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Bousquet's Mountain Day caps its summer concert series on Saturday.

Bousquet Summer Concert Series Peaks With Mountain Day

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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The music starts at 1 p.m. and ends with  a performance by the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Bousquet summer concert series will be hosting its pinnacle event, Mountain Day, on Saturday, July 30, starting at 1 p.m. 
 
This daylong family-friendly music event will feature vendors, food trucks, outdoor activities, and live music. 
 
Throughout the day each of the five bandmates from Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will be performing solo until they reassemble for the Main Stage concert in the evening. 
 
Boston-based folk rock band Session Americana opens for them at 7 p.m. and Whiskey Treaty Roadshow takes the stage at 8.
 
Whiskey Treaty Roadshow is a folk rock band that has been performing for eight years across New England and nationally. 
 
David Tanklefsky, the band's lead guitarist and vocalist, said the band feels blessed to have a community of musicians and organizers who aided their career. 
 
"There was a filmmaker that made a film about the origins of the band right when we started, and that basically helped propel us to doing more than just four shows, which was all we were planning to do at the beginning," Tanklefsky said. 
 
"And then having people like [musician and local spearhead Andy Wrba], and all these great musicians who are able to join us, from time to time, organize events like this we're so lucky to make think of us to be part of. So people like Andy have definitely been just a huge part of what the Whiskey Treaty has been about over the last eight years."
 
Mountain Day was inspired by the Whiskey Treaty Festival that took place in 2011. 
 
"For me, having come from Boston and playing more in the Boston music community before I joined the Whiskey Treaty, it was so cool to just have sort of a first glimpse into just the amazing music and the amazing people that make up the Berkshire music community," Tanklefsky said.
 
"So many of our favorite shows and favorite nights have come from playing out in the Berkshires. And Boston has been great, too. It's a great other market for us. But I think the whole band feels like the Berkshires are really where we got our start and where we always come back to."
 
Some of the performers who participated in the festival came together to form the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow. The other members are Greg Smith, Billy Keane, Chris Merenda and Tory Hanna.
 
"There was a festival that [Hanna's] wife put together in Greenfield, highlighting a bunch of different performers from the Berkshires, a number of whom became the lead members of the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow," Tanklefsky said. 
 
"And the roadshow idea that got attached to the idea that Whiskey Treaty Festival came because in 2014, a bunch of people who've been involved in the original festival, plus me, who had not been involved in the original festival, were doing a four-night run with. It was like the Whiskey Treaty Festival on the road, so we'll call it a roadshow. And it just had it we had a magical four nights and it grew from there to this huge thing that annoys our partners and takes us away from home all the time."
 
The concert series usually takes place on Thursdays at 7 p.m. featuring music curated by Wrba. 
 
"We certainly have some local folks from Berkshire County who are amazing musicians and just have great bands. And we're pairing that with regional and nationally touring musicians. It's important to me to try to balance all of that," Wrba said.
 
Wrba has cultivated a community through his work as a musician, music director, and educator. 
 
Recently, he put his handprints in concrete at the Mission to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berkshire Jazz Collective further cementing the impact he has had on Berkshire County's music culture. 
 
Music has always been a part of Wrba's life. He grew up in Pittsfield as part of a musical family and, in high school, joined the jazz band as a bassist. From there his love of jazz continued to grow. 
 
He did not really fall in love with jazz until college, where concentrated in jazz studies at Westfield State University and joined Barefoot Truth roots rock band in his junior year. 
 
"I wanted to improve my technique, get a solid understanding of the theory and foundations of everything involved with music," Wrba said. 
 
"And once I started playing with some of my peers in college, especially once we started swinging, it clicked, it hit me straight in the gut. And it was what I loved."
 
Wrba realized he wanted to perform and do music for the rest of his life when he was 17 while performing with Matt Cusson's band at Seiji Ozawa Hall  at Tanglewood.
 
"It's just one of the most beautiful venues anywhere. It's gorgeous. Tanglewood is one of my favorite places on this planet and to play at Seiji Ozawa Hall I mean, it's like a T-ball player, I think, going to the stadium," Wrba said.
 
Along with performing 52 times a year at Mission, he is also a teacher at The Darrow School and music director at Mill Town Capital.
 
When Wrba first started teaching, he thought that the most important thing was the material, learning the piece, and the technique, but over time and the better he got he started to understand that the people and the evolution of people were the most important thing.
 
"It's just about the people, and the growth and evolution of us as humans. Like, I don't care if it's Bach, if it's Stevie Wonder, if it's geometry, the subject it all matters, but what's the most important thing is us connecting as humans and growing as individuals and as a community," Wrba said.
 
"So it's, it's putting people first but it's also putting others before myself, too, because it's like service to the students before serving any of my own needs."
 
Both Tanklefsky and Wrba spoke on the importance of community, connection, and people. 
 
Tanklefsky noted that having a community at your side while playing provides a support system to get through the struggle that can come with being a musician. 
 
"We all were playing solo at different times in our lives and having some success with it, but also just at different times, feeling lost in the wilderness and feeling like you're working so hard to our your music out there, your art out there and it can be a real struggle," Tanklefsky said. 
 
"So when you do find a group of people within a band or you know, any creative context, and then you also find an audience, no matter how big or small it is, that's just that means so much because you know how much time you put into it."
 
More information on the Summer Concert series here. 

Tags: concerts,   music,   

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Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13s Go to 2-0 at World Series

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
GLEN ALLEN, Va. — Christian Barry hit an RBI triple in a three-run second inning Sunday, and the Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars defeated the Virginia State Champions, 4-1, at the World Series.
 
Pittsfield improved to 2-0 with two games remaining in round-robin pool play at the event. They take the field again on Monday morning against another Virginia squad, Southeast Regional champion Winchester, at 10 a.m.
 
On Sunday, Pittsfield did all its damage early, taking a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second and relying on Connor Paronto and Cam Hillard to do the rest on the mound.
 
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