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Rogovoy Report 9/18/20

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include R&B, gospel, roots-music, outdoor dance, art, and a whole lot more.

June Millington made history in the 1960s as the cofounder and guitarist of Fanny, one of the first all-women rock bands to be signed to a major label and dubbed as “extraordinary” and “one of the [finest] rock bands of their time” by David Bowie. Critics saluted Fanny’s “glam hippie vibe” and compared the group to the Band and Little Feat. In the 1970s her shift in focus resulted in her being labeled the “godmother” of “women’s music.” Now Millington returns to the stage, performing two back-to-back concerts in Courtyard D at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm

NYC R&B vocalist Emily Braden performs at the Foundry in West Stockbridge, Mass., tonight at 7pm. Winner of New York City’s ‘Best of the Best’ Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Braden blends heavy grooves and carefully-crafted lyrics with soaring vocals and off-the-cuff bilingual improvisations. Braden is especially heralded for her boisterous live performances.

Choreographer Catherine Galasso brings her latest work, “Field Notes: Outdoor Dances for This 21st Century,” a site-specific work for four dancers, to the apple orchards at PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., late this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon. Field Notes is uniquely conceived for socially distanced audiences, with spectators seated in pairs and oriented toward the performers. The fourth chapter of the choreographer’s series Of Iron and Diamonds, inspired by Boccaccio’s Decameron, this new piece is in direct response to this current moment, conjuring a space of wistfulness, melancholy, and delight, acknowledging the weight of this unprecedented epoch, yet without directly commenting on it.

Singers Danielia Cotton and Samirah Evans bring their blend of jazz, soul, gospel, New Orleans music and rock to the Stockbridge campus of Berkshire Theatre Group for back-to-back concerts under the tent outside the Unicorn Theatre on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm,  respectively. Danielia Cotton is a New York City-based singer-songwriter whose style is rooted in gospel with an emphasis on jazz, soul, and rock. In 2010, Cotton was named Lilith Fair’s Ourstage Local Talent Winner for New York City. Since then she has shared the stage with the likes of Robert Cray, Bon Jovi, and Gregg Allman. Samirah Evans is known for her dynamic, soulful approach to jazz and blues, among other genres. Her style is heavily influenced by the New Orleans sound, where she was one of the city’s most in-demand singers.

Husband and wife roots-music duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason – perhaps better known as just Jay and Molly – bring their wide range of American musical styles—19th-century classics, lively Appalachian, Cajun, and Celtic fiddle tunes, and favorites from the golden age of country and swing—along with their own songs, fiddle tunes, and orchestral compositions, to Dewey Hall in Sheffield, Mass., on Sunday at 2 and 4pm as part of the Dewey Sessions Outdoors series. The duo is perhaps best known for Jay’s composition, Ashokan Farewell, which became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns’ The Civil War documentary series on PBS. The soundtrack won a Grammy, and “Ashokan Farewell” was nominated for an Emmy. The piece was originally inspired by Jay & Molly’s Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps in the Catskills.

A Show of Hands, a group exhibition featuring work by 25 artists united around the themes of isolation and connectedness expressed through images of human hands, goes on view at September Gallery on Warren Street in Hudson, N.Y., today, and runs through November 1.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.