music | WAMC


Roundtable Music 7/29

Jul 29, 2021

Album Cover for Maya Beiser x Philip Glass
Islandia Music Records / Islandia Music Records

On Saturday, July 24 at 7p.m., cellist, arranger, and producer Maya Beiser will be joined with a group of all-star cellists in a sold-out concert to perform Maya Beiser x Philip Glass at Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York. 

Drawn from her latest album (which was recorded at Hudson Hall in the winter of 2021), the immersive performance brings together an astounding group of avant-garde cellists to create a multi-layered sound sculpture, exploring and unveiling new dimensions in some of Philip Glass’s most powerful and achingly beautiful works.

Maya’s solo album, "Maya Beiser x Philip Glass," came out on her Islandia Music Records label today!

Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA
JD Allen / WAMC

The band Urban Renewal returns to the Guthrie Center tonight and tomorrow night. They blend a mixture of 70's funk with West African polyrhythms. The group features high energy vocals, a tight rhythm section, with some kickin' horns and percussion.

This band is a blast and lots of fun. Expect a dance floor and a very party feel! All proceeds benefit the Guthrie Center.

Featuring the music of some of the greats: Earth Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Aretha, Stevie Wonder and Sly & The Family Stone. Band member Matthew Penn joins us this morning to tell us more.

Mwenso and the Shakes
Oluwaseye Olusa

  The uplifting spirit of Black roots music will ripple through two weekends this July as part of Bard SummerScape. 

Conceived as a platform to create a creative healing space for a troupe of predominantly BIPOC artists to develop a series of new concerts in collaboration and fellowship with one another, Black Roots Summer will convene a group of over 20 vocalists, musicians, dancers, and creative artists for a two-week residency resulting in three original concerts.

Black Roots Summer is presented as part of SummerScape in association with Electric Root. The events are curated by producer Jono Gasparro and musician Michael Mwenso. Michael and his band Mwenso and the Shakes will perform on 7/23 and 7/24. Genius Mother Mary: A Sonic Retrospective of Mary Lou Williams will be on 7/29 and "The Sound of (Black) Music" will ring out on 7/30 and 7/31.

Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson - screencap from "A DIOS" video - From the MEXODUS concept album about the Underground Railroad that led south to Mexico.
Brian Quijada/Nygel D. Robinson via YouTube / via YouTube

“Mexodus” is a new musical work by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson inspired by the estimated 4,000-10,000 enslaved people in the Southern part of the United States who found new lives in Mexico instead moving to the northern United States.

With the support of New York Stage and Film, Quijada and Robinson started working on “Mexodus” at the the beginning of our recent global pandemic. They have been collaborating while physically separate through technology -- releasing one track per month, with accompanying video of the two artists performing, for twelve months. Track 7 was recorded last February at Vassar’s Modfest.

New York Stage and Film will present “Mexodus” at Vassar College on July 17 at 7 p.m. and at Marist College on July 24 at 3 p.m.

Gail Samuel, Joe Donahue, and Alan Chartock

On June 21st, Gail Samuel officially became the first female President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the eighth in the organization’s 140-year history.

Having helped establish the Los Angeles Philharmonic as one of the world’s most successful and publicly engaged symphony orchestras, Samuel now looks to carry on the BSO’s mission of connecting classical music with community.

She now leads the Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and Tanglewood, and will oversee a number of initiatives that will expand the reach and relevance of orchestral music in the Boston area, the Berkshires, and beyond. 

Andris Nelsons
Marco Borggreve

Andris Nelsons is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The Grammy Award-winning Nelsons is one of the most renowned conductors on the international scene today and we get to see him work in our own backyard here at Tanglewood.

In this interview, WAMC's Alan Chartock speaks with Nelsons about how he occupied himself during the Covid-19 pandemic, what he learned, and what he's looking forward to at Tanglewood and beyond.

Byron Stripling

Since his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, Trumpeter and Conductor Byron Stripling has become a Pops orchestra favorite, soloing with Boston Pops, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Dallas Symphony, to name a few.

He has been a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and on the PBS television special, "Evening at Pops," with conductors John Williams and Keith Lockhart. Currently, he serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly acclaimed Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

On Saturday afternoon, July 17 at 2:30 p.m. he will be conducting the Tanglewood Family Concert - "American Melodies" - with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is a family-friendly journey through the early songs that defined America, from folk songs to spirituals, gospel to jazz.

Emanuel Ax, Joe Donahue, and Alan Chartock
Sarah LaDuke / WAMC

Tanglewood mainstay pianist Emanuel Ax, who made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut at Tanglewood in August 1978, joined us to talk about his BSO performance in the Shed tomorrow night where Andris Nelsons conducts an All-Beethoven program.

Yidstock 2021

Jul 6, 2021
Yidstock logo /

This year’s virtual Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music features a dozen artists from around the globe performing Yiddish songs of social justice. The 75-minute event will stream on Sunday, July 11, at 4 p.m. and the ticketed link will be good for 72 hours.

Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of "The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music" is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman – Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

This year's Yidstock performances, exclusively recorded the event, feature a diverse roster of artists from Berlin, the Netherlands, the UK, and US: Sarah Gordon and Michael Winograd, Niki Jacobs, Daniel Kahn, Sveta Kundish and Patrick Farrell, Frank London, Sarah Myerson and Ilya Shneyveys, Cilla Owens, Eleanor Reissa, Polina and Merlin Shepherd, Lorin Sklamberg, Tatiana Wechsler, and Eleonore Weill and Zoë Aqua. They perform a broad and eclectic repertoire of social justice songs, including labor anthems, protest songs, humanitarian odes, songs of struggle, and songs based in Yiddish poetry and Jewish scripture.

A white man with arms crossed stands smiling in front of a wall covered with painted drum heads.
Josh Landes / WAMC

A Berkshire County musician is opening up his personal archive for a gallery show on his 45 years backing Arlo Guthrie.