Bits & Bytes: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn at the Mahaiwe; Taylor Mali at Club Helsinki Hudson; Upright Citizens Brigade at the Colonial; swing dancing at Dewey Hall

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By Wednesday, Nov 8 Arts & Entertainment
Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck will perform Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Photo courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Mahaiwe to welcome Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Great Barrington — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will welcome Grammy Award-winning banjo and vocal duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn Sunday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.

The husband-and-wife team of Fleck and Washburn is widely credited for revitalizing and revolutionizing the banjo. A 16-time Grammy Award winner, Fleck has devoted time away from his genre-busting ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones to venture into a broad array of musical experiments–from writing a concerto for the Nashville Symphony and exploring the banjo’s African roots to laying down jazz duos with Chick Corea. Washburn has drawn critical acclaim for her solo albums, been a folk-music diplomat in China, presented an original theatrical production, contributed to side groups Uncle Earl and the Wu-Force, and become a live draw in her own right. Fleck and Washburn won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for their self-titled debut album.

Tickets are $30 to $80. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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Rogovoy Salon to present slam poet Taylor Mali

Taylor Mali. Photo courtesy Club Helsinki Hudson

Hudson, N.Y. — On Sunday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m., Club Helsinki Hudson will present champion slam poet Taylor Mali as part of the monthly Rogovoy Salon music, literary and art series curated and hosted by cultural journalist Seth Rogovoy.

Author-poet Mali is one of the few genuine celebrities to emerge from the competitive slam-poetry scene. He is perhaps best known for the poem “What Teachers Make,” a question he expanded upon in his bestselling 2012 book, “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World.” Mali received a 2001 New York Foundation for the Arts grant to develop “Teacher! Teacher!”, a one-man show about poetry, teaching and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. Formerly the president of Poetry Slam Inc., Mali now makes his living entirely as a spoken-word and voiceover artist, traveling around the country performing and teaching workshops. He has narrated several and has appeared in the documentaries “SlamNation” and “Slam Planet.” He was also featured in the HBO production “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry,” which won a Peabody Award in 2003.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.

–E.E.

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Comedy improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to perform at the Colonial

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will welcome the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company to the Colonial Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m.

The UCB Touring Company features the best improv comedians from the legendary UCB theatres. The flagship touring show is a 90-minute, unscripted and completely improvised performance by four comedians that has never been seen before and will never be seen again. Former UCB comedians include Amy Poehler, Adam McKay, Horatio Sanz and others.

Tickets are $20 and $30. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

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Chops LaConte, Sauerkraut Seth Travins and Jim Krewson. Images courtesy Oldtone Productions

Swing dance night at Dewey Hall to feature Chops, Sauerkraut and Krewtons

Sheffield — Oldtone Productions will present a night of swing dancing Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dewey Hall, beginning with a lesson with Harry Pisila at 7:30 p.m. Dancing to live music from Chops, Sauerkraut and Krewtons will start at 8:30 p.m.

Chops, Sauerkraut and Krewtons bring a rockabilly style with all-ages appeal and have performed in venues from Copake Falls to Craryville for the better part of the current millennium. Chops LaConte has gigged as the bassist with Brian Setzer and tours regularly with the Lustre Kings and Wanda Jackson. Sauerkraut Seth Travins plays upright bass with the Wiyos. His past endeavors have included stints with the Blue Ribbon Boys, the Big Iron Skillet Band and the Russet Trio. Jim Krewson sings and plays drums, and is best known for his work in the bluegrass/country rock band Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops. Pete Adams will join the band on steel guitar.

The cost is $15–$20 and $10 for students with ID. Partners are not necessary and refreshments will be available.

–E.E.


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