The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, folk, plywood paintings, sculpture … plus a whole lot more.
Hudson Valley singer-songwriter Ciarra Fragale brings her self-styled “glitzy indie pop” to Courtyard D at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, Oct 3, with two shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. By melding indie-folk instrumentals with a blues-tinged croon and a new-wave sensibility, Fragale creates a sound all her own.
Berkshire-based singer-songwriter Bernice Lewis brings her original blend of confessional folk, odes to nature, topical numbers and novelty tunes to the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre porch in Stockbridge on Saturday at 2 p.m.
On Saturday from 3-5 p.m., Gedney Farm in New Marlborough, Mass., will host an Opening Reception to showcase a collaborative exhibition of two contemporary artists –sculptor Peter Barrett, a Great Barrington native, and Susan Clinard, sculptor in residence for the Eli Whitney Museum in New Haven, Conn. Barrett is an artisan craftsman who combines his passion for working with steel and found objects with his skill as a welder and blacksmith to create works that are at times monumental and at other times intimate. Clinard creates a broad array of works in multiple media that address important social issues of our day. The “Bridge Over Troubled Times” exhibit will run through October 31.
Jewel the Wound, a group show featuring works on plywood by 30 Hudson artists, opens with a reception at Hudson Milliner Art Salon on Saturday at 5-8 p.m. The exhibit will also be on view online at Hudson Art Fair, which is co-presenting the exhibition and the associated fundraiser in support of social justice. The exhibition will feature work by world-class, emerging, and underrepresented artists, including Tschabalala Self, Michele Quan, Myron Polenberg, Baju Wijono, Ife Cobbins, Charlotta Janssen, Louise Smith, Shannon Greer, David McIntyre, and Reggie Madison, among others. The exhibition is inspired by Myron Polenberg’s observation that “Plywood is the canvas of the movement.”
Hudson Valley soul-pop singer Christine Spero applies her rich, jazzy vocals to the estimable songbook of Burt Bacharach in “Back to Bacharach and Beyond” at Roeliff Jansen Park in Hillsdale, N.Y., on Sunday at 3 p.m. With musical accompaniment by Elliot Spero, Christine will take the audience on a journey through Burt Bacharach’s greatest songs, with some surprises along the way. In case you’re not familiar with Bacharach’s work, his catalog of sophisticated rock-era pop hits includes "The Look of Love,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “Close to You" by the Carpenters, and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head.”
Long-running Hudson Valley indie-folk group The Mammals, straight off the success of their brilliant new album, “Nonet,” perform outdoors at the Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y., tonight at 7. On Sunday, jazz visionary Don Byron brings his quartet to the Falcon at 7 p.m.
I also want to give a shout-out to a new book by Hudson Valley author Annik LaFarge. “Chasing Chopin” is at once a biographical sketch, a music appreciation lesson, a crash-course in early 19th-century European history, a travelogue, a detective story, and an intellectual memoir, all in search of the ineffable creative origins of Chopin’s most famous work, the so-called Funeral March. At the outset of her wonderful book, LaFarge states her mission thusly: "This book arose from a humble desire to restore the full narrative of Chopin's funeral march and in the process tell a larger story about music: How it comes into the world, and how it pulls us, generation after generation, along with it." By that or any measure, she has more than succeeded.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com
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