ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 1, 2005


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      Stop in for live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at ChowBella or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      Bakersfield’s John Cassel has helped build the music scene in Vermont for over thirty years. He has a new CD, Kids Dig Jazz, just in time for Christmas.
      "I wrote a couple of originals," he said, and got a bunch of kids to sing on it, They became a more important part of the whole thing.
      The album includes the Charlie Brown Theme/Do Re Mi," "Swing," "Rainbow Connection," "Swinging on a Star," "Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter and more. He has the only mechanical license for the Harry Potter theme. The CD features the Re-Bop Kids, good local singers from 7-16, plus jazz great Bobby Militello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Will Galison, guitarists Paul Asbell and Andre Maquera, the Will Patton, and many local musicians.
      "I wanted to mix the songs kids like with very hot jazz," Mr. Cassel said. "I took a lot of liberties with [the Charlie Brown theme]. Bobby does a wild jazz solo to it."
      "'Busy Busy Busy' works really well with the kids singing along with me," he said.
      Mr. Cassel is a classically trained jazz pianist who can and does play country, folk, pop, rock, and dinner music. He calls the latter the "kind of music you should talk over." He has appeared in large venues with Dave Brubeck, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Maynard Ferguson, Pat Metheny, and Bonnie Raitt, and in small clubs by himself. His repertoire ranges from Jerry Lee Lewis to Cole Porter to Duke Ellington to Fats Waller to Frederic Chopin and Maurice Ravel to John Cassel.
      Kids Dig Jazz is due in stores and online on December 12.


     Janet Bonneau has framed photographs in a variety of sizes as well as notecards for sale. "People can call me at 802.849.9954 to set up a time to stop by my 'home' studio to see a selection," she said. She also offers gift certificates towards a purchase.
      Counterpoint Sings Noel, the new Counterpoint Christmas CD, is on sale at the Dressing Room in St. Albans.
      Photographer Kris Jarrett offers gift certificates for photo sittings and prints. Call 527-1192 or click here for more info.
      Jesse Potts offers gift certificates for guitar lessons. Call 527-3939 for info.
      Catalyst Theater Company Artistic Director Ronni Lopez suggests, "How about a hollydaze gift to get folks in a good frame of mind for the season with tickets to our ninth annual Best Christmas Pageant Ever! It's the gift of joy!"
      The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! by Barbara Robinson runs December 1,2,3,8,9,10 at 7:30 p.m. and December 3, 4, 10, 11 at 3 p.m. at the Waterfront Theater at Lake and College in Burlington. Admission is $11 for adults 15 and older, $9 for seniors, and $8 for those 14 and under. Call 802.862.2287 or e-mail for reservations.
      Will Patton reminds us that "Nothing says Christmas like gypsy jazz and Brasilian tunes." He has 3 CDs out with "no waiting," even for the 2005 String Theory. Call 827-3845 or click here for more info.
      Bluesman Nobby Reed has a new CD featuring Ray Bushey, The Nobby Reed Project Live at The Harpoon BBQ Fest. All his albums are available Better Planet, The Flying Disk, and Barnes and Noble. Click here for more info.
      Lauren Young of Lauren's Lyrics has 2.5 x 3.5 photo magnets with bits of poetry, custom orders for "that special someone," unique greeting cards, poetic photos, and children's books. Her 2005 title is More Comfy Cozy Tales/The Silver Lake Champ.
      Valerie M. Ugro is opening her studio for the month of December at her home, 226 Huntville Road, Fairfax. She will show her new watercolor and acrylic paintings of Vermont landscapes, Vermont covered bridges, mountain scenes, and ski areas, scenes around Isle la Motte, Fairfax, and more. One of her specialities is architectural portraits by commission. Call 849-6185 or e-mail for info.


ESSEX--John Drury has released his first solo CD, Just As the Sun Was Setting, There will be a CD Release Party with John on December 4th starting at 4 p.m. at the new Celtic Arts Center.
      Mr. Drury is strongly rooted in the Celtic, Quebecois, and dance music of New England. His first appearance with the All Arts Council was in the 1980s when we presented the statewide productions of the Soiree Grand Menage. He now lives in the Champlain Islands after being spending many years in Central Vermont.
      The recording features 15 selections with 36 motoring tune after motoring tune on guitar and cittern. Click here for more info about the release party, the sessions, or the CD.

ST. ALBANS--Early Childhood and Childcare Provider Network present a Folk Tales and Diversity workshop with story teller Peter Burns on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Family Center. The workshop is designed for providers and individuals.
      "This is a new spin on the idea that stories are the same in different cultures," Deb Grennon said. "I haven't had anybody sign up yet so I need some calls."
      People will discover how to tell stories and make them meaningful. Mr. Burns has done a lot of work with the Bookmobile and had developed this new workshop.
      Call Deb Grennon (802.527.5426) for info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council presents the Winn Sisters at the Cambridge Coffeehouse in the 158 Main Restaurant and Bakery, next Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      Call Ron Carter (802.644.6632) for info.

BURLINGTON--The University of Vermont’s Division of Continuing Education and the English Department ALANA program presents Chasing the Blues a 12-day travel-study trip to the Mississippi Delta and Memphis, Tennessee, in January hosted by Mark Greenberg. There will be an information meeting at the UVM next Thursday, December 8. Registration is limited to 12 people. E-mail or click here for more info.


MONTGOMERY--Mountain Fiber Folk Coop presents The Welcome Winter Marketplace on Saturday at the Town Hall from 10-3 p.m. The show will include Fiber Arts demos, bales of hand spun yarn, hand knit and crocheted items as well as local artists offering gift baskets, jewelry, photography, pottery, quilt work, and stained glass, plus baked goods and preserves and local honey.
      "It's a first," organizer Carol Farmer said. "We wanted to have a show for the local artists."


     Colonial Williamsburg’s annual holiday exhibition will be hosted at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum this year. The exhibit includes a Christmas tree decorated with handmade Folk Art. The American Furniture center showcases colonial and early Federal period pieces from Virginia to Vermont.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2005 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.