ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 15, 2010


      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 various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, 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.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!

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      The Big Four Music Weeks of summer begins this week. With three or more live concerts, fairs, or festivals each week, there is plenty to see and hear in Franklin County.


     Jazz will mesmerize Highgate Municipal Park as Chevalier Drilling presents Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. With Glendon Ingalls on bass and tuba, Joe Moore blowing sax, Mark Van Gulden on keys, and Gus Ziesing pounding drums and accordion, Ms. Johnson is jazzy, bluesy, funky, and nearly perfect.
      "We'll definitely do the standards," Ms. Johnson said, "the Billie [Holiday], the Nat King Cole, the Ella [Fitzgerald]."
      Singing jazz, blues and funk has been a central part of Ms. Johnson's life since her teen days in New York City. In the 1980s she pursued musical projects in Houston, Texas and Boston including unique work she titled "The Billie Holiday Story." She launched Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers in 1989 to sing the jazz and blues standards by her favorite African-American artists. The active touring artist is a regular performer in Summer Sounds, Discover Jazz, First Night, and at Chow!Bella
      The international entertainer now lives in Burlington. She has performed with numerous local and national musicians from New Orleans, as well as international jazz musicians from Yaroslavl and Rostav, Russia and Paris. She runs workshops in vocal-performance coaching for all levels and continues to Moonlight in Vermont as she keeps clients fit, counseled and musically entertained.
      Mark Van Gulden of Monkton interprets the sounds of India, Eastern and Western Europe, Spain, Brazil, and American Jazz and blues. He also plays percussion including drums and conga; has taught mallet percussion at Burlington College, as well as in music workshops with Jenni around the state.
      Glendon Ingalls is Director of Instrumental Music at Rutland Town School and string bass, electric bass, and trumpet instructor at Middlebury College. He appeared with Jenni Johnson at the Yaroslavl International Jazz Festival in Russia.
      Originally from Philadelphia, Gus Ziesing started playing drums at the age of fourteen. Inspired by fellow Philadelphian John Coltrane, Gus has since played drums, saxophone and clarinet with many bands in Vermont and is one of the few to play one row and/or three row accordions in the Zydeco style. His primary band Mango Jam.
      Joe Moore has played alto sax since childhood but took up the baritone in the Army when told he blew too hard for the alto. Look for the tenor sax and penny whistle in his arsenal. He has played with Wilson Picket, Staple Singers and opened for Dionne Warwick, Taj Mahal and Ricky Skaggs, and toured with Pork Tornado. He gives private lessons and appears on two of Jenni's CDs.
      Her CD Tour Down Memory Lane was recorded during her Vermont opera house tour. That album is a combination of 40s, 50s, and 60s music focusing on girl groups. Click here for more info.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the Highgate Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary-Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat some delicious desserts.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing, and Scotty's Taxi.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church.


     The Champlain Collection will host its final show today at 6:30 p.m. as founder and long-time owner Norm Choiniere prepares to retire. Sort of.
      "I've been working this store for 36 years," he said. "There have been so many changes that it is more and more challenging for a small retailer." He is actually retiring only from the retail end of the business. "I'll working from home with the publishing business and on the Internet. And I'll do some shows with around Vermont and New England."
      As a publisher, the Champlain Collection Fine Art Publishing has developed a number of artists over their 30 years, serving to market their originals, create prints and giclees and cards and other licensed products, and to build a thriving wholesale and online business.
      The featured artists for the final show include Harald Aksdal, Sean Dye, Barbara Parfume, and Fred Swan. The Collection will also introduce 7-year old Elyza Bruce.
      "She paints the most fantastic acrylics of animals," Mr. Choiniere said. "You simply have to see them."
      Fred Swan will be on hand to sign his new 2011 calendar.
      The last day of business for the store will be July 25.


WATERBURY--The Stowe Street Arts Festival in historic downtown Waterbury on Saturday features more than 50 artists plus food, music, and artist demonstrations from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Stowe Street and Bidwell Lane in Waterbury are closed for this event.
      Artist Karen Day Vath of St Albans will show Original Fine Art in acrylics and oils, along with hand painted slate, printed and hand painted note cards and post cards. All very affordable.
      There is a wide range of art for sale. Admission is free. Click here for the schedule of events and more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn offers some favorites this week. Tonight is Blues Night with Chris Ruest (Mr. Ruest of Austin. Texas, on guitar, with Greg Izor on harmonica, Tom Buckley on bass, and Jason Corbiere of Swanton on drums) at 7 p.m. Sturcrazie plays tomorrow at 9 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info

GRAND ISLE--Vermont State Parks present Fiddleheads in Grand Isle State Park on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Click here or here for more info.

ENOSBURG--The Friends of the Opera House present three courses of Chicken BBQ, Green Mountain Chorus, and Afterglow at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls on Saturday afternoon and evening. The Green Mountain Chorus is the performing chorus of the Vermont chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Singing in four part harmony -- Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass -- they have been the state's premiere a capella barbershop chorus for more than 60 years.
      The first course, 4:30-6:30, is the Chicken BBQ with chicken, salad, roll, pickles, drink. There will also be a sweets table for those who want to buy dessert. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. The audience can wander downstreet to the Somerset Inn to join the singers for Afterglow of song and good cheer.
      Admission is $7 for the BBQ alone, $10 for adults or $8 for student or seniors to the concert alone, or $15 for both.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--The Montgomery Historical Society Concerts By The Common series presents the Constitution Brass Quintet in Pratt Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      The brass ensemble brings out the fond memories of band concerts on Montgomery Common; their repertoire features music from the Civil War period.
      Admission is $12 or $10 for MHS members; purchase the entire series for $30 ($25 for members). Call Lutz Automotive (802.326.4528) for advance tickets. The concerts are underwritten in part by grants from the Vermont Arts Council, the Eastman Foundation, TD Bank, and area businesses and individuals. Click here for more info.

SHELDON--Sheldon United Methodist Church presents the 151st Anniversary Summer BBQ and Music Celebration on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. They will host a Chicken BBQ and music by the Backyard Bluegrass Band
      The menu includes chicken, baked potatoes, coleslaw, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The Backyard Bluegrass Band Will and Deb Patton and Cindy and Jim Weed.
      Admission is by free will offering. The church asks that you RSVP Jon Gorton (802.933.4487) or Phyllis Archambault (802.933.6672) by today for the meal.

ON THE LAKE--Kingdom County Productions and Northeastern Family Institute of Vermont host Lake Champlain a Blues Cruise featuring Summer Sounds favorite Tammy Fletcher on Saturday at 7 p.m. The cruise benefits the documentary film Ask Us Who We Are and casts off from the Lake Champlain Ferry/King Street Dock in Burlington.
      Call 802.592.3190 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--St. Paul's United Methodist Church presents Tim Zimmerman and the King's Brass on Sunday at 7 p.m. This popular brass ensemble presents hymn classics with a contemporary flair. The King's Brass blend three trumpets, three trombones, a tuba, percussion and keyboards to create an secular and sacred music for all generations.       This biennial visit also introduces the group's 14th CD, American Mood. The album features Big Band, gospel, jazz, and spiritual music.
      Admission is free but you must have a free ticket to get in the door. Free tickets are available from St. Pauls, Bayberry Cottage, Chittenden Bank, and J&L Service Center. A free will offering will be accepted at the door. Click here for more info.

JOHNSON--Tuesday Night Live presents Patti Casey with Colin McCaffrey on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Tuesday Night Live is free, just bring a chair or blanket. Email for more info.


     Painter Linda Striedieck of Bellows Falls "calls the forms in [her] paintings organic in the sense that they emerge and evolve out of themselves." Her site with good use of Flash for her online portfolio with an artist's statement, resume, and contact info.


      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 © 2010 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.