘Light Out of Darkness’ concert; Tangiers Blues Band at the Egremont Barn; album accolade for Green; YoungArts award for Monument student

Classically trained clarinetist Green was both surprised and honored by the news, in particular because he only began playing jazz seriously in 2007, when he was already in his 50s.

Delightful & Delectable Holiday Market to include holiday dance show

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Arts Market’s Delightful & Delectable Holiday Market will return to Saint James Place Saturday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A holiday sale featuring handmade gifts and delicious giftable treats, the holiday market was founded by artists Kathryn Burkle and Molly de St André who loved the idea of helping connect other local craftspeople with a viable market opportunity and wanted to see Great Barrington’s summer and winter markets expand.

The market will coincide with the Olga Dunn Dance Company’s annual holiday show, which will take place Saturday, Dec. 21, at 4 p.m., also at Saint James Place. Titled “Nutcracker Excerpts, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and More!”, the show is family-friendly and will include holiday-related works with choreography by Hope St. Jock, Rosa Barnaba and Olga Dunn, plus a vocal soundtrack by Julie Webster. Costumes and props will be fancy and fun as well as comedic. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under, and available on a first-come, first-served basis at the door.

The market is free and open to the public. For more information and a list of participating vendors, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Great Barrington Arts Market at gbartsmarket@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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From left: Jay Hitt and Lisa Jane Lipkin, Kaya Stern-Kaufman, and JoAnne Spies. Photos courtesy Dewey Hall

Dewey Hall to host winter ‘soul-stice’ concert

Sheffield — On Saturday, Dec. 21, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Dewey Hall will host “Light Out of Darkness: A Winter Soul-stice Concert” featuring Kaya Stern-Kaufman, Lisa Jane Lipkin and Jay Hitt, JoAnne Spies, and special guests.

A song-filled evening of hope and inspiration, the musicians will wind a harmony-filled path through original music, a cappella songs and familiar folk tunes meant to spark a joyful journey of heart, harmony and healing.

There is a $20 suggested donation. For more information, contact (413) 212-1322 or kayajoysk@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Egremont Barn to welcome Tangiers Blues Band

The Tangiers Blues Band. Photo courtesy the Egremont Barn

South Egremont — The Egremont Barn will welcome the Tangiers Blues Band Saturday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m.

The Tangiers Blues Band was formed in 1998 after guitarist Chris Scianni and drummer Dave Borla met photographer/harmonica player Danny Clinch and discovered their mutual love for blues music. The band soon realized that by “down-dating” current hits and reworking non-traditional blues songs, they could appeal to an audience that was not familiar with the blues while throwing in “up-dated” versions of blues standards and originals to appeal to blues enthusiasts. The band has performed eclectic sets of blues from clubs like Joe’s Pub and the McKittrick Hotel in New York City to the stages of Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Voodoo Music and Arts Experience.

Tickets are $20. For tickets and more information, contact the Egremont Barn at (413) 528-1570.

–E.E.

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Paul Green’s ‘A Bissel Rhythm’ receives best-of-year praise

Image courtesy Big Round Records

Pittsfield — “A Bissel Rhythm,” the latest CD by composer and clarinetist Paul Green and his band Two Worlds, has been named one of the best jazz albums of 2019 by the Chicago Tribune. Released earlier this year by Big Round Records/PARMA Recordings, the album features Green’s original compositions and marks the group’s second recorded exploration into the fusion of jazz and Jewish music.

“Jazz and Jewish music share a long and beautiful history, which clarinetist-composer Green traced on an earlier album, ‘Music Coming Together,’” the Tribune’s Howard Reich wrote in a roundup of the year’s top ten jazz albums. “This time, rather than record songs reflecting both idioms, Green has written original compositions that give him and his colleague’s freer reign in which to experiment. The music—sometimes joyous, sometimes mournful—attests to these artists’ conversance with two alluring musical languages.”

Classically trained clarinetist Green was both surprised and honored by the news, in particular because he only began playing jazz seriously in 2007, when he was already in his 50s.

Paul Green. Photo courtesy Paul Green

“I believe that there are expressive commonalities between different music genres. Jazz and klezmer music differ, to be sure, but each is highly emotive—joy, sorrow and fervent passion are common to both,” Green said. “What makes them different and fascinating is the different means and methods that each uses to reach the ‘passion’ spot. In jazz, harmonic knowledge and improvisation open the door to ‘feeling.’ In klezmer, the musical melodies and the different inflections brought to each note open that door. What happens when both methods are used in the same performance? That’s what I’m trying to find out.”

Green and Two Worlds maintain an active performance schedule at venues throughout the Berkshires as well as New York’s Hudson Valley. Green, who continues to play classical as well as jazz-klezmer fusion, also shares his love of music through teaching and is currently on the faculty of Williams College, Skidmore College, SUNY Schenectady and the Berkshire Music School.

–E.E.

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MMRHS student receives YoungArts award for accomplishments in classical music

Alice McDonald

Great Barrington — Seventeen-year-old clarinetist and Monument Mountain Regional High School junior Alice McDonald has been named a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation finalist, which is the organization’s highest honor.

As a finalist, McDonald will participate in National YoungArts Week, to be held Jan. 5–12, 2020, in Miami. She will also be eligible to receive a cash prize of up to $10,000. During the week, artists engage in an intensive, all-inclusive program featuring master classes, workshops and mentorship from leading artists in their fields. McDonald will also, in her senior year, be eligible to be nominated to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the highest honors given to high school seniors.

All finalists, 21 in the case of classical music, were selected by a panel of prominent artists and represent the top 2% of applicants.

–E.E.

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