ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 10, 2014


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits


      The Big Music Weeks of Summer began last week. With three or more live concerts, fairs, theatricals, or festivals each week, there will be plenty to see and hear in Franklin County every week. This week, the emphasis is on Highgate with three great concerts.


      Jazz will mesmerize Highgate Municipal Park as O. C. McCuin and Sons presents Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. With Caleb Bronz on drums, Kathleen Dolan on flute, Glendon Ingalls on bass and sousaphone, Bob Levinson on guitar and vocals, Mark Van Gulden on keys, 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]. And I hope my 'Junkettes' will join us!"
      The Junkettes are Highgate's own young people who have grown up dancing and singing to Ms. Johnson's performances here.
      Singing jazz, blues and funk has been a central part of her life since her own 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, and First Night.
      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.
      Her albums include a Tour Down Memory Lane, recorded during her Vermont opera house tour, Black Pearls, and JENNI takes 1 & 2.
      Drummer Caleb Bronz of Burlington plays and records with Mighty Sam McClain, Johnny A, Barika, The Gordon Stone Band, Prydein, The Ray Vega Latin Jazz Ensemble, The Patricia Julien Project and others. He brings reggae, hip-hop, big-band and small-combo jazz, rock, pop, latin-jazz, bluegrass, free-jazz and more. He teaches privately and with such programs as Rock Camp Vermont and Vermont Jazz Camp.
      Kathleen Dolan Kathleen works with children as an art therapist and in visual arts and music as a registered Music Together teacher. She founded Purple Crayon Productions with art and music programs for infants to children in early elementary grades, a program that has expanded community-wide with offerings for seniors and special needs populations.
      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.
      Bob Levinson plays Jazz, Pop, and Rock in his own trio, the Myra Flynn Band, Moving Music Studio, Panton Flats, and more.
      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.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the St. Paul's Methodist Church Scholarship Fund-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, Mylan Technologies, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      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 for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church.


MONTGOMERY CENTER--The INN hosts a Celebration of Expressive Arts event on the deck this evening at 7 p.m. Tonight's featured artists are singer-songwriter, farmer, earnest truth-seeker, and self proclaimed dork Hayley Sabella; Bread and Puppet Theater members Rose Friedman and Justin Lander who fell in love milking a cow; and poet and MacDowell Fellow Neil Shepard whose current volume of poetry is Vermont Exit Ramps.
      The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work, curated and hosted by Bob and Becca Cummins.

ST. ALBANS--The Downtown Summer Concert Series presents the famed TBA Band in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Friday at 6 p.m. Jeff's Seafood will have a cash bar and food available.
      Inca Hoots, Oleo Romeos, and others will perform this summer. Admission is free.

ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs Comedy For A Cause series continues on the Main Stage Friday evening at 7 p.m. The evening will raise money to support Sweethearts and Heroes and Mrs. Vermont international!
      Admission is $20. There are just 75 seats available at the restaurant.
      Next up, Twiggs presents Dollar Past Sunset on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

BANGALORE, INDIA--Will Patton of Bakersfield will join clarinetist Anna Patton and her band in Bangalore July 11-13. The concerts will mix swing and fiddle tunes for clarinet and string band, Franco-flavored American music, and close swing harmony vocals.

SHELBURNE--The second Bluebird Bluegrass & BBQ of the summer features Chasing 440 playing a little too close to the mobile smoker at Shelburne Vineyard on Friday at 6 p.m. until dusk
      Fresh from Bay Day, Chasing 440 is Amanda Benway, singer/songwriter and lead mandolin; David Benway, guitar and vocals; Arnold Royea, fiddle; Michael Ryan, banjo and vocals; and Larry Blackhurst on bass.
      Wine and sangria will be served by the glass; Fiddlehead Brewing Company will pour beer by the pint.
      The event is free and open to the public.

ESSEX JUNCTION--Backstage presents Justice with Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals in a Saturday night bash at 9:30 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

HIGHGATE FALLS--St. John Episcopal Church presents a Peter Griggs concert, the Guitar in America, Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.
      Guitarist and composer Peter Griggs performs classical music of all periods, as well as jazz, Brazilian music, flamenco, and his own compositions. He lives in New York City and has toured extensively, presenting more than 350 solo guitar concerts in the USA and Europe at art centers, museums, festivals, churches, jazz clubs and other venues, including 500 years of Guitar Music in Highgate last summer. He has worked with or been commissioned by the Pan Asian Repertory Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the New York State Theater Institute, Compania Nacional de Danza de Espana, National Public Radio, the National Endowment for the Arts, WNET TV, and the World-wide Video Festival. Mr. Griggs has recorded on Music Of The World, Folkways Records, Treecastle Music and Locust Records.
      The 19th century brick St. John's Church was built by Joel Whitney of Enosburg. The building is conventional classic with gothic pointed windows. The historical church is now used for weddings, Evensong services, and concerts in the summer.
      Admission is by free will donation. Call 802.868.7185, or click here for Church events or here for more info about Peter Griggs.

BURLINGTON--Venue hosts Les Dudek's very first live performance in Vermont with special guests, the Nobby Reed Project, on Tuesday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m.
      Mr. Dudek has signed as a solo artist with Columbia Records and has released six critically acclaimed albums. His new, seventh, CD is Delta Breeze.
      The music legend has played and written for some of the best-known multi-platinum records including the dual lead guitar on The Allman Brothers' Ramblin Man and acoustic guitar on Jessica, smooth and silky guitars with Boz Scaggs, four of the Steve Miller Band's albums including Fly Like An Eagle and, of course, DFK (the Dudek, Finnigan, Krueger Band).
      And speaking of guitars, legendary blues guitarist Nobby Reed fronts the NRP power blues trio which includes Ray Bushey, bass, and Eric Belrose, drums.
      Admission is $22 online or $27 at the door. Click here for tickets.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Recreation Department with Young Tradition Vermont present Eric George in the Fairfax Summer Concert Series at the Baptist Building next Wednesday, July 16, at 7 p.m.
      The winner of the 2014 Young Tradition Weekend Contest, Mr. George is a singer, songwriter, and entertainer who helps keep the American folk tradition alive. His repertoire ranges from early country and delta blues to original songwriting.
      Call 802.849.6111x8 or click here for Fairfax Rec or here for more info about Young Tradition.


      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 © 2014 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.