The weekend highlights in our region include a minimalist marathon; new dance; a fusion of jazz and R&B; Grammy Award-winning folk-rock; a rarely performed 19th century opera; and a whole lot more.
New music collective Bang on a Can concludes its annual three-week residency at MASS MoCA with its six-hour Bang on a Can Summer Marathon on Saturday from 4 to 10pm. The eclectic program, performed by members of Bang on a Can All-Stars, guest artists, faculty, and fellows, includes works by Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Jeffrey Brooks, and Ligeti, among others.
Doug Varone & Dancers and Kyle Abraham’s Abraham.In.Motion bring new works to Jacob’s Pillow today through Sunday. Varone’s 30th anniversary program includes a retrospective plus recent work, with music by Chopin, Arvo Pärt, and Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon; Kyle Abraham’s Dearest Home takes place in a reconfigured, theater-in-the-round setup in the Doris Duke Theatre.
Grammy Award-winning folk-rock singer songwriter Marc Cohn, best known for the hit song, “Walking in Memphis,” will perform an intimate gig at Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 8:30 p.m. Cohn’s distinctive, soulful vocals and his gift for melody have made him one of his generation’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters. The list of performers with whom he has collaborated reads like a who’s who of all-time folk-rock greats, including Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Suzanne Vega, Jimmy Webb, Roseanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Aimee Mann, India.Arie, and Patty Griffin.
Also at Helsinki Hudson, jazz legend Don Byron brings his group of musician friends back for a tribute to early soul, featuring the music of R&B legends Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Junior Walker, and other soul, funk, and jazz artists, on Saturday at 9pm. Joining Byron is an all-star cast of New York City and Woodstock-based musical talents, including Bruce Katz, Joey Eppard, Mike Nappi, Scott Petito, and Matt Finck.
Maria-Christina Oliveras stars in the Obie Award-winning play “We’re Gonna Die” by Young Jean Lee at Ancram Opera House tonight and Saturday, and again next Friday-Saturday. A blend of storytelling, music, and theater, “We’re Gonna Die” examines the universal experience of life’s unavoidable truth. Maria-Christina Oliveras, whose extensive theater, TV and film credits include “Taylor Mac’s 24 Hour History of Music” (St. Ann’s Warehouse); David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” (The Public); “Law & Order: SVU” “Nurse Jackie” “Ugly Betty” and “Time Out of Mind,” plays the role of the Singer. Young Jean Lee is widely considered to be one of contemporary theater’s hot young playwrights.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com
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