ARTS PREVIEW: April 12-18, 2018

WESTON
Blues benefit
Break out your dancing shoes for one of Vermont’s premier blues bands. “Downtown” Bob Stannard and Those Dangerous Bluesmen take the stage at Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm on Saturday, April 21 for a special concert celebration. The event is BYOB, ages 21 and older, and doors open at 6 p.m.
Stannard is an eighth-generation Vermonter who’s been playing and singing the blues since 1969. A self-taught blues harmonica player and singer endorsed by Seydel Harmonicas of Germany, Stannard is known for his quick licks and intense, high-energy performances. He’s played with blues legends like B.B. King, Charlie Musselwhite and John Hammond. He’s shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the late, great James Cotton. Bob’s band, Those Dangerous Bluesmen, are among the very best blues musicians playing in the state of Vermont.
For tickets or information, call 802-824-5288, or go online to www.westonplayouse.org.

RUTLAND
Local poets
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, Phoenix Books Rutland will celebrate National Poetry Month with local poets B. Amore and Greg Delanty, who will read from his new book, “Selected Delanty.”
“Selected Delanty” is a collection of poems and translations by Delanty chosen and introduced by Archie Burnett. Born in Cork City, Ireland, Delanty lives most of the year in Burlington, and is the poet in residence at Saint Michael’s College.
Amore is an artist, educator and writer who spent her life between Italy and America. She is currently editing “Living the Dream,” a collected history of West Rutland’s Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, which she founded 30 years ago, as well as completing her first book of poetry.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078 or visit www.phoenixbooks.biz. Phoenix Books Rutland is located at 2 Center St.

BRANDON
Michele Fay Band
Catch the Michele Fay Band, featuring original and Americana music, at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21. This group brings forth folk, swing and bluegrass-influenced songs. Fay’s lyrics are central to the ensemble, as she sings with a crystal clear, authentic voice.
The Rutland Herald called her voice “smooth and entrancing” and said, “While the band’s playing is topnotch, there’s a reason it’s called the Michele Fay Band, and that’s Michele’s voice.”
Kalev Freeman, on fiddle, brings forth a light-hearted, lilting sound. Michael Santosusso, on upright bass, (Smokin’ Grass, Big Spike, Hot Pickin’ Party) adds dynamic beat and matched harmonies, and Fay’s husband Tim Price contributes accomplished, melodic instrumentals on mandolin and guitar.
Tickets are $20; pre-concert dinner is available for $25 (reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email info@brandon-music.net. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.

RUTLAND
‘ClimateAct’
Whether you are a thespian or a newcomer to the arts, “ClimateAct” is a theatrical event that invites participants to explore climate change from a variety of perspectives. Join 350Vermont from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the 77 Gallery on 77 Grove St. for a variety of ways to participate.
Those who wish to participate as a “reader” should commit to 1 to 3 p.m. for theater games and techniques to prepare for the reading. Those choosing to participate as a “viewer” will attend 3 to 5 p.m. as an active audience member.
“This event emphasizes participation and play. We really want people to use the plays as a way to explore, without rehearsal or training,” says In Tandem Arts Director Trish Denton, “The only requirement is a willingness to experiment.”
Although no experience is required, readers will participate in a two-hour theater workshop to focus on climate justice, as well as prepare for the reading. At the end of the workshop, readers will sign up for dramatic, experimental and/or comedic pieces to perform from 3 to 5 p.m.
“ClimateAct” is a partnership between Rutland-area community organizers and statewide organizations In Tandem Arts and 350Vermont. After the reading, attendees are invited to connect and debrief with a casual potluck.
Admission is by donation ($5-$20 sliding scale); for information, go online to 350vermont.org/events/.

MIDDLEBURY
Vermont folk music
Join the Vermont Folklife Center at 7 p.m. Saturday April 21, at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society for a benefit performance by Smithsonian Folkways recording artists Anna & Elizabeth, with special guest Moira Smiley. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Anna & Elizabeth will present an evening of music, storytelling, art and appreciation for two significant archival collections. Their much-anticipated recording on Smithsonian Folkways, “The Invisible Comes to Us,” features traditional songs the pair learned by exploring the Margaret MacArthur Collection of the Vermont Folklife Center Archive and the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury College Special Collections. They were recently featured on NPR’s “All Songs Considered.”
Elizabeth LaPrelle was raised in rural Virginia and is frequently described as the finest traditional singer of her generation. Anna Roberts-Gevalt, raised in Vermont, is a multi-instrumentalist whose musical curiosity has taken her from old-time fiddling in Kentucky to a more recent immersion in Brooklyn’s avant-garde community.
Tickets are $30; go online to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3357710. For information, visit www.vermontfolklifecenter.org.

BRATTLEBORO
Windscape
The Brattleboro Music Center’s Chamber Series will welcome Windscape at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the BMC, 72 Blanche Moyse Way.
Created in 1994, Windscape has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists. This “unquintet” has delighted audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Asia with its innovative programs and accompanying presentations, taking listeners on a musical and historical world tour and evoking through music and engaging commentary the vivid cultural landscapes of distant times and places.
Artists in residence at Manhattan School of Music, the members of Windscape are master teachers. Members include bassoonist Frank Morelli, oboist Randall Ellis, flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, clarinetist Alan R. Kay and hornist David Jolley.
For ticket information, call 802-257-4523, or go online to www.bmcvt.org.

MIDDLEBURY
Organist Jennifer Bower
“An Organ Concert: Striking Themes for Organ and Trumpet” will feature Jennifer Bower, who has been named 2017 “Artist of the Year” by the American Guild of Organists, Vermont Chapter, at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at the Congregational Church of Middlebury UCC.
Bower will perform pieces by a variety of composers including J.S. Bach, Dieterich Buxtehude, Nadia Boulanger, Maurice Duruflé and Eric Schmidt to showcase the many different sounds of the 1862 William A. Johnson pipe organ. She will be joined by trumpeter Jim Duncan for several selections.
“We are delighted to be able to present this concert as another opportunity for people in this area to hear the beautiful orchestral variety that this instrument has to offer,” explained Jessica Allen, director of music at the church. “It really is a spectacular organ, and Jennifer Bower is a wonderful organist. We are thrilled that she and Jim Duncan will be with us.”
Admission is free; call 802-388-7634, or go online to www.midducc.org. The Congregational Church is located at 2 Main St.

BRANDON
Danika & The Jeb
If when you hear the term “acoustic duo” you imagine two people sitting on stools, lightly strumming guitars, singing about how life has treated them poorly, think again. Danika & the Jeb are dynamic, uplifting and fun, while their music is a combination of artfully written songs and powerful musical phrasing. The duo performs at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20.
When asked about why she has never applied to American Idol, Danika said “I never looked at the music industry like a lottery. I don’t need to buy a ticket. I simply need to be an artist.” Grandnephew to the great country guitarist Clyde Moody, Jeb Hart can craft a story with six strings.
Tickets are $20; pre-concert dinner is available for $25 (reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email info@brandon-music.net.

LUDLOW
FOLA double feature
FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) continues its showcase of “Cinema Classics of the 1960s” by presenting a double feature of Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone’s “A Fistful of Dollars” and Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo” at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium.
“A Fistful of Dollars” is the movie that launched Eastwood’s successful film acting career. Shot on a shoestring in Spain, it tells the tale of a stranger (Eastwood) who comes to a small town that is being fought over by rival families. A unique western-style movie from Japan, “Yojimbo” is a 1961 samurai film that tells the story of a ronin, a masterless Samurai warrior, who arrives in a small town where competing crime lords vie for supremacy.
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to www.fola.us.

MIDDLEBURY
Swing dance benefit
Dancing the night away to a big band is one of the great pleasures of life, but Vermonters don’t often get the chance. The Sound Investment, Middlebury College’s big band, brings the tradition of Duke Ellington and the Dorsey Brothers to Town Hall Theater for dancing and listening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21.
“I’m always amazed when I meet college students who love jazz, and when they arrive on campus they’re already terrific jazz musicians,” says THT Executive Director Douglas Anderson. “This band has been top-flight for five or six decades, and it just seems to get better and better.”
This special evening will benefit the work of Project Independence/Elderly Services, at the request of the band and its director, jazz musician Dick Forman. The seats and platforms at Town Hal Theater will be cleared for the event, creating a huge dance floor, but seating will be available in the theater and the balcony for those who simply want to listen to the swinging sounds.
Tickets are $13, $6 for students; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.