Sunday, July 21, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Sonny Troupé at The Clark; Wanda Houston at Berkshire Botanical Garden; Lita Williams at Williams Inn; Mill Town’s Common Ground Festival; Marjorie Kaye and Carolyn Newberger at Future Lab(s); Stockbridge ‘Chimes & Family Day’; Stockbridge Bowl aquatic presentation

No French Caribbean drummer better fuses modern jazz with traditional rhythms — don’t miss this virtuosic glimpse into the music of Guadeloupe.

Clark Art Institute presents Sonny Troupé and Band

Williamstown— On Wednesday, July 10th at 6 p.m., The Clark Art Institute presents Sonny Troupé and Band, continuing their July outdoor concert series, which celebrates the French Caribbean with some of the best musicians from Guadeloupe and Haiti.

Under the influence of his saxophonist father, Sonny Troupé listened to various musical styles, including jazz, Gwo ka jazz, classical, salsa, and Zouk. The tambour ka (ka drum) was his first instrument. Though he was taught to play the traditional way, he soon used modern playing methods. At age six, he joined the Kimból group, a modern Gwo ka group, as a makè (drum ka soloist). At age eight, Troupé began teaching himself how to play the drums and vibraphone. He continued to study with his father in Sainte-Anne, where his father would later create the Marcel Lollia School known as Vélo. To this day, no French Caribbean drummer better fuses modern jazz with traditional rhythms — don’t miss this virtuosic glimpse into the music of Guadeloupe.

The free concert is on Wednesday, July 10th at 6 p.m. on the reflecting pool lawn at The Clark Art Institute on South Street in Williamstown. More information can be found online. 

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Berkshire Botanical Garden presents Wanda Houston for Music Mondays

Stockbridge— On Monday, July 8th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Berkshire Botanical Garden presents Wanda Houston as part of their Music Mondays series. 

Wanda Houston. Courtesy Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Find the perfect spot to picnic amidst the garden’s beauty while enjoying Houston’s impeccable blend of 1940’s through 1960’s R&B and jazz. Barefoot dancing on the lawn is always encouraged.

The concert is on Monday, July 8th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Berkshire Botanical Garden at 5 West Stockbridge Road in Stockbridge. Tickets are $20 and $15 for members. Tickets and more information can be found online.

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The Williams Inn and The Barn Kitchen & Bar present ‘Summer on the Lawn,’ a new music series

Williamstown— On Sunday, July 7th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Williams Inn and The Barn Kitchen & Bar present country musician Lita Williams to open “Summer on the Lawn,” their new Sunday evening music series.

Lita Williams. Courtesy The Williams Inn.

Make “Summer on the Lawn” a highlight of your season and create memories to last a lifetime. There will be musical performances, yard games, food, and more. There are new cocktails and a menu including flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers, and salads. Highlights include the house-fried potato chips with French onion dip, truffle fries, the lobster roll, a clambake for two, fun desserts, and a kids menu.

The event is on Sunday, July 7th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Williams Inn and The Barn Kitchen & Bar is on Spring Street in Williamstown. More information can be found online. 

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Mill Town Foundation presents the Common Ground Festival, aimed to unite the Berkshires through art, culture, and community

Pittsfield— On Saturday, July 6th from 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., Mill Town Foundation presents the inaugural Common Ground Festival, a free family event with live performances, family-friendly activities, and food vendors from Berkshire County. 

Common Ground Festival is designed to break down silos to create authentic community connections, promote cultural diversity, and contribute to our region’s vibrancy.

Mill Town’s Common Ground Festival.

There will be live performances by Kripalu, Barrington Stage Company, Tanglewood, Clara Guatta, Quarteto de Samba, and The Funky Dawgz Brass Band. There will also be a dance circle led by Andres Ramirez and the Funk Box Dance Studio.

Over 40 vendors and presenting organizations will be on site offering free interactive activities including bounce houses, art-making, photo booths, and more. Food trucks will be provided by BB’s Hot Spot, Charlie’s Bistro Bus, and Cravin’s Ice Cream. There will also be a beer garden by Hot Plate Brewing Co.

The festival is on Saturday, July 6th from 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Pittsfield Common at 100 First Street in Pittsfield. The rain date is July 7th. More information can be found online. 

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Marjorie Kaye and Carolyn Newberger at Future Lab(s) Gallery

North Adams— From July 5th through the 28th, Future Lab(s) Gallery presents Marjorie Kaye’s “Starbursts” and Carolyn Newberger’s “Dancing with the Ancestors.”

In Marjorie Kaye’s new series, space is broken down as it emerges from the center. There is a combination of organic and geometric sensibilities, and although there is a tip of the hat to symmetry, it is not always prevalent. It is the previous shape that determines the responding one, and regardless of the intense detail, there is not always precision involved. She builds sequences, adding to a primary shape, with each successive form getting larger and more complex, mirroring growth from cellular beginnings to complex formation, similar to an explosion of a Geode form, capturing the structure of the material universe.

Marjorie Kaye, Piercing Sound, Gouache on Shaped Wood, 12 x 13 inches, 2024.

Dance is a universal language. It carries us across time and place, expressing culture, signifying resistance, and communicating grace, sorrow, enmity and cohesion. When Russia invaded Ukraine, Carolyn Newberger imagined her Ukrainian ancestors in a dance of defiance, linking the beginning of their century’s violence to the beginning of ours. This set her on a journey, viewing histories through the lens of dance, expressed on paper through pen, paint, and collage, with a loose hand and an open mind.

Carolyn Newberger, Keep Our Goodness Inside of Me, Ink, Pastel, 12 x 18 inches.

The exhibit is on view from July 5th through the 28th at Future Lab(s) Gallery at 43 Eagle Street in North Adams. There is an opening reception on July 5th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a closing reception on July 27th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. More information can be found online.

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Stockbridge ‘Children’s Chimes Children and Family Day’

Stockbridge— On Saturday, July 6th beginning at 11 a.m., the Town of Stockbridge will allow children to come up and play the chimes in the tower.

Any child who wants to come up and play must be accompanied by an adult. Signups begin at 10:45 a.m. and will continue after all have had a chance to play. At the end of the session (approximately 10:45 a.m.,) there will be a brief “Name That Tune” contest for adults and children with ten tunes to identify. The top prize winners will be eligible for prizes from Nejaimes Wine Sellers, Williams & Sons Country Store, and Stockbridge Coffee & Tea.

Children’s Chimes Bell Tower. Courtesy Wiki Commons.

After 140 years, the tower had to close in 2017 due to structural upgrading and has now been fully restored. Until then the town upheld the wishes of its original sponsor, David Dudley Field, to have the chimes played every day at 5:30 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Field himself played them for 45 years, starting in 1878. After that, volunteers upheld the tradition until 2017. The town is sponsoring the traditional playing of the newly restored Children’s Chimes Bell tower every day this year from May 25th to Labor Day.

Located in front of the old Town Hall and First Congregational Church in Stockbridge, this tall carillon (bell tower), was gifted to the town by Field in memory of his grandchildren. His one condition was the chimes were to be rung every day at 5:30 p.m. between, “apple blossom time and the first frost on the pumpkin”. His intention was that “it will be a memorial of those who are enshrined in my heart, while the ringing of the chimes at sunset I trust will give pleasure to all whose good fortune is to live in this peaceful valley.”

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Stockbridge Bowl Association presents ‘Know Your Invasives,’ a presentation by Aquatic Roots Underwater Gardening Company

Stockbridge— On Saturday, July 6th from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Stockbridge Bowl Association presents “Know Your Invasives,” a presentation on native plants, invasive plants, and keeping Stockbridge Bowl healthy by Aquatic Roots Underwater Gardening Company.

The family-friendly presentation is on Saturday, July 6th from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Stockbridge Bowl public boat ramp on Route 183 in Stockbridge. Attend by land and/or boat (kayak, inflatable, pontoon) Pontoon boats may be available for a limited number of attendees. Residents and visitors are welcome. The rain/wind date is July 7th. More information can be found online.

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