This week’s cultural highlights in our region include Irish music, Minimalism, funk, bluegrass, ballet, plus a whole lot more.
The weekend’s biggest event takes place at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm, when the Prime Minister of Funk himself, George Clinton, steers the Mothership into MASS MoCA for a special stop on his final tour with his phenomenal outfit P-Funk, formerly known as Parliament-Funkadelic. The unfortunate news for you is that unless you already bought tickets, the show is sold out. The good news, however, is that Clinton is appearing at MASS MoCA by special request of exhibiting artists Allison Janae Hamilton and Trenton Doyle Hancock. Clinton is an artistic touchstone for Hancock, whose work is built around a deeply detailed mythology inspired by superheroes, science fiction, Greek myths, moral relativism, and religion, a blend not unlike that of Clinton’s. Hamilton, whose evocative exhibition Pitch – inspired by the flora and fauna of Florida - is on view through March 17, named her work Atomic Dog for one of Clinton’s albums. So go see the Clinton-inspired artworks if you can’t get into the P-Funk concert.
It’s getting to that time of the year when Irish and Celtic music pop up everywhere, and this Saturday at 8pm, Celtic singer-songwriter Kevin McKrell performs with percussionist Brian Melick in the Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Concerts Series in Spencertown, N.Y. Saratoga, N.Y., native Kevin McKrell has performed at top Celtic, folk, and bluegrass festivals around the world, as well as at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, among other illustrious venues.
The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington has two Live in HD screenings this weekend: On Saturday at 2pm, London’s National Theatre performs David Hare’s new political drama, “I’m Not Running.” Then on Sunday at 1pm, viewers can watch the Bolshoi Ballet dance the classical ballet, “Sleeping Beauty.”
Tonight at 7pm, a trio of new-music minimalists perform in a triple bill at Hudson Hall. Cellist Julia Kent, violinist Christopher Tignor, and 12-string guitarist Alexander Turnquist are all exponents of an experimental scene rooted in classical minimalism. They variously make use of tape manipulations, live looping, and custom-built instruments to extend traditional practice into the here and now, which is the name of tonight’s program.
Where you’re done with Minimalism, you can head around the corner to Club Helsinki Hudson, where roots-music supergroup Barnes Gordy Walsh will perform its blend of instrumental virtuosity and innovation at 9pm. This new trio, featuring banjoist Danny Barnes, guitarist Grant Gordy, and mandolinist Joe K. Walsh, draws on a wide array of influences, its members collectively keeping their feet in the rock, bluegrass, jazz, and the avant-garde.
Author and critic Luc Sante headlines a free evening of readings at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, N.Y, on Saturday night at 7pm. Sante’s books include Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, and The Other Paris. Also on tap for the Volume Reading Series on Saturday night are two-time Pushcart Prize nominee poet Valerie Hsiung and novelist Jillian Medoff, author of “This Could Hurt” and “Good Girls Gone Bad.”
Five-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw teams up with the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday night at 8pm for a concert that includes Samuel Barber’s Symphony in One Movement, Op. 9; Oliver Knussen’s Requiem — Songs for Sue; and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com