The weekend highlights in our region include up and coming Gaga; classic rock dada; two blues music festivals; a rarely performed 19th century opera; and a whole lot more.
AteNine, the Los Angeles-based dance company led by Israeli choreographer Danielle Agami, is in residence at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Mass., today through Sunday, in a program including a collaboration with percussionist-composer Glenn Kotche of Wilco. Named “choreography’s ‘It’ girl” by the Los Angeles Times, Agami is a former dancer and rehearsal director with the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company, based in Tel Aviv. Agami draws from her background in Gaga movement practice – invented by Mr Gaga himself, Batsheva’s artistic director Ohad Naharin - to create bold, innovative work
For the 16th summer in a row, new music collective Bang on a Can is in residence at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., for its three-week summer music festival and institute. Festival highlights include a preview performance of the Bang on a Can All-Stars’ Road Trip, which takes place on Saturday night at 8pm. A brand-new, evening-length work composed by Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, Road Trip commemorates their 30-year collaborative journey together since founding Bang on a Can in 1987. A staged performance, Road Trip includes rock show lighting and multimedia elements. Earlier on Saturday, Bang on a Can celebrates the late musical visionary Pauline Oliveros – a longtime resident of the Hudson Valley - with a tribute concert marking her musical innovations and her “deep listening” approach.
Legendary slide guitarist Rory Block curates and headlines a three-day festival of blues and gospel music at PS21 and other venues in Chatham, N.Y., which Block has long called home. Rory Block’s Gospel & Blues Fest Weekend features Block with acclaimed lap-steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar, performing as the Sisters of Slide, at PS21 on Saturday, at 8pm. The festival kicks off tonight with the sacred-steel outfit the Campbell Brothers at PS21 at 8pm; and A Gospel Choir Fest, featuring four gospel choirs from area churches, at Payne AME Church in Chatham on Sunday at 2pm.
Grammy Award-nominated jump-blues outfit Roomful of Blues headlines Berkshire Blues Bash, a daylong blues-fest at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington on Saturday, from 3 to 8pm. The event also includes performances by swamp-blues vocalist/guitarist Walter Parks, and Boston-based blues-rock quartet Grits and Groceries Orchestra. Roomful of Blues is known as one of the tightest blues ensembles around, and over four decades has earned five Grammy Award nominations and seven Blues Music Awards.
The first fully staged American production of Antonin Dvorak’s 1882 grand opera Dimitrij opens at Bard SummerScape tonight, and runs for two successive weekends, through August 6. The new production, performed in Czech with English supertitles, has been created expressly for SummerScape 2017 by Bard alumna Anne Bogart, co-founder of the acclaimed SITI Company.
Dweezil Zappa pays tribute to his father in “Dweezil Zappa: 50 Years of Frank,” at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, tonight at 8pm. The concert celebrates the half-century anniversary of “Freak Out!,” the debut album from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, which still sounds as fresh and innovative and transgressive today as it did 50 years ago. The concert surveys Frank Zappa’s music from the opening flush of doo-wop and dada from “Freak Out!” to the 1971 cinematic lark, “200 Motels” through mid-Seventies fan favorites from “Over-Nite Sensation” and a heavy chunk of the 1980s rock opera, “Joe’s Garage.”
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com