Sunday, February 5, 2012

Places to Be on 2/18/12

On any given night, there is great music being created and played in and around big cities - for those of us in the Northeast US, just check out the offerings in New York City and Brooklyn.

Here's an interesting conundrum for the creative music fan in Connecticut. On February 18 of this year, you have to choose among 4 excellent shows.

Pictured on top of the post is the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble (photo courtesy of Nuno Martins.) The 18-member ensemble is coming to the Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College for an 8 p.m. concert in the school's "Parallels Series."  The music that composer/drummer Hollenbeck creates and/or arranges for his group ranges from hard-hitting, sprawling, pieces (often featuring voices moving in and around the instruments) to quieter, hypnotic works that suggest contemporary classical music.  Vocalist Theo Bleckmann will be with the group for the concert and he brings such a wondrous quality to the music, whether it's a heartfelt ballad to wordless sounds in counterpoint to the horns and reeds. Clink on the link to a concert that the JHLE played last year at the rain-swept Newport Jazz Festival - - and you'll get a taste for just how great this music can be.  For ticket information, go to or call 413-542-2195.

The duo of Mary Halvorson (guitar) and Jessica Pavone (viola, voice) comes to The Big Room, 319 Peck Street in New Haven, to celebrate the release of "Departure of Reason" (Thirsty Ear Records).  They blend jazz, pop, folk, classical and other influences into music that can surprise, soothe, shock and keep one of the edge of his/her seat. The intimate qualities of dancer/educator Rachel Bernsen's performance space is perfectly suited for this fascinating music.  To reserve a seat (or 2), go to  To hear a sample of the duo's new CD, go to

The Arts Center Killingworth (CT) presents its 8th Annual "Jazz Night Out" at 7:30 p.m. in the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 North Main Street in Ivoryton.  Headlining the show is the Eddie Allen Quartet.  Trumpeter Allen, whose horn has graced stages and pit orchestras throughout the country, is one of the more versatile players on the scene.  He's worked with Art Blakey, Mongo Santamaria, Benny Carter, Vanessa Rubin, Lester Bowie and many others while recording 7 CDs as a leader.  For the 2/18 gig, he's joined by Donald Vega (piano), Carl Allen (drums) and Hartt School of Music instructor Nat Reeves (bass).  Opening the show will be pianist Alma Macbride and her Trio.  The 16-year old Macbride, a West Hartford native whose older brother Jimmy (drums) is also a rising star (and a member of his sister's Trio), is graced with great talent and stage presence. Tickets for this event are going quickly so go to to find out more. For more information about Eddie Allen, go to  You can find out more about Alma Macbride by going to

The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown, presents the duo of Avery Sharpe (bass) and Charles Neville (saxophones) at 8 p.m.  Mr. Neville (pictured left) may be best known for his work with the Neville Brothers Band, has his musical roots in the sounds of Louis Jordan, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins as well as the myriad sounds emanating from his New Orleans home.  Mr. Sharpe, born in Georgia but moved to Massachusetts to attend college (and never left), is a prodigious musician who has worked alongside Pat Metheny, Archie Shepp - for many years, he played, toured and recorded with pianist McCoy Tyner.  They call their program "From New Orleans to New England";  judging by their various influences and experiences, this music should be a real treat.  To find out more, go to  To learn more about the work of Avery Sharpe, go to - for Charles Neville, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment