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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.


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.


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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Berkshires Beat: Tanglewood to Offer Year-Round Programming

Tanglewood news

For the first time since it was established as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood will be holding programming during the fall, winter and spring. This change is enabled by the the development of Tanglewood's new Linde Center for Music and Learning, which was launched in the summer of 2019.

The Linde Center will host a variety of programming, offering participants a wide spectrum of performances and multidisciplinary activities designed to attract both newcomers and longtime patrons seeling to becoming more involved with music and the arts. The Linde Center will also serve as an event and concern rental space for use by the Berkshire community in beyond, including weddings, conferences, receptions, workshops and meetings as well as performances and concerts through the fall, winter and spring.

Kickoff weekend is set for the weekend of Oct. 24-27 and includes a screeing of "Falling Down Stairs," the Yo-Yo Ma/Mark Morris collaboration involving Bach's Cello Suite No. 3; a multidisciplinary presentation on "Mastery in the DIY Era," a chamber music concert featuring BSO musicians, and a special edition of the TLI's Focal Point, offering lessons in amateur photography and painting. After this weekend, there will be a "Fiddle Weekend," special presentations, open forums, TLI talks and more. Tickets go on sale on Friday, Oct. 11; for tickets and info call 888-266-1492 or visit the website.


Renewable energy at BCC

As national campus sustainability month kicks off, MASSPIRG Berkshire Community College students will launch a campaign to encourage BCC to generate 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. This campaign is part of an initiative that aims to get 150 schools to commit to switch exclusively to renewable energy by 2021.

The nationwide effort includes targeted weeks of action, petition drives and direct engagement with administration officials to press for this goal. Thousands of students and faculty from every region of the country are expected to mobilize for this cause. BCC is committed to being zero waste by the end of 2020; so far 84 percent of waste is diverted from landfills through re-use, recycling and composting bins throughout campus.

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