Berkshire and Hudson Valley Regional Cultural Preview, Feb 11-13

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include lots of jazz, symphonic music, punk-rock, Celtic fusion  … plus a whole lot more.


The Baylor Project (photo Deneka Peniston)


The Hudson Jazz Festival kicks off the first of a two-weekend run celebrating the artistry of Black jazz musicians and their innovations as part of the festival’s “Lift Every Voice” theme. Based at Hudson Hall, the festival includes concerts, an art exhibition, and film screenings. The concert portion kicks off tonight at 7 with the four-time Grammy Award-nominated Baylor Project, featuring the married duo of Jean and Marcus Baylor. Their music springs from gospel, blues, and soul – culminating in a richly integrated take on contemporary jazz. Then on Saturday at 7, Alexis Morrast takes the stage with her trio. Morrast boasts a deep, rich voice that puts me in mind of Abbey Lincoln and Aretha Franklin. (February 11-12)



Ted Rosenthal


Jazz fans have a lot to choose from this weekend. Also tonight, at Gateways Inn, in Lenox,  Mass., from 6 to 9pm, pianist Armen Donelian and trumpeter Chris Pasin bring their diverse compositional and improvisational stylings to the stage. Armen Donelian has appeared since 1975 as a featured solo pianist, leader of his own quintet and trio, and with jazz legends including Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, Mongo Santamaria and Billy Harper. Chris Pasin spent two years playing with the Buddy Rich band in the early 1980s, touring with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and many others. He’s performed at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, the Royal Albert Hall, the Village Vanguard, Ronnie Scott’s, and the Blue Note. Then on Saturday at Gateways, world-renowned pianist Ted Rosenthal, winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, will be joined by bassist Fumi Tomita (February 11-12)


Sherri James Buxton


Vocalist Sherri James Buxton will be accompanied by pianist Bob Shepherd on Sunday at 3:30pm at Ventfort Hall in Lenox, Mass., where they will perform “Love Me or Leave Me,” featuring a variety of pop standards, Broadway tunes and cabaret favorites. (February 13)






Sage City Symphony


Sage City Symphony presents its annual free Winter Concert on Sunday at 4pm in Greenwall Auditorium at Bennington College. The orchestra will perform works by Schubert, George Walker, and Concerto for Bassoon and Strings by Craig Phillips, featuring soloist Gerald Lanoue on bassoon. (February 13)



Dmitry Wild


Hudson-based Dmitry Wild and his band the Spells will bring their “vaudevillian psych rock” to the Avalon Lounge in Catskill, N.Y., tonight at 8pm. Wild and the Spells blend multiple musical styles, including vintage rock, Eastern European, rockabilly, and what they call “Gothy Western” influences. Opening the evening will be Toxic Tito, a no-frills New York City punk band that plays a mixture of originals and classics by the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and more.  (February 11)



Gaelic Storm (courtesy artist)



Celtic fusion band Gaelic Storm brings its blend of progressive Irish music with country and bluegrass sounds to the Eggin Albany tonight at 8pm (February 11)






James O’Shea, Untitled 2021, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches (courtesy Carrie Haddad Gallery)



The 2econd Saturday Hudson Gallery Crawl takes place on Saturday from 5pm to 8pm. For the free event, openings and artists’ receptions will take place in over a dozen galleries around Hudson. (February 12)





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