Friday, July 19, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Bach at New Year’s; Max Creek at the Colonial; Gedney Farm New Year’s dance party; Felice Brothers at Club Helsinki Hudson

Max Creek sculpts lengthy shows on the fly from their catalog of more than 200 songs with rockers, ballads, deep jams and crowd sing-alongs.

Emerson String Quartet’s Drucker to return to Bach at New Year’s

Emerson String Quartet founder Eugene Drucker. Photo: Lisa Mazzucco

Great Barrington — Emerson String Quartet founder and internationally renowned soloist Eugene Drucker will return to lead the Berkshire Bach Society’s annual Bach at New Year’s concert at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. This is Drucker’s third season as music director for Bach at New Year’s, and his first leading the orchestra in performances of all six Brandenburg concerti.

The harpsichord solo in Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 is taken this year by Kenneth Weiss, in his first appearance with the Berkshire Bach Ensemble. Weiss has an active career as a soloist, conductor, chamber musician and teacher. He has performed extensively in Europe, North America and Asia, and is a frequent guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Bach wrote and performed the six works that later became known as the Brandenburg Concerti at different times during his tenure in the city of Köthen, where he worked for a young music-loving prince and built the court orchestra into a virtuosic performing force. In 1721 he personally copied the scores and presented them as a set to the Margrave of Brandenburg in Berlin to satisfy a commission. The manuscripts sat in the Brandenburg library until their rediscovery in the 19th century, but were nearly destroyed during World War II, when their evacuation train came under aerial bombardment, and the librarian carrying the scores escaped with them hidden under his coat. As a group, the works are now among the most iconic pieces of the Baroque era and perhaps the best-loved of all of Bach’s orchestral compositions.

Tickets range from $44–$89. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Max Creek to ring in the new year at the Colonial

Max Creek. Photo courtesy Max Creek

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will present New Year’s Eve with Max Creek Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 8:30 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, 111 South St.

Max Creek has reached its fourth decade of playing music in the Northeast. From the beginning, Max Creek mixed the genres of rock, country, reggae, soul, jazz and calypso with their own songwriting. The band sculpts lengthy shows on the fly from their catalog of more than 200 songs with rockers, ballads, deep jams and crowd sing-alongs. The band’s audience is a multi-generational stew, and it’s not uncommon to witness old-school “Creek Freeks” getting down with their teenage (or older) children. The lineup of guitarist Scott Murawski, keyboardist Mark Mercier and bassist John Rider has remained intact since the mid-1970s, and the current drums-and-percussion team consists of Bill Carbone and Jamemurrell Stanley, who weren’t even born when Max Creek started.

Tickets are $30. for tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.


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Gedney Farm to host New Year’s dance party

New Marlborough — On Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 8:30 p.m., Gedney Farm will host a dance party and New Year’s celebration with DJ BFG. A full bar with festive cocktails along with a menu of tacos and fun party fare will be available throughout the night, concluding with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. The event will also feature Veronica, intuitive artist and tarot diviner. Participants can express their inner artists within her paint room, or learn what the future holds with a personalized tarot card or star chart reading.

Tickets are $30. Overnight packages are also available. A free shuttle will be available to and from Great Barrington during the event. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or contact Gedney Farm at (413) 229-3131 or


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Club Helsinki Hudson to welcome Felice Brothers, Tommy Stinson for New Year’s Eve

The Felice Brothers. Photo courtesy the Felice Brothers

Hudson, N.Y. — Club Helsinki Hudson will welcome Hudson Valley based roots rockers the Felice Brothers plus Tommy Stinson Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m.

The Felice Brothers are a close-knit band of brothers and friends who play a fusion of rock, country, folk, soul and gospel. The group’s newest album, “Undress,” was cut live to tape in late summer 2018. Self-taught musicians Ian and James Felice grew up in the Hudson Valley. In 2006, they began playing subway platforms and sidewalks in New York City. Since then they have gone on to release nine albums of original songs and to tour extensively throughout the world. Following the 2016 release of “Life in the Dark,” the Felice Brothers served as the backing band for Conor Oberst‘s 2017 release “Salutations” and the subsequent tour.

Tommy Stinson. Photo: Heather Mull

A cofounder of the Replacements and the former touring bassist for Guns N’ Roses, Stinson is a consummate musician, singer and songwriter. Stinson started performing with the Replacements at age 12 and saw the group through its 11-year run. Following the band’s breakup, Stinson went on to lead his own critically acclaimed combos, Bash & Pop and Perfect. For well over a decade, he also served as the bassist and musical lieutenant to Axl Rose in Guns N’ Roses. In 2017, following a Replacements reunion, Stinson reformed Bash & Pop and released the “Anything Could Happen” on Fat Possum Records.

Tickets are $55-$65. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.



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