A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Hudson, N.Y., region.
(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.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Authors Darcey Steinke, Nick Flynn, and Rebecca Godfrey will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Sat, Feb 10, at 7pm, as part of Volume, the free monthly reading and music series every second Saturday of the month. The readings will be followed by book-signing and a DJ set by Dawn Breeze. Volume is co-curated by Dani Grammerstorf French and Hallie Goodman.
Steinke is the author of the memoir Easter Everywhere and the novels Milk, Jesus Saves, Suicide Blonde, Up Through the Water, and Sister Golden Hair. She has taught at the Columbia University School of the Arts, Barnard, The American University of Paris, and Princeton. Flynn has worked as a ship’s captain, an electrician, and as a caseworker with homeless adults. He is currently a professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, where he is in residence each spring. His most recent book is My Feelings, a collection of poems. Godfrey is the author of the novel, The Torn Skirt, and Under the Bridge, an investigation into the murder of a 14-year-old girl. She teaches writing in the MFA program at Columbia University. Her new novel, The Dilettante, is forthcoming from Knopf.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The BlkQueer Romantics, an exhibition curated by the Hudson-based creative team behind The Tenth, a biannual publication documenting the history, culture, ideas and aesthetics of the black LGBTQ community, opens at Hudson Hall on Saturday, February 10, 5-7pm. The exhibition showcases the artists who have contributed to The Tenth’s fifth edition: an homage to the natural landscape and the architectural structures of the Hudson River Valley, from Hudson’s Dr. Oliver Bronson House and a quaint guest house in the Catskills to the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park, places to which many African-American artists and entertainers escaped at the turn of the 19th century. The exhibition remains on view until March 18.
Taking its name from a W.E.B DuBois essay titled “The Talented Tenth”, The Tenth champions black LGTBQ voices via photographic essays, in-depth interviews, prose, and events. Since the magazine’s first edition was released in 2015, it has received widespread acclaim for its presentation of counternarratives of black gay and bisexual lives and for its ability to push boundaries and offer stunning visual imagery of and by black LGBTQ artists. The Tenth has curated launch events, exhibitions and symposium with notable partners such as MoMA PS1, the Ace Hotel, and the Provincetown Film Festival, where they partnered with HBO to present UNTAGGED, a photography exhibition that explored the relationship between perceived and projected identity and to celebrate the premiere of HBO’s new documentary, Suited.
The BlkQueer Romantics edition and exhibition showcases photography shot in and around the Hudson Valley, including the Dr. Oliver Bronson House and Stables in Hudson. Photographed by Erik Carter, the cover features world-famous Beyoncé impersonator, artist, and transgender advocate Michell’e Michaels. Known on social media as Miss_Shalae, Michaels made headlines in 2016 with “Lemonade Served Bitter Sweet,” a transgender version of Beyoncé’s latest Grammy Award-winning album.
NPR on The Tenth.
(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.) – “Painted Cities,” a new exhibition of urban images including works by Dan Rupe, Darshan Russell, Edward Avedisian, Patty Neal, Richard Britell, Robert Goldstrom, and Scott Nelson Foster, is on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery from Thu, Jan 4 to Sun, Feb 18. Featuring everything from paintings of the Empire State Building and Hudson Library to corner laundromats and takeout restaurants, the exhibition forms a compelling human portrait without calling upon the human figure. Crafted in an array of styles, from a Fauvist inspiration to hyperrealism, each cityscape captures a city’s character with an intense precision and sensitivity to the world people build for themselves.
(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 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.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Vocalist Sheila Jordan, pianist Joanne Brackeen, and Brazilian ensemble Quarteto Moderno headline the inaugural Hudson Jazz Festival at Hudson Hall from Friday, February 16, through Sunday, February 18. Curated by noted Hudson-based jazz pianist Armen Donelian, the festival highlights talent with a melodious reach that spans the globe. The festival kicks off on Friday at 7pm with the Ara Dinkjian Quartet, an instrumental collaboration rooted in Turkish, Armenian, and Macedonian Roma music. Donelian will also perform in this “Sounds from the Silk Road” program. On Saturday at 7pm, “Take Two” features jazz matriarch Sheila Jordan and vocalist-composer Dominique Eade, following up an afternoon of jazz solo piano immersion with “the Picasso of Jazz piano” Joanne Brackeen, in a “Piano Summit” including Aaron Goldberg and James Francies at 3pm. Festival audiences can then catch a free screening of director Stephanie Castillo’s award-winning portrait of the life and premature loss of a great American jazz talent, “Thomas Chapin, Night Bird Song,” at 5pm. Quarteto Moderno brings the curtain down on the festival on Sunday at 3pm.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Hudson’s own Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its wintertime tradition of hosting a monthly cabaret, featuring a variety of circus, theater, comedy and musical entertainers, at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, Feb 17, at 9pm. Each month this winter, Bindlestiff Cirkus will bring a new lineup, with acts including trapeze, contortion, acrobatic balance, sword swallowing, juggling, physical comedy, and oddball novelty turns. Bindlestiff’s Winter Cabaret can get pretty hot and steamy – even a little bit raunchy – and is for open-minded grown-ups only.
COMING SOON: EDDIE IZZARD BRINGS ONE-MAN SHOW to UPAC
(KINGSTON, N.Y.) – Eddie Izzard brings his Believe Me Tour: Comedy, Painted Nails, Politics, My Life! to the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) on Friday, February 16, at 8pm. In this intimate evening of comedy, Izzard recounts the dizzying rise he made from the streets of London to West End Theaters and Madison Square Garden. For over 30 years, Izzard has inhabited the stage and film and TV screens with an unbelievable fervor. As a self-proclaimed “action transvestite,” Izzard broke a mold performing in makeup and heels and has become as famous for his “total clothing” rights as he has for his art. Izzard’s first book, Believe Me, published last year, is a New York Times Bestseller.
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.