FARMER-ARTIST’S LANDSCAPES at HARRISON GALLERY
On Friday, May 6, Four Seasons, an exhibition of expressionist landscapes by Ashfield, Mass., artist Jamie Young, goes on display at Harrison Gallery in Williamstown, Mass. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Friday, May 13, at 5. The exhibition, which runs through the end of May, features four large works painted in the different color palettes from each season, along with smaller studies by the farmer-artist.
As a full time farmer in Ashfield, Mass., where she raises horses and brings in the hay, Young has an intimate relationship with nature. The subjects she paints are all around her, and she delights in watching them change with the seasons. To celebrate these changes, Young has created four new paintings –one for each season – to be the centerpiece of this show at the Harrison Gallery. Young painted spring as an up-close look at apple blossoms; summer as a grove of trees with its green and yellow leaves reflected in a pond; fall as a back-lot maple turning colors; and winter as deep snow and pine trees lit from behind by a cold light.
Beside these four major paintings, the show will feature other works by Young that demonstrate her ability to focus on the inner meaning of her work – to give a spiritual intimacy to her poetic landscapes. Dedicated to the en plein air tradition, Young paints on site and uses location sketches – sometimes traveling to other countries to create these quick but powerful images. Once she finds her subject, she works quickly and without hesitation, trusting her inner sense to guide her.
Young began sketching at age four and sold her first painting by age sixteen. She pursued her art ambitions at the University of Massachusetts and has taught her craft at the Guild Art Center in Northhampton, The Studio School in Springfield, the Hill Institute in Florence and the Conway School of Landscape Design in Conway – all in Massachusetts.
The Harrison Gallery is located at 39 Spring Street in Williamstown, Mass. Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 to 5:30, Sunday 11 to 4.
For further information please contact The Harrison Gallery at (413) 458 1700 or visit Harrison Gallery on the web.
REICH, GOLIJOV, SCHUBERT FEATURED in CEWM CONCERT at MAHAIWE
Pulitzer Prize-winner Steve Reich has been called “our greatest living composer” and “most original thinker of our time” by the New Yorker. He shares with MacArthur “Genius” award-winning Osvaldo Golijov the ability to transcend regional and cultural boundaries, incorporating influences from around the world as well as from past, present and future. Reich’s Holocaust-themed Different Trains and Golijov’s Tenebrae are among their most famous, compositionally adventurous and critically acclaimed works. Schubert’s Death and the Maiden is undoubtedly one of the iconic chamber works—beyond fame—and has inspired other works, including films by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen.
This installment of the Close Encounters With Music program juxtaposes 19th and 20th century master works to striking effect: During World War II, Reich made train journeys between New York and Los Angeles to visit his estranged parents. He later pondered the fact that, as a Jew, had he been in Europe instead of the United States, he might have been traveling in cars bound for concentration camps. Different Trains interweaves prerecorded sounds by the string quartet, as well as human speech—a Pullman porter, and Reich’s governess talking about train travel in the forties, and Jewish survivors describing their harrowing journeys.
“The Avalon Quartet is performing one of the most affecting and effective programs we have presented,” says artistic director Yehuda Hanani. “The four movements of Death and the Maiden, with their dramatic shifts, drive and lyricism, have each been regarded as representing a different episode in the mythic process of death and resurrection. That’s one interpretation of this monumental work. So between Reich, Osvaldo Golijov, who never fails to find pathways to our soul through his music with haunting sonorities at once ancient and modern—and the timeless Schubert—it’s an emotion-packed evening. This is spirit-awakening, electrifying music.”
Hailed as “one of the most exciting young string quartets in America” (Washington Post), the Avalon has established itself as a leading chamber ensemble. Formed in 1995 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Quartet came to the fore after participating in Isaac Stern’s Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall in 1997, subsequently appearing in the Stern Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem and making a Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall in 2000.
Following residencies at the Juilliard School and at Indiana University South Bend, the quartet is now in residence at Northern Illinois University, a position formerly occupied by the venerated Vermeer Quartet. They have performed in many major halls, including Alice Tully, the 92nd Street Y, and Carnegie Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; Wigmore in London and Herculessaal in Munich as well as in the Caramoor, La Jolla, Ravinia, and Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart festivals.
BLIND BOYS TOP WEEKEND at CLUB HELSINKI
Four nights of innovative music at Club Helsinki Hudson kicks off on Thursday with a Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring a handful of regional performers, including Breakfast in Fur and Les Bicyclettes Blanches, followed on Friday, May 6, with celebrity impersonator and performance artist Thirsty Burlington. On Saturday, Helsinki takes on the flavor of the Buena Vista Social Club with Cuban legend Yunior Terry, while on Sunday at 3 the club takes it to church with a brunch performance by gospel greats the Blind Boys of Alabama.
On Thursday night, the performers, from innovative new bands Breakfast in Fur, Les Bicyclettes Blanches, A<G<E<, Suddenland, and Amanda Jo Williams take the evening on a charming musical joyride. Les Bicyclettes Blanches, from Woodstock, N.Y. and Paris, sound something like a lo-fi French version of the Velvet Underground if the Velvets were French. Call it trip-hop, or French Pop, but this duo emits psychedelic sounds worthy of the dance hall and a must see for new music enthusiasts.
Amanda Jo Williams plays a unique brand of folk, country, and rock with as little accompaniment as a kick drum and a child's guitar, but her twang-heavy country sound is captivating. Amanda plays unusual outlaw music that is equal parts Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Hank Jr. and Hee Haw thrown together with skillful backwoods sounding balladeering.
Friday night’s appearance by celebrity impersonator and performance artist Thirsty Burlington and friends is a benefit for the making of Thirsty, the film. Scott Townsend aka Thirsty Burlington is regarded as one of the finest celebrity impersonators of the day. From his signature Cher to Judy Garland and Michael Jackson, Scott takes the audience on a fantastical ride of music and comedy, morphing from legendary drag character Thirsty Burlington into iconic celebrities. Early on, Townsend discovered an instinctive ability to impersonate Cher, and in a career that now spans 20 years, has played to packed houses country-wide.
Filmmakers Margo Pelletier and Lisa Thomas and Thin Edge Films are making a feature based on the life of Townsend. They refer to the film as a Post Queer Musical: post queer, because one of the central themes will be to celebrate a fluidity of gender that reaches beyond the fixed, present-day gender categories; musical, because they will employ musical and dance as well as Thirsty's performances of Judy Garland, Edie Beale, Michael Jackson, Cher and more to move the story line forward and to enliven the more educational themes of resilience, self-invention and gender.
Also performing for the event will be special guests: Hudson’s own soulful performance artist/rock star Musty Chiffon, and new kid on the block Stephen Bluhm with his edgy, 1920s elegance.
On Saturday at 9, Yunior Terry y Son de Altura returns to the Club Helsinki stage. The group performs an accomplished blend of traditional Cuban music (Rumba, Son, Cha-cha-cha and Boleros) with Latin Jazz and Timba (modern day popular Cuban music). Created to innovate as well as preserve the legacy of Cuban music, Son de Altura consists of three generations of prestigious Cuban musicians, featuring vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, and a three-man horn section.
Helsinki celebrates its one-year anniversary in Hudson with a gospel brunch on Sunday at 3 featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama, recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Winners of 5 Grammy Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, and inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 60 years and shows no signs of diminishing. Longevity and major awards aside, the Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Ben Harper, Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits. The band’s hugely successful touring live shows appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to virtually every continent.
LARRY CHERNICOFF ENSEMBLE at BARRINGTON STAGE
Jazz will meet classical when Larry Chernicoff brings his Miniature Orchestra to Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., on Saturday, May 7 at 8. The ensemble has a classical chamber sound - oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, harp, and strings - along with saxophones, piano, vibraphone, and percussion. The music combines the spontaneity of jazz improvisation with detailed and complex arrangements. You might call it jazz/classical fusion.
The program will include a new composition which weaves together some of the oldest notated music ever discovered by archaeologists, in Greece, Egypt, and the ancient kingdom of Sumeria, including notation that was found inscribed on stone tablets.
The Miniature Orchestra combines the warm sounds of orchestral instruments, the dynamic energy of jazz improvisation, and passages of meditative calm. The group plays without mikes, amps, or electric instruments.
The Miniature Orchestra is Larry Chernicoff on vibraphone and piano; Rogerio Boccato on percussion; Lydia Chernicoff on violin; John Lindberg on bass; Tim Moran on woodwinds; Charles Pillow on woodwinds; and Tomas Ulrich on cello. The band members are all composers, arrangers, and performers who have collaborated with celebrated artists from the worlds of classical, pop, rock, jazz, and world music, including Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, Paul Simon, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michael Jackson, Joe Zawinul, the Empire Brass Quintet, Jay Z, Dave Holland, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah, John Scofield, Gladys Knight, Winona Judd, Nellie McKay, Tony Levin, Milton Nascimento, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Chieli Minucci, Allen Ginsberg, the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, David Sanborn, Blood, Sweat and Tears, the New Orleans Symphony, and many others.
Barrington Stage Company is located at 30 Union Street in Pittsfield, just off North Street. Tickets are available by calling the Barrington Stage Company box office at , or online.
DOCUMENTARY on ARAB TERRORISM
The Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, Mass., takes part in a national program, partnering with NCM Fathom and The Movie Machine to present an Evening of Reflection and Song featuring the debut of the documentary Their Eyes Were Dry, the story of the 1974 terrorist attack in Ma’alot, Israel, where children were taken hostage by three Palestinian terrorists, on Monday, May 9, at 7.
The Ma'alot Massacre marked a new form of political terror. It was the introduction of terrorism against children. Israel does not negotiate with terrorists, but for the first time ever, the Israeli Cabinet made a collective decision that Israel would meet the terrorist demands, forgoing its "no negotiation" policy. At the time, Golda Meir (the fourth prime minister of the state of Israel) explained, “One does not conduct war on the backs of children.”
There are some who have heard of the Ma'alot Massacre and its outcome, but a far greater number of people are unaware of this event. The telling of this story honors this significant event in Israeli history and ultimately celebrates the lives of these heroic children. The event will be held one night only.
This special event also features compelling and moving musical performances by the all-star Cantor Assembly originally featured in the 2010 NCM Fathom Event 100 Voices: A Journey Home. Featured cantors include Alberto Mizrahi, Jacob Mendelson, David Propis, Nathan Lam, Faith Steinsnyder, and Rebecca Carmi, singing songs that celebrate Israeli Independence Day and commemorate the children of the 1974 incident.
Tickets are $12.50 and are available at The Beacon box office or on line at Beacon Cinema.
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