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The Arts | Winter 2015-16

Written by Bill Anderson on . Posted in The Arts

TAO
“Seventeen Samurai”
Paramount Theatre
Rutland | Jan. 26

Formed in 1993, this Japanese drum-and-dance troupe crisscrossed its native country for about a decade before breaking out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Since then, they have toured the globe, offering a kinetic blitz of percussion, choreography and costumes. 
The Arizona Republic said: “The explosive sounds and insistent rhythms create a 
sort of epic visceral thrill.”
7 p.m., $45.50, 
paramountvt.org

“DECO JAPAN: 
SHAPING ART AND CULTURE, 1920–1945”
Middlebury College Museum of Art
Jan. 29–April 24

Some 200 works are on exhibit, curated to showcase “the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design long associated with Japan, and convey the complex social and cultural tensions in Japan leading up to World War II.” The college says the works — including paintings, ceramics, sculpture, fashion and other art forms — are drawn from the Levenson Collection, described as the world’s premier private collection of Japanese art in the deco and modern style.
Free, middlebury.edu

“BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE”
Flynn MainStage
Burlington | Jan. 29

The courage of the Tuskegee airmen, trailblazers in the fight to fully integrate the U.S. military, has been celebrated in many ways through films, documentaries, TV episodes and more. This stage dramatization, written and directed by Layon Gray, opened in Los Angeles in 2009 and moved shortly after to New York, where it continues as one of the longest-running plays in off-Broadway history. Such success speaks for itself, and the drama can melt the heart of even the

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Arts Spotlight: Jazz Ambassador Reuben Jackson

Written by Bill Anderson on . Posted in The Arts

ReubenJackson_credit Stephanie Seguino

Reuben Jackson. Courtesy photo by Stephanie Seguino.

A treasure in our midst, Reuben Jackson, host of VPR’s “Friday Night Jazz,” moved to Vermont in 2011 after 20 years as the curator of the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. As a teenager, he first encountered Vermont in 1974 en route home from a vacation in Montreal, and while, at first, he says he was panic-stricken — “I’d never been stared at before,” — by the time he left, “I was smitten by the state’s beauty.”

He returned to attend Goddard College, and after working in D.C., he came back to Vermont; then in 2012 he took over as host of “Friday Night Jazz.” Calm and equipoised, Jackson’s show reliably presents, as one listener commented online, “an elegantly eclectic mix of textures, tempos and eras.” Each program displays a formidable range, yet never feels forced.

“I try to balance old and new,” Jackson says, “and I love cross-pollinations. I enjoy looking at the relationships between the music, and the evolution of that which continues to influence jazz.”

To read the extended version of this spotlight, see page 16 in the Summer 2015 issue.

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.

BURLINGTON DISCOVER JAZZ FESTIVAL
Burlington
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.
www.discoverjazz.com

SHELBURNE MUSEUM
Shelburne
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.
www.shelburnemuseum.org

ROGER KATZ: A LIFETIME OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Vermont Center for Photography
Brattleboro
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.”
www.vcphoto.org

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