Bits & Bytes: Jazz and classics for a change; Ramblin ‘Jack Elliott; the prisons of colonial America; Dorset theater inclusion programs; Salisbury Bank scholarship winners


Go up to host the Jazz and Classics for Change concert

LENOX – The mountain, the home of Edith Wharton, will host the concert Jazz and classics for a change with George Brooks and Utsav Lal on Sunday July 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Saxophonist George Brooks and pianist Utsav Lal create a dynamic new genre, drawing inspiration from the traditions of Indian classical music, American jazz, Western classical and contemporary improvisation. Their association began in 2020, when Brooks brought Lal to California for a concert featuring Indian and American artists. The connection was immediate, and despite the challenge of living 3,000 miles from each other (Brooks in California and Lal in New York), they continued to collaborate and create new music. Their performance at the Mount will be their first live performance since the start of the pandemic.

George Brooks is an award-winning saxophonist and composer, and the founder of Indian fusion groups Summit with Zakir Hussain; Bombay Jazz with Ronu Majumdar and Larry Coryell; Raga Bop Trio with Steve Smith and Prasanna; Kirwani Quartet with Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia; and Elements with Kala Ramnath and Gwyneth Wentink.

He has collaborated extensively with American composer Terry Riley and has performed with Etta James, Anthony Braxton, Jaki Byard, Talvin Singh, Kronos Quartet, The Temptations, Michael McClure and Ray Manzarek. He appears regularly at major festivals across India and was the featured soloist on John McLaughlin’s 2008 Grammy-nominated album “Floating Point”. His compositions have been performed by Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Liverpool Philharmonic, and can be heard in the Merchant / Ivory movie “The Mystic Masseur”.

Utsav Lal was born and raised in New Delhi, where he trained in Indian classical music with dhrupad singer Ustad Wassifudin Dagar, then graduated with a BA and MA in Jazz and Western Classical Music at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland and the New England Conservatory of Music. Lal was named Young Steinway Artist in 2010 by piano makers Steinway & Sons.

Known as the “Raga Pianist”, Lal has performed solos at Carnegie Hall, Southbank Center-London, Kennedy Center-DC and Steinway Hall-NY. Since releasing his debut album, “Piano Moods of Indian Ragas”, in 2008, Lal has released six more albums.

Lal has participated in international collaborations with Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Winifred Horan, Australian Contemporary Circus Theater CIRCA, Talvin Singh, Miles Okazaki and Rajna Swaminathan.


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Guthrie Center to reopen for Ramblin ‘Jack Elliott concert

Ramblin ‘Jack Elliott. Photo courtesy of Center Guthrie

GREATER BARRINGTON The Guthrie Center will host his first gig in over a year with Ramblin ‘Jack Elliott on Thursday July 15.

A true itinerant troubadour, Elliott is one of the last links with the great American folk traditions. He absorbed this music through the great pioneers – Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt and the many musicians of Appalachia, Nashville and New Orleans – and transmitted it to listeners through his more than 40 albums.

Elliott has influenced musicians such as Kris Kristofferson, Tim Hardin, Jerry Jeff Walker and the Grateful Dead. He won Grammys for both Traditional Folk (1995 “South Coast”) and Traditional Blues (2010 “A Stranger Here”), as well as the National Medal of the Arts in 1998.

Tickets: $ 65 general admission, $ 58.50 members. To purchase tickets and for more information, call 413-528-1955. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Light meals, beer and wine will be available for purchase.


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Bidwell House to Present Conference on Prisons in Colonial America

Photo courtesy of Bidwell House Museum

MONTEREY – the Bidwell House Museum The historic fourth lecture of the 2021 season will feature Princeton University professor Wendy Warren. Reading, Prisons in Colonial America, will be held, in person and online, on Saturday July 17 at 10 a.m.

Warren will explain the long history of prisons in North America and examine what has not changed between the earliest prisons and those today. Warren teaches in the history department at Princeton University. She has published on slavery, prisons, the Atlantic world and other subjects.

This program will be held in person at the Bidwell House Museum and will be broadcast live via Zoom. There are a limited number of tickets available for in-person seating. All participants, in person and through Zoom, must register through the Museum’s website.


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Dorset Theater Expands Giving Back Program and Launches Inclusion Program

DORSET, Vermont – Dorset Theater Festival Expands Community Access Programs This Summer To Include COVID-19 Essential Workers In Its Giving Back Program, which offers paid tickets to people who serve the community and their families. EMS workers, firefighters, police, veterans and active duty military, farmers, Refuse to Use graduate students, Habitat for Humanity owners and volunteers, Living Proof mentees and mentors, special needs community members and their caregivers, and now essential COVID-19 workers can all request up to four discounted tickets per household.

“The Dorset Theater Festival is committed to the continued work and practice of making our theater a place that celebrates the differences in our community,” said Dina Janis, Artistic Director of Dorset. “Even though we’ve been offering the Giving Back program for years, people often don’t realize that they qualify or that their families can participate in the fun as well,” Janis said.

The Festival will also launch its new Community Inclusion Partnership Program, which offers free Friends & Neighbors corporate sponsorship to BIPOC, AAPI and LGBTQIA business owners, under-represented and historically excluded community groups, cultural affinity groups, tribes, tribal organizations, organizations defense of civil rights and social justice and cultural or community centers. In addition to the placement of the logo on the Festival website, participating partners will also receive a special discount code to share with members of their communities. An application is available online.

The Festival was able to expand the list of eligible groups thanks to an impactful multi-year grant from the Rodgers Family Foundation and support from business partners in our community such as the Vermont Country Store and Southwestern Vermont Health Care, whose sponsorships directly benefit the program. Giving Back, ”said Janis.

This year, the Festival is also running a one-price ticket offer for regional educators, as well as a new ticket lottery for each performance in 2021. To enter the lottery, visit the Dorset Theater Festival website and run the chance to purchase $ 15 tickets. Entries must be received the day before the desired show.


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Salisbury Bank announces annual scholarship recipients

LAKEVILLE, Connecticut – Salisbury Bank announced the recipients of its annual scholarship program. Salisbury Bank created the program in 2009 to help students who are already making a difference in their community. Nine scholarships in the amount of $ 1,500 to $ 2,500 were awarded to assist eligible students seeking a college degree in various programs. The recipients are high performing students who have a variety of interests, have demonstrated leadership experience, have demonstrated consistent community engagement, and strive to make their world a better place. The 2021 scholarship recipients include:

  • Aaminah Syed from Stissing Mountain High School, Pine Plains, NY
  • Evan Matthews from Stissing Mountain High School, Pine Plains, NY
  • Tayler Wolfe from Webutuck High School, Amenia, NY
  • Sage Macken of Monument Mountain Regional High School, Great Barrington, MA
  • Isabella Yoo of Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut
  • Emma DiValentino from New Paltz Senior High School, New Paltz, NY
  • Megan Wiese of Dover High School, Dover Plains, NY
  • Kaylie Anderson of Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Falls Village, Connecticut
  • Persephone Moore of Roy C. Ketcham High School, Wappingers Falls, NY



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