“New Directions” Concert Series at the Mainstay Kicks Off on Aug. 3

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Dick Durham

Dick Durham

The Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD debuts its new concert series, “New Directions” with Tom McHugh on chromatic harmonica and Dick Durham on piano in a free concert of jazz standards on Sunday August 3 at 4:00 pm.

“New Directions” is a new Mainstay series that encourages established musicians to explore new areas and journeymen to take it to the next level. For the first concert in the series, Mainstay founder and executive director Tom McHugh joins forces with veteran jazz pianist Dick Durham for a concert of jazz standards on piano and chromatic harmonica.

Dick Durham is a brilliant pianist, arranger and composer who has appeared regularly at the Mainstay as the leader of his own jazz ensembles and as a member of Max’s Mainstay All-Stars. He has rarely, if ever, played with someone on chromatic harmonica.

Tom McHugh

Tom McHugh

Mainstay founder Tom McHugh is best known for his folksy banjo, driving blues harp, compositions like “The Chester River Song” and his entertaining introductions to Mainstay concerts. Chromatic harmonica is a relatively new instrument for Tom. Of the two instruments he says “diatonic (blues) harp and a Chromatic harmonica are as different as a trombone and a trumpet.”

For this concert Dick and Tom have been working together on jazz interpretations of standards from the 20th Century Great American Songbook. This free concert of standards for chromatic harmonica and piano promises a lively afternoon of jazz and commentary.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org.

Porcelain Clay Artist to Exhibit at RiverArts

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For an artist to finally say, “This is my signature, this is me, this is my work and this is my style,” often takes a lifelong journey. Porcelain artist Rick Bisgyer has been influenced for decades by the confluence of sailing and clay only to discover his “signature” work through a dream.

Onboard a 16’ sloop sitting in his fathers’ lap as a bundle of kapok-filled life jacket at the age of 3, he began to learn to steer with a tiller. Through his youth he raced small dinghies and keel boats on the Chesapeake Bay.

Rick Bisgyer, porcelain artist, with one of his signature "Sailing Vessels"

Rick Bisgyer, porcelain artist, with one of his signature “Sailing Vessels”

At the same time, he was enamored by the curvaceous forms, tactile nature and subtle glazes of the American studio craft movement pottery that his family began collecting in the 1960s. “I was totally mesmerized when I first saw a potter pull up a pot from a mound of clay on a potters’ wheel,” says Rick. In the early 1970s, and not really old enough, he talked his way into a wheel-throwing class at newly formed Glen Echo Pottery near their home in NW Washington, DC, spending his free time during the week learning ceramics and weekends sailing on the bay.

When he entered high school in 1972, The Field School was new and extracurricular activities were created through the effort of students. Despite his hard lobbying for a ceramics program, the Head of School told him they couldn’t afford such an extravagance. Rick volunteered to build a pottery wheel out of wood, bricks and plumbing supplies from plans found in Mother Earth News – cost $35 – and became wheel-throwing instructor to his classmates. The Field School ceramic studio is a thriving part of the art department to this day and a legacy that gives Rick great pride to have had a hand in its founding.

In 1976, the curves of sails replaced the curves of pots as he moved aboard the family’s 30’ sloop in Annapolis to start a full-time sailing career. His work as a sail maker led to position of sail trimmer on every fast ocean racer he could get himself on along the east coast and in the Caribbean. Between races he windsurfed.

As life can go full circle, Rick went back to ceramics as a full-time ceramic artist when he moved to West Virginia in the last decade. “I took on porcelain pottery because it is the most challenging of all clays. Porcelain’s silky white clay body allows me to achieve purity, intensity, as well as subtlety in my glazes. Its extremely fine particle structure lends itself to the refined shapes of my pieces, especially my signature vases that I call ‘Sailing Vessels.’ These uniquely voluptuous sculptural vases, with their curving sails stretching out of their tops, came to me in a dream while I was landlocked in West Virginia. These forms challenge me every day to push the limits of porcelain’s nature.”

“Both ceramics and sailing demand full focus, a presence of mind and body, a centering, as it were, that help me find balance in my life,” says Rick.
Rick left West Virginia 2½ years ago and followed this heart and the rivers to his home here at sea level on the Chesapeake Bay. He teaches porcelain and intermediate/advanced wheel courses at Baltimore Clayworks, continues to create his “signature” Sailing Vessels and plans to teach privately in his just-completed ceramic studio at home in Betterton, Md.

Porcelain vessels by Rick Bisgyer can be seen thoughout the month of August in the FABRICATIONS 2014 show in the Studio Gallery at Chestertown RiverArts, 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD. Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11 am – 4 pm, First Fridays 11 am – 8 pm. Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm.

Chestertown RiverArts is a member-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to engaging our community in the creation, appreciation, and support of the arts.

Redd Bros. Quartet to Feature Houston Person at the Mainstay

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The legendary saxophone player Houston Person is the featured performer when the Redd Brothers Quartet bring their stylish jazz to the Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Friday August 1 at 8:00 pm. Admission is $20.

Houston Person - web 2Now in his seventh decade of performing, Houston Person last appeared at the Mainstay in 2008 as a member of the Statesmen of Jazz. He carves a hard groove with his tenor sax, a growling blues and soul style all his own. A veteran of more than 75 albums as a player and bandleader, he is one of the greats–“an eloquent messenger from a jazz era rooted in traditional blues, black church music, Broadway love songs and the impersonation, by sax, of a singer’s tone palette” (The Guardian)

Houston Person’s distinctive sassy sound and expressive playing have served him well artistically and commercially for decades including a long stint as house producer and session tenor saxophonist of choice for High Note. He was at the forefront of the “groove jazz” movement in the 60s and 70s, building his reputation as a leader with a series of soulful recordings for Prestige. His legendary partnership with the great vocalist, Etta Jones lasted over 30 years until her death in 2001.

Person’s recordings as leader include recordings on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse (which became High Note Records). His has countless appearances as sideman including recordings with Etta Jones, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Dakota Staton, Horace Silver, Charles Earland, Charles Brown, and many others. As a record producer, he has worked with many artists, including Etta Jones, Freddy Cole, Charles Brown, Buck Hill, Dakota Staton, and Ernie Andrews.

In 1990, his recording with Ron Carter, “Something in Common” (Muse), won the Independent Jazz Record of the Year Award, and he received an Indie Award for his recording, “Why Not?” (Muse). Other awards have included the prestigious Eubie Blake Jazz Award (1982) and the Fred Hampton Scholarship Fund Image Award (1993), and he was honored with a “Houston Person/Etta Jones Day” in Harford County, MD (1982) and in Washington, DC (1983). His High Note recordings as both tenor artist and producer, “My Buddy: Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson” and “Etta Jones Sings Lady Day,” were Grammy finalists in the Best Jazz Vocal category in 1999 and 2000, respectively. His most recent recording “Nice ‘n’ Easy”, released last year, features Chuck Redd on vibes.

For this performance he will be featured with the Redd Brothers Quartet: Chuck Redd on vibes and drums and Robert Redd on piano and a bass player.

Chuck and Robert Redd are Mainstay favorites who have played music together since their teens. With a deep understanding of each other’s approach, they finish each other’s musical phrases and intuitively augment each other’s leads. Their most recent recording together is “When Redd is Blue.”

Chuck Redd is known internationally as a drummer and vibraphonist. He began recording and touring the globe when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21 and was a member of the Great Guitars (Barney Kessel, Byrd and Herb Ellis.) To his credit are 25 European tours and six tours of Japan, with the Barney Kessel Trio, Ken Peplowski, Terry Gibbs and Conte Candoli. He served as Artist-In-Residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Café in Washington, DC from 2004-2008 and was featured vibraphonist with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet from 1991 until 1996.

Some of Chuck Redd’s career highlights include a concert with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Africa for the Namibian Independence Celebration, a recital at the White House with the Barney Kessel Trio, concerts at Carnegie Hall with Mel Torme’s Quintet, and an appearance on The Tonight Show. In 2008, he was a featured soloist in the finale concert at The Lionel Hampton International Jazz festival with The Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. In February 2013, Chuck co-led the Dream Band with Jeff Hamilton in a salute to vibes legend Terry Gibbs.

Pianist Robert Redd was a member of the Keter Betts Trio for 13 years, until Betts’ death in 2005. The trio performed many concerts and festivals and could frequently be heard at venues such as the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley. They performed regularly throughout the school year at Wolf Trap as part of Early Learning Through the Arts, a program which Betts helped start and develop, presenting live music to young audiences. Robert has continued to work with this program as a member of the Wolf Trap Jazz Trio.

From 1995-1998, Robert was pianist and musical director for singer/songwriter Kenny Rankin. While touring with Rankin, he performed with Michael Moore, Oscar Castro-Neves, Roy McCurdy and John B. Williams, among others. They appeared regularly at venues in New York City such as The Rainbow and Stars and The Bottom Line, and performed in the guest artist series with the U.S. Air Force Band at DAR-Constitution Hall, in Washington, D.C.

Robert also worked with Charlie Byrd and can be heard on Charlie Byrd’s last recording, “For Louis”. He performs frequently with the Smithsonian Masterworks Organization, and is often featured at Blues Alley, where he co-leads a group with his brother, Chuck.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org.

The Ring Toss Lady Breaks A Five by Mark Kraushaar

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The Ring Toss Lady Breaks a Five

It’s all of it rigged, she says,
Bust-one-wins, Hi-striker, even the Dozer.
It’s like you think you’ll score that giant panda
for the wife except you can’t, or not
without you drop another twenty
and then—what?—then you win
a thumb-sized monkey or a little comb.
She hands me five ones and then stands.
She’s worked the whole of the midway,
she says, funnel cake to corn-dogs.
She’s worked every game
plus half the rides, Krazy Koaster,
Avalanche, Wing-Ding, Tilt-a-Whirl
and if there’s somebody sick she’ll do
a kiddy ride too, Li’l Choo-choo, maybe
the Tea Cup.
There’s a collapsing soft sigh
and she sits, opens the paper, turns a page
and as if she were the one assigned to face forwards,
as if it were her job to intuit the world
and interpret the news,
Anymore, she says, it’s out of our hands,
it’s all we can do—it’s not up to you.
You see that bald bronco tearing
tickets at the carousel?
We worked the Bottle-drop
and now he’s mine: he’s no genius
but he loves me and he’s mine.
Things happen, she says, you
can’t take them back.

 



American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by the Alaska Quarterly Review. Mark Kraushaar’s most recent book of poems is The Uncertainty Principle, Waywiser Press, 2012. Poem reprinted from the Alaska Quarterly Review, Vol. 30, No. 1 & 2, by permission of the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

 

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Muppets Invade Chestertown

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Muppet-Movie-posterChestertown Recreation Commission announces that this Friday July 25 continues the season of family friendly films to be shown outdoors in downtown Chestertown with the 1979 star studded original Muppet Movie.

The “original” Muppet Movie stars a Kermit the Frog and his band of merry Muppets as the take the long journey from the swamp to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood. With cameo appearances from everyone from Bob Hope to Richard Pryor and Steve Martin, this movie of the stands the test of time and is as touching and hilarious today as it was when it was released.The CRC realized that with the influx of new Muppet films, the original was still the best of the films and many of the younger viewers would get a chance to see it for the first time, while their parents could relieve the magic of the rainbow connection.

The movies will be shown at the Foot of High Street on the Custom House lawn. All Shows start at dusk, (approximately 8:30) and are free to the public.

The CRC will be on hand most nights to offer popcorn. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, (low seated are preferred) The rest of the summer schedule of movies will be on alternating Fridays, August 8- Space Jam, Aug 22- Bolt and September 5- ³The Lego Movie² and a special Halloween showing of ³Ghostbusters³ in October. Rain dates will be
the following Friday evenings.

The Chestertown Recreation Commission is an official branch of the Mayor & Council’s office charged with improving recreational opportunities, programming and facilities in the town. Anyone interested in being involved can reach Bill Arrowood, chair, at chestertownrec@yahoo.com for more updates, residents are encouraged to check the CRC¹s Facebook page.

The Glass World of Sabra Richards

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For art from the masterful fabrication of kiln-formed glass, FABRICATIONS 2014 —an exhibition running August 1-30 at Chestertown RiverArts —presents the work of Sabra Richards.

Her 50 years working in the arts as painter, printmaker and papermaker have led to her evolution over the last fifteen years as a glass artist. This work, currently in the medium of kiln-formed glass, expresses her interest in space, interacting planes, dimension, different materials and love of color.

“It’s been an interesting journey learning and working in several media and now I find the challenge of glass in combination with other materials to enhance the glass, very exciting and challenging” says Sabra. Functional sculpture, tables and benches have become part of her work. For her, like many artists, a new idea or direction explored until it “works” may very well be the best and most fun part of any new challenge.

For the glass, Sabra starts with sheets of Bullseye Fusible Glass. Her method is very bold and direct. She chooses color, individual ones and others layered to achieve other colors. The design is created by adding and subtracting glass and most importantly adding cane and components made at the furnace, usually at the Corning Glass Museum. Sixteen pieces of glass are formed into a block, fired and then put into the furnace, turned and heated until malleable, and then pulled into the cane you see in her work. “The process is long and involved and wonderful to do,” she says.

Sabra Richards' "Waltzing on the Walk" console table features unique hand-cut glass on top and kiln-formed fused glass below. This is part of a special edition piece comprising 5 tables.

Sabra Richards’ “Waltzing on the Walk” console table features unique hand-cut glass on top and kiln-formed fused glass below. This is part of a special edition piece comprising 5 tables.

For sculpture, tables and benches with steel bases, the bases are designed first and cut for her in ¼” steel. She works with a welder to assemble them and then her work begins making all the glass herself. Sculptures can be as small as 2 feet or as large as 8-10 feet high.

Sabras’ kiln-formed glass works can be found in about 100 public and corporate collections and many private collections. She has won many awards and Honors including Who’s Who in American Art, NY Art Review: A survey of leading artists, Printworld: Who’s Who and American Art Collector: listed 2005, 2006.

Sabra earned her BFA, Cum Laude, at Syracuse University. She did graduate work at Parsons School of Design, SUNY Cortland, Bennington College, and Syracuse University.

Sabra lives in Kent County, and upstate NY. See her kiln-formed glass sculptures and tables in the Studio Gallery at Chestertown RiverArts, 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD during the month of August. Opening Reception is Friday, August 1, from 5-8 p.m.  Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Thursday  11 am – 4 pm, First Fridays 11 am – 8 pm.  Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm.

Chestertown RiverArts is a member-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to engaging our community in the creation, appreciation, and support of the arts.

‘Visiting Sam’ Opens August 1 at Church Hill Theatre

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BC Productions proudly announces the premiere of Visiting Sam, a romantic comedy in two acts. With script by local playwright Earl Lewin, Visiting Sam chronicles the story of Rhoda and Ed whose star-crossed love affair is about to come to a crossroads in a shady bar in New York City. Both characters come from Ivy League backgrounds and have been friends for years. They have been incapable of expressing their true feelings for one another. Ed hopes that an evening in a bar will take them out of their comfort zones and force the moment to its crisis.

Performances of Visiting Sam will be held at Church Hill Theatre beginning on Friday, August 1st and running through Sunday, August 10th.

Lewin, a published playwright, having had two one act plays published by Baker’s Plays, brings his extensive experience to directing his own script. His recent work includes book and lyrics for a musical version of She Stoops to Conquer, book and lyrics for an original musical Celluloid (performed Off-Off Broadway in 2010), and the murder-musical The Burgundy Wine Mob, (performed Off-Off Broadway in 2012). Lewin also submitted a short script titled Not Responsible to the Short Play Lab’s MidTown Festival which was selected and performed Off-Broadway in 2013. He plans to take Visiting Sam to New York in 2015. Church Hill Theatre has a long collaborative history with Lewin having debuted many of his production on its stage.

Following a reading of new plays at a Samuel French Publishing House seminar, Ed (John Haas) and Rhoda (Amy Moredock), friends from their college days at Princeton, stop at a neighborhood bar to discuss the event. Ed does not have anything good to say about the way the seminar was handled, and the seminar leader, Gloria Metzbaum (Jane Copple), suddenly enters the bar. The evening is already going poorly after problems with the bar patrons Gladys (Carolyn Hailey) and Henry (Tom Dorman), barkeep and proprietor Bob (Brian Whitaker), and pestering by a philosophical street person, Sidney (Howard Messick). It gets worse when a local cop, Salvador (Chris Rogers), comes in and shakes things up. This is not the evening Ed planned nor the one Rhoda had hoped for.

Lewin populates this romantic comedy of errors with a seasoned local cast including John Haas as Ed. Haas has appeared in a variety of challenging roles at CHT, as well with the Peake Players. Most recently, Haas appeared in the intense drama Rabbit Hole. He also performed in CHT’s Chapter Two opposite Amy Moredock who portrays Rhoda. Moredock is a veteran of theatres both in the Ohio Valley and on the Eastern Shore. She has performed in several BC Productions both on the Shore and in New York City, most recently in productions of The Burgundy Wine Mob and Not Responsible.

Portraying streetwise barkeep Bob is Brian Whitaker, most recently seen in CHT’s production of South Pacific in the unforgettable role of Billick. Whitaker has a very long, accomplished list of roles at CHT and the Prince Theatre. In the role of seminar leader Gloria Metzbaum is Jane Copple who has been preforming community theatre for over 30 years. Most recently she reprised her role as Bloody Mary in CHT’s South Pacific which she originally portrayed in 2002. Howard Mesick fills the role of the evening’s Shakespearean fool, Sidney. Mesick has appeared in a wide variety of roles with CHT, The Prince, and Shore Shakespeare Company, and has written several short plays presented at the Garfield’s Short Attention Span Theatre and Revolutionary Theatre.

Chris Rogers plays Salvador, a hard-boiled and lecherous NY beat cop. Rogers has an extensive list of leading roles to his credit, appearing most recently with Shore Shakespeare Company, which he co-founded. Rounding out the cast are Tom Dorman in the role of Henry and Carolyn Hailey as Gladys. Dorman has been seen on the CHT stage in productions of She Stoops To Conquer, Celluloid, The Odd Couple, The Fantastics, Our Town, Laughter On The 23rd Floor, and Desire Under The Elms. Hailey is likewise familiar to Eastern Shore theatregoers from her roles in She Stoops to Conquer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Our Town, Fuddy Mears, Ravenscroft, The Midnight Caller, and Jakes Women.

Assisting Lewin with the production is an equally experienced and accomplished crew: Sam Rickets (Production Assistant); Jusden Messick (Stage Manager and Crew); Brian Draper (Set Decoration); Lewin (Set Construction); Barbi Bedell (Costumes); Doug Kaufmann (Lighting and Sound Design/Operation); Dane Long (stage crew); and Robbie Spray (stage crew).

Please join Ed and Rhoda (John Haas  & Amy Mordock) and the eclectic crew, Sidney, Gladys, Henry, Gloria,Salvador, Bob.  (Howard Mesick, Carolyn Hailey Tom Dorman, Jane Copple, Chris Rogers, and Brian Whitaker.) who assemble at Bob's Bar for drinks, merriment, and chicanery (photo by Monte Hailey). Catch it before it appears Off-Broadway! Make reservations to see Visiting Sam at Church Hill Theatre and say you saw it first. The show opens on Friday, August 1st and runs through Sunday, August 10th. Performances begin at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm on Sundays. Tickets are $15.00 Call the CHT office at 410.758.1331 to make reservations.

Please join Ed and Rhoda (John Haas & Amy Mordock) and the eclectic crew, Sidney, Gladys, Henry, Gloria,Salvador, Bob. (Howard Mesick, Carolyn Hailey Tom Dorman, Jane Copple, Chris Rogers, and Brian Whitaker.) who assemble at Bob’s Bar for drinks, merriment, and chicanery (photo by Monte Hailey). Catch it before it appears Off-Broadway! Make reservations to see Visiting Sam at Church Hill Theatre and say you saw it first. The show opens on Friday, August 1st and runs through Sunday, August 10th. Performances begin at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm on Sundays. Tickets are $15.00 Call the CHT office at 410.758.1331 to make reservations.

Monty Alexander Jazz Festival to Celebrate 5th Anniversary

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Since 2010, the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival in Easton, MD has grown from two concerts to six concerts over the Labor Day Weekend. Hundreds of Shore residents, who never considered themselves jazz enthusiasts, now support the Festival as benefactors and patrons and the Festival is drawing a small but growing number of jazz lovers from states near and far.

Monty Alexander, the Festival namesake and artistic director, comments, “We look for top notch talent and good will, good taste and positive outlook. It’s like a delectable meal. We want to be feted with outstanding and varied ingredients.”

Pictured is legendary jazz pianist, Monty Alexander, who will perform at the fifth annual Monty Alexander Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 30, 2014.

Pictured is legendary jazz pianist, Monty Alexander, who will perform at the fifth annual Monty Alexander Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 30, 2014.

The top-ranked artists visiting the Festival are the ones making waves on the New York jazz scene and often around the world. Al Sikes, founder of the Festival, talks “top-ranked quality” musicians, while his counterpart, Monty Alexander, talks “uplifting music.” This year’s 5th anniversary line-up promises both.

The Festival kicks off on Thursday, August 28 at 8 p.m. at the Academy Art Museum with recording and touring artist Frank Vignola, who’s spectrum of music ranges from classical to jazz, rock, pop and even rhythm and blues. Vignola has recorded and/or toured with Madonna, Leon Redbone, Ringo Starr, with famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, and has performed with the Boston Pops. The New York Times named him “one of the brightest stars of the guitar.”

The fifth anniversary Festival will open on Thursday night, August 28 at 8 p.m. and will feature extraordinary guitarist Frank Vignola in an intimate night club-style concert at Easton’s Academy Art Museum.

The fifth anniversary Festival will open on Thursday night, August 28 at 8 p.m. and will feature extraordinary guitarist Frank Vignola in an intimate night club-style concert at Easton’s Academy Art Museum.

Trumpeter, composer, educator, and bandleader, Etienne Charles, will charm audiences on Friday, August 29 at 8 p.m. as he headlines the Avalon Theatre with his quintet. With a rich musical history in jazz and the music of the Caribbean, this native of Trinidad brings a Creole flavor to his music that ranges from subtle to unavoidable, weaving a variety of stories with panache. Applauded as a “daring improviser” by Jazz Magazine, he has arranged interpretations of the complex and varied rhythms of the Spanish, French, Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean in a fresh and exciting sound that builds upon those diverse origins, yet takes jazz in a new direction. He is also planning some new compositions and arrangements for the Festival, which will surely delight Festival goers.

Trumpeter, composer, educator, and bandleader, Etienne Charles, will charm audiences on Friday, August 29 at 8 p.m. as he headlines the Avalon Theatre with his quintet.

Trumpeter, composer, educator, and bandleader, Etienne Charles, will charm audiences on Friday, August 29 at 8 p.m. as he headlines the Avalon Theatre with his quintet.

The Festival will continue on Saturday, August 30 in the morning with New Orleans jazz in Easton’s downtown Thompson Park. The band will then lead a second line parade to the Tidewater Inn where a lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., preceding the afternoon showcase.

This year’s Saturday afternoon concert at 2 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre will feature a special salute to the legendary jazz pianist and composer, Dave Brubeck, who passed away in 2012. The salute will be led by Bobby Militello, who became Brubeck’s alto saxophonist after the death of Paul Desmond. Brubeck, on the cover of Time Magazine in 1954, vaulted jazz to the apex of the music world with his hit, Take Five.

Saturday night continues the magic of the Festival at 8 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre with the incomparable jazz pianist Monty Alexander and his trio including Hassan Shakur on bass, Dennis Mackrel on drums, and special guest Frank Vignola on guitar. Alexander continues to astonish audiences with his energy and spirit. This year’s concert promises no less.

Wrapping up the weekend on Sunday afternoon, August 31, at 2:00 p.m., is returning jazz and gospel virtuoso, Dee Daniels, who will bring to her adoring audience a unique blend of spirituals, gospel and jazz. Today, many musicians perform gospel music using a jazz style and Dee Daniels embodies this tradition. Dee Daniels will be joined by a local choral group led by Jana Leslie.

The Avalon Theatre’s intimate setting and the lineup of world class artists make The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival an Eastern Shore destination for Labor Day weekend. The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, presented by Jazz on the Chesapeake, is a program of Chesapeake Chamber Music. Tickets are on sale now for the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival. For further information, visit ChesapeakeJazz.org.

Fiber Finesse & Fabrications 2014 Exhibitions Open Aug. 1 at RiverArts

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Chestertown RiverArts is pleased to announce our August exhibitions, Fiber Finesse and Fabrications 2014. Opening reception for both shows is Friday, August 1, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 12.40.08 PMRiverArts’ widely acclaimed annual Fiber Show, “Fiber Finesse,” presents a collection of beautifully handmade, original fiber pieces, which run the gamut from knitted items to wear to hand-woven pieces to adorn your home. Fiber artists of all mediums – woven, knitted, hooked, hand spun, sewn and molded will display and sell their art. Complete details for artists interested in participating can be found on our website at chestertownriverarts.org/shows/calls-for-artists-2/

Fabrications 2014 is highly imaginative, creative, contemporary artwork created by nationally/internationally recognized and awarded artists whose work is represented in private, public, museum and corporate collections. This guest exhibition presents art from the masterful fabrication of kiln formed glass and steel into indoor/outdoor sculptures and tables by Sabra Richards, porcelain vessels by Rick Bisgyer, Art Quilt and “mirror images” by Jean M. Evans, “New Visions-fused” by Joyce Murrin.

The work of these four artists spans a combined 150 years working in the arts. Their art forms have been sharply honed yet they remain flexible, adaptable, open to new materials and totally committed to the challenge of bringing their new ideas to fruition.

Both exhibitions run through August 30. RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, in Chestertown. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11 am-4 pm, First Fridays 11 am-8 pm. Saturdays 10 am-4 pm

Chestertown RiverArts is a member-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to engaging our community in the creation, appreciation, and support of the arts.