A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including a concert by soul-rock monster Simi Stone; a ‘Messiah’ sing-along; Grammy Award-winner Norah Jones; a new musical work inspired by Norman Rockwell; art exhibitions; and a whole lot more.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Woodstock soul-rock singer-songwriter Simi Stone brings her signature brand of “Mountain Motown” music and her all-star band to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, November 26, at 9pm. Stone’s bands includes musicians who have played with Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Gang of Four, B-52s, and Vernon Reid.
Simi Stone plays violin, guitar and percussion and boasts a huge, versatile voice – one part Diana Ross, one part little Michael Jackson. She writes catchy pop tunes, dance numbers, and compelling, introspective folk songs, and strides across the stage like a latter-day Tina Turner. Her alluring presence has been engaged in the services of videos and album art for Metallica and Cornershop, and she’s a dynamic performer both in the recording studio (check out her YouTube video for “Fear the Beat”) and onstage, no doubt owing in some part to her early experience in musical theater and off-Broadway.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Berkshire Bach Society’s annual “Messiah Sing” takes place at the First Congregational Church on Saturday, November 26, at 4pm. The event is open to all, singers and audience members alike. Berkshire Bach’s “Messiah Sing” is always held on Thanksgiving weekend. For almost 50 years now, communities both large and small across the U.S. have organized “Messiah Sings” based on George Frideric Handel’s English language oratorio composed in 1741.
(KINGSTON, N.Y.) – Nine-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones brings her “Day Breaks” tour, featuring music from her jazzy, recently released sixth album by that name, to UPAC on Monday, November 28, 8pm. After several albums that saw Jones mining Americana, pop, and electronic music, on “Day Breaks” she returns to the sort of piano-based jazz sound that propelled her into the stratosphere with her surprise 2002 debut smash, “Come Away With Me.”
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – The Crescendo Vocal Ensemble and members of the Berkshire Children’s Chorus, accompanied by a small ensemble of instrumentalists, will perform excerpts from “Paintings in Song: Visions of Norman Rockwell,” a new multimedia collaboration by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Crescendo, and composer John Myers, will have a work-in-progress preview at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Friday, November 25, at 5:30pm.
(SOUTH EGREMONT, Mass.) – The Lucky 5, a hard-swinging jazz band that blends swing and Gypsy jazz to create a unique, foot-stomping blend of music that appeals to a wide range of music lovers, entertains at The Barn at The Egremont Village Inn on Friday, November 25, at 8pm. The Lucky 5 performs original compositions as well as putting a new spin on old jazz standards.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – A new exhibition, “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning,” featuring the work of the creative team behind such memorable Saturday morning cartoons as “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Flintstones,” and the “The Jetsons,” remains on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 29, 2017.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Nick Cave, the artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in “Until,” a massive immersive installation on view through summer 2017. Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest and most overtly political installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects, a rich sensory tapestry. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.