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Vermont Arts News | Vermont Arts

Ray Vega Sextet

PLAINFIELD — The Friends of the Plainfield Opera House, for the next concert in the Spring 2022 Series, will present jazz great Ray Vega and his Latin Jazz Sextet at 4 pm Sunday, May 22.

Vega’s Latin Jazz Sextet — Ray Vega, trumpet/flugelhorn; Brian McCarthy, saxophones; Scott Dean, percussion; Mike Hartigan, piano; Giovanni Rovetto, bass, and Caleb Bronz, drums) presents fiery Latin jazz from a Nuyorican perspective and original compositions by Vega which combine elements of jazz, Latin and funk.

A native of the South Bronx, Vega is a veteran of the bands of Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Mario Buza, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Hector LaVoe, Johnny Pacheco, Larry Harlow, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, and Louie Ramirez, to name a few.

Vega is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Vermont. Along with coaching four jazz combos, he teaches trumpet and jazz history. In 2015 the University of Vermont honored him with the title of University Scholar for 2015-2016. He was the first creative in the history of the university to receive this honor.

Poet Paul Christensen

BRANDON — From 7 to 8:30 pm Friday, May 20, The Compass Music and Arts Center, Park Village, will present an evening with acclaimed poet Paul Christensen. the event is as part of the schedule of events planned throughout the showing of the art installation by Fran Bull and partner Robert Black, titled “We’re All at a Party Called Life on Earth!” Christensen will read some of his new poems and essays by him, adding a further dimension to the installation, which explores the theme of human connectedness.

Christensen explains: “The pattern of my life is no more than a crazy quilt… I have always had the desire to illuminate something as complex as an American experience. Others have done it better, with more tools at hand, but I believe my life has not been wasted trying to turn ink into ideas.”

Christensen is the author of many books of poetry including “Hard Country” and “The Human Condition,” two studies of modern American poets, several memoirs about his life in Texas and in southern France. He’s also written several hundred essays and blogs, and short stories. He was an NEA fellow in poetry, twice a Senior Fulbright lecturer (Austria and Norway) and for many years a teacher of creative writing and contemporary literature at Texas A&M University. He now lives in Brandon and spends summers in southern France.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students; to register, call Edna Sutton at 802-247-4295, or email edna@brandon-music.net.

Trio Ad Libitum

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Music Center’s Season Guest Concert Series welcomes Trio Ad Libitum at 7:30 pm Saturday, May 21.

The newly formed string trio, with shared roots at the Marlboro Music Festival is comprised of violinist Elizabeth Fayette, violist Jordan Bak and cellist Timotheos Gavriilidis-Petrin. The program includes Franz Schubert’s String Trio in B-flat Major, D. 471; Bohuslav Martinu’s Trio à cordes no. 2H238; Jean Françaix’s String Trio; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat major, KV 563.

Tickets are $20; call 802-257-4523, or go online to bmcvt.org

Wheeler & White

PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present contemporary folk singer-songwriters Cheryl Wheeler and Kenny White at Next Stage at 7:30 pm Friday, May 20.

It has always seemed as if there were two Cheryl Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussles for control of the microphone. There is poet-Cheryl, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin de ella, comic-Cheryl, a militant trend defier and savagely funny social critic. As the poet and comic forces join, taking their separate turns and melding into the same artistic vision, Wheeler emerges as a delightful, gifted and openhearted performer.

White comes to the world of the touring singer-songwriter following a long and successful musical journey. He has toured internationally as a solo artist (winning the International Songwriting Award at the Premio Ciampi music festival in Livomo, Italy), while continuing to perform with his good friend Cheryl Wheeler.

Tickets are $25, $22 in advance, $5 virtual; call 802-387-0102, or go online to nextstagearts.org Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill.

Uman’s Convergence

BRATTLEBORO — Composer and pianist Eugene Uman and the original members of the Convergence Project will return to the Vermont Jazz Center for a reunion concert performing high-energy original jazz compositions at 8 pm Saturday, May 21.

Members of the Convergence Project joining Uman will be Michael Zsoldos on saxophone, Jeff Galindo on trombone, Stomu Takeishi on electric bass, and Satoshi Takeishi on drums. This configuration of the Convergence project, with the Takeishi brothers’ rhythm section, hasn’t performed together since 2015. Uman has prepared new material and revised some old favorites in preparation for this exciting concert.

“The intention when writing these pieces was to combine the vocabulary of jazz with the edge of rock and funk and the inspiration of Colombian folkloric rhythms such as corridor, cumbia, currulao, puya and porro,” says Uman. The music of the Convergence Project balances an artistic tightrope between fresh, innovative and exploratory on one side, and accessible, understandable and visceral on the other.

For tickets or information, call 802 254 9088, or go online to www.vtjazz.org

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