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Grammy-nominated Seth Glier takes the stage at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington on Friday and Saturday.

Eclectic Headliners: Savion Glover, Lou Reed Drones, Indigenous Dancers

By Grace Lichtenstein Guest Column
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The week for eclectic music lovers includes both Tanglewood’s important Festival of Contemporary Music and the tap icon Savion Glover, with a Laurie Anderson presentation at Mass MoCa to boot.

Tanglewood

Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center are the venues for the series of concerts beginning Thursday, Aug. 8, that comprise the Festival of Contemporary Music, under the direction of the prodigious British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Ades. The centerpiece is the 2005 opera “The Cricket Recovers” by British composer Richard Ayres on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Ozawa. It’s a chamber opera based on a story by children’s author Toon Tellegen.

Other FCM concerts that should be exciting: the Linde Center at 6:15 p.m. (Ruth Seeger’s String Quartet); the Ozawa Sunday concert at 10 a.m. Sunday (Steve Reich, Thea Musgrave) and the Monday evening 8 p.m. Ozawa concert (Ades’s own “Asyla,” a 1997 symphonic work.)

More info and tickets can be found online.

Mahaiwe

Let’s skip, or rather tap, our way over to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, where Savion Glover will appear Sunday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. The Tony Award-winning tap dancer and choreographer will present a new show created in collaboration with the percussion group OUT’KNiGHTz.  OUT’KNiGHTz is described as “the unification of percussive elements of tap and melody examining the true essence of free music and song.”  Glover is accompanied by Jalin Shiver on horn and Malachi J. Lewis on drums. Tickets can be bought online.

Mass MoCA

The always experimental Laurie Anderson is back Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. with a drone-based sonic experience utilizing guitars from her late husband Lou Reed’s collection.  According to the announcement, the installation, curated by Reed’s former guitar technician, Stewart Hurwood, places the instruments in an arrangement against a group of amplifiers so that their tuned feedback creates an enveloping drone of harmonics that shifts and changes, depending on the audience location.

This sounds like an event that should be heard, not described. More info and tickets are on Mass MoCA’s website.

Jacob’s Pillow

From Wednesday, Aug. 7, through Sunday, Aug. 11, Gallim is the company in residence at the Ted Shawn Theatre at the Pillow’s charming Becket complex. Andrea Miller, the Metropolitan Museum’s first choreographic artist-in-residence, is the group’s leader. Gallim Dance “celebrates 10 years of embodying human connection through bold, raw, transformative dance.” The program includes a Pillow-commissioned world premiere incorporating some of Miller’s work over the past decade, and “Boat,” a piece about Syrian refugees.

During this same time frame, Wednesday, Aug. 7, through Sunday, Aug. 11, Red Sky Performance holds forth at the Doris Duke Theatre. This group is at the forefront of contemporary indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide.

Indeed, indigenous dance is at the heart of a “landmark gathering” that Pillow goers can see free, starting with 5:30 p.m. Aug. 7 as part of the Inside/Out performances. The initial event is called “The Land On Which We Dance.” It features blues and soul singer Martha Redbone (of Cherokee, Choctaw, European, and African-American), and internationally celebrated singer Soni Moreno (Mayan/Apache/Yaqui).

Find more info and tickets online.

Guthrie Center

This Friday and Saturday, Aug. 9 and 10, Grammy-nominated Seth Glier takes the stage at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington. Glier is a high-energy singer songwriter who works on keyboards and guitar. His fine tenor is eminently listenable. Shows are at 8 p.m.Info and tickets are online.

The Theater Barn

New Lebanon’s playhouse opens “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 8. It runs until Aug. 18. The show has music and lyrics by. David Nehls and book by Betsy Kelso. The Barn calls it a “laugh-out-loud” musical about a stripper on the run and other unusual characters. 

The Theater Barn, although in New York State, is just 10 miles from Pittsfield. All the information is online.

And there’s more...

Music After Hours plays on the Terrace at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s grand home outside Lenox. On Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., it’s a great way to have pre-dinner drinks with a jazz or pop group playing at comfortable hearing levels. This Friday the group the Afro-Semitic Experience brings an unusual jazz band to the stage. More information is online.

David Grover’s Bandstand series takes place at the Great Barrington bandstand on Main Street at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, and is open and free to all.

On Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox the Amy Ryan Band plays for picnic goers and others . Registration required online.

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Tanglewood Summer 2020 Season Canceled

LENOX, Mass. — Tanglewood live performance and education programs that had been scheduled to take place from June 19 through Aug. 27 have been canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Season offerings will now take place through the Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival, a digital series of audio and video streams, including newly created content to be recorded at Tanglewood's Linde Center in June and July, featuring artits and programs of the originally announced season. Content can be accessed through the website.

Newly created content includes Saturday evening performers in recital video streams, spotlighting some of the artists who were to appear in The Shed, as well as additional fuests, Including Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell And Jeremy Denk, Augustin Hadelich And Orion Weiss, Gil Shaham, Daniil Trifonov, Yo-Yo Ma, Conrad Tao, and Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth.

Also new are recitals from the world stage, a Wednesday-evening series of video streams recorded at concert venues around the world and featuring artists who were to appear in Ozawa Hall this summer, including the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Danish string quartet Silkroad Ensemble, Lucas And Arthur Jussen, Paul Lewis and Garrick Ohlsson, as well as Brooklyn Rider and Friday evening BSO musicians in recital, showcasing the talented musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to the Tanglewood 2020 online festival free-of-charge offerings, other online programs ranging in price from $5 to $12 for a single stream, to $8 to $80 for multiple stream packages, are available for purchase online, beginning June 15. BSO board members and friends have joined together in these unprecedented times to match contributions made to the Boston Symphony Orchestra — with gifts of all sizes vital and appreciated — from May 15 through Aug. 31; details are available online.

Tanglewood grounds will be open to the public — with social distancing and safety and health protocols recommended by the CDC in place — Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon from July 5 through Aug. 23; visits to the grounds will require advance registration online at www.tanglewood.org, beginning June 15.

The following 2020 Tanglewood popular artist concerts have also been canceled: Trey Anastasio, Brandi Carlile, Judy Collins And Arlo Guthrie, John Legend with special guests The War And Treaty, Patti Labelle and Darlene Love, The Mavericks With Los Lobos, Ringo Starr, James Taylor, "And Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!" with Peter Sagal And Bill Kurtis. Artists who have already rescheduled their concerts for the 2021 Tanglewood Popular Artist Series include Ringo Starr (June 19), Trey Anastasio (June 18), Judy Collins And Arlo Guthrie (June 20) and James Taylor (July 4); the John Legend concert also will be rescheduled.

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