A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Berkshire region.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Son Lux guitarist Rafiq Bhatia brings his new trio and his genre-defying atmospheric sounds to Club B10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 10, at 8pm. Bhatia’s new trio includes Son Lux drummer Ian Chang and bass/synthesizer/electronics virtuoso Jackson Hill. Using an arrangement of analog and digital effects, expect chill, psychedelic beats to flood the room, which — complemented by smooth, fluid riffs — invite listeners to settle back and escape into a meditative state akin to that of trip-hop.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Gloria Stoll Karn is best known for her work in the pulp fiction industry during the 1940s, one of very few female artists working in the field creating illustrations and covers for popular romance and dime store magazines. Gloria Stoll Karn: Pulp Romance, an exhibition of works by Stoll Karn at Norman Rockwell Museum, explores the artist’s short but prolific career and her unexpected journey in a world previously assigned to male artists. From 1941 to 1949, Stoll Karn’s art appeared on the covers and pages of many Popular Publication magazines, including Black Mask, Dime Mystery, Detective Tales, New Detective, All-Story Love, New Love, Love Book, Love Short Stories, Love Novels, Romance, and Thrilling Love, as well Argosy. The artist, now in her 90s, continues to create art for her own enjoyment, exploring a range of themes and styles. (Opens Saturday, February 10; on view through Sunday, June 10)
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner brings his distinctive, New Orleans-influenced jazz and blues stylings to Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall at Williams College on Thursday, February 8, at 8pm, in a free concert featuring his trio. Fortner will be joined by Ryan Berg, bass, and Jeremy Clemons, drums. The Sullivan Fortner Trio has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Discover Jazz Festival, Tri-C Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, and the Gillmore Keyboard Festival. Fortner has been heard with other leading musicians around the world, including Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, John Scofield, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Fred Hersch, Sean Jones, DeeDee Bridgewater, Roberta Gambarini, Peter Bernstein, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Billy Hart, Dave Liebman, Gary Bartz, Etienne Charles, and Christian Scott.
(TROY, N.Y.) – Inbal Segev will become only the second cellist to tackle Christopher Rouse‘s Violoncello Concerto (after its world premiere by Yo-Yo Ma) when she performs it with the Albany Symphony at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday, February 10, at 7:30pm, and Sunday, February 11, at 3pm. Rouse’s profound work, completed in 1992 and debuted by Yo-Yo Ma in 1994, is a meditation upon death – the struggle to deny it and its ultimate inevitability. The program, led by David Alan Miller, also includes Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 7.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – It’s Mardi Gras week, and Club Helsinki Hudson – sometimes called “Tipitina’s North” – marks the occasion with not one but two concerts featuring the Crescent City’s best – Glen David Andrews (Friday, Feb 9, at 9pm) and the Soul Brass Band (Sunday, February 11 ,at 8pm). Singer-trombonist-bandleader Andrews is noted for his jazzy, horn-laced New Orleans funk and soul, combining a voice and stage presence worthy of Louis Armstrong, updated for the hip-hop era. Soul Brass Band, founded by Derrick Freeman, likewise plays a jazzy, horn-laced fusion of New Orleans funk, soul, and hip-hop.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – “Music & Words” kicks off a three-concert series curated by Damien Sneed at the Fisher Center at Bard College on Friday, February 9, at 7:30pm. The concert takes audiences on a journey from the spirituals, art songs, and poems of Harry T. Burleigh and Laurence Hope to the melodic chords of Samuel Barber and the well-known hit songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Leading this musical reflection on the relationship between composer and librettist, pianist-composer Sneed will be joined by Metropolitan Opera soprano Brandie Sutton, and actor/writer Karen Chilton, baritone Justin Michael Austin, and classical chamber musicians for this debut exploration of the music of 1860 to the 1930s for strings, piano and voice. Music & Words is the first performance of Catskill Jazz Factory’s three-concert winter series, Classical, Jazz, and Soul: A Musical Offering.
(ALBANY, N.Y.) – Steven Peterson’s “Paris Time,” about how a young woman’s life and a company’s fate are challenged by an anti-Semitic terrorist incident, is being given its world premiere at Capital Repertory Theatre, from Friday, Jan 26, through Sunday, Feb 18. A gripping and sophisticated drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-Semitism in today’s France. When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles (Marcel Jeannin) gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Two of the world’s coolest music ensembles – Berlin’s new-music mavericks Stargaze and Minneapolis-based psychedelic electro-pop outfit Poliça, colored by vocalist Channy Leaneagh’s otherworldly sound – join forces to create a new, 11-person, ear-expanding supergroup performing an evening-length work, Music for the Long Emergency, in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Thursday, February 15, at 8pm. New music for the collective by Los Angeles-based “rising star composer” Daniel Wohl opens the evening
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Renowned jazz pianist Ted Rosenthal will perform “10, by George,” featuring jazz interpretations of “Rhapsody in Blue” and nine other Gershwin favorites, as part of Pittsfield’s annual downtown 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival, at Berkshire Museum on Saturday, February 17, at 7:30pm. Ted Rosenthal is one of the leading jazz pianists of his generation, actively touring worldwide with his trio, as a soloist, and in various configurations. Winner of the 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, he has performed with many jazz greats, including Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer, and James Moody. Rosenthal’s program is based on his best-selling album, “Rhapsody in Gershwin.” Rosenthal’s trio includes Martin Wind, bass, and Tim Horner, drums. The program is a presentation of Berkshires Jazz.
COMING SOON: BARRINGTON STAGE PRESENTS NEW PLAY FESTIVAL
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Barrington Stage Company presents its seventh annual 10X10 New Play Festival – featuring 10-minute plays as part of the 2018 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival in downtown Pittsfield – from Thursday, February 15, through Sunday, March 4, at BSC’s Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. Playwrights represented include Patrick Gabridge, Eric Wade Fritzius, Brad Systma, Christine Foster, Tom Coash, Steven Korbar, James McLindon, Cathy Tempelsman, Jamie Roach, Eugenie Carabatsos; performers include Lucky Gretzinger, Matt Neely, Dina Thomas, Peggy Pharr Wilson, Keri Safran, and Robert Zukerman; directors include Julianne Boyd and Michael Penn.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Pianist Sezi Seskir and violinist Lucy Russell will offer period music renditions of works by Mozart and Beethoven in Chapin Hall at Williams College in a free concert on Sunday, February 18 at 3pm. Seskir plays a five-octave fortepiano, a Walter copy based on an instrument from 1799. Russell plays a violin and bow from the 18th century to match the fortepiano. Featuring works from the latter half of the 18th century, the duo explores different writing styles from the classical period. The program includes Beethoven’s Violin sonata in A-Minor, op. 23, No. 4; Mozart’s Violin sonata in B-flat Major, K. 454; Mozart’s Violin sonata in E-Minor, K. 304; and Beethoven’s Violin sonata in A-Major, op. 12, No. 2.
COMING SOON: THE ORCHESTRA NOW PLAYS MAHLER and WEBER
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) — The Orchestra Now, led by Leon Botstein, will perform Mahler’s Seventh Symphony and Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1, featuring soloist Elias Rodriguez, in the Fisher Center at Bard College, on Sat. Feb 17, at 8 pm, and Sun., Feb 18, at 2 pm.