A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Hudson, N.Y., region.
(KINGSTON, N.Y.) – Visionary art-rocker and legendary Talking Heads frontman David Byrne brings his new, 12-piece band – featuring Hudson Valley soul singer Simi Stone – to UPAC on Saturday, March 10, at 8pm, to perform a retrospective of his 40-year music career, including Talking Heads favorites plus tunes from his brand-new album, “American Utopia.” Byrne himself says, “This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for ‘Stop Making Sense,’ so fingers crossed.” This concert sold out in advance almost completely to Bardavon members. It turns out membership really does have its privileges.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – Operas by Stravinsky, John Harbison, and Ana Sokolovic will be given full stagings by singers from the Graduate Vocal Arts Program accompanied by the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra on Friday, March 9, at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 11, at 3pm in the Fisher Center at Bard College. Directed by Alison Moritz, the program presents a luminous triple bill of operatic rarities exploring the rites and rituals of marriage, including Pulcinella by Igor Stravinsky, Full Moon in March by John Harbison, and Svadba by Ana Sokolovic.
Director Alison Moritz writes, “Each act of this triptych highlights a different traditional style or trope used by Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes: Pulcinella (a neoclassical commedia dell’arte); Full Moon in March (inspired by popular ballets based on exotic themes and characters such as Cléopâtre, Schéhérazade, and Thamar); and Svadba (a twist combining the country girls of Les Sylphides with the shocking paganism of The Rite of Spring.) More than just an exercise in style, these three operas all ask the same central question: Why do we make art?”
The program will be sung by Eric Finbarr Carey, tenor; Mark Chan, baritone; Jonathon Comfort, baritone; Elaine Daiber, soprano; Rachel Doehring, soprano; SarahAnn Duffy, mezzo-soprano; Addie Rose Forstman, soprano; Angela Hendryx, soprano; Zoe Johnson ’16, soprano; Luke MacMillan, baritone; Sun-Ly Pierce, mezzo-soprano; Chloë Schaaf, mezzo-soprano; Paulina Swierczek, soprano; Natalie Trumm, soprano; and Seol Ah Yoo, soprano.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – New Orleans funk-jam outfit Dumpstaphunk – featuring two members of the first family of New Orleans funk, the Nevilles – brings its deep grooves and soulful melodies to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, March 10, at 9pm. Founded by keyboardist Ivan Neville – son of famed vocalist Aaron Neville and himself a member of the Neville Brothers band – Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best. Neville drafted his cousin Ian Neville for guitar duty, Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III for dueling basslines, and Alvin Ford Jr. on drums, resulting in one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – “Pecular Rarities,” a new and different sort of exhibition featuring media from porcelain to Play-Doh and subject matter ranging from icebergs, Victorian steampunk characters, conniving housewives, to Judy Garland is on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery from Wed, Mar 7 to Sun, Apr 22. Artists featured include David Halliday, Donise English, Juan Garcia Nunez, Russell DeYoung, Nick Simpson, Newbold Bohemia, Leon Smith, Paul Katz, Andrea Moreau, Fernando Orellana, Carl Grauer, David Dew Bruner, Robert Gulley, and Frank Litto. An opening reception for the artists takes place on Sat, Mar 10, from 5pm to 7pm.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Authors Kem Joy Ukwu, Celia Bland and William Lessard will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Sat, Mar 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 Andy French. Volume is co-curated by Dani Grammerstorf French and Hallie Goodman.
Kem Joy Ukwu’s short story collection, “Locked Gray / Linked Blue” (Brain Mill Press, 2018), was a finalist for the New American Fiction Prize. Celia Bland is the author of “Madonna Comix,” a poetry/visual art book created in collaboration with Dianne Kornberg, and the poetry collections “Soft Box: Poems” and “Cherokee Road Kill.”
William Lessard’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s, FANZINE, Prelude, Hyperallergic, PANK, Brooklyn Rail, and Heavy Feather Review. His work has also been featured at MoMA PS1. He co-curates the Cool as F*** reading series in Brooklyn and is the Poetry editor of Boog City.
(SPENCERTOWN, N.Y.) – Hudson Valley-based instrumental quartet NEQ brings its unique blend of original compositions, improvisations, and renditions of classic rock and jazz tunes to Spencertown Academy on Saturday, March 10, at 7:30pm.
NEQ plays rock, Americana, Afro-Cuban, classical, funk, and ethnic grooves, engaging the listener with a dynamic sound and a collision of musical styles. The NEQ concert in Spencertown will feature original music as well as instrumental arrangements of cover material, drawn from multiple genres including rock (Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane”), pop (Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman”), Latin jazz (Dizzy Gillespie’s and Chano Pozo’s “Soul Sauce”), classical (Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez”), and others. The group’s original compositions also incorporate multiple genres while presenting a cohesive, unique sensibility.
Led by guitarist Todd Nelson (Fear of Strangers, Aimee Mann, Lonesome Val, Jules Shear) and built on the foundation of the trio NEQ that includes bassist Kyle Esposito and drummer Manuel Quintana, the five-piece group includes Mike Kelley on keyboards and Carlos Valdez on percussion. “Where others hear differences, we hear similarities and take advantage of the cross currents that have always existed in music,” says Nelson.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The world-renowned Merlin and Polina Shepherd Klezmer Duo brings its innovative blend of world music, jazz, classical, Islamic, Russian, Yiddish, and klezmer sounds to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, April 8, at 7pm, as part of the Rogovoy Salon, the music and literary series curated and hosted by cultural journalist and music critic Seth Rogovoy.
This concert by the UK-based, international virtuosos caps a day-long celebration of a milestone in host Seth Rogovoy’s life and will likely include appearances by surprise special-guest artists. Come out and help celebrate with Seth and the assembled crowd of family, friends, and music lovers.
(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, is on view at Hudson Hall through March 18. 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.
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.
(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – “Women and Power,” an exhibition of works by ceramic artist Mary Anne Davis inspired by the manifesto of the same name by Mary Beard, is on view at the Chatham Bookstore through April 6. The exhibit features a group of women Davis represents in decorated porcelain. Each of the women articulated in these whimsical representations held a certain kind of power. Many were trailblazers, such as Katherine Graham, Brooke Astor, and Dorothy Draper.