World-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli, who has established himself as a prime interpreter of the so-called Great American Songbook, will expand his musical palette when he performs at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday at 8pm, playing new standards, with a repertoire that includes Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and The Beatles. (December 18)
Speaking of jazz standards, Russian-born jazz vocalist Svetlana brings her traditional approach, which has taken her recordings to the top of the jazz charts, to The Foundry in West Stockbridge, Mass., on Saturday at 7:30. (December 18)
Elizabeth Ziman, who performs under the band name Elizabeth and the Catapult, is a dazzling performer who writes disarmingly catchy and sophisticated pop tunes that in another era would be instant Top 10 hits. Elizabeth has it all going on: the gift of a natural ease onstage, an easy rapport with an audience, and a range from solo piano ballads through R&B-infused, guitar-based hard-rocking full-band dance numbers. Elizabeth returns to her favorite Berkshire haunt, the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass., tonight at 7:30pm. (Friday, December 17)
The Aston Magna Chamber Players present a live holiday concert, “Handel & Bach: Music for a Winter Solstice,” featuring works by George Frideric Handel and J.S. Bach, at Hudson Hall next Tuesday, December 21, at 7pm, and at St. James Place in Great Barrington on Wednesday, December 22, at 7pm.
French circus-dance troupe Compagnie Libertivore – profiled in the New York Times earlier this week — makes its American debut at PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., next Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm in a program written and choreographed by company founder Fanny Soriano, known for her trademark merging of dance and acrobatics called Nouveau cirque, which blends concept and choreography into a poetic exploration of the natural world in a hypnotic, dance-like flow. (December 21-22)
The Juno award-winning string quartet The Fretless brings its sophisticated take on traditional folk music to the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vt,. on Saturday at 2pm. Within what appears to be a simple and classical construct — two fiddles, a viola, and a cello — The Fretless has created a sound that is distinctly rich, multi-layered, and uniquely percussive, deconstructing and transforming the usual rhythmic, harmonic and structured arrangements of fiddle styles around the world. (December 18)
The Hudson Valley Philharmonic presents its annual performance of Handel’s Messiah on Saturday at 2pm at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie. Christine Howlett will be on the podium to conduct the orchestra and guest vocalists from Cappella Festiva, for a total of 100 instrumentalists and singers on the Bardavon stage. (December 18)