A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Hudson, N.Y., region, including a blues and gospel festival curated by Rory Block; a rare staging of an opera by Dvorak; Dweezil Zappa paying tribute to his father; and more.
(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Legendary slide guitarist Rory Block curates and headlines a three-day festival of blues and gospel music at PS21 and other venues in Chatham, where Block has long hung her own hat. Rory Block’s Gospel & Blues Fest Weekend features Block with acclaimed lap-steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar, performing as the Sisters of Slide, at PS21 on Saturday, July 29, at 8pm.
The festival also includes performances by the sacred-steel outfit the Campbell Brothers at PS21 on Friday, July 28, at 8pm; and A Gospel Choir Fest, featuring four gospel choirs from area churches, at Payne AME Church, on Sunday, July 30, at 2pm.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The first fully staged American production of Antonin Dvorak’s 1882 grand opera Dimitrij opens at Bard SummerScape on Friday, July 28, and runs for two weekends, through August 6. The new production, performed in Czech with English supertitles, has been created expressly for SummerScape 2017 by Bard alumna Anne Bogart, co-founder of the acclaimed SITI Company.
Starring tenor Clay Hilley, winner of the New York Wagner Society’s Robert Lauch Award, with music director Leon Botstein leading the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bard Festival Chorale under James Bagwell, Dmitrij’s five performances take place in Bard’s Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center (July 28, 30; August 2, 4, 6), with an Opera Talk, free and open to the public, before the matinee on July 30.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Singer-songwriter Jen Chapin brings her unique style of soulful, jazzy “urban folk” to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, August 13, at 7pm, as part of the Rogovoy Salon, a new music and literary series curated and hosted by cultural journalist and music critic Seth Rogovoy.
Chapin, who performed several memorable concerts in the original Club Helsinki listening room in Great Barrington, Mass., has been celebrated for writing “brilliant soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) for well over a decade, beginning with her stunning debut album, “Open Wide,” in 2002, followed up by “Linger” in 2004, which featured such sensual numbers as “Good at Love” and “Little Hours” alongside her sociopolitically charged “Passive People” and her poignant 9/11 eulogy, “Hurry Up Sky.” The song “Let It Show” on 2006’s “Ready” was one of her first songs dealing with the responsibilities of parenthood, while the title track once again was a sultry, bedroom number.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – James Warhola will share family stories and discuss his own work as an award-winning illustrator at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Thursday, July 27, at 5:30pm, in conjunction with the new exhibition, James Warhola: Uncle Andy and Other Stories.
Warhola, who now lives in the Hudson Valley, was influenced as a child by his artistic family — especially his famous uncle, Andy Warhol. Warhola will share stories of his family visits with the legendary artist and his mother and discuss his own journey as an illustrator of picture books, science fiction subjects, and popular periodicals, including Mad magazine.
(POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.) – Dweezil Zappa pays tribute to his father in “Dweezil Zappa: 50 Years of Frank,” at the Bardavon on Friday, July 28, at 8pm. The concert celebrates the half-century anniversary of “Freak Out!,” the debut album from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
The concert surveys Frank Zappa’s music from the opening flush of doo-wop and dada from “Freak Out!” to the 1971 cinematic lark, “200 Motels” through mid-Seventies fan favorites from “Over-Nite Sensation” and a heavy chunk of the 1980s rock opera, “Joe’s Garage.”
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Paintings by Mark Beard and Corinne Robbins and works on paper by Claire Lofrese, Anne Francey, Sue Bryan, David Seiler, and the duo Kahn & Selesnick, are on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery from Wednesday, June 21, through Sunday, August 6.