I received two brochures in the mail today. One for Bard College and the other for the Bardavon Theater in Poughkeepsie.The Bardavon, as most locals know, is a beautiful restored old time opera house built in 1869 and is quite popular. Bard is a small college on the Hudson that has gotten a lot of good press in recent years and features concerts, ballets and other important cultural events.
Well in among the ballets and string quartets and live streaming of the Metropolitan Opera two events caught my eye and may catch yours.
I see that September 15th at 8PM Bard has a concert of the the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African American old time string band that has been getting a lot of press and sounds like a fun evening. They are followed in consecutive weeks by American Ballet Theater and the American Symphony Orchestra. Put me down for the Carolina string band. I hope they are in the tradition of Martin Bogan and Armstrong, a black country band that I saw 30 years ago at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. They were terrific and from Tennessee if I remember correctly. One of the musicians got out on stage and said that everyone knows that a dog barks loudest in his own back yard but they would do the best they could so far from home, and do it they did!
The night not to miss is at the Bardavon theater in Poughkeepsie which at 7PM Sunday evening November 4 has Bela Fleck’s Banjo Summit with Tony Thrishka, Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg and more.
Well anyone who knows banjo music can see that those musicians are literally the best banjo players in the country. Eric Weissberg and Bill Keith live over in Woodstock across the river and have been in that wonderful musical community for years. Eric played Dueling Banjos in Deliverance. Bill Keith played with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and plays Nola on the banjo, a real fingerbuster. Bela Fleck and Tony Thrishka are both amazing and talented musicians, so it will be a night to remember.
If neither please you consider Aida, Parsifal or a production November 27-9th of Menopause the Musical.