Thursday, July 13, 2017

Music on the Mountain In the Hills This Weekend

In the summertime throughout the state, live music moves outdoors and out of the city.  Music Mountain, located in Lakeville, CT, (or, as we "staties" call it, "up in the Hills", the Litchfield Hills) has been presenting chamber music concerts each summer since 1930.  Gordon Hall, built by Sears Roebuck, is the centerpiece of the grounds, a concert hall (now air-conditioned) that seats 335 people and is said to have one of the finer sound systems in the state.

This summer, in addition to a full schedule of Sunday afternoon classical music concerts, the venue is presenting a "jazz series" and, judging by the lineup, there's going to be a lot of great music "up in the Hills."  This Saturday (7/15), bassist-composer Alexis Cuadrado will perform alongside vocalist Claudia Acuña and pianist Pablo Vergara in a concert that will feature songs from Latin American and Spanish composers as well as a healthy dose of music from the bassist's brilliant 2013 project "A Lorca Soundscape" (Sunnyside Records). That album, plus 2011's "Noneto Ibérico" and 2016's "Poètica", are among my favorite recordings of this decade, a trilogy that spans the influence of Catalan music (in particular, Flamenco), an immigrant's impressions of the United States in a crazy time, and the contemporary poetry of Spaniards adopting to a new home.  

The intimacy of the "Lorca" music, originally recorded with a quintet plus vocalist, translates well to bass, voice, and piano.  The delicacy and strength of Ms. Acuña's delivery is perfect for the stories in the poetry of the lyrics, written in the whirlwind nine months that the great Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) spent in North America between June of 1929 and March 1930.

The music begins at 6:30 p.m.  For more information, go to or call 860-824-7126.  Future Saturday shows include the Anouman Gypsy Jazz Quartet (7/22), the Alan Ferber Nonet (7/29), the Ben Kono Group (8/05). Ryan Keberle & Catharsis (8/12), Todd Marcus Quintet (8/19), and Michael Berkeley "Broadway" (8/26). 

Here'a a piece from "A Lorca Soundscape":

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