(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – On Friday, February 3, 2012, at 8 p.m., MASS MoCA is the site for the debut of Zammuto, the newest project from Nick Zammuto, co-founder of the sonically and visually innovative (and North Adams-based) band The Books. Previously, as part of The Books, Zammuto received widespread critical acclaim and made great strides on the national level, touring extensively supporting major tours and headlining as well. The Zammuto debut concert begins with a screening of the 35-minute film Achantè, for which he wrote the score.
Zammuto is a four-piece band with Nick Zammuto on vocals, guitar, and electronics, former Books member Gene Back playing a multitude of instruments, Sean Dixon on percussion, and Mike Zammuto on bass. As with The Books, this Zammuto show will include a tightly integrated video projection, synched rhythmically with the performance. The show will focus on songs by the new band as well as classics from The Books and some never-before-performed Books numbers.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Sean Rowe, a Troy, N.Y. native, lifelong naturalist and ANTI- recording artist, performs his original singer-songwriter folk-rock at Club Helsinki on Friday, February 3, 2012, at 9 p.m. A throwback to 1970s-era soulful rock poets like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, Rowe boasts an impossibly deep and rich baritone, a gift for melody, and a knack for the perfectly hewn image to get across his haunting, brooding folk-rock anthems.
On the song “Night,” from Rowe’s ANTI- debut, Magic, the singer turns his rich baritone to a moment of childhood innocence. Rowe’s deep, magical voice is nothing if not wise and experienced; he knows full well that after the innocence comes the fall. This ability to conjure dueling emotions – the elation of childhood versus the bruising of real life – marks the arrival of a skilled lyricist and songwriter.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The critically acclaimed documentary film, PINA, about the legendary choreographer Pina Bausch, by Oscar-nominated director Wim Wenders, screens on Thursday, February 2, 2012, at the Beacon Cinema, in an event presented by the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF)’s REEL FRIENDS Film Society. Ella Baff, executive and artistic director of Jacob’s Pillow, will talk about the life of Pina Bausch and lead a discussion and Q&A immediately following the screening.
German master Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Buena Vista Social Club) shoots in 3D to capture the brilliantly inventive dance world of the late Pina Bausch. Wenders had conceived with Bausch a dance film like none seen before, one that would take the fullest advantage yet of new 3D technology to put the viewer deep inside Bausch’s playful, thrillingly unpredictable pieces.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Rising international star Blitz the Ambassador and the Berkshires’ own Misty Blues headline the seventh annual MCLA Blues and Funk Festival on Friday and Saturday, February 3-4, 2012. The festival takes place at various venues on or near the MCLA campus in North Adams.
Blitz is a Ghanaian-American hip-hop and visual artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. “He is truly an amazing performer,” Secor said. “With a lightning-fast mind, the political boldness of Chuck D and the sixth groove sense of Fela Kuti, Blitz the Ambassador calls on old school hip hop and shifts between English, West African and Ethiopian jazz, never stumbling over his words and messages. You don’t want to miss this party.”
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Paul Winter, the composer, bandleader, saxophonist, musicologist and naturalist who combines all his interests and skills into a unique style he calls “Earth Music,” brings his ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort, to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 8 p.m. Winter’s music and wildlife odysseys have taken him to 48 countries on six continents, and he has recorded 40 albums, six of which have won Grammy awards.
Paul Winter has been motivated for more than three decades by the vision of a musical-ecological community, and he has followed a steady course towards what he calls “Earth Music,” a celebration of the creatures and cultures of the whole planet. He interweaves widely diverse instruments and elements with the extraordinary voices from what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth,” including wolves, whales, eagles, and several dozen other species of “wilderness musicians.”
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) presents Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987, the first retrospective to present the wide-ranging work of the Chicano performance and conceptual art group Asco (1972 – 1987), co-organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and on view starting Sunday, February 4 through July 29, 2012. Asco: Elite of the Obscure includes nearly 150 artworks, featuring video, sculpture, painting, performance ephemera and documentation, collage, correspondence art, photography (including their signature No Movies, or invented film stills), and a series of works commissioned on occasion of the exhibition.
There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, March 2, 2012 at the Williams College Museum of Art. At 4:30 p.m. there will be a walk-through of the exhibition with curators, and at 5:30 – 7 pm a reception with the artists.