ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 28, 2016


      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.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue today as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds continues 26 years of concerts in Highgate with a favorite phenomenal bluegrass and we find shows in East Fairfield, Enosburg, Burlington, Barre, Morrisville, St. Albans, Swanton, and more.


      Jazz will mesmerize Highgate Municipal Park as Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate continue the 26th year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with 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.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the MVU School Trip Committee-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 Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, La Quinta Inn and Suites of St Albans, 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. Click here for the schedule.


     The 24th annual Jig in the Valley brings eight hours of some of the best music in Vermont to the East Fairfield green Sunday from noon on.
      Brian Curry, Dale and Darcy, George Lewis, Joe Moore, the Stragglers, Near North, David Rosane & the Zookeepers, the Oleo Romeos, and many others will fill the day with folk, funk, jazz, bluegrass, blues, country and everything in between. There will be grilled chicken, burgers, and dogs, fresh homemade salads, and the world famous pie table plus, soda, iced tea and coffee under the food tent and wood fired pizza in the afternoon.
      "Best damned party in the state," said organizer Tyrone Shaw.
      Admission is $10 per person with a maximum charge of $25 for families. All proceeds benefit the Fairfield Community Center programs. The event is held rain or shine and will move to the Old Meeting House on the Green in case of rain. Please bring a canned food item along for the Food Shelf.

      Come early! There's no telling who will be around for the annual Pre-Jig Jam on Saturday, the eve of the Jig, on the green next to the Meeting House. The Jam features a "mysterious musical melange" of well-known Vermont musicians carrying on and feasting at the pre-pre-Jig potluck. We really don't expect Leonard Cohen or Paul Simon. Really.


ST. ALBANS--The One Fed Summer Concert Series gets supercharged as Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers blast the evening away starting at 7 p.m.
      The summer concert series has performers under the tents and draft specials every Thursday, rain or shine.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents John Smyth and Jenn Croteau this evening, Sean Casey tomorrow, and Gypsy Wind on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House of Dogpatch Falls presents the fun-filled, foot-stompin' musical Lil Abner with evening shows today, tomorrow, and Saturday at 7 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
      "It's a Typical Day" as the citizens of Dogpatch go about their daily activities, directed by Kathleen Hoffman. Robert Willey plays Abner and Heather Wilson plays Daisy Mae. Kai Jamil who opened the Summer Sounds concert last Sunday appears as femme fatale Appassionata Von Climax, General Bullmoose' girlfriend. The large cast includes Jack Bashaw, Rebecca Anne Bennett, Lia Callahan, Jamie Dodd, Brent Garrow, Molly Hartman, Rowan Hooks, Sherri Hooks, Brandon Leet, Kristi Leet, Roger Lindala, Aurora Martin, Lonna Neidig, David Pratt, Lianna Roque, Emily Rose, Kane Stanley, Loren Sylvester, Darion Taylor, and Caleb Wills.
      General admission is $15 for adults or $12 for students and seniors but there is a $1 discount for online orders). Call 802.933.6171 or click here for tickets.

BURLINGTON--The Breakwaters Summer lineup continues with local favorites Nightrain on Friday plus The Original Q this evening, the Joe Moore Band on Saturday, Collette and the Mudcats Unplugged Sunday, and Shake My Nerves next Wednesday. Bands play from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3-6 p.m on Sundays.
      Nightrain will take you on a wild summer ride with Eric Halbach, drums; Tom Dunn, bass; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; Andy Toussaint, guitar and keyboards; Brad Ravlin, guitar; four friends who grew up together around St. Albans.

ST. ALBANS--It's time for Music & More at Back Inn Time with the eclectic vintage sound of the Blue Rock Boys tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
      Seating is limited, so you must make a reservation if you plan to dine. Call KarenMarie Peltier (802.527.5116) or email for more info.

SWANTON--Come early for an All Day Big Day Saturday with the famed Swanton Car Show, a Fire Dept BBQ, a free concert in the park with the Nobby Reed Project, all in the Village Park. The Big Day begins at 9 a.m. and both the BBQ and the concert start at 6 p.m. Between 150 and 200 cars have registered.
      Admission is free.

BARRE--The fourth largest city in Vermont celebrates the Barre Heritage Festival with a Young Tradition Showcase on Saturday at 5 p.m., Michele Choiniere with Will Patton and Dono Schabner at 6 p.m., Yankee Chank at 7 p.m., all on the Currier Park Stage, and Tim Brick on the City Hall Park Stage at 8 p.m. Saturday also includes The Paletteers outdoor art show in Currier Park, Studio Place Arts exhibits, plus performances by the Adams Band, the Barre Tones, Celtic Company, Cruise Control, the Great American Fiddle Show, Midnight Capers, Migmar Tashi, Musik Svenska, Red Clover and the Hermit Thrush, the Tin Penny Band, and more.
      Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--No Left Turn continues the Downtown Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Road Grill BBQ serves food at all of this year's Summer Concerts Series events.
      Admission is free.

MORRISVILLE--Moog's Place has "live music every night we're open, starting between eight and nine pm" with open mic night scheduled most Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts holds a Farmers and Artisans Market at the River Arts Center every Wednesday from 3 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Shooters Saloon sponsors an open-mic night every Thursday and scheduled music on some other evenings.
      Call 802.527.3777 for more info or booking requests.


     National Night Out will be held in two Franklin County town parks on Tuesday. The national event has representatives of local police and fire departments, special vehicles, and K9 Units. It is family friendly, with food, live music, activities and more.
ST ALBANS--Taylor Park will be the focal point of exhibits and activities.
SWANTON--The SAC will create Thumbprint Art in the Swanton Village Park.
      Events are free and open to the public.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.


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