Posts Tagged ‘Burlington’

august first – on october first

September 24, 2011

at mad river glen

It’s been one crazy month, for sure. I left my job of seven years as the classical Director of Programming at Vermont Public Radio on September 9th. It was hard to do. There were so many things left to be done, and goodbyes to say to too many great friends to count.

You’d better believe every one of those special friendships is coming with me.

For the new chapter I’ve accepted a position in Boston, working as the Music Director of WGBH-Classical New England. So, since the 9th, my days have been consumed with packing, cleaning, organizing, and using every means possible to come up with a place to live in the city. No luck yet on that but I think I’m finally getting close – you can imagine it’s not easy with cats.

My writing here has necessarily slowed down too for now, but that won’t last – just wait ’til I get to Boston!

Along with all the moving stuff, another thing I’ve been working on recently is getting everything together for my upcoming show at August First bakery in downtown Burlington. I committed to doing it last June, and decided to follow through with it even after the Boston opportunity came up and my whole world began to change quite suddenly. This will be my first solo show(!) and I’ve picked out a wide selection of fall-inspired images for it: leaves, cows, horses, …Vermont at its beautiful best.

I hope you’ll be able to stop by sometime during October. You might want to make it a Friday night – that’s flatbread night at the bakery with a flat price for all you can eat of their eclectic, fresh, interesting offerings. A coffee date would be nice too, maybe in the mid-afternoon when the golden light is just right and the bakery’s own signature blend can take the edge off the new autumn chill.

Oh yeah, and – you didn’t really think I’d pass up a prime chance to make a poetry connection here, did you? You know me better than that. If you wonder where the name of the bakery comes from, it’s inspired by the typically touching Hayden Carruth poem of the same name. Which also explains the ubiquitous geraniums on the bakery’s windowsill…all the more reason to love August First and support its vision.

Here’s a preview of some of the pictures in the show, you’ll have to see the others in person. Come on by!

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freshlyground in burlington tonight!

July 9, 2011

The Summer Global Music Voyage continues tonight at Higher Ground in Burlington! The second of four concerts features Freshlyground, a funk/groove/Afrobeat band from South Africa. It’s been quite a while since anything quite like this came to town. Ticket info >> here <<

2011 battery park summer concerts

July 6, 2011

Must be summer for sure now – the annual Burlington Battery Park concert series is starting tomorrow evening! All concerts start at 6:30 on Thursdays this month.

July 7 – Joshua Panda

A twenty-five year-old singer/songwriter from Charlotte, North Carolina.

 batterypark 2011joshua_panda

July 14 – Barika

Barika is deep groove music, inspired by the sounds from the Wassoulou region of Mali – an area whose music is often defined by the familiar tones of the The Kamel N’Goni – a a pentatonic, African harp. The ensemble is drums (Caleb Bronze); bass,(Jp Candelier); keys (Andric Severence) ; kamel n’goni (Craig Myers); trumpet (Dave Purcell); trombone (Gordon Clark); tenor sax (Deva Racusin) and others as possible.

batterypark 2011Barika

July 21 – Scars On 45

Scars on 45 is a quintet from Leeds, England.

batterypark 2011scars-on-45

July 28 – Saints of Valory

Based in Austin Texas, Saints of Valory come with an international passport: front man Gavin Jasper is Brazilian, guitarist Godfrey Thomson is American, on drums Gerard Bouvier is from France, & keyboardist Stephen Buckle hails from Canada.

batterypark 2011Saints_of_Valory

 

jazz fest opening reception

June 2, 2011

Early June, live music and lots of friends on the back patio of Halvorson’s in downtown Burlington – must be the annual opening reception for the Discover Jazz Festival! And so it was tonight.

Bassist Anthony Santor and guitarist Nick Cassarino joined trumpeter/chanteuse Jennifer Hartswick in creating some very nice sounds together on the corner stage, while media members, sponsors, jazz fest folks and I-don’t-know-who-all mingled in the fading early evening light.

After yesterday’s midsummer-worthy highs of 90°C under full-sun skies, today’s overcast and rain-speckled 60 degrees was quite a turnaround. The rain held off for the most part, only making an appearance after the first set, the announcements, and the various opening addresses. No one seemed to be too bothered by the time it started to kick in for real around an hour and a half into the reception.

The next 10 days will be filled with great bands, much fun, and musical adventures that can’t even be anticipated right now. I hope you’ll be able to get out and enjoy some of it for yourself. If you’re inspired, leave a comment here and share your experiences. And I’ll keep a running log here too with photos and video to recap some of the most memorable happenings.

‘Night … for now.

legacy

April 3, 2011

Robert De Cormier's final bows with Counterpoint

Legacy, indeed.

That was the word used to describe Counterpoint’s three-concert series this weekend, beginning in Hanover on Friday evening and concluding today at St. Paul’s in Burlington. The journey itself began a little over 10 years ago when Robert De Cormier founded Vermont’s 12-member professional chorus. Today he stepped down as the ensemble’s Artistic Director, handing over the baton to his successor Nathaniel Lew.

I’ve heard Counterpoint sing “Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier” before, but never as hauntingly serenely as they did today. It was stunning. So was “The Water is Wide” (always a favorite of mine) and the concert’s namesake piece, De Cormier’s “Legacy” four-movement choral cantata dedicated to his late son Christopher. By the time the final notes faded away the appreciative audience was already on its feet in the first of several standing ovations that brought the event to a memorable (and more than a little teary) conclusion. An era has ended.

De Cormier will continue to serve in an emeritus role for Counterpoint, and he will remain the director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

If you didn’t have a chance to get to the concerts you’ll still be able to be part of the celebration of De Cormier’s legacy, Vermont Public Radio recorded today’s performance for future broadcast. We’ll let you know when that’s been scheduled.

vyo fall concert

September 26, 2010

Geese flew over downtown Burlington late this afternoon. The season’s traditional “V”s and “half-Vs” were pushed along by the lone stragglers, flying behind and honking an impatient “wait up!” to their more prescient mates.

With autumn comes the start of the concert season…I guess. That’s a qualified statement because in Vermont, it doesn’t seem like there’s ever a NON-concert season. Summers are filled with festivals and intimate outdoor gatherings while the other three quarters of the year hold their own with recitals and informal get-togethers along with the regular season concert series at all of the area venues.

This fall’s two opening concerts with the Vermont Youth Orchestra were especially anticipated events as they also marked the debut of the Orchestra’s new conductor, Ronald Braunstein.

He’s offered a vision that includes a focus on core orchestral repertoire, and self-empowerment of the Orchestra’s young musicians through dedicated coaching and personalized training sessions. The approach seems to be working so far.

While the maestro stuck strictly to the music in today’s concert and didn’t offer any words of introduction to his new audience, the Orchestra spoke volumes in Dvořák’s colorful Op. 46 Slavonic Dance #8, Bach’s stately Air on the G String, Bernstein’s brilliant Overture from Westside Story, and – occupying the entire second half of the program – Beethoven’s regal Symphony #5.

I’ve never heard the VYO’s brass and winds sound better than they did today in the Bernstein and Beethoven (the final movement of the 5th was outstanding!). Principal cellist Joshua Morris’s solo pizzicato passage in the Westside Story Overture showed supreme musicianship, as did the clarinet/bassoon tradeoffs in the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 5th, and many percussion moments throughout the entire concert. Bach’s familiar Air was glassy and serene (if not memorably interesting), while Dvořák’s potent Slavonic Dance delivered satisfying syncopation of  joyful abandon and metered precision.

This “concert season” is off to a great start!

battery park

July 15, 2010

…that’s Battery Park, Burlington, VT – not Battery Park, at the tip of Manhattan. Battery Park in Burlington is also nicely situated near the waterfront, however, and the Park’s cultural life is every bit proportional to its lively NY City namesake. We manage to get a lot into our short summer months here.

It’s the place to be, for example, Thursday evenings in July for the annual free concerts sponsored by Burlington City Arts. The series opened last week and the next concert will be starting in just a few minutes. If that’s not enough time to get there, then consider going to one of the two remaining shows:

  • Thursday, July 22nd: Foley Artist – The intricate acoustic guitar melodies of Michael Chorney, the ripping blues of the Eames Brothers and the sultry, ethereal vocals of Miriam Bernardo combine for an evening of eclectic blues and roots music.
  • Thursday, July 29th: Gin Wigmore – Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. Her latest album Holy Smoke was recorded with the backing band The Cardinals (Ryan Adams)

Summertime in Vermont is all about the live music, especially when it’s outdoors.

gypsy à deux

March 20, 2010

You know how much we love gypsy jazz, here at World of Music.

Just last week I picked up a couple of new (to me) recordings of very fine Django-style players from the Netherlands: Lollo Meier and Stocholo Rosenberg. There’s quite a thriving gypsy jazz scene in that area, and these folks are among the best.

Two of this area’s finest pickers came together for a dream-team pairing this past Tuesday. Jim Stout (Queen City Hot Club) and Mike Martin (Trio Gusto) traded off lead and rhythm roles in a few swinging, toe-tapping sets at Leunig’s.

Often in a restaurant setting I’ve noticed the dining experience is the focus, even when really great live music is cooking in the midst. While it’s hard not to spend some time lingering over the carefully prepared, colorful and elegant meals at Leunig’s (escargot, vegetable Napoleon, chili pomegranate glazed scallops…mmm), the music enjoyed an equal spotlight with generous applause after every number and folks lined up at the bar just to watch the music being made.

With this year’s Discover Jazz Festival just around the corner, I hope we’ll hear a lot more from Stout and Martin in the months to come!

out and about town today

February 28, 2010

Interesting day: Mardi Gras parade (in Lent: yes, we know that – a source of perpetual bewilderment every year it happens), Fireouse art gallery visitation, and evening recital of Spanish, French, Cuban and Argentinian music with pianist Annemieke Spoelstra. Excellent. Somehow it all fit together.

new year’s eve

December 31, 2009

Not too bad.

Yesterday morning the thermometer read -12°F when I got up. This morning the mercury (or actually, the impervious red liquid stuff – whatever that is) hovers right around 18°. Think of it – a difference of 30 degrees in just a day, all without cracking the 20°F-mark.

If it never warms up to more than 18° today, it will still be around 20° warmer than the last New Year’s eve. But, in the best New England tradition of just dealing with whatever comes along, I can report firsthand that the finger-numbing cold and nose-closing bitter winds didn’t hinder last year’s First Night celebrations for a minute.

Yeah, it meant lingering inside for a good while after dinner and only getting down to the street for the parade when the first marchers could be visually verified rounding the corner onto Main Street. Must…conserve…energy…must…

A half hour and a couple (a few) of Irish coffees later – different restaurant – the 9pm fireworks were rumoured to be starting. Then it was time to dash across the street over to the State House lawn and take a  place standing in the 2+-feet snowbanks to watch with wonder as each falling flake was illuminated against the nighttime sky in the shifting colors of the roman candles and showers of fire overhead. Fantastic.

First Night traditionally brings Vermont’s top musicians and entertainers out in a single-night, statewide display of everything from storytelling to circus acts, magic, imaginative  Bread and Puppet creations, and of course, music! What fun. Not sure what the evening holds yet, but with last year’s experience in Montpelier still fresh in my memory I’m thinking a First Night celebration somewhere is probably going to be part of the mix tonight.

Everyone has a different experience, leave a comment here to share your First Night memories.

First Night is tonight in…

Montpelier

St. Johnsbury

and Burlington


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