The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include chamber music, desert blues, folk and bluegrass, theater, jamming … plus a whole lot more.
Chris Thile kicks off the summer season at Tanglewood this weekend, bringing his public radio variety program, Live from Here, to Lenox, Mass., on Saturday at 5:30pm. Joining the singer-mandolinist and host of the live broadcast will be piano-bashing singer-songwriter Ben Folds, comedian Tig Notaro, and female folk trio I’m With Her, a supergroup featuring Sara Watkins, Chris’s bandmate from Nickel Creek; Grammy Award-winning Texas singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz; and Aoife O’Donovan of Crooked Still, Sometymes Why, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Goat Rodeo Sessions, which also included Chris Thile.
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Bombino brings his politically inflected North African "desert blues" to MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm. The Grammy nominee has collaborated with the likes of the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth.
The exciting young Naumburg Trio will perform works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y., as part of the Tannery Pond Concerts Series on Saturday at 8pm.
The Berkshires’ newest theater company, Barrington Public Theater, based at Simon’s Rock College, kicks off its summer season this weekend with Breakwater, a new play by Jim Frangione, starring such top regional performers as Leigh Strimbeck, Ryan Winkles, David Joseph, Anne Undeland, and Raya Malcolm. Set in 1990 Cape Cod, Breakwater is the story of Bobbi Herring, a 28-year-old taxi driver struggling to overcome the deep wounds of her past and solve her life’s biggest question. And then John F Kennedy suddenly appears in the backseat of her cab. That always happens to me! Often he sits next to me on the subway.
The Northeast Fiddlers convene for a three-day jam this weekend at Hancock Shaker Village just outside of Pittsfield, Mass. With workshops , instrument & band contests. farm-to-table food & drink, performances, and ‘round the clock pickin’ & singin’ – maybe even some grinnin’ – the festival is headlined by the Down Hill Strugglers featuring John Cohen.
The annual Mountain Jam weekend festival has a new location this year – the likes of Willie Nelson, the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, Govt Mule, and the Avett Brothers will be headlining the three-day affair at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y. Also on the bill are reggae legends Toots and the Maytals; Alison Kraus; Michael Franti; and Woodstock’s own Amy Helm.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com