RR Arts Preview

Pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton to perform selections from the Great American Songbook in Brattleboro Jan. 18.

Contributions should be sent to jim.lowe@rutlandherald.com at least two weeks in advance.

Champian Fulton jazz

BRATTLEBORO – The Vermont Jazz Center will present pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Fulton, a DownBeat Magazine Rising Star, was recently lauded as 2019 Female Vocalist of the Year and 2019 Pianist of the Year by Hot House Magazine/Jazzmobile. She will be performing with her working quartet of over a decade including her father, Stephen Fulton, on flugelhorn, Hide Tanaka on bass and Fuku Tainaka on drums.

Champian Fulton swings hard — she’s a top-shelf pianist and vocalist with an expansive repertoire and a broad stylistic vocabulary. She likes to leave her sets open-ended so that she and her band can choose between familiar and little-known gems from the Great American Songbook on the fly. Considering her youthful age — 34 years old — it is intriguing that Fulton’s repertoire naturally gravitates to selections from the swing era.

Fulton is also a composer who “loves to sing the blues” and has performed compositions written by bebop piano legends Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell and Cedar Walton. But she keeps coming back to the tuneful songs of the swing era: “I love the standards… the harmonic structure of Tin Pan Alley (compositions) and the later songs by Cole Porter.”

Tickets are $20 (plus fees), $15 for students with ID; call 802-254-9088, ext. 1, or go online to www.vtjazz.org. The Vermont Jazz Center is located at 72 Cotton Mill Hill #222.


MIDDLEBURY – The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival continues its MNFF Selects film screening series Sunday, Jan. 12 with the luminous drama “Colette,” starring Keira Knightley. The film will screen at 2 p.m. at Town Hall Theater.

For its inaugural edition, MNFF Selects presents “The Biography Series: Fabulous Films About Fascinating People.” The fourth film in the Selects series, “Colette” is directed by Wash Westmoreland (“Still Alice,” “Quinceanara”).

This narrative drama portrays the remarkable life of the iconoclastic Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a woman who pushed the boundaries of established cultural norms in the late 19th and the early decades of 20th century France. A prolific author whose popular early novels were published under her first husband’s name and to whose considerable earnings she had no access, Colette eventually claimed her rightful place as a prominent woman of letters, culminating in a 1948 nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Knightley’s outstanding performance as Colette is sympathetic, revealing and powerful, and captures the many dimensions of this formidable woman’s life. Infused with a beautiful score and striking cinematography, the film resonates with authenticity and gives audiences a window into a pulsating period in French history.

Tickets are $15; call 802-382-9222, or go online to https://middfilmfest.org.

Heather Pierson acoustic

BELLOWS FALLS – The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio show at Stage 33 Live in November got snowed out, but it’s coming back around Sunday, Jan. 19. Their three-part vocals and multi-instrumental chops keep landing them on the folk radio charts, and they’ll be at Stage 33 Live in a special 2 p.m. matinee.

They burst onto the national folk scene with their 2015 EP, “Still She Will Fly,” and the title track was that year’s #2 single on folk radio. Their 2017 CD, “Singin’,” debuted at #1 and was the #11 folk charting album of the year. Heather’s new solo album, Lines and Spaces, came out last month and was her twelfth CD release.

The trio features original songs that span from the streets of New Orleans to the valleys of Appalachia; heartfelt music with stirring three-part vocals and earthy charm. They bring their “traveling music store” of instruments to Stage 33 Live. Local up-and-comer Emily Lyons will open with Josh Maiocco.

Tickets are $10; go online to http://stage33live.com.

Loving theater

SAXTONS RIVER – Main Street Arts and the Saxtons River Historical Society continue their series of Fireside Chats Sunday, Jan. 12, when the topic will be “Rockingham’s Love Affair with Theater. The talk takes place 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in the dining room of the Saxtons River Inn.

Actor and theater owner Falko Schilling and Rick Cowan will tell the story of theatrics from the 1800s at the Bellows Falls Opera House to more recent productions at the Saxtons River Playhouse, Vermont Academy and Main Street Arts.

The series is offered at no charge, with donations accepted. Those attending are invited to bring their own memories and memorabilia to share in this informal setting. The Inn’s dining room will be open for dinner after the presentation for further socializing.

For reservations, call 802-869-2110.

Poetry Open Mic

BELLOWS FALLS – Village Square Booksellers will host a 2nd Saturday Poetry Open Mic at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, assisted by New Hampshire author and poet Jim Fowler. This event will feature local poets Tim Mayo and Charles Butterfield, who will have books available for sale. After the two authors read their poems, the open mic is held by having poets take turns reading from their works or a favorite book.

For reservations, call 802-463-9404.

Heath at the BMC

BRATTLEBORO, VT – The Brattleboro Music Center’s Chamber Series continues with the Heath Quartet at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12 at the BMC.

The program features three monumental string quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven. As the quartet looks forward to its upcoming residency at Middlebury College, the artists recently performed a five-concert series at Wigmore Hall in London featuring Jörg Widmann’s quartets, presented a complete Beethoven quartet cycle at Kilkenny Festival in Ireland, and made their debuts at the Musée d’Orsay and Louvre Auditorium in Paris.

Tickets are $20, $40 preferred seating; go online to www.bmcvt.org.

Synthfest Series

BELLOWS FALLS – There will be an electronic music performance series celebrating synthesizers, circuit-bending, and sound manipulation on the second Saturdays of January through April at Stage 33 Live.

Each session hosts up to five acts for individual performances followed by a collective improvisation. Players will be in the center of the room, with the audience in the round. The music is expected to range from cinematic and lush to computer-esque and urgent.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 14 and April 11, at Stage 33 Live. Performers at the January session include Infinite Is, Tiny Little Ghosts, Five Before Chaos, Cyrus, and tOOthpAAt.

Admission is by donation ($5 suggested) at the door; go online to http://stage33live.com.

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