CV Arts Preview

Americana group Cradle Switch returns to Brandon Music May 25.

Contributions should be sent to at least two weeks in advance.

Cradle Switch

BRANDON – Brandon Music welcomes back favorites Cradle Switch to Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 25. A five-piece acoustic Americana group based in Cambridge, New York, Cradle Switch’s repertoire promises ballads as well as up-tempo rhythms. The group’s lyrics cover the emotional spectrum, moving easily from spirited and gritty to some mellow love songs too. With each performance Cradle Switch balances contemporary songs and classic tunes drawing from bluegrass, country, folk and a little blues, with their own authentic compositions.

Singer-songwriters Ferrilyn Sourdiffe and Dave Lawlor swap out guitars for banjo and mandolin, while group member Kate Ritter brings it on the fiddle, along with some angelic vocal harmonies to add to Ferrilyn and Dave’s robust vocals. Bruce Weatherby adds some bounce on the upright bass, and David Norman keeps the beat on percussion (and has been known to wear his special washboard tie to gigs).

Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required for dinner); call 802-247-4295 or e-mail Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road; go online to

‘The Blue Swans’

RUTLAND – The opening art reception for “The Blue Swans,” featuring recent works by eight working artists and an Argentina tango dance performance, will be 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, at the B&G Gallery, 71-75 Merchants Row.

A group of seven swans-a-swimming, plus one, will swoop into Rutland for an exhibition of paintings. Seven of the artists found their way to each other in 2009 in Middlebury by word of mouth, and quickly realized how important it was to have a local community of artists with whom they could talk about their creative processes. Swan number eight, Molly Hawley, joined several years later.

They began to meet at each other’s homes — connections were made and conversations lasted into the wee hours of the night. The name, The Blue Swans, came about at one gathering when talking about Der Blaue Reiter, a 20th-century group of painters, whom many of The Blue Swans admired. The Blue Swans are Klara Calitri, Linda Hampton-Smith, Hawley, Patricia LeBon Herb, Phoebe Stone, Mary Swanson, Sarah Wesson and Yinglei Zhang, all of whom exhibit their art on a regular basis in solo and group shows.

Admission is free; go online to

Windham Orchestra

BRATTLEBORO – The Windham Orchestra explores the “Human Condition” with works by Strauss and Shostakovich, a performance that is in part a tribute to the passing of orchestra violinist Gudrun Weeks.

The concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the Latchis Theatre, “is a profound, gorgeous and, one might even say, joyful exploration of different spiritual states,” says Music Director Hugh Keelan. “These works show us that tragedy is not necessarily sad — it can actually also be elevating.”

Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, are literally the composer’s last works, and are “Frühling” (Spring), “September,” “Beim Schlafengehen” (When Falling Asleep) and “Im Abendrot” (At Sunset). As Keelan noted, “The last music we think Gudrun played with us was the violin solo from the song ‘Falling Asleep’; this will be both difficult and essential for us to play.”

Soprano Jenna Rae sings the inspiring and elevating cycle. “That concept, of course, is hard to put into words, which is why we have music.”

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 continues the tour of the “Human Condition,” he explains, “spotlighting conflict, strife, waiting, and the movement towards love and peace.”

Tickets are $15-$40; call 802-257-4523, or go online to

Village Harmony Alumni

TINMOUTH – Village Harmony Alumni Ensemble, led by Larry Gordon, Sophie Michaux and Adam Simon, will present a concert of world vocal music at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 27, at Tinmouth Community Church.

This unique select world-music vocal ensemble includes a dozen college-aged and young adult Village Harmony veterans, many of whom have sung and traveled with Village Harmony for many years. The program features songs and dances from South Africa, contemporary American shape-note songs, quartet gospel, traditional songs from Corsica, Bosnia, Croatia and Bulgaria, Monteverdi madrigals and other renaissance works, and original compositions by Simon.

Admission is by donation ($5-$15 suggested); call 802-881-6775.

Carpenter, Porche et al

BELLOWS FALLS – Patty Carpenter and Verandah Porche will perform at Stage 33 Live at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19. Special guest Jon Weeks will be sitting in on wind instruments and percussion, and Wheeler Laird will grace a song or two.

Carpenter and Porche have been lifelong friends and collaborators. They’ll be playing some of the songs they’ve written since the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band’s “Come Over” CD, which they also co-composed.

Admission is by donation ($10 suggested); go online to Stage 33 Live is at 33 Bridge St.

Cuban jazz

BRATTLEBORO – At 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, the Vermont Jazz Center will present a duo concert featuring two of Cuba’s foremost musical performers: pianist Alfredo Rodriguez and percussionist Pedrito Martinez.

Their charismatic presence, a brand-new album and an on-going tour of about fifty international gigs has generated tremendous excitement and expanded their circle to include listeners around the globe. In the coming months they will be touring Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. In the promo for their new release, “Duologue,” percussionist Martinez states that, “what makes this duo completely different is that I came from the folkloric side and Alfredo came from the classical side.”

The New York Times said that these “masters of Afro-Cuban rhythm who both hail from Havana … learned their craft in different settings: Rodriguez at clubs and solares — the housing units where much of Cuba’s African musical inheritance is passed down — and Martinez at various conservatories in the city.”

Tickets are $20, $15 for students; call 802-254-9088, ext. 1, or go online to

Max Kraus photos

MIDDLEBURY – The Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater presents “Photographs by Max Kraus” through June 16.

In addition to taking pictures of classical Vermont scenes, Kraus has chronicled many Town Hall Theater events through his images of production casts and crews and his candid shots of performances in action. He has photographed eight years of the Opera Company of Middlebury performances, many of the Middlebury Community Players productions and exciting “J-Term” shows, and collaborations between the Theater and Middlebury College. He will include a few pictures from these events in the exhibition.

For information call 802-382-9222, or go online to

Stone Bench Project

WEST RUTLAND – Have you ever carved stone? The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center will offer local young people (ages 13-19) the chance to carve and build a stone bench to be installed in Rutland County. Participants will gain a solid skill basis in lettering, architectural and sculptural stone working, as well as an appreciation for the industrial history of the Marble Valley region. The workshop is free and limited to 10 students. Application deadline is May 31.

To apply, please send a one-page essay explaining how this experience will benefit you to: or CSSC Bench Project, P.O. Box 495, West Rutland, VT 05777.

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