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The Arts | Summer 2014

Written by Bill Anderson on . Posted in The Arts

The Deadly Genetlemen.

The Deadly Gentlemen play in Huntington on Aug. 9, 2014.

May 30–June 8

Now in his late 70s, Ron Carter has appeared on more than 2,000 jazz recordings — a staggering figure if you pause to think about it — but his reputation is built on quality, not quantity. “Among the greatest accompanists of all time,” wrote music biographer Ron Wynn, “the epitome of class and elegance … close to being the bass equivalent of a Duke Ellington.” Carter appears on a double bill with venerable saxman Benny Golson, and the festival, as always, astutely covers the rest of the spectrum, from safe-and-sound to fearlessly progressive. Among many highlights, look for legendary singer Tony Bennett, violin star Regina Carter, soundscape trio Dawn of Midi, a Belizbeha reunion, and Linda Oh’s Sun Pictures Quartet. For total immersion, consider the festival’s many meet-the-artist sessions, art exhibits, street concerts and nightclub spinoffs.

Spring/Summer 2014

Impressionist works by Monet, Manet, Degas and other French masters will be on view June 14 through Sept. 1 in “In a New Light,” an exhibit drawn from the Shelburne Museum’s collection as well as loans from private sources and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In other new exhibits, both showing May 11 to Oct. 31, “Nancy Crow, Seeking Beauty: Riffs on Repetition” presents works by the renowned contemporary quilter; and “Trailblazers: Horse-Powered Vehicles” looks at parallels between 19th-century transportation and modern automotive culture.

Vermont Center for Photography
June 6–29

Born in Detroit in 1947, Roger Katz moved in the ’60s to Brattleboro to attend Marlboro College, and he never left, making the town his home, owning various photography shops or studios, and becoming an unassuming patron of the photographic arts in the community. Katz died of cancer in 2013, and though he never had an exhibit of his work during his lifetime, the Vermont Center for Photography is honoring their friend with a display of more than 100 vintage gelatin silver prints, which cover a span of time from the 1970s through 2012. The Center says Katz “had a distinct ability to capture portraits on the street. His humble and quiet approach to his surroundings lent itself perfectly
to acting as a ‘fly on the wall’ as life played out in front of him.”

Summer 2014

The esteemed Weston Playhouse puts a here-and-now twist on Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” setting the play in contemporary Vermont and using the acclaimed translation of Annie Baker, whose version had a hit run in New York in 2012. “Uncle Vanya” runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 6; other highlights of the Weston summer season include “Analog and Vinyl,”
a new musical comedy revolving around a vintage record store (June 26–July 12); the Broadway musical “A Chorus Line” (July 31–Aug. 23); and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play (July 17–26).

Town Recreation Field
July 6–12

Abroad and deep lineup characterizes Middlebury’s Festival on the Green, a free concert and entertainment series that boasts national stars (blues guitarist Sue Foley, see sidebar), a raft of Vermont bands and musicians (Vorcza, AnaÏs Mitchell, Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band, Josh Panda and the Hot Damned, the Vermont Jazz Ensemble) and family fare such as magic acts, puppetry and children’s music to round it out. Note the change of location: Due to major construction downtown, the festival will be held this summer at the town
recreation field.

Ripton Community Coffee House
July 5

An indie string band from Brooklyn, Cricket Tell the Weather joins a continuing tide of young musicians inspired to play traditional roots music in a fresh, expansive way. Formed about a year ago, the band spent much of its time at acoustic festivals and the rest recording its self-titled debut album. With rock, pop and jazz as part of the mix, the band, in its own words, “explores themes of loss, loneliness, triumph and connection — all painted with imagery of the American landscape, from the high mountains of the Rockies to the old mill towns of New England.”

Valley Stage Music Festival
Aug. 9

The Deadly Gentlemen got rolling in 2008 with an artsy if somewhat contrived experiment in spoken-word bluegrass — banjo player Greg Liszt later described the concept as “Eminem meets the Soggy Bottom Boys” — but six years later they have matured into a sharp and polished roots music band, signed to Rounder Records and touring out of Boston. The quintet will join the Defibulators, Hot Flannel and others at the outdoor Valley Stage Music Festival, a toss-the-Frisbee, family-picnic sort of affair held annually in Huntington. The music at the festival seems to improve every year, but of course, with the Green Mountains and Camels Hump as a backdrop, the scenery steals the show.

Quick Takes
Grammy-nominated comedian Tig Notaro headlines the sixth annual Green Mountain Comedy Festival, a grass-roots-driven event that includes more than 20 shows in western and central Vermont. Notaro plays two shows May 24 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington, with punk rockers Rough Francis opening. The festival runs May 21–25. Full schedule and more at

Open Studio Weekend, the semiannual invitation to see Vermont artists at work, runs statewide May 24–25.

Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne performs May 28 at The Green at Shelburne Museum.

High & Mighty Brass Band, Hannah, MC Yogi, and Marco Benevento play at Wanderlust, the conscious lifestyle/mountain vibe festival taking place June 19–22 in Bondville.

With theater and classical music as mainstays, the Hills Alive! festival showcases fine arts in southern Vermont, June 27–Aug. 2.

The summer festival tour of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, renowned for its fireworks finale, begins June 26.

The sixth annual Bookstock Literary Festival ranges from fiction and nonfiction to poetry, youth works, history, and even a visit from Vermont’s own Harry Bliss, the famed cartoonist. Woodstock, July 25–27.

The towns of the Mad River Valley host more than 100 events and activities during the Vermont Festival of the Arts, Aug. 1–Sept. 1.

The 21st annual New World Festival fills downtown Randolph with the interwoven sounds of Celtic, Quebecois and New England roots music. More than 70 artists perform. Aug. 31.

Smokin’ hot country star Hunter Hayes leads the concert series at the Champlain Valley Fair. Hayes plays Aug. 31. Full lineup at

Schedules subject to change.
Prices listed are premium seats for adults; fees and taxes may also apply.
Other events available at
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