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David Joseph in the Berkshires-filmed movie 'Penny Land,' which will be screened Saturday, July 14, at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Image courtesy Oasis7 Pictures

Bits & Bytes: ‘Penny Land’ at the Mahaiwe; Shemekia Copeland at Club Helsinki Hudson; Courtney Barnett at MASS MoCA; Laroo/Byrd 4tet at American Legion Hall; Abby DuBow at Lauren Clark Fine Art

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By Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 Life In the Berkshires 1

Mahaiwe to screen Berkshires-filmed ‘Penny Land’

Great Barrington — Oasis7 Pictures will present the New England premiere of the feature film “Penny Land” Saturday, July 14, at 8 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. “Penny Land” writer, director and co-producer Billy Hahn and co-producer and lead actor David Joseph will introduce the film, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Hahn, Joseph and Patrick Toole, who wrote and directed “Cort’s Priorities,” the short film that will kick off the evening.

Produced on a budget of $5,000, “Penny Land” was filmed in the Berkshires over an eight-month period and is the story of a young man who drifts through life, dreaming about striking it rich by betting on penny stocks. As his dream becomes an obsession, he creates a stock scheme that could destroy him and everyone around him. The film stars Joseph, Michael Burnet, Jamie Greenland, Jeff Kent, Kaileela Hobby, Kendal Lenihan, Ryan Marchione and Robert Lohbauer.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland to bring modern blues, R&B to Club Helsinki Hudson

Hudson, N.Y. — Grammy Award-nominated vocalist Shemekia Copeland will bring her singular brand of modern blues, funk, soul and R&B to Club Helsinki Hudson Saturday, July 14, at 9 p.m.

The daughter of the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, Shemekia Copeland has established her own primacy in the field. Copeland has opened for the Rolling Stones; headlined the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous other festivals around the world; scored critics’ choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic; shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Mick Jaggerand Eric Clapton; and even performed at the White House for former President Barack Obama. She has won several W.C. Handy Awards and Blues Music Awards, and was nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Female Artist category (she won the award the previous year).

Tickets are $25–$30. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire edge calendaror contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.


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MASS MoCA to welcome Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett. Photo: Pooneh Ghana

North Adams — MASS MoCA will welcome indie-rock darling Courtney Barnett Thursday, July 12, at 8 p.m. Cameroon-born multi-instrumentalist Vagabon will open the show.

Barnett cut her teeth in the Melbourne, Australia, music scene, playing guitar in the bands Rapid Transit and Immigrant Union before making her solo debut in 2012 with the EP “I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris.” It was her 2013 “The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas” that propelled her into the spotlight, garnering critical acclaim and cult success. The EP’s lead single, “Avant Gardener,” was named Best New Track by Pitchfork. Her debut album, “Sometimes I Sit and I Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit,” followed in 2015, receiving similar praise from Rolling Stone and others. Following her breakout success, Barnett teamed up with the War on DrugsKurt Vile for “Lotta Sea Lice.” “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” her sophomore solo effort, was released in May.

Tickets are $27–$47. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact MASS MoCA at (413) 662-2111 or info@massmoca.org.


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Pianist Warren Byrd and trumpeter Saskia Laroo. Photo courtesy Berkshires Jazz Inc.

Berkshires Jazz to present Laroo/Byrd 4tet

Pittsfield — Berkshires Jazz Inc. will present the Laroo/Byrd 4tet Saturday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 41 Wendell Ave.

The Laroo/Byrd 4tet is the transmutation of the husband-and-wife duo configuration of trumpeter and saxophonist Saskia Laroo and pianist Warren Byrd into a full band with bassist Rick Rozie and drummer Jocelyn Pleasant. Laroo and Byrd have travelled the world performing at major and obscure jazz festivals and clubs. They released the album “Two of A Kind,” a tribute to Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, in 2011. They are constantly expanding their horizons by composing new songs and exploring new music collaborations.

Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, Byrd is a pianist/vocalist with a long list of international credits, tours and celebrated work. Freelancing with such notables as Archie Shepp and Eddie Henderson to leading gospel choirs to composing for theatre and dance, he finished in the top 25 in the 1999 Monk International Competition for piano and soon released his CD “Truth Raised Twice.” He is co-founder and leader of Duo Laroo/Byrd and the Afro-Semitic Experience, performs with Laroo’s other groups, as a solo pianist, and with his own Byrdspeak Ensemble.

A native of Amsterdam, Laroo began playing trumpet at age 8. Versatility has propelled her career, from barnstorming with Latin, jazz and pop bands to collaborations with Hans Dulfer and Teddy Edwards. She released her first CD, “It’s Like Jazz,” in 1994 under her own Laroo Records label and has since produced seven CDs and a DVD varying from classic jazz to club-influenced acid jazz fusion.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. An optional dinner buffet will be available for $17 starting at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Berkshires Jazz at (413) 442-7718 or web@berkshiresjazz.org.


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Lauren Clark Fine Art to host printmaker Abby DuBow

“Honey Locust” by Abby DuBow. Image courtesy Lauren Clark Fine Art

Great Barrington — Lauren Clark Fine Art will host a reception with artist and printmaker Abby DuBow Saturday, July 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. “Explorations: New Directions,” as exhibit of DuBow’s work, is on display at the gallery through Monday, July 30.

Colorful, dramatic, sometimes geometric but never symmetrical, DuBow’s process includes such printmaking techniques as monotypes, monoprints, collage and Chine-collé. In her third solo show at Lauren Clark Fine Art, she has included her most recent “explorations” with copperplate etching. DuBow received her bachelor’s degree from Bennington College and her master’s degree from the Bank Street School of Education. She has been a working artist her entire life and an art educator for over 30 years. She has continued to pursue her own art education at such diverse venues as Atelier 17 in Paris, the Art Students League, the Brooklyn MuseumParsons School of Design and others. Her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the country and is in many private collections.

The reception is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lauren Clark Fine Art at (413) 528-0432 or lauren@laurenclarkfineart.com.


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