The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include jazz, classical, trip-hop, pulp fiction and a celebration of Mardi Gras.
Rafiq Bhatia is best known as the guitarist for post-rock trip-hop outfit Son Lux. Bhatia brings his new trio and his genre-defying atmospheric sounds to Club B10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., on Saturday at 8 p.m. Bhatia's new trio includes Son Lux drummer Ian Chang and electronics virtuoso Jackson Hill. Using analog and digital effects, the trio creates chill, psychedelic beats that flood the room, washed down with smooth, fluid riffs for listeners to trance out to.
Gloria Stoll Karn is best known for her work in the pulp fiction industry during the 1940s, one of very few female artists working in the field creating illustrations and covers for popular romance and dime store magazines. An exhibition of works by Stoll Karn called Gloria Stoll Karn: Pulp Romance, opens on Saturday at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. From 1941 to 1949, Stoll Karn's art appeared on the covers and pages of many popular publication magazines, including Black Mask, Dime Mystery, Detective Tales, New Detective, All-Story Love, New Love, Love Book, Love Short Stories, Love Novels, Romance, Thrilling Love, and Argosy.
Inbal Segev will become only the second cellist to tackle Christopher Rouse's Violoncello Concerto when she performs it with the Albany Symphony at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday at 3 p.m. Rouse's profound work, completed in 1992 and debuted by Yo-Yo Ma in 1994, is a meditation upon mortality. The program, led by the Albany Symphony’s David Alan Miller, also includes Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7.
It's Mardi Gras week, and Club Helsinki Hudson - sometimes called "Tipitina's of the North" - marks the occasion with not one but two concerts featuring the Crescent City's best - Glen David Andrews, tonight at 9, and the Soul Brass Band, this Sunday at 8 p.m. Singer-trombonist-bandleader Andrews is noted for his jazzy, horn-laced New Orleans funk and soul, combining a voice and stage presence worthy of Louis Armstrong. Soul Brass Band, founded by Derrick Freeman, likewise plays a jazzy, horn-laced fusion of New Orleans funk, soul, and hip-hop.
Also in Hudson, and for you literary types, authors Darcey Steinke, Nick Flynn, and Rebecca Godfrey will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Saturday at 7 p.m., as part of Volume, the free monthly reading and music series every second Saturday of the month. The readings will be followed by book-signings and a DJ set by Dawn Breeze.
"Music & Words" kicks off a three-concert series curated by Damien Sneed at the Fisher Center at Bard College in Annandale on Hudson tonight at 7:30. The concert includes spirituals, art songs, and poems of Harry T. Burleigh and Laurence Hope, works by Samuel Barber, and the well-known hit songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Performers include Metropolitan Opera soprano Brandie Sutton, actor/writer Karen Chilton, baritone Justin Michael Austin, and classical chamber musicians.
The BlkQueer Romantics, an exhibition curated by the Hudson-based creative team behind The Tenth, a biannual publication documenting the history, culture, ideas, and aesthetics of the black LGBTQ community, opens at Hudson Hall this Saturday with a reception at 5 p.m. The exhibition showcases the artists who have contributed to The Tenth's fifth edition: an homage to the natural landscape and the architectural structures of the Hudson River Valley, from Hudson's Dr. Oliver Bronson House, to a quaint guest house in the Catskills, to the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park, places to which many African-American artists and entertainers escaped at the turn of the 19th century. The exhibition remains on view until March 18.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com