Arts Beat for Jan. 7: Swing Noire will turn Brandon Music into a jazz club

VIOLINIST DAVID GUSAKOV, guitarist Rob McCuen and bassist Jim McCuen play Hot Club-style jazz as the group known as “Swing Noire.” They will perform at Brandon Music this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Swing Noire will hit the stage at Brandon Music on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Swing Noire invokes the energy of a swingin’ jazz club, transporting audiences back to the early days of jazz with their unique take on Hot Swing, making music that “will entrance and surprise you.” They evoke “images of smoky basement speakeasies and slinky cabarets,” says Dan Bolles at Seven Days. The group is the perfect way for Brandon Music to start off their 2019 year of (almost) weekly concerts.
Whether it’s called Gypsy Jazz, Hot Swing, Jazz Manouche, or any other idiom, over the last decade, Swing Noire has found their place in Vermont. “In a time when good jazz groups are hard to find, Swing Noire rises to the top as one of the best jazz groups playing around Burlington. … Swing Noire brings you into those smoky clubs of days past, makes you feel jazz the way it was meant to be felt, full of emotion and energy,” says Jennifer Crowell, First Night in Burlington.
Violinist David Gusakov (Last Train to Zinkov, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Pine Island), guitarist Rob McCuen (Bloodroot Gap, The Good Parts), and Jim McCuen (Bloodroot Gap, Bessette Quartet) on double bass, make up Vermont’s hottest Hot Club style quartet. Swing Noire has performed at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington’s First Night Celebration, the Middlebury Town Hall Theater, Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph and countless other venues throughout Vermont and New England.
Barbara Ebling, at The Ball and Chain Café, sums it up: “This is one of the hippest, most happening groups in the state, so don’t miss out!”
Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 802-247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

The first in the 2019 Live in HD series from the Met, “Adriana Lecouvreur” will be broadcast on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1 p.m., in Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater.
Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé and Renata Scotto, taking on — for the first time at the Met — the title role of the real-life French actress who dazzled 18th century audiences with her on- and offstage passion. The soprano is joined by tenor Piotr Beczała as Adriana’s lover, Maurizio. The principal cast also features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Ambrogio Maestri. Gianandrea Noseda conducts.
Sir David McVicar’s staging, which sets the action in a working replica of a Baroque theater, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, where the Guardian praised the “elegant production, sumptuously designed … The spectacle guarantees a good night out.”
A pre-performance talk at 12:15 p.m. will be given by Richard Marshak in the studio downstairs.
Tickets are $24 (plus fees), $10 students (plus fees), and may be purchased at, by calling 802-382-9222, at the THT box office Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., or at the door one hour before show time. THT is located at 68 South Pleasant Street in Middlebury.

The Phil Henry Acoustic Trio will be performing at the Burnham Music Series at Burnham Hall in Lincoln on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Henry is that rare contemporary folk artist who will impress you from every direction. There’s his sweet and strong voice, that intricate and flawless guitar work, and songs so rich and sweeping you’ll wish you wrote them yourself. But he’s also got an authenticity that can’t be taught or bought. He’s an old-school storyteller who builds songs from a place of honesty.
He’s played the big stages — Kerrville, Falcon Ridge — and won top prize at SolarFest and the Susquehanna Arts and Music Festival. Henry builds a connection, gently shaking an audience out of their own heads and into the vivid world he creates. Henry is also a builder, in every sense of the word. He doesn’t just make songs; he builds stringed instruments by hand. He builds albums, too, as a producer with a keen sense for what makes great ear candy. And he doesn’t just make music — he teaches it; conducting a high-school chorus in Central Vermont. But there’s no one quite like this quiet Vermonter whose powerful voice speaks for itself, according to fellow musician Aaron Nathans.
Admission is $10 for adults, teens and kids get in free. Refreshments served during intermission. For more information, call 802-388-6863.

The 2018-2019 Hirschfield International Film Series resumes on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Middlebury College with the 2007 U.S. film “Children of Men” directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
No children. No future. No hope. In the year 2027, eighteen years since the last baby was born, disillusioned Theo (Clive Owen) becomes an unlikely champion of the human race when he is asked by his former lover (Julianne Moore) to escort a young pregnant woman out of the country as quickly as possible. In a thrilling race against time, Theo will risk everything to deliver the miracle the whole world has been waiting for.
Co-starring Michael Caine, filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men “Lifts you to the rafters, transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking. The action is swift, ferocious and spectacularly choreographed,” says The New York Times.
The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium at Sunderland Hall, 356 College St. in Middlebury. Q&A with screenwriter Hawk Ostby follows each screening. It’s free.
Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Winter/Spring Screening Series continues on Sunday, Jan. 13, with a 2 p.m. showing of “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel in this true story of the best-selling celebrity biographer who made her living in the 1970s and 80s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Israel is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception and forgery on a grand scale, abetted by her loyal friend Jack, played by Richard E. Grant.
Adapted lovingly by director Marielle Heller from Israel’s memoir “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the film showcases McCarthy’s restrained but beautiful performance.
Tickets are $13 (plus fee), available at the THT by calling 802-382-9222, at the THT box office Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., or at the door one hour before show time. THT is located at 68 South Pleasant Street in Middlebury. Note: the Jan. 13 screening date is a change from the previously announced Dec. 14, 2018 date.

There will be one live musical performance this week at Notte Neapolitan Pizza Bar, located downstairs at 86 Main Street in Middlebury, when Del Rue hits the stage on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m. This Rutland-based band consists of Aaron Brush on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Austin Herber on rhythm and lead guitar, Justin Fornari on drums and Zack Primrose on bass and saxophone. They play an eclectic mix of rock, funk and almost ska.
For more information, call 802-388-0002.

The monthly (second Saturday of the month) Blues Jam, hosted by Tom Caswell at Sister Wicked, 3 West Seminary Street in Brandon, will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12. A signup sheet for musicians is available. Singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, harmonica players; everyone is welcome to come and play the blues. Nothing but the blues from 8 until late. For more information call 802-236-3368.

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