Rosanne Cash will perform a benefit concert for the Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society Saturday, May 4, at Club Helsinki Hudson. Photo courtesy Club Helsinki Hudson

Bits & Bytes: Rosanne Cash at Club Helsinki; unity gathering; Chatham piano celebration; ‘Stories, Smiles, Art & Ice Cream’; forest bathing at Hancock Shaker Village

Rosanne Cash to perform benefit for historic riverboat

Hudson, N.Y. — Rosanne Cash, scion of America’s first family of country and roots music, will perform a gala concert to benefit the Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society‘s efforts to restore the Hudson River sloop Eleanor Saturday, May 4, at 9 p.m. at Club Helsinki Hudson.

Cash’s 15 albums have earned her four Grammy Awards and 11 nominations as well as 21 Top 40 hits, 11 of them No. 1 singles. Her latest album, “She Remembers Everything,” released in November 2018, is a poetic and soulful collection of songs that reckon with a flawed and complex world. Also an author, Cash’s four books include the best-selling memoir “Composed,” and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Oxford American, the Nation and many other publications. In addition to regular touring, Cash has partnered in programming collaborations with Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, San Francisco Jazz, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Library of Congress.

In addition to Cash’s performance with John Leventhal, the evening will feature a presentation about the Eleanor and her history on the Hudson River, door prizes, a raffle, tales from the river, and more.

Tickets start at $135. All ticket proceeds will go to Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.


*     *     *

Unity gathering to support faith communities

Pittsfield — The Jewish Federation of the BerkshiresChabad of the Berkshires, Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Congregation Beth Israel, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Knesset Israel, Temple Anshe Amunim and Berkshire Hills Hadassah invite people of all faiths to gather Thursday, May 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Plaza Hotel for an evening of unity, prayer and a call to action against the recent deadly hate attacks on faith communities in Poway, California; Sri Lanka; and Christchurch, New Zealand as well as the arson of black churches in Louisiana.

The program is still in formation but will include reflections from featured speakers including Rabbi Levi Volovik of Chabad of the Berkshires; Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield; and Rev. Brent Damrow of the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge. Rabbi David Weiner of Knesset Israel will lead a memorial prayer in to honor the souls lost and Rabbi Liz Hirsch of Temple Anshe Amunim will lead the community in a call to action to meet hate with humanity through positive action.

The event is free and all are welcome. For more information, contact the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10.


*     *     *

From left: Lincoln Mayorga, Gili Melamed-Lev, David Smith and Uel Wade. Photos courtesy PS21

Piano celebration to mark town’s 150th anniversary

Chatham, N.Y. — Performance Spaces for the 21st Century will celebrate Chatham’s 150th anniversary Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. with a piano concert that will also inaugurate the theater’s newly acquired Steinway D piano. The program will feature four longtime residents of the Chatham community: Lincoln Mayorga, Gili Melamed-Lev, David Smith and Uel Wade.

Mayorga will bring his personal passion for Chopin to the celebration. Melamed-Lev and Mark Evans, who perform as the Lev-Evans Duo, will showcase musical works for piano four-hands—two players on one piano—by Brahms, Bizet, Poulenc, Pärt and Fauré. Smith is looking forward to realizing the 9-foot Steinway concert grand’s specific potential for listeners: “First and foremost, I think of this concert as an acoustic experience, at a time when so many experiences are digital,” said Smith. Wade commented: “Do I want to sit at a beautiful, big, black, Steinway monster and share some of my favorite genius-composers with a bunch of close-listening people? I think so!”

Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for members and $10 for students in advance; and $25 for the general public, $20 for members and $10 for students at the door. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact PS21 at (518) 392-6121.


*     *     *

Pop-up community art project to celebrate ice cream stories

‘Sparks of Joy’ portrait series, Gabrielle Senza, graphite on Yupo, 2018. Image courtesy Change Playground

Great Barrington — In cooperation with ArtWeek, Change Playground will present “Stories, Smiles, Art & Ice Cream” Thursday, May 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. at SoCo Creamery. The interactive pop-up event will feature hands-on creative activities, and free ice cream. The public is invited to share ice cream stories, sit for a funny mustache portrait, and make a drawing to exchange for a scoop of a favorite flavor.

“Everybody has an ice cream story,” said SoCo Creamery owner Erik Bruun. “Ice cream represents nostalgia,” and the event offers a fun and interactive way for people of all ages to share their stories. Change Playground will feature participants’ ice cream stories and drawings on its Art + Ice Cream blog and social media channels. An exhibition of small mixed media works from Change Playground founder Gabrielle Senza’s “30 Days of Ice Cream” series is on display at the scoop shop and features colorful ice cream cones and playful abstractions, as well as portraits from her days as “the Ice Cream Lady” when she drove an ice cream truck.

The event is free and open to the public. Limited space is available. Free ice cream will be provided for the first 100 participants. For more information, contact (413) 717-0031 or


*     *     *

Hancock Shaker Village to host forest bathing session

Hannah Fries. Photo: Susan Quinn

Pittsfield — Hannah Fries, poet and author of “Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees,” will lead a forest bathing session Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at Hancock Shaker Village.

The Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, has existed for centuries. Fries will lead a 1-mile walk for all ages on HSV’s fully accessible Farm & Forest Trail. By immersing themselves in nature, participants will soak up the healthful benefits of being among the trees, calm the chatter of their minds, and awaken their senses.

The program is included with admission and free for members of the museum. For more information, contact Hancock Shaker Village at (413) 443-0188 or