Arts

Irish Arts Week in East Durham kicks off this Sunday

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Video: Session at Furlong's Pub, Irish Arts Week, 2007.

For decades, records and digital downloads have trained us to be passive consumers of music. But for most of human history, music has been a collaborative effort, with plenty of sharing, jamming, and chiming in.

And in East Durham, it still is. If you're the sort who can't hear a favorite tune without feeling an urge to pick up the nearest noisemaker, you might want to check out Irish Arts Week, a Greene County tradition that's grown from a one-day event to a week-long celebration of the vibrance and diversity of Irish music and culture.  Read more

Catskills locals take NPR by storm

Astute WP reader Laurie McIntosh alerted us to a fun fact today: In the past week, National Public Radio has been crawling with Catskillians.

Case in point: David Krajicek, front man of Blues Maneuver, a Catskills band that features a horn section to die for, was interviewed on All Things Considered yesterday about the phenomenon of the "perp walk" in the wake of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal. (Krajicek's  trombone skills were incidental to the subject of the interview; more relevantly, he's an expert on media crime reporting, a former journalism professor, and a special correspondent for the New York Daily News.)  Read more

This weekend: Mount Tremper Arts Festival

There's something about Shandaken and A-list performing arts talent -- the town is home not only to the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, but also the Mount Tremper Arts Festival, a magnet for expert dancers from New York City who come up to perform for a Catskills audience on weekends throughout the summer. In May, the New York Times praised the festival as a must-see:

If your summer has room for only one quick dance getaway, you won’t do better than this interdisciplinary, artist-run festival in the Catskills, where the atmosphere is decidedly low key, and sumptuous food offerings are paired with sophisticated contemporary dance. This year’s lineup includes previews by Tere O’Connor, Brian Rogers and Young Jean Lee.

The Mount Tremper Festival opens its season this Saturday with a pig roast and a difficult-to-describe visual and performance arts piece called "Productive Steps," which the festival press release depicts like this:  Read more

This weekend: Jim Caruso's Cast Party

This Friday, Cast Party, a weekly cabaret and variety show that usually spends its Monday nights entertaining crowds at the legendary Manhattan jazz club Birdland, is coming to Belleayre for a little Borscht Belt nostalgia.

Veteran emcee Jim Caruso (above) -- a bud of Liza Minnelli's, who sometimes drops by -- and veteran pianist Tedd Firth will man the stage as a procession of towering Broadway talent performs alongside talented local Catskills artists. Donna McKechnie, who inspired the musical A Chorus Line, will rub shoulders with MARK Project director Peg Ellsworth while singer Sally Mayes will exchange the mic with 13-year-old Mackenzie Wright. For a full list of the acts, see the Roxbury Arts Group website.

Cast Party's night in the Catskills is part of a weekend of Broadway glitz organized jointly (a first!) by the Roxbury Arts Group and the Belleayre Music Festival. The night after the cabaret, Broadway directory and choreographer legend Tommy Tune will take the stage with The Manhattan Rhythm Kings. 

We called up Jim Caruso last week and got him to dish about cabaret, coaxing good performances out of anybody, and coming to the Catskills. Here's our interview below:

Q: Why the Catskills? Have you ever been up here before?

A: You know, I was out there 15 years ago, but I think that was before my constant obsession with being online and being connected. But that's why people come up there, right?

Q: Tell me about Cast Party.

A: It’s crazy. We get these extremely talented people, mostly because the musicianship is unbelievably high. Because I have Tedd on the piano and Steve Doyle on the bass.

Q: Monday night is usually a Broadway performer's night off. Why do they spend their Mondays singing with you?  Read more

Forty-year-old John Lennon and Yoko Ono photos surface in small Catskills gallery

Above: A photo of John Lennon, taken in 1972 by Lou Gaudiosi, from a series to go on exhibit this weekend at Andes Art and Antiques.

Tomorrow, a set of photographs taken of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which apparently have been languishing unseen for nearly forty years, will go on exhibit at the Andes Art and Antiques Gallery, a small gallery in a rural Catskills town.

Photographer Lou Gaudiosi, who was a teenager when he took the photos of the couple in their apartment in New York City's West Village, said that he took them on assignment for Rock Magazine, and that most of the photos from the day's shoot were never published. Gaudiosi was only in the music photography business for a short time, but he said that during his brief career, he photographed some of the musical icons of the day, including Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones.

"I spent many times with a lot of rock-and-roll people, and John and Yoko were some of the most lovely people I spent time with," he said.  Read more

Got fireworks? A round-up of Fourth of July festivals in the Catskills

Looking for 2013 fireworks? Check out our Catskills Fourth of July Guide here. -- Ed

Photo via Flickr user bayasaa.

So many fireworks, so little time, so many miles to travel.  If you're seeking the rockets' red glare this weekend, you can find it in all five Catskills counties, either as a stand-alone event or capping off other festivities. Here's our guide to finding Fourth of July festivities in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.  Read more

This weekend: Vodou rocks the WKC

Above: A member of RAM, a Haitian rock/vodou band that will play the West Kortright Centre this Saturday. Photo used with permission.

Last year it was bhangra. This year, it's Haitian mizik rasin music -- traditional vodou folk music mixed with rock 'n roll -- that is coming to the West Kortright Centre's lawn for its annual Gala Under the Stars. 

The Meredith arts organization has booked the 14-member band RAM, a legend in Haiti, to play what promises to be a fantastic show. From the WKC's press release:   Read more

This weekend: Blithe Spirit at the Franklin Stage Company

Above: Hugh Timoney, Lissa Sidoli, Angelina Fiordellisi, Peter Gaitens, Zena Gurbo and Patricia Buckley rehearse a scene from Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit at Franklin Stage Company. Photo by Steve Monosson.

Tonight, the Franklin Stage Company begins a run of arch drollery and finely turned phrasing with a free production of Blithe Spirit, a 1941 play by Noel Coward.

The plot centers on Charles Condomine, a novelist who moves about British high society with ease until an attempt to conjure material for his next book also conjures up severe paranormal distress. Thinking that hiring a medium — one Madame Arcati — will help him to explore the occult from a safe distance via a séance, Condomine instead gets reacquainted with his deceased — and extremely temperamental — first wife, whom only he can see.  His current marriage is soon in jeopardy as Condomine discovers that the spirit world is something like a genie that refuses to return to its bottle.  Read more

"A piece of heaven" in Delhi

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'Tis the season to get outside. Faiga Brussel, the owner of the Delhi-based Good Cheap Foods grocery store, sent out an email a few weeks back urging her patrons to take advantage of one of Delhi's best-kept outdoor attractions: SUNY Delhi's Outdoor Education Center.

Brussel gave us her permission to post her email, which you can read in full at the bottom of this post. She's not the only one who loves the OEC -- regular Watershed Post contributor and advertiser Jessica Vecchione produced a video a few years back about the park, which you can watch above. And Tara Collins wrote about the Outdoor Education Center in the Catskill Mountain Foundation's Guide Magazine a few years back, and highlighted the park's "two miles of interpreted walking trails, a butterfly garden, a meditation labyrinth, a maple sugar house and fishing access sites."

Here's Faiga Brussel's take on the park:  Read more


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