A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Hudson, N.Y., region, including a 90th birthday party for poet John Ashbery; one-man jazz; the Wooster Group; the queen of girl-group rock ‘n’ roll; and more.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – READ & FEED, a festival celebrating literature and food, returns to Basilica Hudson on Sunday, July 23, from noon to 5pm. The festival includes a celebration of legendary Hudson-based poet John Ashbery’s 90th birthday; acclaimed food writers and chefs presenting demonstrations and interactive discussions; a superstar collection of authors offering literary performances and novel conversations; a marketplace featuring some of America’s most intriguing small literary publishers and artisanal food makers; plenty of food and more.
(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Pianist Simone Dinnerstein will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century on Saturday, July 22, at 8pm. Dinnerstein’s globally acclaimed rendition of this iconic work is featured as PS21’s 12th annual Paul Grunberg Memorial Bach Concert.
Dinnerstein gained an international reputation with the success of her 2007 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart and was named to several Best of 2007 lists.
The Goldberg Variations are among Bach’s most beloved works. “Goldberg Variations has become an iconic monument in Western music,” writes Tom Huizenga of NPR, “On one level, it’s simply a beautiful keyboard work, and on another, it’s a Rubik’s Cube of invention and architecture.”
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Choreographer Adam H. Weinert stages a program of works associated with Jacob’s Pillow Dance founder Ted Shawn, as well as his own site-specific work, Monument, at Hudson Hall on Friday, July 21, at 7pm; Saturday, July 22, at 7pm; and Sunday, July 23, at 5pm.
Fueled by his critically acclaimed “reaccession” of modernist choreographer Ted Shawn at the Museum of Modern Art, and recent performances at Tate Modern as part of “The Dancing Museum,” Weinert – who calls Hudson home — offers a contemporary take on historical dance. With ingenuity, reverence, and grace, he and an ensemble of stunning dancers perform classic solos by Doris Humphrey, José Limón, and Ted Shawn, and then transport audiences to a world of original choreography in an immersive, multimedia dance production.
For these performances, composer Chris Garneau returns to Hudson to perform his original score. Set to original piano-led compositions, the singer-songwriter’s “dangerously beautiful voice” (New Yorker) recalls the artistry of Nina Simone, Elliott Smith, and Regina Spektor in equal measure. French-born artist and fashion designer Marine Penvern, who recently opened an atelier on Warren Street in Hudson, designed costumes for Monument.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Seattle-based country-rock outfit Take Western Centuries will bring its Americana sounds to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, July 21, at 9pm. With upbeat, barroom dance numbers, lilting, introspective tunes of heartbreak, and everything in between, Western Centuries strike an oft-strived-for but rarely achieved balance between genre-busting experimentation and thoughtful continuity.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., and POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.) – Iconic “girl-group” vocalist Ronnie Spector performs with the Ronettes at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie on Friday, July 21, at 8pm, and at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday, July 22, at 8pm. Artists including Amy Winehouse, Macy Gray, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, and countless others are unimaginable without the template fashioned by Ronnie Spector, arguably the first major female rock ‘n’ roller to embody a dialectic of innocence and experience.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Singer-songwriter Jen Chapin brings her unique style of soulful, jazzy “urban folk” to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, August 13, at 7pm, as part of the Rogovoy Salon, a new music and literary series curated and hosted by cultural journalist and music critic Seth Rogovoy.
Chapin, who performed several memorable concerts in the original Club Helsinki listening room in Great Barrington, Mass., has been celebrated for writing “brilliant soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) for well over a decade, beginning with her stunning debut album, “Open Wide,” in 2002, followed up by “Linger” in 2004, which featured such sensual numbers as “Good at Love” and “Little Hours” alongside her sociopolitically charged “Passive People” and her poignant 9/11 eulogy, “Hurry Up Sky.” The song “Let It Show” on 2006’s “Ready” was one of her first songs dealing with the responsibilities of parenthood, while the title track once again was a sultry, bedroom number.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Wooster Group, the critically acclaimed experimental theater company, stages a world premiere of A PINK CHAIR (IN PLACE OF A FAKE ANTIQUE), an homage to the late visionary Polish artist and director Tadeusz Kantor, in the Fisher Center at Bard College as part of the Bard SummerScape Festival, from Thursday, July 13, through Sunday, July 23.
(ANCRAM, N.Y.) – The critically acclaimed theater work “The Holler Sessions” – already scheduled for an August run at the prestigious Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis – has a two-weekend run at the Ancram Opera House on Friday-Sundays, July 14-16 and July 20-23. The play, about one man’s burning obsession with American jazz, is written and performed by Frank Boyd, in collaboration with the TEAM, an internationally acclaimed, Brooklyn-based ensemble founded by Obie Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee Rachel Chavkin.
Staged as a live radio show, “The Holler Sessions” — a 2016 New York Times Critic’s Pick — centers on Ray, an explosive Kansas City DJ, whose recent discovery of jazz has become an obsession. Broadcasting from his shoddy studio, Ray intersperses his maniacal rants, razor-sharp insights, and blue humor with cuts of jazz as he struggles to forge a connection with an audience he can’t see, about the best thing America has ever created – and forgotten.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Paintings by Mark Beard and Corinne Robbins and works on paper by Claire Lofrese, Anne Francey, Sue Bryan, David Seiler, and the duo Kahn & Selesnick, are on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery from Wednesday, June 21, through Sunday, August 6.