(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – In its first appearance back at MASS MoCA since its performance at MASS MoCA’s opening weekend celebration in May 1999, North America’s longest-running great rock band, Los Lobos, will perform a rare unplugged gig at the Hunter Center on Thursday, April 5, 2012, at 8 p.m. The group is entertaining fan requests for which songs to play via a form on its website here.
Three decades ago Los Lobos debuted as an East Los Angeles garage band of Mexican-Americans drawing equally on heritage sounds as well as the vibrant Americana scene that was in its infancy. Like The Band, that other great North American group before it that also boasted just one Anglo among its members except looking southward rather than northward, Los Lobos was a band that was both timeless and ahead of its time.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Seun Kuti’s father, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was nearly synonymous with “Afrobeat.” The son carries on the father’s legacy, combining swirling African rhythms and gritty textures with horn-laced funk in songs laced with social and political messages performed by Egypt 80, the combo formerly fronted by Fela Kuti, at Club Helsinki on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at 9pm.
His new release, Africa With Fury: Rise, follows Seun Kuti’s critically praised debut, 2008’s Many Things, which was unanimously hailed for continuing his father’s musical legacy. Produced by visionary Brian Eno (Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2), From Africa With Fury: Rise sees Kuti finding his own idiosyncratic voice as songwriter, singer, and band leader, with the scorching rhythms and kinetic funk energy that has earned the band worldwide acclaim as one of today’s most incendiary live acts.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – World-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli brings his cool jazz stylings to The Clark in a special concert on Friday, April 6, 2012, at 8 pm. Pizzarelli’s brand-new album, Double Exposure, features swinging, jazzy versions of modern pop classics by the likes of the Beatles, James Taylor, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell.
Inspired by performers like Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, and João Gilberto, and the songs of composers such as Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, James Taylor, Antônio Carlos Jobim, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, John Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the so-called Great American Songbook and beyond, bringing to his work the cool jazz flavor of his brilliant guitar playing and singing.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Massenet’s Manon screens Live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera at The Clark and the Mahaiwe on Saturday, April 7, at noon. In Laurent Pelly’s new production – an enormous hit when it premiered at Covent Garden – star soprano Anna Netrebko explores the extremes of Massenet’s irresistible heroine. There will be a pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly at the Mahaiwe at 10 a.m., and an encore screening at the Mahaiwe on Wednesday, April 11 at noon.
Russian soprano Netrebko sings her first Met performances of the title role in Manon, Massenet’s opera about a country girl with conflicting desires for love and luxury who is drawn into a life of glamorous but hollow Parisian sophistication. Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Chevalier des Grieux, a young nobleman who falls in love with Manon; Paulo Szot sings the role of Lescaut, Manon’s protective cousin who struggles with temptations of his own; and David Pittsinger sings the Comte des Grieux, who wants his son out of Manon’s arms and into a respectable future.