Regional Cultural Preview, Feb 17-23, 2020

Tracy Grammer (photo Brian McCloskey)

Singer-songwriter Tracy Grammer brings her original, contemporary folk to Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, N.Y., as part of the center’s Roots & Shoots Concerts Series, on Saturday, February 22 at 8pm. Grammer is renowned for her pure voice, deft guitar and violin work, and incantatory storytelling. She has recorded and performed with Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, headlined several of the nation’s top folk festivals, including Philadelphia Folk Festival and Falcon Ridge, and enjoyed 12 consecutive years as one of folk radio’s 50 top-played artists, both solo and with her late partner, Dave Carter. Joan Baez has said: “Tracy Grammer is a brilliant artist and unique individual. Her voice is distinctive, as is her mastery over the instruments she plays.” Mary Chapin Carpenter has said of Grammer: “Her pure voice conveys the simple truths of these songs; her gifts as a musician are like that of a painter who is a master of chiaroscuro, offering light and shadow at every turn.”



Pianist Max Levinson, violinist Peter Zazofsky and cellist Yehuda Hanani team up to perform ‘Grand Piano Trios’ by Schubert and Brahms in the Close Encounters With Music series at St. James Place in Great Barrington, Mass., on Sat, Feb, 22 at 6. Schubert’s Trio in B flat Major and Brahms’ in B Major were both written or rewritten towards the end of the composers’ lives. Both display masterful sculpting of heavenly melodies coupled with passion and heady romanticism.



Bindlestiff cofounder Stephanie Monseu aka Philomena

Hudson’s own Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its wintertime tradition of hosting a monthly cabaret, featuring a variety of circus, theater, comedy and musical entertainers, to at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, February 22, at 9pm. Bindlestiff Cirkus will bring a new lineup, with acts including trapeze, contortion, acrobatic balance, sword swallowing, juggling, physical comedy, and oddball novelty turns. Live music is a defining feature of Bindlestiff’s cabaret shows, with witty, original tunes by a variety of NYC’s best composers and accompanists. Bindlestiff’s unique style reflects deep roots in NYC’s underground club scene, nods to political street theater, and a steady respect for the traditions of American popular entertainment and illegitimate theater. Bindlestiff’s Winter Cabaret is for grown-ups only. (A family-oriented matinee will be offered on Sunday, March 22, at 3pm.) In keeping with Bindlestiff’s clubby NYC roots, the audience is encouraged to dress for festival and be part of the show. Audience members attending in costume will receive a discounted admission.





Lydia Davis and Bernadette Mayer

Authors Lydia Davis and Bernadette Mayer join forces to read from their works at Time & Space Limited in Hudson, N.Y., on Friday, February 21, at 7pm. Davis is best-known for her radically short fiction and her translations of French literary classics. Mayer is primarily a poet best-known for her association with both the Language poets and the New York School. New Directions publisher Barbara Epler will be on hand to introduce the writers.



Dig Infinity!”, a solo show performed by Oliver Trager exploring the life and legacy of legendary outsider icon Lord Richard Buckley (1906-1960), takes place at Hudson Underground Gallery in Hudson, N.Y., on Saturday, February 22, at 7pm. Lord Buckley was a truly original American performer, cosmic storyteller, earthy philosopher, and gospel rapper, combining African-American argot, beatnik slang and the King’s English in reinvigorating the Bible, Shakespeare, the classics, myth, legend, and history in a jazzy patois and with a worldview that is the stuff of bohemian fable. Trager will be accompanied by guitarist Fred Jaeger.



Lewis Black

Comedian and political satirist Lewis Black brings his “It Gets Better Every Day Tour” to UPAC in Kingston, N.Y., on Saturday, February 22, at 8pm. The Grammy Award-winning, comedian says, “When I say, ‘It gets better every day,’ you might be wondering, ‘Is he being facetious?’ Come to the show and find out. Or stay home and wallow in your sadness.” Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black returns to UPAC with his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing, skewering anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.



Don Byron and his quartet bring their blend of original compositions, standards, and his interpretations of Hank Williams and the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for violin to the Falcon in  Marlboro, N.Y., on Sunday, February 23, at 8pm. Joining the clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and arranger are Aruán Ortiz, piano; bassist Brad Jones, and drummer Bruce Cox.








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