BRIAN McCARTHY QUINTET
Town Hall Theater
Vermont saxman Brian McCarthy is the consummate working musician, and we do mean working. McCarthy’s resume reads like a no-job-too-small general contractor of jazz: studio sideman, Burlington nightclub regular, educator at Vermont colleges and high schools, sheet music archivist and a bandleader in his own right, having recently released his second CD, “This Just In.” Recorded at Lane Gibson studios in Charlotte, the album is a tasty, classic Blue Note–style jazz record that includes fellow Vermonter Ray Vega on trumpet, Justin Kauflin on piano, Evan Gregor on bass and Quinn Blandford on drums.
8 p.m., $20, www.townhalltheater.org
“The Spring Quartet”
The name says it all for this jazz supergroup, composed of stars from three generations. Drummer Jack DeJohnette is a National Endowment for the Arts jazz master; Joe Lovano is a Grammy-winning sax giant; and the next wave is represented by much-buzzed-about bassist Esperanza Spalding (pictured) and her longtime collaborator, pianist Leo Genovese.
7:30 p.m., $55, www.flynncenter.org
UVM Recital Hall
Drew Gonsalves, the driving force behind Kobo Town, was born in Trinidad, the son of a native Trinidadian and an expatriate Canadian. Though the marriage later dissolved and Gonsalves spent most of his teenage years living in Ottawa, he returned to Trinidad when he was 18 to visit his father. “He took me to Lord Kitchener’s Calypso Revue tent, held in the Oil Workers Trade Union Hall in Port of Spain,” Gonsalves says. “I was blown away by the cleverness, and the wit of these calypsonians, and also their engaging interplay with the audience. I had never experienced anything like it, and from that point on, calypso was always on my mind.” Gonsalves eventually joined with some fellow Trinidadians living in Toronto to form Kobo Town (named after the historic neighborhood in Port of Spain where calypso originated), and as their career developed, they eventually crossed paths with Jacob Edgar (Vermont Life, Autumn 2013), the Charlotte-based world-music producer, who signed them to his artists’ stable at Cumbancha. Mixing social commentary, rapid-fire poetry and street-performer brio, the band is not so much trying to revive calypso as reinvent it, particularly for ears that take hip-hop for granted.
Pre-performance talk 6:30 p.m., showtime 7:30 p.m., $22, www.uvm.edu/laneseries
Lucky Plush Productions has a long list of “best of Chicago” awards to its credit, and now the dance theater company is touring with “Cinderbox 2.0,” a wry look at modern media, particularly its assembly-line processing and “the ways that audiences invest in personal stories that are served up like manufactured anecdotes.” The Chicago Tribune called the show “a shrewd and witty commentary” on hypernetworked America.
8 p.m., $3, www.flynncenter.org
HOT CLUB OF
Town Hall Theater
Sophisticated and charming, Hot Club of Cowtown unites Paris-in-the-’30s joie de vivre with the sunny delight of Texas swing. Elana James leads the way on violin and vocal, with Whit Smith on guitar and Jake Erwin on upright bass. As Jon Caramanica wrote in the New York Times, the group performs with “an arsenal of technique and joy.”
7 p.m., $30, www.afterdarkmusicseries.com
LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET
Chandler Center for the Arts, Randolph
Described by the AllMusic guide as “one of the few successful multi-guitar ensembles regularly performing today,” the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet offers a wide-ranging repertoire that is based in classical but extends in all directions. The Grammy-winning record “Guitar Heroes,” for instance, included compositions from Pat Metheny, Chet Atkins, Sergio Assad and Steve Howe, and the quartet’s albums appear frequently in the Billboard Top 20 on the Classical Crossover charts. Middlebury College music professor Eric Despard will give a pre-performance talk at 6:45 p.m., and there will be a complimentary reception for the musicians and audience members after the concert.
7:30 p.m., $35, www.chandler-arts.org
The Miles Davis boot camps of the late ’60s produced many a star, among them Chick Corea, who came to light in the fusion era and never stopped pursuing its ideals. “Over the years,” says The Penguin Guide to Jazz , “Chick Corea has created a body of music that has embraced Latin funk, a strong Bartok influence, free jazz, extended rock and classical forms as well.” Most observers consider Corea along with Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock to be the finest jazz pianists of the last 50 years.
8 p.m., $49.75, www.paramountvt.org
AND THE RAGE
Burlington April 24
Though she was born in Missouri in 1962, Rhonda Vincent’s musical story recalls a much more distant, front-porch time in America. Her family had a traveling band, The Sally Mountain Show, and at age 5, she joined it as the drummer. At age 8, she picked up the mandolin; at age 10, the fiddle. Busing around on weekends through the heartland circuit of bluegrass festivals, she honed her craft and eventually branched out on her own. “It’s not a job I chose,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle, “it’s a way of life that evolved into a career, which is probably why it feels more homespun.” Named seven times as the female vocalist of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Vincent today is known for both impeccable musicianship and a refreshing, unpackaged quality.
7:30 p.m., $42, www.flynncenter.org
Through May 26
The $14-million Pizzagalli Center, which has allowed the Shelburne Museum to remain open year-round for the first time in its history, showcases the work of artist John Bisbee. A welder and sculptor-in-residence at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Bisbee utilizes steel and nails to create the most unlikely results, in this case, a series of floral-inspired pieces. “Bisbee’s ability to make something new and beautiful out of material as overlooked and seemingly inflexible as the common nail is awe-inspiring,” museum director Thomas Denenberg said in a release. “This work is a fascinating present-day artistic interpretation of collections and materials that are abundant at Shelburne Museum.”
Hours and prices vary, discounts for Vermonters, www.shelburnemuseum.org
• English classical pianist Paul Lewis returns to the Mahaney Center for the Arts in Middlebury with a fresh program of works. April 4. www.middlebury.edu/arts
• The Saturday Masterworks Series of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra continues with performances March 8 and May 3 at the Flynn Center in Burlington. The final Sunday matinee concert in the series is March 9 at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. www.vso.org
• The Valley Stage Music Festival, an annual summer event held outdoors in Huntington, has launched a season of indoor folk-roots concerts at the Richmond Free Library. Called “P.M. Sundays: Poets and Players,” the series winds up its first season with Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem on March 16, and Red Tail Ring on April 6. www.valleystage.net
• Carolina Chocolate Drops, young lions of antique roots music, appear March 28 at Higher Ground in South Burlington (www.highergroundmusic.com) and March 30 at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre (www.pentanglearts.org).
• Phish bassist Mike Gordon performs in support of his fourth solo studio album, “Overstep,” April 6 at the Higher Ground Ballroom in South Burlington. www.highergroundmusic.com
• Forgotten snapshots, collected and culled by Margaret Kristensen, form a sometimes eerie window on the past in “Uncovered,” an exhibit at the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro. March 7–30. www.vcphoto.org
• A new Friday night jazz series takes place in April at the Shelburne Museum’s Pizzagalli Center. Swing Noire starts things off April 4. www.shelburnemuseum.org
• The Vermont Stage Company presents the premiere of “The Quarry.” Created by brothers Greg and Randal Pierce and inspired by their experiences growing up in Shelburne, the work “combines original live music with an array of characters to create a world that explores the mystifying depths of the unknown.” April 23–May 11, FlynnSpace, Burlington. www.vtstage.org
• Vocal harmonies mark the music of The Wailin’ Jennys, an all-female trio that mixes traditional folk with Americana and pop. May 11. Chandler Center for the Arts, Randolph. www.chandler-arts.org
• “An Evening With Ira Glass” is a stage show about a radio show, with the NPR personality discussing, dissecting and otherwise delving into “This American Life.” May 17, Paramount Theatre, Rutland. www.paramountvt.org
Schedules subject to change.
Prices listed are premium seats for adults; fees and taxes may also apply.
Other events available at www.vermontvacation.com.
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In the Autumn 2013 issue, Kim Asch profiles Jacob Edgar, who specializes in world music. This summer he welcomed Vermont Life to his home to see Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars recording their latest album.