This week’s cultural highlights in our region include avant garde music, chamber music, Americana, contemporary art, plus a whole lot more.
Bang on a Can returns to MASS MoCA in North Adams for the 21st summer in a row, with a two-day, truncated version of its annual monthlong residency at the cultural laboratory. Two socially distanced, outdoor concerts are on tap, featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars with guest artists including Don Byron and Zoë Keating, tonight and Saturday night, both at 8:30.
Other performers include Bang on a Can stalwarts such as Gregg August, Robert Black, Vicky Chow, David Cossin, Arlen Hlusko, Mark Stewart, and Todd Reynolds, performing music by Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Thurston Moore, Steve Reich, and Julia Wolfe. With a maximum capacity of 100 people, the concerts will be held outside in MASS MoCA’s spacious Courtyard D. Concertgoers will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Guitarist Eliot Fisk and cellist Yehuda Hanani will present a free, virtual recital, From Bach to Bachianas, live from the stage of the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., as part of the Close Encounters With Music series. The program includes works by Schubert, Gabriel Fauré, Villa-Lobos, J. S. Bach and Vittorio Monti’s Gypsy Czardas. All are original arrangements by the two performers. The concert will be streamed live from the Mahaiwe stage to Close Encounters With Music’s Facebook page.
For decades now, this weekend has brought The annual Falcon Ridge Folk Festival at Dodds Farm in Hillsdale, N.Y. Falcon Ridge goes virtual this summer, with festival stalwarts including the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Nerissa & Katryna Nields, the Storycrafters, Gaslight Tinkers, Vance Gilbert, and Susan Werner “returning,” along with The End of America, Oshima Brothers, Alisa Amador, The Empty Bottle Ramblers, Quarter Horse, Donna the Buffalo, Crystal Shawanda, and many others. The virtual FRFF will be available online via Facebook and YouTube today through Sunday, and it will be archived for replay.
Works by about a dozen artists from the Berkshire and Hudson Valley regions will be featured in the exhibit Coming Soon at Art Austerlitz. The exhibition, featuring works by Reed Anderson, Great Barrington, Mass.; Peter Bradley-Cohen, Hudson, N.Y.; Ruth Freeman, Newburgh, N.Y.; Ghost of a Dream, Wassaic, N.Y.; Joan Grubin, Hillsdale, N.Y.; Will Hutnick, Wassaic, N.Y.; Meg Lipke, Chatham, N.Y.; Ryan McPhail, Chatham, N.Y.; Zach Neven, Ghent, N.Y.; Liz Nielsen, Newburgh, N.Y., and Dana Piazza, Lenox, Mass., will open with a reception in real life on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibition will run through September 6. The artworks will be displayed in the 1850s church on Route 22 in the hamlet of Austerlitz, NY.
And finally, husband-and-wife cabaret performers The Fremonts bring their blend of Americana music and storytelling with a theatrical, cabaret aesthetic to the Foundry in West Stockbridge, Mass., on Saturday at 7 p.m., as part of the venue’s Emerging Artist Series, celebrating performers creating new work.
Born in New York City and raised in Boulder, Colorado, the Fremonts create unique theatrical experiences for their audiences by blending Americana music and storytelling with a cabaret aesthetic. Stephanie Dodd (originally from Fremont, Nebraska – vocals/accordion) and Justin Badger (originally from Fremont, California – vocals/guitar) present their original music with performance skills honed from years of working as professional actors.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com
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