Berkshire and Hudson Valley Regional Cultural Preview, Jun 24-26, 2022

A highly selective preview of what looks best in the performing arts in our region this coming weekend…


Ulysses Quartet (photo L Desberg / courtesy UQ)

This weekend PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., kicks off its second annual House Blend concert series, presenting stimulating, often challenging programs by talented soloists and ensembles who find surprising new life in canonical works and illuminate contemporary music in refreshing ways. The series kicks off Friday at 8 with the Ulysses Quartet performing Arnold Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon (1942), written to protest the tyranny and terror of World War II, and Charles Wuorinen’s Horn Trio, as well as works by Bach and Paul Lansky. Then on Sunday at 5pm, House Blend II features works by Mauricio Kagel, Robert Helps, Javier Alvarez, and Franz Schubert. (June 24, June 26)



Aston Magna Music Festival kicks off its 49th season this weekend beginning Friday at Hudson Hall in Hudson, N.Y., and then again on Saturday at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington at 7pm, with a program, “The Devil’s in the Tales,” that pits good vs. evil, featuring a double bill of Scarlatti’s “Humanity and Lucifer” and Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale.”(June 24-25)


The West Stockbridge Chamber Players offer a benefit concert for Ukraine Relief and the Restoration Campaign for the Old Town Hall in West Stockbridge, Mass.. on Sunday at 2pm. The program features works that highlight Ukraine’s musical significance, including Arvo Pärt’s Psalm for String Quartet and the Ukrainian composer Evgeny Orkin’s Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet. (June 26)


pianist Chelsea Randall (courtesy The Foundry)

Pianist Chelsea Randall performs a recital spotlighting monumental, late piano masterpieces by trailblazing composer George Walker, in honor of the centennial anniversary of his birth, at The Foundry in West Stockbridge, Mass., on Saturday at 7:30pm. The program will also include works by Black composers including Dorothy Rudd Moore, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Regina Harris Baiocchi, and Chelsea Randall herself. (June 25)


The Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC returns this weekend, featuring two days of  everything from jazz to blues, funk, Latin and beyond, featuring artists including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and soul legend Booker T. Jonescelebrating the iconic Stax Record label, New Orleans Funk powerhouse band Galactic, the famed Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Indian bhangra soul band Red Baraat; Ozmosys featuring drummer Omar Hakim and keyboard wizard Rachel Z., among dozens of others. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday with music from late morning until well into the night (June 25-26)


Cliff Eberhardt (courtesy Caffe Lena)

Singer-songwriter Cliff Eberhardt – whom I once described as “The missing link between Paul McCartney and Cole Porter” — brings his intimate portraits in song, his gorgeous melodies, and his rapier wit to Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Saturday at 8pm. (Sat, June 25)


World-renowned sitar virtuoso Ustad Shafaat Khan brings the sounds of northern Indian classical music to Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, N.Y., on Sunday at 7:30pm. (Sun, June 26)


Friday at 8pm at the Spiegeltent at Bard SummerScape, that whitest of Broadway musicals, “The Sound of Music,” gets transformed into “The Sound of (Black) Music,” as the songs are reimagined through an Afrofuturistic lens drawing on various musical styles, including gospel, soul, R&B and funk. (Fri, June 24)


Nick Lowe (photo Seth Rogovoy)

And on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at Tanglewood, Latin-tinged country-rockers the Mavericks split a double-bill with English power-pop genius Nick Lowe, who will be backed by Los Straitjackets, giving his music an extra bit of oomph and deep soul-roots. (Sun, June 26)







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