(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Folk-pop singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright brings his “Best of” tour to the Mahaiwe on Saturday, May 9, at 8pm. Wainwright is widely regarded as one of the best songwriters of his generation by his fellow musicians, critics, and audiences alike, and in addition to seven albums of his own songs and film soundtracks, he has written a classical opera and set Shakespearean sonnets to music for a theater piece by Robert Wilson. Wainwright also has close ties to the region, having been born in Rhinebeck, N.Y., where he lived for the first three years of his life, and then returning to the area to attend the Millbrook School.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – On-the-rise LA-based comic Cameron Esposito brings her standup act to Club B-10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, May 9, at 8pm. Esposito’s edgy, in-your-face style of comedy led Jay Leno to call her “the future of comedy.” Known far and wide for confidence, charisma, and bright-eyed optimism, Esposito singles herself out in the crowded world of comedy with quirky humor and boundless enthusiasm that hooks audiences instantly and keeps them engaged through the final joke. Rarely seen without her ubiquitous jean jacket and side mullet, Esposito is at ease on stage, a versatile performer ready to play off the audience.
(NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass.) – Old-time music duo Moonshine Holler, featuring Paula Bradley and Bill Dillof, brings their Americana roots sounds to Gedney Underground, a new music series at Gedney Farm, on Wednesday, May 6, at 8pm. Featuring spine-tingling vocal harmonies, spirited banjo/fiddle breakdowns, hillbilly blues, jugband stompers and ballads, with some flatfoot dancing to boot, Moonshine Holler captures the essence of American southern roots music.
(AMHERST, Mass.) – The Borscht Belt Film Festival at the Yiddish Book Center kicks off with a double feature of “Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort” and “Dirty Dancing” on Sunday, May 10. The film festival, in conjunction with the visiting exhibit Echoes from the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld, runs through June, with movies celebrating the heyday of the Catkills Mountains resort region.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Singer-songwriter Heather Maloney will bring her unique blend of folk, rock, jazz, and pop to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, May 8, at 9pm, just one week after the release of her long-awaited new album, “Making Me Break” (Signature Sound Recordings), on which she worked with Grammy Award-nominated producer Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses, Avett Brothers) to an artistic vision to merge Maloney’s folk roots with indie rock. Singer-songwriter Will Dailey will warm up the crowd for Maloney.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) — The Aaron Diehl Trio, featuring Grammy Award-nominated vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, will perform a centenary tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Friday, May 8, at 8pm, in the acoustically superb Sosnoff Theater. Known for her definitive interpretations of classic jazz standards, Billie Holiday is considered to be one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time. Salvant will perform some of Holiday’s most beloved repertoire, including renditions of “Jeepers Creepers,” “You Go to My Head,” “Lover Man,” and “Hello, My Darling.”
(LENOX, Mass.) – Stone Court Writer-in-Residence Snowden Wright – the author of Play Pretty Blues: A Novel of the Life of Robert Johnson — will read from his work at The Mount on Saturday, May 9, at 3pm. The reading is free and open to the public. Part researched reconstruction, part vivid imagination, Play Pretty Blues brings blues legend Robert Johnson alive through the voices of his six wives, revealing the husband and son inside the legend, illuminating the vacuum Johnson left in the worlds of those who loved him and those he would never meet.