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The 50th anniversary of the beloved Dance Theatre of Harlem is being celebrated July 10-14 at the Ted Shawn Theatre.

Harlem Dance, Buddy Guy's Blues, Nat 'King' Cole Stylings Highlight Week

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column
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Blues, jazz, hip-hop, folk, cabaret — you can catch a bit of everything with the varied pops calendar in our region this week. Big names, too: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Buddy Guy, John Davidson to name a few.

Jacob's Pillow

The 50th anniversary of the beloved Dance Theatre of Harlem is being celebrated July 10-14 at the Ted Shawn Theatre. Co-founded by the late Arthur Mitchell, it is now headed by founding member and former principal dancer Virginia Johnson. This is the troupe's first return to the Pillow in five years.

On the bill are a collection of works from the 21st as well as 20th century: Darrell Grand Moultrie's "Harlem on My Mind," Christopher Wheeldon's "This Bitter Earth," George Balanchine's "Valse Fantaisie" and an expanded version of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's "Balamouk."

"Harlem on My Mind" traces the history of jazz through five couples, according to the Pillow announcement. The work features musical compositions by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hart, Wynton Marsalis, and a contemporary arrangement of "My Funny Valentine" by trumpeter Chris Botti. What makes "Balamouk" special is that it has been expanded since it was originally created by Jacob's Pillow Dance Award winner Ochoa.

At the Pillow's Doris Duke Theatre, come feel the "POWER," a world premiere by the  Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performing Group. This is a full-length work that Wilson calls "post-Africa/Neo-HooDoo Modern dance." "POWER" is a Pillow commission.

Visitors can also catch free Inside/Out performances on Pillow grounds Wednesday, July 10, (Phunk Phenomenon) through Saturday, July 13, at 6:15 p.m. And talk about family fun: Saturday July 13, at 11 a.m., the Pillow has scheduled "Dog Dance" on its Great Lawn. It's described as a "participatory event for beloved canines and their dance-loving companions." No experience is necessary, but advance registration is encouraged online.


The word legend has almost lost its meaning in music, but how else can one describe 82-years-young bluesman Buddy Guy? This pioneering Chicago electric guitarist stops at the Mahaiwe on Sunday, July 14, at 7 p.m. for a relaxed evening of great music, with special guest Tom Hambridge as the opening opening act.
More information online.

The Mount

The terrace of Edith Wharton's storied home in Lenox is the setting for "Music After Hours" on Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. Local favorite Andy Wrba and the Berkshire Jazz Collective are on the bill Friday, while the Bob Meyer Project takes over Saturday. More information can be found online.

Barrington Stage

Las Vegas regular Clint Holmes presents his tribute to Nat "King" Cole on the occasion of the master pianist and singer's centenary, and you probably know all the words to songs like "Unforgettable." He is accompanied by pianist and vibraphonist Christian Tamburr. The venue is Mr. Finn's Cabaret (a presentation of the Barrington Stage Company), located at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, Sunday, July 14, and Monday, July 15, at 8 p.m. Details online.

Guthrie Center

Entertainer John Davidson comes to the Guthrie Center at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. for an evening of songs and perhaps stories about his time as the host of the Hollywood Squares and other events in his music and TV career.

Then, Vance Gilbert, a contemporary singer/songwriter with jazz roots, appears at the Guthrie Center Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m. More info online.

Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Festival gives stars — artists involved in its plays and up-and-coming non-Equity and apprentice performers — a chance to entertain at its Late-Night Cabaret on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at  Goodrich Hall in Williamstown. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Details online.

Want more?

There's live music at numerous Berkshire venues, including:

July 10:
Live on the Lake, free music outdoor evenings at Burbank Park, Lake Onota in Pittsfield.

July 10: Concerts at the Lake, Windsor Lake outside North Adams.

July 11: The Chalet at Mass MoCA

Just 12: Picky B's at the Trailside Music Series, free evenings Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lenox.

July 14: Sixth annual Mt. Greylock Jazz Festival at the Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock near Adams.

For ongoing music, check out the patio of Mazzeo’s Ristorante in Pittsfield, Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield, Gateways Inn and Restaurant in Lenox, and the Lion’s Den at the Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge.

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Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Names New Chief Executive Officer

BECKET, Mass. — The Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA has named Amy Hurwitz Gutschenritter as its new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1.

Selected by the board of trustees following a six month national search, Gutschenritter will be responsible for overseeing Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA's four programs: Camp Becket, Chimney Corners Camp, Travel and Service Programs, and the Berkshire Outdoor Center. Over the next year, Gutschenritter and her senior leadership team, along with the Board of Trustees, will develop an updated strategic plan and master site plan.

Gutschenritter served most recently as interim CEO; she was on the board for 16 years, including as chair of the Board of Trustees, at Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA. She will be the first female CEO in BCCYMCA's 100-plus years of existence.

"During our search for a new CEO, we looked at candidates from across the country.  Amy Gutschenritter stood out. Her energy, dedication, and vision for the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA is exactly what we are looking for in a leader," Search Committee Chair Friday Abernethy said. "Amy's understanding of the organization is deep; she is an alumna, former summer staff member, co-chaired the successful Changing Lives Campaign, and she served on the Board of Trustees for 16 years, including as Board Chair. Additionally, Amy’s children, Libby and Matthew, have collectively spent over 25 summers at the BCCYMCA as participants and leaders."

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