Weekend Preview April 22-24



On Saturday, April 23, in MASS MoCAs Club B-10, The Shanghai Restoration Project presents an east meets west musical performance and multimedia tour of a dynamic city. The sounds span different cultures and eras as traditional Chinese instruments combine with hip-hop and electronica while the visual backdrop comprises footage by artists whose work has been showcased at the Sundance Film Festival and documented in the pages of National Geographic. Producer David Liang describes the sensory experience: “Mirroring Shanghai’s cosmopolitan nature, we blend jazz, hip-hop, electronica, classical and Chinese folk elements, incorporating actual street sounds and voices.”
Inspired by the Shanghai jazz bands of the early 20th century that modernized Chinese cultural traditions, The Shanghai Restoration Project keeps this idea alive, coupling the traditions with contemporary electronic instruments. From the mind of songwriter, keyboard virtuoso, and producer Liang, unique releases inspired by Shanghai and other Chinese themes make up the selection of music to be performed. Two of these, The Shanghai Restoration Project and Story of a City, tell how turn-of-the-century Shanghai incorporated early Chinese influences. Other pieces in the show exude more specific themes, such as the cinematic Zodiac, which playfully surveys the Chinese Zodiac, and Afterquake, a dedication to families affected by the Sichuan earthquakes, remixing voices and sounds from the earthquake zone.
In an interview with Smart Shanghai, Liang says that the sounds of Chinese music have never been packaged properly. Trained in western harmonic techniques through both jazz and classical music, Liang takes a different approach to the sounds of Shanghai. Pop Matters praises these multinational influences: "Liang's intervention into music offers eclectic mash-ups that force us to re-think how music and an Asian American are supposed to sound."
The performance on April 23 starts at 8 as part of MASS MoCA's Alt Cabaret, a series presented in the intimate Club B-10 that spotlights rising stars in music, theater, comedy and other disciplines. Drinks from the MASS MoCA bar as well as dinner and snacks from Lickety Split, are available before and during all shows. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays.)


Richard Strauss’s final opera, Capriccio, will be screened at The Clark in Williamstown, Mass., the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, and the Beacon in Pittsfield, Saturday, April 23 at 1, live from the Metropolitan Opera as part of the Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning series The Met: Live in HD. Celebrated opera star Renée Fleming dazzled the audience when she sang the final scene of Capriccio on the opening night of the 2008 season. Now she sings the complete opera in John Cox’s witty production with Andrew Davis conducting.
Cox relocates the opera from the 1770s to 1920s Paris where artists, friends, and admirers have gathered to celebrate the birthday of the young, widowed countess Madeleine. The composer Flamand and the poet Olivier are both in love with the countess and argue about what will impress her more — Flamand’s music or Olivier’s poetry. The theater director La Roche declares that neither poetry nor music is the greatest of the arts and challenges Flamand and Olivier to write an opera together using the events of this very day as its subject and the people present as its characters. The ending will be decided by the countess, who must choose music or words, Flamand or Olivier.
The Clark
Williamstown, Mass.

The Mahaiwe
Castle St.
Great Barrington, Mass.

Beacon Cinema
North Street
Pittsfield, Mass.


Magical singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Erin McKeown performs with her trio at Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, April 24, at 8. A still-young veteran of the East Coast folk-rock scene, McKeown mixes folk, gospel, and Hank Williams-style country with a twist of Django Reinhardt and G. Love into her own special sauce. Earlier in the weekend, The Big Takeover kicks off the weekend at Helsinki with its mix of Jamaican ska, reggae and rock steady on Friday night, while the Alexis P. Suter Band brings its unique blend of blues and roots music to the stage at Helsinki on Saturday at 9.
At the age of 33, Erin McKeown has already had the career most people dream of, and she only continues to mature as a writer, multi- instrumentalist, and performer with no sign of stopping any time soon. Her first album, Distillation, arrived a decade ago to high praise and signaled the debut of singular talent. It has been followed by seven full-length albums, three EPs, an upcoming concert film, and a groundbreaking Internet concert series. From elegant pop to balls-out rock, sweet electronics to witty swing, McKeown has packed a ton of music into a substantial career.
McKeown latest studio album is Hundreds of Lions, produced by Sam Kassirer and out now on Righteous Babe Records. Live At Lincoln Hall, a concert film recorded to celebrate McKeown‘s first decade in music, will be released in late spring 2011. McKeown is currently working on a book of poems, looking for ways to incorporate her love of sports into her career, and writing her next studio project - due in early 2012.
The Big Takeover’s 2007 debut album, Following Too Close, was a local hit and further solidified their upward trajectory, playing at the old Club Helsinki and in the early days of the new Hudson club. The sextet then opened for Bob Marley's former backup band, the Wailers, at the Chance in Poughkeepsie and Jefferson Starship at The Egg in Albany. The band’s sets include the perfect fusion of familiar reggae favorites, by rely mostly on their own hypnotic, danceable rhythms. Helmed by the rich alto voice of lead singer Neenee Rushie, a native of Jamaica, the 6-piece powerhouse consists of bassist Rob Kissner, drummer Sam Tritto, guitarist Jon Klenk, trombonist Andy Vogt, and saxophonist Chas Montrose.  

Bass/baritone powerhouse Alexis P. Suter and her band began wowing audiences in the northeast six years ago as regular performers at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Sessions in Woodstock, N.Y. Along with Helm’s band, the Alexis P. Suter Band has played sold-outs shows at the Beacon Theater in New York City, Bethel Woods Center For The Arts and Central Park Summerstage.

Born in Brooklyn, Suter came from a musical family. Her mother was a music teacher and singer who worked with Harry Belafonte and Mahalia Jackson. Suter’s latest album, Two Sides, has a lot of different styles - blues, soul and other roots music, featuring mostly original songs and a few covers, including a version of Bob Dylan's “Knockin' on Heaven’s Door.”

In addition to her voice, Suter’s secret weapon is her top-notch band. At every show, audiences show their whistling, cheering appreciation for drummer Ray Grappone's funky beats and guitarist Jimmy Bennett and keyboard man Benny Harrison's high-flying solos. The rest of the group -- Peter Bennett on bass, and gorgeous singers Vicki Bell and Linda Pino  -- have also added to the firepower of this exciting band that has captured the attention of some of the best players around. Along with other hot New York blues players, Suter is featured on the cover of the February/March issue of Big City Rhythm and Blues magazine.

Club Helsinki Hudson
405 Columbia St.
Hudson, N.Y.


Trio Appassionata, a group of young classical musicians hailing from the Peabody Conservatory of Baltimore, perform at 3  on Sunday, April 24, at the Kellogg Music Center at Simon’s Rock College. The trio, formed in December 2007 at the Peabody Conservatory, includes Great Barrington native Lydia Chernicoff on violin, pianist Ronaldo Rolim from Brazil, and cellist Andrea Casarrubios from Spain. The three will perform the spare and hauntingly beautiful “Tibetan Tunes” by Chen Yi, composed in 2007 and based on Chinese and Tibetan folk tunes, the playful Beethoven Trio in E flat, Opus 1, No. 1, and Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A minor.

There will be a pre-concert talk with the trio and Simon’s Rock faculty members Larry Wallach and John Meyers, at 1:45.

In March of this year, the trio performed at Carnegie Hall and at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. In April they will perform in Pasadena California in the final round of the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, and they will be Artists in Residence at the renowned Chamber Music Sedona festival in January 2012.
Admission to the concert is free.

for more information


Honor The Housatonic, a concert and poetry slam to promote awareness of and to raise funds for the cleanup on the Housatonic River, takes place on Saturday, April 23, from 6 to 11 at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Mass. Adult ticket prices will be $25 per person. Children 12 and under will be $10 per person.
"The vital Housatonic River is one of the most valuable rivers in the entire country. When we really look at the rich history and heritage of this great Housatonic River region, we realize how integral it has been and continues to be - from before the birth of our nation and for the well being for all the people, businesses and wildlife that reside in Massachusetts and Connecticut," says Leslie Gabriel, host of "And So It Flows" on WBCR-LP 97.7 FM.
"Most of the proceeds will benefit local and regional Housatonic River environmental organizations," Gabriel says.
Those performing include poet Roz Reis, Jessie Mayer, , Green River Band, Heather Fisch, Joanne Spies, and .
All the regional environmental supporting organizations will be setting up tables to share with community about the work they are doing to preserve and protect the Housatonic River region.

The Guthrie Center 413. 528.1955













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