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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 6/11/21

The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include folk-rock, a cappella jazz, urban folk, classical music, Old Time sounds  … plus a whole lot more.

West Side 5, the award-winning New York-based a cappella vocal jazz ensemble inspired by the likes of Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Real Group bring their innovative take on jazz standards to The Mount in Lenox, Mass., on Sunday with two hourlong sets at 5 and 7pm, in a program presented by Close Encounters with Music. The quintet applies its original arrangements, complex harmonies, and outstanding musicianship to familiar pre-rock pop classics including “Take the A-Train,” “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” “As Time Goes By,” and “Try to Remember.”

Capital Region singer-songwriter, storyteller and naturalist Sean Rowe brings his gritty baritone and his finely etched original songs to Hancock Shaker Village on Saturday night at 7 as part of the village’s Back Porch Music series. A throwback to 1970s-era soulful rock poets like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, Rowe boasts an impossibly deep and rich baritone, a gift for melody, and a knack for the perfectly hewn image to get across his haunting, brooding folk-rock anthems.

KJ Denhert is a Grenadian-American urban-folk/jazz artist who has won four Independent Music Award nominations and was named one of the best female vocalists of 2009 by Jazz.com. Denhert was a winner of the Kerrville New Folk Song contest in June 2006 for "Private Angel," and won the Mountain Stage New Song contest in August 2005 with "Little Mary." Denhert brings her soulful sound to the Colonial Theatre Parking Lot in Pittsfield, Mass., on Saturday for two shows at 5:30 and 8pm.

Aston Magna Music Festival and the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., co-present a free, streaming concert entitled “Early Duos for Fortepiano and Violin,” featuring works by Mozart, CPE Bach, Beethoven, and others, with Sylvia Berry on fortepiano and Daniel Stepner on violin. The free livestream begins on Sunday at 7pm and can be accessed at mahaiwe.org.

Fiddler Erika Ludwig and guitarist Jon Ahmadjian met at the OldTone Festival in 2019 and quickly discovered a shared joy of playing traditional music non-traditionally. Their appreciation of a wide variety of music styles and a curiosity to discover new ways of playing old tunes led them to create the Suite Ludwig ensemble, adding banjo and bass to the instrumental mix. Ludwig and Ahmadjian perform at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, MA. tonight at 7pm.

The Don Byron Quartet takes the stage at the Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y. on Sunday evening at 7pm. Byron plays everything from jazz to funk to classical to klezmer to swing to avant-garde to his own patented style he calls “bug music.” What ties it all together are Byron’s virtuosity on clarinet and saxophones and his restless, visionary approach to his material. On tap for Sunday’s concert are Byron’s interpretations of songs by Hank Williams and the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for violin performed by his jazz quartet.

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.