ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 6, 2006


      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.


  ArtBits News Photo     The Summer Sounds concert series returns to Highgate Sunday evening with the Ray's Extrusion Die Service presentation of Mango Jam.
      Mango Jam is a six piece dance band playing straight-ahead Zydeco as well as New Orleans-inspired Funk and Reggae/Ska. The band draws its inspiration from the music of South Louisiana and the Caribbean and they will rock the house with those hot rhythms. They have been playing about fifteen years.
      Their playlist incorporates Cajun, New Orleans R&B and Mardi Gras songs as well as the original songs of guitarist and singer, Josie Ritter. Band members also include Gus Ziesing, accordions, saxophones, vocals; Dana Lavigne, guitar, fratois, vocals; Mimi Ryan, alto saxophone, vocals; Lee Beckwith, bass, vocals; and Allen Bilson, drums.
      The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing, and the Tyler Place. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. These All Arts Council concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.


     Summer Music at Grace presents a night with Patrick Fitzsimmons in concert on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Grace Episcopal Church in Sheldon. The contemporary folk/rock singer-songwriter from Burlington was a member of RCA Records' From Good Homes. Since 2000, he has performed solo.
 ArtBits News Photo     Mr Fitzsimmons has released three full-length solo CDs: The Changing (2001), Dance (2002) and Color In The Dark (2004), and has opened shows for: Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, Lucy Kaplansky, Steve Forbert, Great Big Sea, Roger McGuinn, David Wilcox, Jill Sobule, Cliff Eberhardt, Catie Curtis, Mark Erelli, Jeffery Foucault, the Samples and more. His Gimme' More Love appears on Peace for Ireland - One Child at a Time fundraiser CD beside artists U2, James Taylor, From Good Homes and others.
      Summer at Grace is an ongoing series of inspired music in the sanctuary at 215 Pleasant Street in Sheldon Creek. The suggested donation for admission is $10/adults. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info.


     The Fairfax Community Theater Company presents Agatha Christie's enormously successful stage adaptation of her original story, Witness for the Prosecution at BFA Fairfax, tonight through Saturday evening at 7:30 pm.
      Witness for the Prosecution includes a murder trial, marital infidelities, financial gain, and a loving wife testifying for the prosecution. The cast includes Kevin Christopher, Jennifer Carbee, Robert Ready, and Jerry Starks. The production is directed by Margie Cain.
      Admission is $10/adults and $7/students & senior citizens. Call 802.849.6638, email or click here for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn Pub and Grill presents Jenni Johnson and Friends tonight, 7-10 p.m. Email for more info.
      Jenni will also appear with the full Jazz Junketeers in Summer Sounds later this season.

      NORTH HERO--Island Arts and the Vermont Shakespeare Company present a magical evening in the forest with Twelfth Night in the Islands Center at Knight's Point State Park, tonight through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Children under 12 are free but must pay the park fee. Call 802.863.5966 or click here for reservations. Call 802.372.8400 for info.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents community dances on Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Waterville Town Hall. The evening will feature contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games and all dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Caller Mark Sustic offers dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie play. Guest musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door.

ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon offers Open Mic with Abby Jenne and Friends every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Abby encourages performers of all kinds to attend. If you need instrumental accompaniment, email with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. Click here for more info.


     Kevin Laddison, the owner of First Step Dance, started dancing in 1997 at a Cajun music festival in Rhode Island. He has completed the Metronome Ballroom's Teacher Training Program and the Dance Vision International Dancers Association (DVIDA) with High Honors. First Step Dance holds regular weekly classes in St. Albans and Burlington. The site includes schedules, dance histories, news, and more.


      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.


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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2006 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.