Swing Noire invokes the energy of a swinging jazz club, transporting audiences back to the early days of jazz with its unique take on hot swing, making music that “will entrance and surprise you.” They evoke “images of smoky basement speakeasies and slinky cabarets,” says Dan Bolles at Seven Days. The group is the perfect way for Brandon Music to start off their 2019 year of (almost) weekly concerts. Hear the group’s great energy, soul, sophistication and improvisation at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.
Whether it’s called Gypsy jazz, hot swing, jazz manouche, or any other idiom, over the last decade, Swing Noire has found its place in Vermont. “In a time when good jazz groups are hard to find, Swing Noire rises to the top as one of the best jazz groups playing around Burlington. … Swing Noire brings you into those smoky clubs of days past, makes you feel jazz the way it was meant to be felt, full of emotion and energy,” according to Jennifer Crowell, First Night Burlington.
Violinist David Gusakov (Last Train to Zinkov, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Pine Island), guitarist Rob McCuen (Bloodroot Gap, The Good Parts) and Jim McCuen (Bloodroot Gap, Bessette Quartet) on double bass, make up Vermont’s hot club-style quartet. Swing Noire has performed at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington’s First Night celebration, Middlebury Town Hall Theater, Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, and countless other venues throughout Vermont and New England.
Barbara Ebling at The Ball and Chain sums it up: “This is one of the hippest, most happening groups in the state, so don’t miss out!”
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email email@example.com. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road. For information, visit www.brandon-music.net.
Weston Playhouse Theatre and Kinhaven Music School, two of southern Vermont’s premier cultural institutions, will come together for a musical night, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm.
Join faculty artists from Kinhaven Music School for an evening of chamber music. Musicians Ari Isaacman-Beck, Nicholas DiEugenio, Adam Grabois, Aundrey Mitchell, Peter Schultz, Mimi Solomon and Mary Watt will perform works by Brahms, Mozart, Telemann and more.
Tickets are $20, $15 in advance; go online to www.westonplayouse.org.
Brattleboro Concert Choir
The Brattleboro Concert Choir’s upcoming January concerts mark the debut of its new director. Leading the choir will be Jonathan Harvey, assistant professor of music and director of choirs at Fitchburg (Massachusetts) State University, who was named music director of the Brattleboro Concert Choir earlier this year.
The Concert Choir presents “Mozart, Beginnings and Endings,” in two performances at the Latchis Theatre: at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.
The two pieces on the program bookend Mozart’s musical life. Allegri’s “Miserere mei, Deus” holds a special place in the lore around Mozart’s prodigious young talent. The piece was written by Allegri in the late 1630s specifically for worship in the Sistine Chapel, where a 14-year old Mozart visited the Vatican in 1770. Upon hearing the piece once, he transcribed it perfectly and brought it to the wider world.
From that early influence on Mozart, the program moves to his last and unfinished masterpiece, the Requiem. Mozart’s Requiem contains some of his best-loved and most beautiful writing for the voice, and takes performers and listeners alike on a journey from the depths of violent hellfire to the heavenly softness of angel voices.
For tickets or information, call 802-257-4523, or go online to https://bmcvt.org.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, the Women’s Freedom Center will present the documentary film “Lane 1974” at the Rockingham Library. Based on Clane Hayward’s memoir ”The Hypocrisy of Disco,” it tells a true coming of age survival story.
It’s 1974 and 13-year-old Lane lives on a beautiful Northern California commune until her mother alienates their family from the security and safety of the community. They begin moving from one unlikely situation to another. After a series of dangerous events, Lane must decide how to survive.
“Lane 1974” is the fifth in a series of six films by and about women, sponsored by the Women’s Freedom Center running the second Thursday of each month through February 2019.
Admission is free; call 802-463-4270, or go online to http://rockinghamlibrary.org. The Rockingham Library is located at 65 Westminster St.
Renowned watercolor artist Robert O’Brien, AWS, NWS, will teach you how to paint the magnificent New England countryside in winter at Gallery at the Vault, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Light, shadow, value and composition will be emphasized. O’Brien will begin with a demonstration, explaining each step of the process. Students will then paint with the instructor providing hands-on assistance. There will be a critique given at the end of the class. Students are encouraged to provide their own reference photos, though O’Brien will have many on hand.
If there are more than six students the workshop will be moved to the Springfield Art Gym; therefore, registration and payment needs to be by Jan. 5. Call for a reservation as late as Jan. 10 in case there is extra room. A materials list will be provided at registration; all levels are welcome.
The fee is $85, $75 for members; call 802-885-7111, or go online to www.galleryvault.org. Gallery at the Vault is located at 68 Main St.
Tenor Mark Padmore
The Middlebury Performing Arts Series will present the art song “dream team” (New York Times) of British tenor Mark Padmore and compatriot pianist Paul Lewis at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Although Lewis is a Middlebury audience favorite, this concert will be the first time the two musicians share the Robison Hall stage at the Mahaney Arts Center. Their program will showcase German lieder by Brahms, Mahler and Schumann.
PAS Director Allison Coyne Carroll first heard the pair perform together at a music festival in 2011. “What transpired that evening was one of the most magical performances I’ve ever attended. Padmore kept us rapt in our seats … his voice at times icy, haunting, and longing. Lewis, for his part, was also stunning. I knew if we could capture even a morsel of that magic in our acoustically resonant Robison Hall, we would be in for a night to remember.”
Tickets are $30, $10 for youth; call 802-443-MIDD (6433) or go online ti to www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 South/S. Main Street.
Last Train to Zinkov
The Last Train to Zinkov is David and Nathan Gusakov, father and son, who play original songs and old tunes about the beauty and peace of home, of delight and sadness and the wild human emotions inherent in living and dying. Featuring clawhammer banjo, fiddling and family harmonies, the Gusakovs will perform at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19.
The Gusakovs have been gaining recognition as they expand their performance reach throughout New England. Heidi Fram at Byfield Community Arts said, “Last Train to Zinkov fills your soul with heartfelt melodies that linger long ... This is truly what folk music is supposed to be, reminding you that good people and good music can change your life.”
At Brandon Music, the duo will perform songs from their latest album, “Regenerations.” Several new tunes recently added to their repertoire, include a dynamic opening number, “Chosen Kale Mazeltov,” a rousing wedding song that will start the night off right.
With violin, viola, banjo and vocals, Last Train to Zinkov plays with a lively, toe-tapping touch, sing with mournful sensitivity, and exhibit a creative chemistry that can only be born of a lifetime of relationship. Their original songs and compositions reflect their love of Appalachian old-time music, gypsy jazz, swing, classical, and their own Eastern European roots.