Melissa Aldana is the third generation in her family to follow the saxophone as her calling. Her father, Marcos Aldana, now considered one of the most important musicians in Chile, was her first teacher. She still performs on the Selmer Mark VI saxophone she received as a treasured gift from her grandfather, Enrique Aldana, who was her father’s teacher. Marcos Aldana’s teaching method was based on transcription: learn the sound quality and improvised solos of those you wish to emulate.
Melissa began her studies on the alto saxophone at the age of six. Melissa stated: “My dad would choose a song that he really liked, so the first person I learned from was Charlie Parker. We would take one phrase, and listen. Then, I would play it really slow, over and over, hundreds of times, until it sounded exactly like him. I think it’s one of the best ways to teach a little kid because I learned everything by listening to the masters.”
The Future Collective keep bringing us great music. Their latest show featured The Suitcase Junket, a one-man band led by Matt Lorenz, a Vermonter now living in Amherst who’s already getting airplay on The River. In addition to having an amazing voice and top notch songs, in a quirky folk vein, he also knows how to put on a show. Tuning his hugely beat-up dumpster guitar became part of the act, and everyone enjoyed meeting the band (“this box of assorted metalware is the high
hat…”). What intrigued me even more than his making random junk sound musical was his ability to do the equivalent of Tuvan throat singing which added an exotic touch. He has a new record, his third, entitled Make Time, which has been getting good reviews.
The Fiddler for roots music band Low Lily is from Brattleboro. Her name is Lissa Schneckenburger, and she lives on my street. More importantly, she plays fiddle, really, really, really, really well. I had her on my radio show when I was doing the Colonel Brattle's Music Hall, and I have seen her at play here in Brattleboro.
Now, Low Lily is raising money for their CD.
If you donate $15, you will get a copy of their CD which will have 4-7 tracks on it. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/low-lily-s-new-ep#home
Doubly cool, after they meet their goal, which will allow them to create this recording, they will donate 50% of all funds to the Drop In center. http://www.feedthethousands.org/brattleboro-area-drop-center.
Here is the text of their indiegogo campaign.
Bill Holiday passed along the following "heads-up!"
"A local teen band, featuring 2 BUHS students, Dharma Ramirez (3rd from L) and Mavis Eaton (far R), will perform next week in Austin, Texas as part of the Southwest Music Festival. Incredible that they are a part of this popular, major, national event. Look at what is being said about them..."
Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) presents Nowrooz, A Persian New Year Celebration, Saturday, March 21 at 4:30 PM featuring traditional classical Persian music as well as original compositions presented by Eshagh Shaoul, violin with Jon Liechty on piano and Jack Shaoul on drum. The celebration is also a sharing of Persian, Bahá'í, and Sufi poetry. Following the music and poetry there will be a potluck (bring a dish to share). There will also be a hands-on henna decoration activity. The music and poetry will begin promptly at 4:30pm. Plan to arrive 10 to 20 minutes in advance to find parking along Western Avenue and walk up the driveway (about 100 yards) to Mahalo Art Center.
Eli Conley and his band will appear in concert at The Root Social Justice Center at 28 Williams St., First Floor, Brattleboro, VT on Wednesday, April 22nd at 7pm. The show is all ages. There is a $5-10 suggested donation at the door.
Eli Conley has a voice that shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. Steeped in roots music and the singer-songwriter tradition, he crafts modern day folk songs for misfits, unafraid to push the themes and instrumentation of Americana music forward.
The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community (BAJC) is honored to present a concert featuring Spiritual Leader Kate Judd. A candidate for cantorial ordination in June, Kate is preparing her final recital for her degree and ordination. The recital, called “For My Teachers,” will receive its first performance here in West Brattleboro, Vermont, in the main hall of All Souls Church/ West Village Meeting House at 29 South Street on March 21st at 7:30 pm.
There is no admission charge but free-will donations will be greatly appreciated and anything beyond BAJC’s
costs will be donated to the needy. Light refreshments will be served.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day weekend, I was thinking it might be nice to listen to some Pogues.... The Pogues, for the uninitiated, were an Irish traditional punk rock band from London, led by the inimitable Shane MacGowan and his accomplice Spider Stacy. They’re best known for their Christmas ballad Fairy Tale of New York, featuring Kirsty MacColl, but MacGowan and the band wrote many memorable songs, dripping with authenticity and God knows what else, that make you think you’ve woken up in a rowdy Irish bar at the height of the party.
Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present an evening of acoustic/electric Americana music from Sleepy Hollow, NY by The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (aka The Grand Slambovians) at Next Stage on Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 pm. Singer/songwriter Russell Kaback opens the concert.
The music of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams has been described as “hillbilly-Floyd,” “folk-pop,” “alt-country, roots-rock,” and “surreal Americana” - a clear indicator of its singularly indescribable uniqueness. The quartet taps a broad palette of styles ranging from dusty Americana ballads to huge Pink Floydesque cinematic anthems. Dancing freely between all existing religious and philosophical mythologies, featuring an exotic instrumental arsenal in addition to standard rock regalia, the music is uplifting, empowering and a lot of fun.
On Saturday, March 14th at 8:00 PM, the Vermont Jazz Center welcomes to its stage a piano trio that chooses to focus on the classic sounds of the Great American Songbook. The Bill Charlap Trio, with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), represents the epitome of this particular style: elegant, lush, and swinging.
This trio is renowned throughout the world for its work interpreting the lesser-known but equally beautiful songs that were written for musical theater and film. Charlap and his trio pay homage to the great songs that were written when Broadway and Tin Pan Alley provided the soundtrack to popular, North American culture. Charlap states: “The music I’m attracted to – music theater and film music is a different blueprint of American music and popular music… I’m still in love with that beautiful aesthetic of those lyricists and composers of that period.”
The spring session of the Brattleboro Women's Chorus begins Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 - 9:00 pm, and there is a second rehearsal option of Thursday, March 5 at 10:00 - Noon. These first rehearsals are open to anyone interested in trying out chorus without obligation. Both sessions will be held at Centre Congregational Church on Main Street. This is a location change until April for the Wednesday rehearsal.
Founder-director Becky Graber will lead the chorus in songs of travel in preparation for two concerts in May. Participation in the concerts is optional. All women and girls ages 10 and above are welcome to join without audition or previous musical experience. Financial aid is available.
Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present indie/folk/chamber-pop quintet Winterpills, plus roots-rock/junk-folk trio Rusty Belle at Next Stage on Saturday, February 21 at 7:30 pm.
One of the most exciting bands to emerge from Northampton, MA in recent years, Winterpills plays haunting, delicate, dynamic music with shimmering melodies and aching lyrics. Critically praised as a mirror of sorrows and a beacon of hope, the music of Winterpills - true to the band’s name - is medicine for weary hearts.
Guilford, Vt. - Friends of Music at Guilford, now in its 49th year of producing concerts and stage projects in the region, is looking for a few more singers to participate in its A Cappella à la Carte season finale on Saturday, June 13.
The Guilford Chamber Singers are being directed for a third season by composer/arranger and instrumentalist Tom Baehr, of Putney, who sings tenor in several regional choirs and choruses. With a nautical theme this June, the Chamber Singers will reprise "Crossing the Bar," Rani Arbo's setting of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem.
If February didn’t exist, who would dare to invent it? But since it does, Friends of Music at Guilford, now in its 49th season, has chosen the 21st of that unloved month to present LIGHT AND VARIABLE: Music to Defy February featuring the woodwind quintet Variable Winds in a program designed to take your mind off it.
“Light” may not be the first word you’d connect with Gustav Mahler, but the settings he made early in his career of poems from the folk collection “The Youth’s Magic Horn” are exactly that: tuneful, witty, and charming. Arranged by Trevor Cramer for wind quintet are three songs about music, “Rhine Legend,” “Who Thought Up This Little Song?” and “In Praise of Higher Understanding,” in which a singing contest between a cuckoo and a nightingale is judged by a donkey. (Think “Bavarian Idol.”)
The Vermont Jazz Center will present the Julian Lage Trio at the Vermont Jazz Center on February 14th, 2015. Lage, at age 27 is one of the busiest guitarists on the jazz-infused scene today. He has released six albums as a leader and has played and recorded with many of today’s most significant jazz musicians including vibraphone legend Gary Burton whose band he played in from age 12 to 17.
He’ll be bringing with him bassist and drummer Scott Colley and Kenny Wollesen. When asked about choosing this venerable team, for his own trio, Lage stated “I first met Scott and Kenny when I heard them play in Jim Hall’s trio, I was eleven years old. Even then, I thought to myself - those are the guys I really want to play with! Now that we’re all on the east coast, I called them up and it worked out. But the most important reason I chose Scott and Kenny is that they’re both ridiculous.”