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Rogovoy Report 11/5/21

The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include a world premiere avant-garde opera, the world premiere of a Leonard Bernstein composition, comedy, rockabilly, roots … plus a whole lot more.

At MASS MoCA in North Adams this weekend, two musical visionaries reimagine an ancient tale, performed on a set designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter & four-time Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, and vocalist Esperanza Spalding have joined forces for a jazzy, operatic, postmodern retelling of the myth of Iphigenia. Performances are tonight and Saturday night at 8.

Rosanne Cash brings her unique blend of country, folk, and pop to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday at 8 p.m. Cash’s latest album, She Remembers Everything,

marks a return to more personal songwriting after a trio of albums that explored her southern roots and family heritage.

The world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Music for String Quartet” will be performed at the Linde Center at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., in a benefit for the Stockbridge Library. The concert will also include Bernstein’s rarely performed “Piano Trio” (for violin, cello and piano), an unpublished work for violin and viola composed by Bernstein’s musical colleague Aaron Copland called “Elegies” and piano works by Mozart and Schumann.

The first Berkshire Mountain Comedy Festival takes place on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lee High School. The festival is the brainchild of Berkshire native Kevin Bartini, who is an audience warm-up comic for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Bartini will be bringing along three other stand-up comics to provoke some much-needed stitches of laughter.

Roots-music visionary Rhiannon Giddens performs at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie tonight at 8. Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and she has been nominated for six additional Grammys for her work as a soloist and collaborator. She was most recently nominated for her collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, with whom she will share the stage tonight at the Bardavon.

Kingston-based early rockers Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones bring their blend of rockabilly, country, early rock and twang to the Stissing Center in Pine Plains, N.Y., on Saturday at 8 p.m.

The Avila Ensemble of Bard College Conservatory of Music plays a free concert at Saugerties United Methodist Church in Saugerties, N.Y., on Sunday at 3 p.m. as part of the Saugerties Pro Musica series. This string quartet of Venezuelan musicians will perform works by Piazzolla & Mazas, as well as their own arrangements of traditional Venezuelan dance music.

Our region lost two musical cornerstones in the past week or so. Tony Falco, the founder and musical impresario of The Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y., has passed away. In spite of market forces that worked against it, Tony Falco was able to maintain the Falcon and present a consistent lineup of the most creative and accomplished musicians in jazz, world music, folk, and rock. This weekend, Tony’s legacy will be celebrated at the Falcon on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. both days.

And speaking of legacies, over in the Berkshires, generations of fans, children, and former children are mourning the passing of singer-guitarist and entertainer David Grover, who died on Wednesday of injuries suffered in a car accident in Utica last Saturday. A mainstay of the Berkshire music scene for forty years, Grover was in the region’s top rock and roots bands in the 1970s, including Shenandoah, which often toured as Arlo Guthrie’s backup band. Then in the 1980s, Grover made the switch to performing for children and families, showing up at festivals, concert venues, gazebos and private parties throughout the region. Grover was beloved by his peers, his longtime fans, and the generations of parents and children he touched, both emotionally and musically. May he rest in peace.

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.