Daily Dose | Chronogram Magazine

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Poughkeepsie Percussionist Pummels Paris Pillar

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Joseph Bertolozzi
  • Joseph Bertolozzi

The February 2009 profile of Joseph Bertolozzi remains one of the most unusual ones I’ve written for Chronogram. In it, the Poughkeepsie composer discusses the then upcoming premier of Bridge Music, the percussion suite he’d written that uses the Mid-Hudson Bridge as an instrument. In the piece, Bertolozzi mentioned how the idea for such an undertaking came about during a trip to Paris. There, he’d, forgive me, hit on the idea of writing music that used the Eifel Tower as an instrument. At the time, owing to bureaucracy and logistics, he resigned himself to work with a structure closer to home, hence the local focus of Bridge Music. But, now, with the nearing completion of Tower Music, Bertolozzi is close to realizing his earlier dream.

In June 2013, he was granted access to the Eifel Tower with the purpose of recording his mallets, drumsticks, and other implements striking various pieces of the iconic French landmark. Back home in the Hudson Valley, he’s hard at work on mixing and sonically tweaking the audio files to become the finished Tower Music. It wasn’t planned that way, but when completed the work—like the spirit of the people of Paris and the tower itself—will stand as a defiant retort to terrorist attacks that took place in the city last November.
Here’s a short video about the making of Tower Music:

For more information on Bertolozzi and the progress of Tower Music, visit www.JosephBertolozzi.com.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Duke McVinnie Band Revisits Kingston

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The Duke McVinnie Band
  • The Duke McVinnie Band

West Coast guitarist Duke McVinnie drifted into the Hudson Valley in the 1990s as a member of the band Shivaree. A master of understated, smoky, blues-rock noir, McVinnie keeps a famously low profile, poking his head out once in a while like some enigmatic groundhog to drop a CD or do the odd gig here or there. The residency he and his DMV Band held down last year at BSP was a well-loved run, so it’s extremely sensible for the venue to host them again on January 27.

McVinnie has played with Peter Case, Joan Baez, Isobell Campbell, David Alvin, Madeleine Peyroux, Exene Cervenka, and on the soundtracks of Kill Bill and other films. The DMV Band’s simultaneously released 2014 albums 9 and 10 (Independent), were lauded by reviewer Robert Burke Warren in the pages of Chronogram.
Here, the Duke McVinnie Band plays “Nothing Lasts” in 2011:

The Duke McVinnie Band with special guest Brian Dewan will perform at BSP in Kingston on January 27 at 7pm. Admission is $5. For more information, call (845) 481-5158 or visit http://bspkingston.com/.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Grab a Free Day (or Weekend) in the Berkshires!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Strolling the grounds at Mass MoCA in North Adams - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • Strolling the grounds at Mass MoCA in North Adams

For a kid, the overall space and energy of a museum can be just as exciting as the work they might see. And Mass MoCA in nearby North Adams, Massachusetts, may be one of the most exciting and energetic museum spaces around. Thirteen acres of 19th-century factory buildings, it’s an elaborate system of interlocking courtyards, bridges, elevated walkways, and red brick facades which families are encouraged to roam. Steeped in history, it’s also full of surprises: trees growing upside down; displays in seemingly secret spaces; passageways and viaducts; and great expanses of open space filled with sound, architecture, and sometimes enormous art. There’s a dedicated Kidspace that hosts its own exhibitions and offers art supplies and projects so children of all ages can get their hands on the ideas they encounter throughout the museum. And this Saturday, January 30th, Mass MoCA will throw open its doors to the community for free.

“We did a test run, opening the galleries in the dead of winter when there wasn’t much else around to do, and welcomed the community,” says Jodi Joseph, Director of Communications at Mass MoCA. “It was such a hit; we’ve continued it now for more than a decade.”

An innovator of pop-up exhibitions (visual, literary, and musical mini-shows which happen almost at random throughout the building complex in loosely designated spots), Mass MoCA’s Free Day will feature live elevator music in a giant freight elevator, WanderWord poetry roaming the galleries, a photobooth where visitors can interact with artwork, fiddlers, a comedy improv troupe, and a storybooth where former factory employees share their memories of the space that now holds MASS MoCA.

Interactive art at Mass MoCA's Kidspace - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • Interactive art at Mass MoCA's Kidspace

Building a fully immersive museum-going experience, there are also opportunities for visitors to collaborate on community art projects. Guests are invited to create art that will go on display at Boston Children’s Hospital beginning in February, and to participate in a community mural project that will transform the museum’s Tall Gallery with Jim Shaw- and Clifford Ross-inspired art.

With kid-friendly gallery monitors and an enthusiastic staff, Mass MoCA is welcoming to children of all ages. Don’t miss the multiple activities, tours, parties, and special exhibits created especially for families which are scheduled throughout the day.

Free Day 2016 at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA: Saturday, January 30; 11am-7pm. Free!
Kid-Friendly Schedule of Events:

11:30am Story Time Led by Child Care of the Berkshires in Building 5A
12pm Opening Ceremony/Ribbon-cutting for artist Aaron Johnson and local student collaborative sock-monster mural at Kidspace
1:30pm Museum Tour For Families
3:30pm Kidspace: Walk in My Shoes with Director of Education Laura Thompson
5pm Smile-athon at Kidspace.

Make a weekend of it! There are lots of great lodging options in North Adams and Williamstown, Massachusetts, and in Bennington, Vermont. The Williams Inn allows families with more than two kids to share a double room with free breakfast for everyone! They’ll even give you a cot bed. The Clark Art Gallery in Williamstown (about a fifteen-minute drive from North Adams) has iPad media guides with an interactive Fun for Families portal, a giant, modernist wishing pool, and miles of trails to explore. Try a meal at Public Eat and Drink for grass fed burgers, the biggest bowl of mac and cheese you’ve ever seen, and cocktails for the grown-ups that top off at $9.On your way, hit The Store at Five Corners, 6 New Ashford Road (Routes 7 & 43) in Williamstown, for gourmet eats and innovative café recipes like fresh blueberry and ricotta pizza drizzled with honey. Stretch your legs at the playground out back with wooden features, a rope box ladder, and old school leather baby swing.

Blueberry, ricotta, arugula, and honey pizza at The Store at Five Corners in Williamstown - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • Blueberry, ricotta, arugula, and honey pizza at The Store at Five Corners in Williamstown
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

(Re)treat Yourself: Women's Wellness Weekend at Frost Valley

Posted By on Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 9:05 AM


Women: Got healthy New Year's resolutions? Here's a way to keep them going well into 2016.

Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskills will host its annual Women's Wellness Weekend retreat April 1-3, 2016. It's chance to nurture body, mind, and spirit - and to set the year off on a path of wellbeing.

During the weekend, choose from activities that range from the invigorating to the mindful: Zumba, nature hikes, body sculpting, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and meditation. Feed your creative spirit with watercolor painting, pottery making, or group drumming, and learn from experts who will discuss stress management, maintaining a youthful appearance with organics, and achieving inner balance. Naturally, healthy gourmet food is included in the experience, with a range of options tailored to individual dietary needs.

Guests are invited to attend the weekend solo or come with a friend for three days of connection, relaxation, and wellness on Frost Valley's 5,500 acres in the Catskill Mountains.

To learn more and plan your retreat, visit FrostValley.org or call 845-985-2291, ext.450.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Giraffes Hit Hudson This Month

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The Giraffes
  • The Giraffes

Brooklyn hard rockers the Giraffes have been sticking out their necks for 20 years, tearing up stages across the U.S. and Europe and performing with the Eagles of Death Metal, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fishbone, The Strokes, and other big names. The band has just released their seventh album, Usury (Silver Sleeve Records), and will rock the Half Moon on January 30 to promote the torrid new disc.

With the nucleus of founding guitarist Damien Paris and vocalist Aaron Lazar, the Giraffes have survived and thrived despite challenges that would fell most bands. In 2002, Paris was shot in the leg after a wild gig in Brooklyn; in 2005, Lazar, after suffering two heart attacks and a seizure, had a defibrillator implanted, which went off three times in 30 seconds during a show in Chicago—but he finished the set anyway. Slow Collins, featuring former Giraffes bassist and Hudson resident John Rosenthal, will open this rare upstate date.

Here’s the quartet delivering “Prime Motivator” in 2010:

The Giraffes and Slow Collins will perform at the Half Moon in Hudson, New York, on January 30 at 9pm. Admission is $5. For more information, call (518) 828-1562 or visit http://thehalfmoonhudson.com/.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Piano Prodigy Plays Woodstock This Month

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Joey Alexander
  • Joey Alexander

Joey Alexander is the current cause célèbre of the jazz world, and unsurprisingly so. The 12-year-old Balinese piano prodigy, who was recently featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” is blessed with a level of technical facility and improvisational imagination that many serious musicians go whole careers without attaining. Lucky local music lovers will have their chance to catch this rising young genius before he even hits puberty, when the wunderkind and his trio play the Woodstock Playhouse on January 30.

Alexander has just received two Grammy nominations for his debut, My Favorite Things (Motema Records). He taught himself to play piano by listening with his father, an amateur musician, to classic jazz albums. Faced with a lack of jazz education in Bali, Alexander began attending jam sessions with senior musicians. From there, his musical intuition flourished, as did his love of playing jazz. UNESCO invited him to play solo piano in honor of his jazz idol Herbie Hancock, who provides enthusiastic support to the young savant’s budding career.

See for yourself. Here’s the kid in action, performing the album’s famous title composition:

The Joey Alexander Trio will perform at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, New York, on January 30 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $35. For more information, call (845) 802-0029 or visit www.jazzstock.com.

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Intergenerational Music Together

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

4-year-old Iggy enjoys Music Together with young and old classmates at the Thompson House - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • 4-year-old Iggy enjoys Music Together with young and old classmates at the Thompson House

Hello, everybody! A certain favorite children’s music classes are bringing it to the Thompson House in Rhinebeck for a weekly discounted series that will warm your heart and make it sing. Keeping with traditional Music Together form which intersperses call-and-response singing, movement, and jam sessions on simple wind and percussion instruments, the new class series adds an element. While the little kids play in a central circle with their caregivers, there’s an outer circle of elderly glee. Kids smile as old women wave, and classmates of varying ages form bonds while shaking shakers and singing songs.

In 1987, Music Together, an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program, pioneered the concept of a research-based music curriculum for children from birth through age seven that emphasizes the involvement of the adults who love them. Classes are based on the idea that all children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports it.

Building on the idea that music can connect generations, Catskill Mountain Music Together Director, Miranda Haydn, ran an Intergenerational Class for years at the Ivy Lodge, an assisted living facility for the elderly in Saugerties. “We had our regulars who really came to class first and foremost for the kids, but also for the music,” Haydn recalls. It was a good experience for all, so Haydn was delighted when Allison Gould, Social Worker for the Center for Healthy Aging, asked if Haydn might offer an Intergenerational Class at The Thompson House, a Nursing & Custodial Care Center at Northern Dutchess Hospital. “Music is a perfect way to bridge the gap between generations because it’s reaches beyond our daily limits to the core of our beings. Anyone in any phase of life can benefit from the pleasure of music and music-making,” Haydn says.

“This is the cycle of life, and those at either end of the spectrum are inextricably connected,” says Gould. “There’s a natural wisdom in the eyes of a child, and there’s a learned wisdom in the hearts of our elders. Yet somehow we’ve lost opportunities for connections between these kindred spirits. Intergenerational programs are making a difference in helping us find them again.”

“Over my 25+ year career,” says Sue Close, Manager of Public and Community Affairs at the Thompson House, “I've learned that music, children and pets can be the best medicine. To see our residents' faces light up, their smiles, and their toes tapping makes me extremely grateful to Miranda, the parents, and the children!”

It started last week and doesn’t meet on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or President’s Day, but the 8-class series has a few spots left.

Intergenerational Class at The Thompson House, 6525 Spring Brook Avenue, Rhinebeck: for children ages 0-7 and the adults who love them; Mondays 3:45 pm; $133.00 for the first child, $70.00 for the second. For more information or to enroll, contact Miranda Haydn, director@catskillmountainmusictogether.com, 845-657-2600. Or go to www.cmmusictogether.com and click the Registration button.
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Hoot Returns This Month

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 9:00 AM


Once again, the Hoot is nigh—the Ashokan Center’s Winter Hoot, that is. The local arts/community/nature/history family educational site will present its always-anticipated three-day gathering on January 29, 30, and 31.

With live music, dancing, food, film, art and nature activities for all ages, the Fourth Annual Winter Hoot will welcome the community for a “spirit-raising good time in mid-winter!” In addition to that of returning host musicians Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, and the Mike & Ruthy Band, this year’s Winter Hoot will feature sets by Ana Egge, Jeffrey Lewis, Bill Harley, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gustafer Yellowgold, and more. Lodging at the center’s beautiful log-built buildings is available.

And here’s Ruthy Ungar and Josh Ritter play “The Winter Hoot Song” on Radio Woodstock during Greg Gattine’s show:

For tickets and more information, visit http://www.homeofthehoot.com/#winterhoot.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Professor Louie and the Crowmatix Land in Tannersville

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Professor Louie and the Crowmatix
  • Professor Louie and the Crowmatix

There can be no argument that Professor Louie and the Crowmatix are a Woodstock institution. Led by keyboardist, accordionist, singer, and producer Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz, the long-running roots outfit has carried the proud local legacy of The Band for the last few decades—fittingly, as Hurwitz contributed to The Band’s last three albums and he frequently worked with Garth Hudson and the late Rick Danko and Levon Helm as a sideman. The Crowmatix just released Music from Hurley Mountain (Woodstock Records), their 12th album, which they’re plugging this Saturday with a set sponsored by Catskill Mountain Foundation at the Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannersville.

Music from Hurley Mountain features 14 new tracks by the Grammy-nominated group, which also includes singer and pianist Miss Marie (Rick Danko), guitarist John Platania (Van Morrison), drummer Gary Burke (Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson), and bassist Frank Campbell (Steve Forbert, Levon Helm).

Enjoy this video for the album’s “Hurley Mountain Road”:

Professor Louie and the Crowmatix, Walt Michael, Tony Trischka, and Greg Dayton will perform on January 16 at 8pm at the Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannersville, New York. Tickets are $35. For more information, call (845) 263-2063 or visit http://www.catskillmtn.org/.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Creek Scouts

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Playing in the debris hut at the Randolph School - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • Playing in the debris hut at the Randolph School

Just when you thought your kids would finally curl up for a long winter’s nap, an opportunity comes along to sweep them outdoors. Creek Scouts is happening at the Randolph School the last two Saturdays in January, for kids ages 4-10, where they can learn all about loving the wintery landscape.

On Saturday, January 23rd, the class will focus on the adaptations that enable native animals to stay warm in winter. Kids will touch real skulls, skins, and bird specimens, and play cooperative games that highlight predator-prey relationships and survival skills.

On Saturday, January 30th, human survival is the focus as the class looks at how to enjoy outdoor adventures in the cold. From tricks for staying warm while hiking, to constructing a shelter, to fire-building and making hot drinks, kids will get to practice first-hand the fun of thriving in the winter landscape.

Creek Scouts is a mixed age program for girls and boys, which balances the various needs of the group by bringing older kids into leadership and mentoring roles. Sharing his passion for the natural world through soft teaching techniques, Evan Miklos, the science and PE teacher at the Randolph School, together with his partner build upon the children’s interests and encourage exploration within a guided experience. "As a Randolph teacher with a background in biology, I have always emphasized outdoor experiences and hands-on natural science in my work with kids," Miklos explains. "Parents kept suggesting that this was one of the most valuable aspects of their kids' school experience, and they were hungry for more." All classes feature a hike to Hunter Creek and Native American teaching stories.

Creek Scouts at the Randolph School, 2467 Route 9D in Wappingers Falls: Feathers, Fur, and Fangs, Saturday, January 23rd, 10:00a - 12:00p; Winter in the Wild, Saturday, January 30th. Classes are from 10:00a - 12:00p, $20 per child per class. Dress for being outdoors (ie. multiple layers, sturdy waterproof snow/hiking boots, warm hat, and waterproof jacket, snowpants, and gloves). Bring a water bottle and bag lunch or several hearty snacks. For more info or to register, email creekscouts@gmail.com.
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