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Rogovoy Report for June 5, 2015

The cultural highlights in the greater region this weekend include an electro-folk supergroup, a performance by Miss Americana, a sculptural tribute to jazz visionary Sun Ra, a concert by AfroBeat royalty, and an exhibition by perhaps the world’s most famous and certainly most beloved cartoonist and graphic memoirist.

“Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs,” a new exhibition surveying the work of New Yorker cartoonist and award-winning graphic memoirist Roz Chast, goes on view at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge beginning Saturday and remaining on view through October 26. The exhibition includes samples of Chast’s timelessly funny cartoons for the New Yorker and her lively children’s picture books, as well as other ephemera. A special ticketed summer gala and exhibition opening will take place on Saturday from 6 to 11pm, with the artist in attendance.

Singer-songwriter Natalia Zukerman is a scion of an American musical dynasty – her parents are classical musicians Pinchas Zukerman and Eugenia Zukerman, and her sister is an opera singer. The multitalented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is a virtuoso on just about anything with strings, especially slide guitar, lap steel guitar, and dobro. Zukerman combines the pop songcraft of Shawn Colvin, the rootsy, organic yearning of Lucinda Williams, and the fierce, funky determination of Ani DiFranco, and she gives these elements a unique twist with her unmistakably personal and intimate voice. She brings her folk, jazz, country and blues-inflected songs to the Dré Wapenaar Pavilion at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm.

The Platte Clove Nature Theater is a supergroup of Hudson Valley electro-folk talent. The ensemble brings its unique and theatrical blend of electronic and organic sounds, complex compositions, looped and layered vocals, video projections, aerial movement and more to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday at 8pm. A musical collaboration among three visionary performers -- Ryder Cooley, Luis Mojica and Fredo Viola – the ensemble offers a veritable musical odyssey, and will be joined by special guest musicians including Melora Creager of Rasputina.

“Heliocentric Omni Verse,” a sculptural installation paying tribute to Sun Ra, the late great jazz visionary and bandleader, by artist Reginald Madison, opens at CR10 Arts in Linlithgo, New York, on Saturday with a reception from 4 to 6pm. There will be Sun Ra music performed live by the Star Gazers, as well as screenings of “Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise,” the 1980 film by Robert Mugge, documenting performances by the Sun Ra Arkestra. The exhibit of Reggie Madison’s works remains on view through June 21.. 

And finally, four-time Grammy Award-nominee FemiKuti, son of the late FelaKuti, whose name is synonymous with “Afrobeat,” will carry on his father’s legacy, combining swirling African rhythms and gritty textures with horn-drenched funk in songs laced with social and political messages performed by his band, Positive Force, at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkshire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com