Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week
Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, dance, film, and theater that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston at Citi Shubert Theatre, Boston, Ma
For this popular, up-from-the-favelas troupe, Lyon-based choreographer Mourad Merzouki blends hip hop with Brazilian capoeira and eye-dazzling tricks such as handstands performed between lanes lined with 100 cups of water.
National Choreography Month Boston
Green Street Studios
25 New England dance makers celebrate the second annual NACHMO performance with different combinations of solos, duets and ensemble works each night. The fresh, deadline-driven works were all created and rehearsed during the month of January. At $10 the tickets are a real bargain.
South Asian Showdown 2014
John Hancock Theatre
Mumbai-based Bollywood dancing faces off with the multi-ingredient masala of South Asian Fusion in this animated, over-the-top battle of teams from across the United States.
About (chairs) by Ian Berg
Boston Conservatory Zack Box
Ian Berg gathers his young hoofer friends for an evening-length exploration of the percussive capabilities of the human body through tap, beat boxing and body percussion. The Thursday show will be streamed live and free tickets are available at (617) 912-9222 or Boston Conservatory box office.
— Debra Cash
February 8, 4 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge MA
Alto saxophonist Pat Donaher’s beguiling Who We Are Together lives in that world where jazz crosses over into a kind of classical chamber music. Or maybe the other way around. With his alternating duo partners, pianists Hwaen Ch’uqi and Camille Barile, Donaher favors spontaneous improvisations, with attractive folk-like melodies and ambiguous harmonies. A Quincy, MA, native, Donaher attended the Eastman School of Music before returning home to complete a master’s degree at New England Conservatory. At the Lily Pad he’ll be joined by fellow Eastman graduate Hwaen Ch’uqi.
Ampersand Concert Series
February 13, 8 p.m.
MIT Bartos Theatre, Cambridge MA
[Because of weather conditions and the fact that two of the artists are traveling some distance, tomorrow’s Ampersand concert with the Outnumbered and Carl Testa is postponed. Folks are working on an new date, which will be announced.]
The MIT List Visual Arts Center and WMBR Radio present the seventh in their performance series, this time with the Boston/Amherst jazz group Outnumbered and New Haven bassist and electronic improviser Carl Testa. The Outnumbered features some of the best players in the area: alto saxophonist Jason Robinson, multi-sax guy Charlie Kohlhase, pianist Josh Rosen, bassist Bruno Råberg, and drummer Curt Newton.
Dave Holland’s Prism
February 13-14, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA
Bassist and composer Dave Holland’s always compelling blend of grooving mixed meters and controlled contrapuntal mayhem this time falls into the hands of a new quartet with a homonymous new album on ECM. The players are guitarist Kevin Eubanks (a longtime Holland foil before jumping to direct the Tonight Show band), pianist Craig Taborn, and drummer Eric Harland. As usual with Holland’s outfits, everyone contributes original tunes, which makes for an especially alert crew.
Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz
February 13, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston
Kate McGarry has long been mixing jazz with a variety of American pop and folk. Tonight she and her husband, the guitarist Keith Ganz, step out of their usual band format to play as the title alter-ego duo from their new album, Genevieve & Ferdinand (Sunnyside), somehow making Paul Simon’s “American Tune,” Todd Rundgen’s “Pretending To Care,” and Iriving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” all part of the same sound world. You can also expect a couple of McGarry and Ganz’s well-turned originals.
Newport Jazz Festival: NOW 60
February 13, 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston MA
This promotional anniversary tour for the granddaddy of jazz festivals looks on the face of it like a grab-bag of supremely talented, medium-profile all-stars, but the tour producers and bandleader Anat Cohen have declared a specific agenda: to focus not only on music from Newport’s storied history, but also original compositions and arrangements from everyone in the band. And it is a formidable crew. Saxophonist and clarinetist Cohen will be joined by multi-lingual singer Karrin Allyson, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Peter Martin, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Clarence Penn. This second night of a 21-date tour (a Celebrity Series of Boston event) should be crackling.
“Third Stream Headwaters”
February 13, 7 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston MA
Rare offerings at New England Conservatory tonight. The Contemporary Improvisation department goes deep into Third Stream — the term coined by composer and former NEC president Gunther Schuller to describe a blending of classical and jazz musical procedures (and also the original name of the CI department). Topping the bill are Charles Mingus’s “Half-Mast Inhibition,” the great bassist-composer’s earliest orchestral work (originally recorded in 1960) and the premiere of Schuller’s “From Here to There,” commissioned by NEC. Also on the bill are Darius Milhaud’s “La Création du Monde,” Milton Babbit’s “All Set,” and Frank Zappa’s “Dog Breath Variations.” Charles Peltz conducts
… And coming up:
February 14, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA
No less an authority than Nat Hentoff has called singer Catherine Russell “the real thing.” With a strong pedigree (daughter of Louis Armstrong orchestra music director Luis Russell and guitarist Carline Ray, of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm), Russell made her early career singing high-profile back-up gigs (Paul Simon, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Rosanne Cash) before going solo about 10 years ago and delivering one beautifully assured album after another, focusing on vintage swing and blues, with the occasional oddball and apt contemporary choice (the Grateful Dead’s “New Speedyway Boogie”). She has the kind of voice and diction that lend every song a conversational directness and literate clarity even when she’s hitting the high notes and swinging her hardest. Her latest, Bring It Back (Jazz Village), comes out this Tuesday and it’s another well-designed collection, guided by her own taste and by the skill of music director/guitarist Matt Munisteri.
Danilo Pérez’s “Panama 500”
February 15 [8 p.m. and 10 p.m.] and 16 [4 p.m. and 7 p.m.]
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA
The 47-year-old pianist and composer’s latest CD, Panama 500 (Mack Avenue), is his most ambitious achievement yet. Looking again at his native Panama, he offers a portrait that mixes folkloric percussion, chants of the indigenous Guna people, modern-chamber music string writing, and, of course, fleet jazz-piano trio sections. At times, all these languages are layered so that history emerges as a living memory. Pérez brings an ensemble from the album to Scullers: violinist Alex Hargreaves, percussionist Roman Díaz, and his longtime trio mates, bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz.
— Jon Garelick
Roots and World Music
Boston-based but nationally-recognized Girls, Guns & Glory have long carried the honky tonk torch – they do a Hank Williams tribute each New Year’s Day, and lead singer Ward Hayden’s voice is reminiscent of Dwight Yoakum in the best possible way. But their new CD Good Luck shows the band maturing into a realm that also includes rockabilly, raunchy R&B and straight up roots rock settings. The lyrics tell of mysterious limousine rides, disconnected telephone calls and Pennsylvania ghost towns. It’s another keeper from one of Boston’s musical treasures. They celebrate the LP as part of an all-star revue that also includes Sarah Borges (who has a new LP of her own), the Swinging Steaks and Lyle Brewer.
Ever since he burst on the scene a decade ago, Tarrus Riley has set the standard for quality and integrity in reggae. You can read Riley’s ArtsFuse interview here and see him tonight with Jamaican sax legend Dean Fraser and their Black Soil Band.
— Noah Schaffer
Friday, February 7 at 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory
Celebrity Series of Boston presents the superb Canadian bass-baritone, who will sing Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Julius Drake.
Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brookline. Same program on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. in Andover, MA.
Mistral presents a Valentine’s concert, Vienna, with acclaimed guest horn player Eric Ruske playing Mozart’s Horn Quintet, Schoenberg’s haunting Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night) and a new arrangement for flute and string quartet of a Schubert’s Rosamunde Quartet
Boston Symphony Chamber Players
Sunday, February 9 at 3 p.m.
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston
The BSCP celebrate its 50th Anniversary Season in a program made up of Loeffler’s Rhapsodies for oboe, viola, and piano; Beach’s Quintet in F-sharp minor for piano and strings, Op. 67, and plus new works by Kati Agócs, Hannah Lash, Gunther Schuller, and Yehudi Wyner.
Boston Chamber Music Society
Sunday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sanders Theater, Cambridge
BCMS presents Handel-Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for Violin and Viola; Mozart’s Divertimento for String Trio in E-flat major, K. 563 and Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor. The ensemble includes Harumi Rhodes, violin; Dimitri Murrath, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello and Mihae Lee, Piano
Pianist Max Levinson
Tuesday, February 11 at 8 p.m.
Studio 401, Boston Conservatory, Boston
Levinson gives a faculty recital that includes Wagner/Liszt’s Liebestod; Schumann’s Fantasy in C Major, op. 15, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
— Susan Miron
2014 New Music Festival
Presented by the Boston Conservatory
February 6-9, times vary
Various locations at the Boston Conservatory, Boston
The Conservatory’s annual New Music Festival this year focuses on the music of the great Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, who happens to be in residence for the week. Highlights include a performance of his seminal score, De Staat, on Saturday night; and a panel discussion with Gunther Schuller Saturday afternoon at 1.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend
Friday, 7th at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 8 at 3 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Regent Theatre, Arlington
Based on footage shot in the early seventies and lost for more than thirty years, this film is sound and image of the young Bob Marley before he was famous. We sit in on the launch of their international career with “Get Up Stand Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” and others. These are the albums that brought reggae music to the world, starting a revolution that changed rock music and contemporary culture.
Haiti: Where Did The Money Go
February 7 & 8 at 7 p.m.
Bright Family Screening Room, Emerson Majestic Theater, Boston
In the United States alone, half of all households gave a total of $1.4 billion to charities, yet almost two years later more than half a million people still live in squalid camps. Only a few have access to drinking water. Sanitation is woefully inadequate. Malnutrition and cholera are on the rise. What happened? This film asks the questions of why did so much money bought so little relief and why are so many still living in squalor.
Thursday, February 13 at 7 p.m.
UMass Boston Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Ballroom
Documentarian and professor Chico Colvard begins his free series of documentaries and discussions with the story of the first uranium mill to be built in the United States in 30 years. When it comes to southwestern Colorado, the project stirs an emotional debate that pits those desperate for jobs and financial stability against an environmental group based in nearby a resort town. Both sides of the issue are examined in heart-wrenching detail as the film follows conflicting opinions and visions for the future. The film offers no easy answers; instead, Uranium Drive-In aims to capture dramatize the personal stories of the people caught up this nuanced and complex issue. Q&A with director Suzan Beraza follows.
Sunday, February 9 at 7 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Far out indeed! Massachusetts native Ken Brown’s astonishing Super 8 films were shot as part of the light shows that accompanied the great bands of the era; they were originally projected during historic performances by Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Who, Boston’s own The Hallucinations (J. Geils) and practically every other memorable rock troupe to come through town between 1967 and 1969. There will be elaborate montages, quirky animations, and lots and lots of swirling lights. A Q&A with film director Ken Brown will immediately follow the screening.
This special presentation will include live music by a supergroup of silent film accompanists: Ken Winokur of Alloy Orchestra, Beth Custer of Clubfoot Orchestra, and Jonathan LaMaster of Cul de Sac.
All You Need is Myth
Sunday, February 9
Somerville Theater, Davis Square, Somerville
A combination of film and performance that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Authors Jade Sylvan and Steve Wagner will be giving a live presentation, essentially a preview of their upcoming documentary All You Need is Myth. The show includes over 200 visual images, audio recordings, and film clips, plus live performances by local music and dance stars. Says Sylvan of his film: “Imagine Joseph Campbell did a study on the Beatles and Rock & Roll, and you’ll have an idea of All You Need Is Myth.”
— Tim Jackson
Interference by Liars & Believers
Picasso’s Guernica and the indie “chamber rock” of Jaggery are the starting points for director Steven Bogart’s immersive performance art journey that explores how communities respond to terror and trauma.
— Debra Cash
The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov. Directed by Melia Bensussen. Staged by Actors’ Shakespeare Project.
February 12 through March 9.
At The Dane Estate at Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill
“Chekhov’s aristocratic family” deals with “loss in a changing world,” “a common theme found even in today’s most popular TV period dramas, such as the global sensation Downton Abbey.” Comparing high art to middlebrow soap opera is as absurd as anything in Chekhov, but this ASP production boasts a strong local cast and an Obie Award-winning director.
— Bill Marx