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Arts & Culture

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

TMI Project Fundraiser 2017: Voices in Action

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:12 PM

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The TMI Project’s second annual fundraiser, Voices in Action: Community Outreach Showcase, brings you true stories from the too-often-silenced corners of our community.

The Community Outreach Initiative

The Community Outreach Initiative brings TMI Project’s memoir workshops to marginalized populations, giving a public voice to inmates, at-risk teens, terminally ill patients, domestic abuse survivors, veterans, LBGTQ teens, and others. By providing a forum for these individuals to process past experiences through the powerful mechanism of storytelling, the workshops pave a path for them to transcend moments of pain, powerlessness, and shame and become advocates for change.

Listen to our podcast with TMI Project founders.

Voices in Action: Community Outreach Showcase 2017

Hear Ralph’s story on coming out, finding true love, and getting sober. Listen to the story of Zoe’s life-changing 180—from a crack addict, prostitute, and inmate to an author and educator. Morris will share all the things he wishes his grandmother knew about living with schizophrenia. These are just a few of the moving narratives that will be shared at the event.

Tony Porter
  • Tony Porter


This year’s fundraiser will recognize honor Tony Porter, a leading expert on male socialization and prevention of violence against women, as the Voice in Action award recipient. Four local Hudson Valley leaders and activists will also be named Agents of Change. Before the show mingle with the honorees, TMI Project staff, and the performers during the cash bar reception.


Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door. Buy your ticket today.

All the proceeds from this event will go toward future Community Outreach initiatives.


Thursday, September 28, 2017, 7pm​

BSP Kingston

232 Wall Street, Kingston



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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Composer Unveils Site-Specific Piece in Garrison

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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Improvising flutist and composer Suzanne Thorpe has long straddled the worlds of experimental music and alternative rock. A founding member of local cult faves Mercury Rev, she’s also worked with J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr and the late Pauline Oliveros. This month at Manitoga AKA the Russel Wright Design Center, Thorpe will present Resonance & Resemblance, “a sonic performance and meditation” created specifically for the site. “In a time when difference is often used to instigate division from each other and our environment, it is important to recognize that our boundaries are more porous than we think,” says Thorpe, a Mills College graduate and University of California San Diego instructor. “Through sound and active listening, Resonance & Resemblance creates space to explore our interconnectedness and entanglement with each other, and our surroundings.” Here’s a 2014 piece by Thorpe, Listening Is As Listening Does: Suzanne Thorpe will present Resonance & Resemblance at Manitoga/the Russel Wright Design Center in Garrison, New York, on September 30 at 3pm. The event includes a landscape soundwalk prelude, followed by a seated listening meditation. Tickets are $45 ($20 children 18 and under; $35 for Manitoga members; $125 benefit includes private reception with Thorpe). For more information, call (845) 424-3812 or visit http://www.visitmanitoga.org/.
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mdou Moctar Performs in Kingston and Hudson This Month

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Mdou Moctar
  • Mdou Moctar

Right now, it’s of dire importance, I feel, to support the musicians and artists from Africa, the Middle East, and other continents who come to the US to perform. Because in order to do so, they first have to run the choking gauntlet put in place by the xenophobic and Islamophobic immigration policies of the Trump administration. Instead of making these musicians feel unwelcome, I say, let’s send them home with feelings of friendship and love. I believe this will go much further toward dissuading hate and terrorism than bombs or blanket discrimination—plus, of course, we'll get to groove out to some amazing and exotic live music we might not otherwise experience. And here’s the perfect opportunity: two area shows this month by Nigerian guitarist Mdou Moctar.

Moctar is a pioneer of electronic Tuareg guitar music and rose to prominence via the trading network of cell phones and memory cards in West Africa, a concept that makes me think of the underground network for trading cassette demos by thrash metal bands the existed in the US back in the 1980s. Although he’d released two albums prior, Moctar’s “Tahoultine” was a standout track of Music from Saharan Cellphones: Volume 1, a seminal cassette compilation released in 2011 by the US-based Sahel Sounds label. The singer and guitarist’s latest release is the soundtrack for the 2015 film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, which has him in the lead role and has been described as an homage to Purple Rain and The Harder They Come.

Here’s Moctar holding forth at a wedding in his homeland. If this doesn’t look like a party, I don’t know what does:

Mdou Moctar will perform at BSP in Kingston, New York, on September 25 at 7:30pm; admission is $10. For more information, call (845) 481-5158 http://bspkingston.com or visit Moctar and Aaron Roche will perform at the Half Moon in Hudson, New York, on September 27 at 8pm; tickets are $10 in advance and $12 day of show. For more information, call (518) 828-1562 or visit http://thehalfmoonhudson.com/.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bard Orchestra Accompanies Hitchcock Classic

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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Blending live music with film isn’t a new idea—after all, it was being done in movie houses before that advent of talking film—but it’s a cool idea nevertheless. And when it’s done in Bard College’s acoustically perfect Sosnoff Theater by one the Hudson Valley’s foremost orchestras to the accompaniment of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest cinematic triumphs, 1958’s Vertigo, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the region’s leading independent movie theaters—as it will be on September 16 and 17—well, then, it’s the ultimate cocktail of coolness.

Set in San Francisco and starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, the romantic, psychological thriller Vertigo is recognized as one of the masterpieces of film noir. Shot in stunning Technicolor, it features a fantastic score by the great Bernard Hermann, who composed the music for many of Hitchcock’s greatest films. For the Upstate screenings, the score will be performed live by the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra directed by James Bagwell.

Here’s a restored trailer with flashes of Hermann’s lush and unsettling score:

Upstate Films will present Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo with a live score by the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra directed by James Bagwell at Bard College’s Sosnoff Theater in Annandale, New York, on September 16 at 8pm and September 17 at 2pm. Tickets are $25-$75; a $125 Upstate Films 45th anniversary ticket includes a membership to Upstate Films. For more information, call (845) 758-7900 or visit http://fishercenter.bard.edu/.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tom Rainey Trio Takes Cool Sounds to Beacon

Posted By on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The Tom Rainey Trio, L to R: Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock
  • The Tom Rainey Trio, L to R: Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock

As it nurtures the music in several venues, it’s Beacon that currently shines as the Hudson Valley’s most consistent center for experimental jazz. And into that light comes the Tom Rainey Trio, who on September 11 will bring their unusual and stimulating style of musical cubism to the Howland Cultural Center.

Led by drummer Tom Rainey and featuring saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and guitarist Mary Halvorson, the threesome telepathically blends passages of spidery, haunting beauty with cathartic crests of dissonance. Rainey has been an explosive downtown New York presence since the late 1970s, working with the likes of Nels Cline, Mose Allison, Ted Curson, Anita O’Day; and Laubrock, a 2015 Downbeat critics poll winner, leads her own bands and works with Anthony Braxton; and Halvorson has been called “the most forward-thinking guitarist working right now” by NPR, thanks to her always-unpredictable palette of sounds.

Grab an earful here:

The Tom Rainey Trio will perform at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, New York, September 11. Admission is $10. The event is being presented by Elysium Furnace Works. (The Baba Andrew Lamb Trio will appear at the venue on October 21.) For more information, call (845) 331-4988 or visit http://www.howlandculturalcenter.org/.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Walter Becker (1950-2017)

Posted By on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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Only weeks after the death of jazz guitarist John Abercrombie comes the passing of another musical son of the Hudson Valley: Steely Dan guitarist, bassist, and songwriter Walter Becker, who died last weekend at the age of 67.

Becker, a Queens native, met singer, keyboardist, and composer Donald Fagen in 1967, when the two were students at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson. After playing together in a few campus bands (one of which included future comedian and actor Chevy Chase on drums), the pair worked as songwriters-for-hire and freelance players in New York before heading to Los Angeles. There, using a rotating cast of session musicians, they developed the Steely Dan concept—intricate jazz rock with wry, acerbic lyrics—into one of the most popular and critically acclaimed acts of the 1970s.

“He was a straight-ahead cat,” remembers Woodstock singer-songwriter Tim Moore. “Walter gave me moral support and played bass for my first solo project in LA while we were both new signings to ABC-Dunhill records. He and Donald were working on the first Steely Dan sides in those months. I vividly remember a hip, quiet music literati in wire rim glasses whose taste and hipness helped shape a long stream of brilliant Steely Dan songs and sides. Dan might have projected a certain supercilious hipness, but I remember generosity.”

Several of the songs Becker recorded with Steely Dan reference his and Fagen’s time in the area, such as “Barrytown,” from 1973’s Pretzel Logic ; “My Old School,” from 1972’s Countdown to Ecstasy, chronicles a drug bust at Bard:

Becker died at his home in Hawaii on Sunday of an undisclosed illness.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ryan Montbleau Rambles into Woodstock

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Ryan Montbleau
  • Ryan Montbleau

Thanks to his Woodstock-friendly blend of rock, folk, funk, and soul, the Boston-based Ryan Montbleau is big with much of the same demographic shared by singer-songwriters John Mayer, Jack Johnson, and Martin Sexton. Perfect, then, that he’ll be paying a visit to the town’s iconic Levon Helm Studios on September 8.

Montbleau made his first forays as a solo acoustic performer on the Boston folk/coffeehouse scene before forming the Ryan Montbleau Band, which debuted in 2006 with One Fine Color. Over the years, he’s performed with Nils Lofgren, Ani DiFranco, John P. Hammond, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and others.

Montbleau’s newest album is this year’s I Was Just Leaving. Here’s a slice:

Ryan Montbleau and special guest Kat Wright will perform at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, on September 8 at 7:30pm. At this writing seating tickets are sold out, but standing room-only tickets are available for $25. For more information, call (845) 679-2744 or visit https://www.levonhelm.com/.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

John Abercrombie (1944-2017)

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

John Abercrombie
  • John Abercrombie

Sadly, we lost John Abercrombie last week. A guitarist whose strikingly unique style, tone, and compositional approach made his music instantly recognizable, Abercrombie was born in Port Chester and most recently lived in Putnam County. Via his work for the ECM label in the 1970s he rose to prominence in the jazz world during the heyday of fusion, but his approach—rooted in bebop notation, yet more impressionistic and suggestive of painterly emotionalism rather than athletic technique—set him far apart from the soulless showoffs sometimes identified with the era.

Abercrombie’s ties to the mid-Hudson Valley run deep, stretching back to the height of Woodstock’s Creative Music Studio, and his frequent returns to the Rosendale Cafe were always epic events. Prior to making his acclaimed 1974 ECM debut as a leader, Timeless (with local legend Jack DeJohnette on drums), he played with saxophonist Gato Barbieri, arranger Gil Evans, and jazz rock pioneers Dreams, who also featured drummer Billy Cobham, another frequent collaborator. In 1975, he formed Gateway with Jack DeJohnette and another area CMS veteran, bassist Dave Holland. During the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s he experimented with guitar synthesizers, led his own bands, and worked with such figures as Paul Bley, Ralph Towner, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield. In January, the John Abercrombie Quartet released the excellent Up and Coming, whose title, a seemingly sarcastic career commentary on the lot of a jazzman, now perhaps takes on a darkly ironic hue, given the leader’s sudden passing of heart failure on August 22.

I’m inclined to say this is my favorite recorded Abercrombie performance, “Back-Woods Song,” the classic psychedelic jazz track that opens Gateway’s eponymous first album:

Rise on, John Abercrombie. And thanks.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Ulster Alums

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 4:00 AM

Tara Bach's "Coral Rivers"
  • Tara Bach's "Coral Rivers"

Combining fluid abstractions by Tara Bach, colorful representative collage by Lois Cremmins, intricately designed insects by Cassiopeia Ottulich, three-dimensional clay forms by Kelli Sillik, and abstracted natural forms by Claudia Waruch and Patti Gibbons, the unifying theme in Ulster Alums, a new exhibition at Wired Gallery in High Falls, is the educational background of the exhibiting artists. All practicing artists who graduated from the Visual Arts program at SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge, the exhibition showcases the stylistic diversity and variety of media at play in the school’s art department. Ultimately, it’s a conversation among peers on the nature of inspired collaboration.

Over twenty years old, the Visual Arts program at SUNY Ulster offers a variety of classes in which aspiring artists can develop technique, critical thinking, visual literacy, and a knowledge of art history and artistic traditions under the tutelage of contemporary artists. Chaired by practicing artist Iain Machell, the Art Department connects students with artists like Josephine Bloodgood, the painter and Director and Curator of the Permanent Collection at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, and Elizabeth Unterman, the photographer, curator, and former Education Coordinator at The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW).

For the curator of Ulster Alums, Cheyenne Rossler, an alumna herself, the Visual Arts program at SUNY Ulster was a launching pad. Working with the faculty on her own experimental abstract paintings (which are being exhibited), she was also a studio assistant at the school’s Muroff-Kotler Visual Arts Gallery, and ultimately developed a concentration in gallery and museum work. Now, an aspiring curator pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Art History at SUNY New Paltz, Rossler partnered with Wired Gallery on Ulster Alums to showcase the school’s contributions to the local arts community.

Wired Gallery is the project of curator Sevan Melikyan, a marketing professional and artist. Its program focuses on showcasing contemporary artists from the Mid-Hudson Valley with particular attention to Ulster County artists. The gallery achieves that mission by mounting exhibitions in its High Falls location, as well as at pop-up art spaces, fairs, festivals, and resorts. Melikyan’s work in the local arts scene has been touted by Art Society of Kingston, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, and Hudson Valley Magazine which awarded its Gunks Art Trail project “Best of” for New Arts Initiative.

Lois Cremmins's "98 and Humid"
  • Lois Cremmins's "98 and Humid"

Ulster Alums will be on display at Wired Gallery, 11 Mohonk Road in High Falls, from September 2nd-24th, with an artists’ reception sponsored by Stone Ridge Wines and Spirits on Saturday, September 2nd, from 5-7p. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Punk Poet John S. Hall Performs in Hudson

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM

John S. Hall (lower left) and King Missile on the cover of New Route magazine, ca. 1991
  • John S. Hall (lower left) and King Missile on the cover of New Route magazine, ca. 1991

Punk poet John S. Hall made his mark in the 1980s/1990s New York rock underground as the front man of avant-weirdos King Missile (anyone remember “Detachable Penis”?) and found more fame via appearances on MTV’s “Spoken Word Unplugged” and HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Nowadays, Hall has a new band, Unusual Squirrel, which he’ll bring to Club Helsinki on September 10 as part of the venue’s Rogovoy Salon series.

Curated and hosted by Chronogram contributor Seth Rogovoy, the monthly Rogovoy Salon features hand-picked musicians, writers, and, other artists and, in some cases, also includes conversation and a Q&A with the performers. Unusual Squirrel’s debut album, Fuck Sandwich, was released in January of this year. In this clip, Hall and one incarnation of the band hold forth appear at Saint Marks Church in New York:

Unusual Squirrel will perform under the auspices of the Rogovoy Salon at Club Helsinki in Hudson, New York, on September 10 at 7pm. Tickets are $15. For more information, call (518) 828-4800 or visit http://www.helsinkihudson.com/.

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