Brad Mehldau, widely regarded as the most innovative and virtuosic jazz pianist of his generation, performs solo at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall on Thursday, August 25, at 8 p.m. Mehldau, who turned 41 on Tuesday this week and who grew up in nearby West Hartford, Conn., is considered one of the rare jazz pianists, such as Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea, whose work merits solo concert-length performances, such as that captured on Live in Marciac, a two-CD plus DVD set released earlier this year.
What’s more, Mehldau is in the forefront of a growing movement among straight-ahead jazz musicians to incorporate songs from the rock era alongside pre-rock standards; Mehldau’s performances and recordings include renditions of compositions by Radiohead, Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, the Beatles, and Paul Simon, as well as tunes by composers more familiar to jazz audiences including Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael.
A public reception for Flight, a new exhibition of photographs capturing birds in flight over the Atlantic Ocean by Cassandra Sohn, takes place on Saturday, August 27, from 5 to 8, at the Sohn Fine Art Gallery, where the work will remain on view through October 10, 2011. Defying the laws of physics in stop-motion photography (as opposed to film or video), Sohn follows the birds with her camera’s lens, blurring the backgrounds and creating the sensation of motion while achieving the difficult technical feat of keeping her subjects sharp and identifiable.
Legendary New Jersey party band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes performs at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, August 25 at 7:30 pm. Led by “Southside” Johnny Lyons, a longtime friend and musical confederate of Bruce Springsteen and “Miami” Steve Van Zandt (later “Little Steven”), who was a co-founder, producer, and songwriter for the Jukes, the group keeps alive the Asbury Park, N.J., sound from which Springsteen evolved — a more horn-influenced style of R&B based in early New York-style rock ‘n’ roll than what Springsteen would go on to play, although the band’s repertoire includes many Springsteen-penned songs, including “The Fever,” “Trapped Again,” “Hearts of Stone” and one of the group’s signature tunes, “Talk to Me,” the others being Van Zandt’s “I Don’t Want to Go Home” and the band’s rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Havin’ a Party.”
Tickets are $15–$55 with a limited number of VIP (premium orchestra seating) tickets at $60. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street or by calling 413.997.4444 or online at the Colonial Theatre. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10-2 or on any performance day from 10am until intermission.
The award-winning Daedalus Quartet will perform music by Haydn, Schumann and Dvorak on Saturday, August 27, 2011, at the historic Meeting House in New Marlborough. The concert begins at 4:30 p.m. and is presented by the Music and More series, which this summer celebrates its 20th year hosting cultural events in the Berkshires.
The Daedalus Quartet – comprised of violinists Min-Young Kim and Ara Gregorian, violist Jessica Thompson, and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan – has performed in many of the world’s leading music venues, both in the United States and abroad. These include Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” series in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Musikverein in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Cité de la Musique in Paris, as well as at leading venues in Canada, Japan and China.
Jazz greats Charles Neville and Avery Sharpe will headline a musical fundraiser for the Old Creamery Cooperative on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. in the Plainfield Congregational Church. Local gypsy-jazz band Swing Caravan will open. The Old Creamery in Cummington, the general store and cultural and social center for the central hilltowns, is in the process of transitioning to a community-owned cooperative, with over 400 member-owners to date.
To Fuel The Fire, a large-scale mask and puppet theatre production by Arm-of-the-Sea Theater about the ecological costs of acquiring and delivering energy, will take place at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century on Saturday, August 27, at 3 and 7.
Created after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this original show features two mythological characters drawn from Ancient Egypt and recast as an immigrant couple running a soup shop on the modern-day Gulf Coast. From their ancient rounds of planting, harvesting, cooking and composting, Isis and Osiris feed generations of workers sent to gather fuel. After the disastrous oil rig explosion, they use their powers to restore the waters of life.
This tragic comedy features primordial masks and kinetic puppet figures, vivid paintings, whimsical props and live music. With the Universe as backdrop, the action leapfrogs through events in earth’s evolutionary history. Plays-within-the-play depict the rise and fall of civilizations propelled by various fuels. As new cultures scour the earth to keep their fires burning, Isis and Osiris carry-on within cycles of fertility and renewal.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra begins its final weekend of the 2011 Tanglewood season Friday, August 26, with its first-ever performance of George Gershwin’s great American masterpiece, the blues-and-jazz-inflected Porgy and Bess, which examines African-American life in the South during the 1920s. The great Itzhak Perlman joins the orchestra on Saturday, August 27, for an all-Beethoven program, including the First and Fifth symphonies, that demonstrates his talents as both violinist and conductor. On Sunday, August 28, the BSO brings its portion of the 2011 Tanglewood season to a close with the traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
Berkshire Playwrights Lab will present a staged reading of Anna Ziegler’s An Incident, directed by Bob Jaffe on Wednesday, August 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. A family drama, An Incident follows the Nadelmans from New York City to Maine, as parents Philip and Lillian visit Joey, their puzzling, hard-to-handle son, at sleep-away camp. After greeting his parents with more hostility than usual, Joey disappears. In the search for their son, Philip and Lillian expose the truth of their own relationship, and the full Nadelman family portrait, complete with shades of regret, recrimination, humor, and loss, is developed before our eyes.