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Weekend Preview May 19-24
Bob Dylan tributes, Deborah Voigt, Tom Paxton, Bill Kirchen, John Kirk and Trish Miller

Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday in Style
Paying tribute to the greatest rock songwriter ever

FILM REVIEW: In a Better World and Of Gods and Men
Review by Seth Rogovoy

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Deborah Voigt Headlines Mahaiwe Gala
Opera star to sing arias, show tunes on Saturday, May 21

Famed Spiritual Teacher to Speak on Nonviolence
Mother Maya in free talk at Sruti Yoga in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday May 20 at 7pm

Special Effects Wizard to Be Honored by Film Festival
Doug Trumbull to be Feted by BIFF

Weekend Preview May 12-16
Cultural Highlights of the Berkshire Weekend

Talk about a small world
Elaine and I grew up together, but only just recently met....

Berkshire Living to Cease Publication
A Farewell from Publisher Michael Zivyak

twiGs Branches Out
Lenox boutique launches new e-tail site

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

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Weekend Cultural Highlights


Dave Holland performs at this weekend's Tanglewood Jazz Festival

The big story this Labor Day Weekend in the Berkshires, as with every Labor Day weekend in the Berkshires, is of course the Tanglewood Jazz Festival , in Lenox, Mass., marking the official closing of the summer cultural season – or the official opening of the fall cultural season, depending on your point of view.

As is traditional, the festival kicks off on Friday night with an evening of Latin jazz, featuring the great clarinetist Paquito d’Rivera.

On Saturday afternoon at 2, John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey will do a live taping of their popular radio program, Radio Deluxe, the first time the program will be recorded outside of its regular location, from their Upper East Side Manhattan living room. The musical guests joining Pizzarelli and Molaskey include vocalist Kurt Elling, young jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, and John Pizzarelli’s legendary guitar-playing father, Bucky Pizzarelli.

The festival, which takes place throughout the weekend at Ozawa Hall, continues on Saturday night at 8 with jazz violinist Regina Carter, leading her quartet in a world-music-flavored program called Reverse Thread, which includes material from her Paganini project, plus music from Mali, Senegal, and Uganda. Also on the Saturday night bill are vocalists Nnenna Freelon and Harolyn Blackwell, performing a tribute to the great Duke Ellington, in solo pieces, duets with chamber and jazz quartets, and intimate vocal and piano selections.

Sunday afternoon's concert at 2 features two of contemporary jazz's greatest pianists facing off in a rare duet format, as Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller improvise on original and jazz standards on two nine-foot Steinways. Also on Sunday afternoon's program is the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Founded by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, for over four decades the orchestra has performed on Monday nights at the world-famous jazz club, the Village Vanguard in New York.

Closing the festival on Sunday at 8 will be a clarion of trumpeters, featuring Jon Faddis, Sean Jones, and Wallace Roney, paying tribute to such legendary jazz trumpet greats as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. Bringing down the curtain on the weekend's program will be bassist and big band leader Dave Holland, leading an all-star band including Chris Potter, Antonio Hart, Gary Smulyan, Steve Nelson, Nate Smith, and Robin Eubanks.

Tickets for the 2009 Tanglewood are available by calling SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or online at tanglewood.org and in person at the Tanglewood Box Office in Lenox.. For further information, please call SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or visit our website at tanglewoodjazzfestival.org.

For those not yet willing to throw in the towel on the summer's classical music season – or who are anxious to carry classical music into the fall – there are several options.

On Saturday at 4:30, Music & More at the New Marlborough, Massachusetts, Meeting House presents From Mozart To Stravinsky, a concert featuring Igor Stravinsky's theater piece, The Soldier’s Tale, with narration performed by Keith Kibler. The piece is one of four to be performed that afternoon featuring the less familiar grouping of clarinet with violin or viola and piano, featuring clarinetist Paul Green, violinist and violist Ronald Gorevic, and pianist Doris Stevenson. Other works on the program include Mozart's Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, also known as the Kegelstatt Trio, Bruch's Trio Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Opus 83, and Darius Milhaud's jaunty Suite for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, originally written for writer Jean Anouilh’s play, A Traveler without Luggage.

Music & More is in its seventeenth year of bringing music, film and literary events to New Marlborough's Meeting House. All events are held in the newly renovated performance space in the landmark 1839 Greek revival building and are followed by a reception in the attached art gallery where attendees can enjoy a glass of wine and meet the featured performers.

Tickets are $25 each (call for discount info). Please call (413) 229-2785 or visit www.newmarlborough.org for further information. The New Marlborough Meeting House and Gallery are located on Route 57 on the village green in the center of New Marlborough. Music & More is sponsored by the New Marlborough Village Association.

The Shanghai Quartet performs at Music Mountain this weekend

Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this weekend with a re-creation of the 1930 inaugural concert played at Music Mountain. On Saturday at 6:30, the Shanghai Quartet performs an all-Beethoven concert, including the master's String Quartet in F Minor, Opus 95; Grosse Fugue, Opus 133; and String Quartet in B Flat Major, Opus 130.

Then on Sunday at 3, the Shanghai will play the exact same program performed by Music Mountain’s founder, Jacques Gordon and the Gordon String Quartet, eighty years ago: Beethoven's String Quartet in C Major, Opus 59 # 3; Ravel's String Quartet in F Major; and Schumann's Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Opus 44, for which the Shanghai will be joined by Cuban-born pianist Juana Zayas.

Tickets are available online at Music Mountain, at the door the day-of, or by phone at 860-824-7126.

And South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield, Mass., kicks off its 91st season on Sunday with the Muir String Quartet, with clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, in a program of music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms at 3.

413.442.2106; South Mountain Concerts

On Friday night, South African composer Philip Miller returns to MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., with a work-in-progress musical performance based on the tragic tale of the Hottentot Venus. Capping off a two-week residency, Miller's program brings to light hidden stories of South Africa with a musical-drama which tells the story of Sara Baartman, aka the Hottentot Venus, through song, set and video projection.

As a twenty-one year old slave girl, Baartman was taken from her hometown and shipped to London in 1810. Once in London she was put on display for her "unusual, exotic features." Although Baartman was an accomplished singer, dancer and musician, her only valued quality in Europe was her curious appearance.

After several years in London, Baartman was taken to Paris, where an animal trainer displayed her as an exhibit for fifteen months. During her time in Paris, several French scientists subjected her to their experiments to uncover the truth about her unique body. She died on December 29, 1815, from complications of depression, alcohol, and pneumonia. Adding to her mistreatment, her remains were placed on display in a Paris museum.

Filmmaker Andrew Dosume and composer Philip Miller have collaborated on a contemporary video diary of Baartman's journey through London and Paris. Music will play a vital role in the video diary, essentially telling the story of Baartman through song. The music will include contemporary electronic music layered with traditional elements of South African folk music which Baartman would have sung as a performer at that time. Contemporary music styles such as rap and hip-hop will also be part of the musical fabric, emphasizing the importation and fascination of Black music into European popular culture.

Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M., closed Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.

Seth Rogovoy is Berkshire Living's award-winning editor-in-chief and cultural critic.

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