The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, folk, country, jazz, comedy … plus a whole lot more.
Singer-songwriter Tracy Grammer brings her original, contemporary folk to Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, N.Y., as part of the center’s Roots & Shoots Concerts Series, on Saturday, at 8pm. Grammer is renowned for her pure voice, deft guitar and violin work, and incantatory storytelling. She has recorded and performed with Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, headlined several of the nation’s top folk festivals, including Philadelphia Folk Festival and Falcon Ridge, and enjoyed 12 consecutive years as one of folk radio’s 50 top-played artists, both solo and with her late partner, Dave Carter.
At HiLo in North Adams, Mass., Bella’s Bartok performs its gypsy circus punk tonight at 8, Chelsey Carter brings her traditional country music on Saturday night at 8, and Northern Berkshires’ own premiere singer-songwriter, Bernice Lewis, closes out the weekend with her perfectly-pitched original folk-pop on Sunday at 8pm.
Pianist Max Levinson, violinist Peter Zazofsky and cellist Yehuda Hanani team up to perform ‘Grand Piano Trios’ by Schubert and Brahms in the Close Encounters With Music series at St. James Place in Great Barrington, Mass., on Sat, at 6. Schubert’s Trio in B flat Major and Brahms’ in B Major were both written or rewritten towards the end of the composers’ lives. Both display masterful sculpting of heavenly melodies coupled with passion and heady romanticism.
Authors Lydia Davis and Bernadette Mayer join forces to read from their works at Time & Space Limited in Hudson, N.Y., on tonight at 7pm. Davis is best-known for her radically short fiction and her translations of French literary classics. Mayer is primarily a poet best-known for her association with both the Language poets and the New York School. New Directions publisher Barbara Epler will be on hand to introduce the writers.
Comedian and political satirist Lewis Black brings his “It Gets Better Every Day Tour” to UPAC in Kingston, N.Y., on Saturday, at 8pm. Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black returns to UPAC with his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing, skewering anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.
Don Byron and his quartet bring their blend of original compositions, standards, and his interpretations of Hank Williams and the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for violin to the Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y., on Sunday, at 8pm. Joining the clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and arranger are Aruán Ortiz, piano; bassist Brad Jones, and drummer Bruce Cox.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com