Arts beat for July 27: ‘Wine Down’ with sweet vocals and tight grooves

Abby Jenne and the Bessette Quartet will perform at Lincoln Peak Vineyard on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
The group performs jazz classics and swing favorites, with some rock and blues. With songs ranging from Cole Porter to Adele, Jenne’s strong and sweet vocals are complemented by the tight grooves of Bessette Quartet. The group comprises Jenne on guitar and vocals, Doug Perkins on guitar, Matt Davis on drums, Andy Smith on bass and Eric Bessette on tenor sax. They explore swing-influenced music of the mid-20th century, and mix in a few pop tunes from decades present and past.
Admission is free. As with all Wine Down Friday shows, the “doors” open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking. Food will be for sale by Almost Home, and wine by the glass. Bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket. The Wine Down Friday series happens rain or shine— there’s room on the winery porch in the case of rain. No alcohol may be brought onto the grounds, and please leave your pets at home. Lincoln Peak Vineyard is located at 142 River Road in New Haven. More information is at lincolnpeakvineyard.com.
On Tuesday — live from New York City — hosts of several of the biggest and best podcasts in the world will convene for “Cast Party,” a festive, rousing original variety show beamed live via satellite into Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 8 p.m.
“Cast Party” will feature brand new stories and performances by WNYC’s dynamo “Radiolab”; NPR’s newest mega-hit, “Invisibilia”; Gimlet Media’s deep dive into the Internet, “Reply All”; Earwolf’s improv comedy show “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus”; and PRX’s bold (and often hilarious) radio drama, “The Truth.” Also featuring surprise guests, music and dance performances, original videos and more.
“We envision this as the ‘Lollapalooza’ of podcasts,” says “Cast Party” co-creator and producer Seth Lind. Once a niche medium, podcasts have exploded in popularity, with iTunes podcast subscribers surging to 77 million, up from 25 million just five years ago.
Tickets are $15, available at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222 or the box office Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. This particular event may not be suitable for those under 15; discretion is advised.
Snake Mountain Bluegrass and the Connor Sisters return to Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Gregg Humphrey and Mike Connor formed Snake Mountain Bluegrass about 25 years ago. At the time, both Humphrey (guitar) and Connor (banjo) were living near Snake Mountain and someone asked them what style of bluegrass they played. “Snake Mountain Bluegrass,” was their immediate response and the name has been theirs ever since.
The Connor Sisters are Katie (guitar), Monica (fiddle) and Meaghan (mandolin). They have been singing together for years, throughout their homeschooling, resulting in “sister harmonies” that are tight and effervescent. Younger brother Joseph Connor often shares his impressive vocal abilities and unique style by joining in as a special guest.
Tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20. Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.
On Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Salisbury Congregational Church will host a toe-tapping “jazz conversation” with Dick Forman and Mark Harding performing jazz standards and tunes from the Great American Songbook.
A longtime favorite of Vermont audiences, pianist Forman is a Salisbury resident and director of jazz activities at Middlebury College. His jazz groups have played on public radio and at regional jazz festivals. Harding plays and teaches both guitar and bass, in a variety of styles. Now based in the Rutland area, he has been part of the Vermont music scene for decades. The duo’s performance just might lead to dancing in the aisles (permitted).
This will be the fifth event in Salisbury’s 36th annual Summer Performance Series that will continue on Friday evenings through Aug. 7 at the historic, but handicap-accessible, 1838 church in Salisbury village. Although the church tower will be scaffolded for repairs during this season, the sanctuary will still be readily entered through the front doors and the on-grade rear entrance.
Although admission is free, a donation in support of the series will be appreciated.
There will be three live musical performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.
Join Two Brothers every Wednesday at 9 p.m., for the Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy, or anything else, alternately hosted by Mark Sikora and Kai Stanley. Come cheer on your friends or let loose on the stage. It’s free to enter, and there is no cover charge.
Then at 6 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents an early show with the Eskimo Brothers. Mike and Moses hail from Poultney, where they have been playing rock music together for 12 years in various projects. There is no cover.
Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Binger return to the Tavern’s stage. Couch-surf prog, post-genre, experimental hip-hop, jam and anything else you can think of snakes its way into their intricate and mind bending live shows. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.
Middlebury Actors Workshop continues its 15th anniversary summer production of “Greater Tuna,” starring founding members Steve Small and Harry McEnerny, on Thursday at 8 p.m. in A.R.T.’s black box theater at the Patricia Hannaford Career Center, 51 Charles Ave. in Middlebury. Performances will repeat on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
A two-man, 20-character, quick-change tour de force, “Greater Tuna” is a hilarious send-up of small town morals and mores in Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.
Artistic Director Melissa Lourie directs this long-running off-Broadway hit.
Tickets are $22, available at the Town Hall Theater box office, 382-9222 or townhalltheater.org and also at the door of the A.R.T. black box theater on performance days.
As part of Rochester’s 2015 Summer Park Concert Series, the Michele Fay Band will be performing on the village green on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
The band features original and Americana music that brings forth a comfortable groove of folk, swing and bluegrass-influenced songs that are woven seamlessly together. Fay’s heartfelt lyrics are central to the ensemble, as she sings with a clear, authentic voice accompanied by guitar and banjo. Tim Price adds melodic instrumentals on mandolin and guitar, while Kalev Freeman works his “lilting” fiddle. Michael Santosusso provides tenor harmonies and drives a dynamic beat with upright bass.
The band’s new CD, “Believe,” received rave reviews from Seven Days. The performance is free.
The Middlebury College Summer Carillon Series continues its 30th year of concerts with a 5 p.m. performance on Friday in Mead Chapel by Elena Sadina, instructor at the Middlebury College Russian School and Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium.
Enjoy the sounds of the carillon bells from the chapel steps or, weather permitting, on the surrounding lawns. The free series continues every Friday through August with a different performer.
Mead Memorial Chapel is located on the campus of Middlebury College at 75 Hepburn Road. Free parking is available on Route 125 (College Street), and on Old Chapel Road. For further information, call 443-3168 or visit middlebury.edu/arts.
There will be two live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Thursday, 51 Main will present Shaded Gray, a Middlebury indie rock band with Olivia Cacciatore (drums and lead vocals), Simon Broucke (keys, bass, rhythm guitar and cello) and Matias Van Order Gonzalez (lead guitar, bass).
Then, at 8 p.m. on Friday, David Bain and Mimi Bain take to the stage. This father-daughter duo draw from an eclectic American roots musical catalog of belting blues, rock, soul, vintage jazz, New Orleans, rockabilly and even some from Tin Pan Alley.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.

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