Berkshire Cultural Weekend Preview Oct 13-16, 2011


Saxophonist Grace Kelly

Saxophonist Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly, Phil Woods, Armen Donelian, Gregory Caputo, and the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will be among the performers at the 2011 Pittsfield CityJazz Festival this weekend. Now in its seventh year, the festival comprises some two dozen concerts and events throughout downtown Pittsfield.

In addition to headline concerts on Oct. 14-15, this year’s festival introduces a jazz prodigy series and continues the popular jazz crawl. Highlight of this year’s festival will be the Oct. 15 reunion of Phil Woods and Grace Kelly on the Colonial Theatre stage where, during the second festival in 2006, NEA Jazz Master Woods gave his iconic leather cap to the 14-year-old prodigy Kelly, who had been invited to sit-in with Woods and the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors. The event has become part of jazz lore, and earlier this year Woods and Kelly commemorated it by releasing their duo recording,  Man with the Hat. The festival concludes on Oct. 20 with various indoor and outdoor musical events as part of Pittsfield’s Third Thursday block party.




David McVicar’s dramatic and ferocious production of Donizetti’s masterpiece Anna Bolena will be broadcast live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera at The Clark and the Mahaiwe on Saturday, October 15 at 1 pm. Star soprano Anna Netrebko takes on the legendary title role in Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece, which has been a musical and dramatic showpiece for many of history’s greatest singers. The opera, based on the final tragic days of Anne Boleyn, makes its Met premiere in a new production by David McVicar, whose staging of Il Trovatore was a best-selling Live in HD presentation last season.

Powerhouse Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova sings the role of Giovanna Seymour, Bolena’s lady-in-waiting and romantic rival; Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov is the cruel King Enrico (Henry) VIII; and Stephen Costello and Tamara Mumford are the queen’s allies, Lord Percy and Smeaton. Italian conductor Marco Armiliato leads the Met Orchestra in what is widely considered one of Donizetti’s finest scores. Renee Fleming will host the broadcast. (Running time: approximately 213 minutes, including intermission.)



Work by Izumi Chiaraluce

Work by Izumi Chiaraluce

On Saturday, October 15, 2011, Architecture for Art Gallery (AforA) will celebrate its first anniversary with a public reception from 6-8 pm. The event will mark the closing of The International Show, curated by Annina Nosei, featuring works by Izumi Chiaraluci of Italy, Tsibi Geva of Israel, Kocheisen and Hullmann of Germany, and Madeleine Hatz of Sweden.

Refreshments will be served. The gallery is located at 2633 Rte. 23 in Hillsdale, N.Y., in the B&G Wine building.




Brill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill

Brill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill

Working artists will open their studios and let the public glimpse how they live and work, as well as offer insights into their creative processes, when the 7th annual North Adams Open Studios will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 16, from 10 to 4 p.m. North Adams Open Studios gives the public the opportunity to see where artists live and create their work, both the usual and the unusual. Artists will be showing their work and their creative process throughout North Adams; in private homes and studios, in galleries and other locations throughout the city.

For the first time, artist Jarvis Rockwell will open his home to visitors, offering a chance to see his private collection of toys and wall drawings done throughout the residential dwelling. In addition, Wendy James and William Oberst will open their homes on Holden Street, and Sue Beauchamp will open her home on State Road. Wendy James’ studio will also be showing the work of ceramic artist Barbara May.





Richard ThompsonProlific songwriter, virtuoso guitarist, and musical adventurer Richard Thompson will perform on Friday, October 14 at 8, returning to the Mahaiwe for the first time since his sold-out 2008 concert. His career began in 1966, when he left school to co-found the seminal folk-rock band Fairport Convention. His massive body of work includes more than 40 albums, numerous film and television scores, and over 400 songs. He is the recipient of BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time for his acoustic and electric virtuosity.




Rich Robinson

Rich Robinson

Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson brings his quartet to Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, October 13, followed by Club D’Elf, featuring keyboardist John Medeski, on Saturday, October 15, following the latter’s appearance at the club last Saturday night with Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob.

The Black Crowes are still a vibrant, relevant entity, an experience that guitarist Rich Robinson shares with his longtime bandmates, including his brother Chris Robinson. To refresh their individual energies, the band has gone on more frequent hiatuses, which has allowed Rich to explore musical ideas that might not fit the band dynamic, and also continue to hone his skills as a visual artist. Robinson brings his quartet, featuring Jack Daley (of Lenny Kravitz’s band) on bass, Steve Molitz (of Particle) on keys, and Joe Magistro on drums, to Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, October 13.

One week after sitting in at Helsinki Hudson with his longtime musical partner Steven Bernstein in the latter’s band Sex Mob, keyboardist John Medeski will once again roll in his keyboards, this time to join musical partners in Club d’Elf, for a night of Moroccan-dosed dub-trance-jazz drawing upon electronica, Moroccan Gnawa music, dub, free jazz, hip-hop & funk.

Club d’Elf was spearheaded by bassist/composer Mike Rivard, a busy session player who has recorded & performed with Morphine, Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, G Love & Jonatha Brooke. Adding mystical power to the band is the spectacular Brahim Fribgane, who hails from Casablanca. The band’s Moroccan trance influences showcase Fribgane’s mesmerizing oud stylings and Rivard’s commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir, a 3-string bass lute used by the Gnawa people, a mystical Sufi brotherhood descended from sub-Saharan slaves brought to Morocco over 500 years ago.

Helsinki Hudson
405 Columbia St.
Hudson, N.Y.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.