Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

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Ben Folds at Kennedy Center

July 10, 2017

Music and the Mind

NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds composes a piece live with the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Edwin Outwater during Sound Health in Concert: Music and the Mind, presented by The Kennedy Center and National Institutes of Health. Introduced by Dr. Charles Limb. Pretty amazing!

Ben Folds Composes a Song LIVE for Orchestra In Only 10 Minutes

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New Moon Ensemble

June 30, 2017

Upcoming performance

Three Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artists are performing as part of the New Moon Ensemble!

Catch their next show in Portland, on Thursday, July 13th at Mayo St. Arts!

Marita Kennedy-Castro and Namory Keita

In 2015 master village drummer and performer Namory Keita, from Sangbarela, Guinea joined forces with dancer/choreographer Marita Kennedy-Castro in Portland, ME. Together the two developed the drum and dance troupe formerly performing since 2005 as Blue Moon Tribe, into New Moon Ensemble. The Ensemble includes multi-talented musician Annegret Baier, from Germany, as well as a handful of other musicians and dancers.

Coming together from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, New Moon Ensemble members share a love for West African dance and drumming, the accompanying traditions, and the gift of cross-cultural exchange. Together they build community and inspire international study through the healing power of music and dance.

Honoring the tradition of performance as ritual, New Moon Ensemble’s performances offer the intoxicating rhythms and energetic dances into the world as prayers for peace and well-being for all.

For show information and links to purchasing tickets please go to https://embodytherhythm.com/.

 

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“Coffee in the Dark”

June 28, 2017

Album release, July 22

On Sunday while listening to public radio they played “Coffee in the Dark” by Maine musician, Rob Duquette. I remembered visiting the artist, while he was presenting a music program on “kindness” at a Maine elementary school. (For blog post from December 2015, CLICK HERE). I followed up with an email to Rob congratulating him on the song and the upcoming release of his album.

I’ve been aware that Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders Jake Sturtevant and Rob’s wife, Andrea Wollstadt join in Rob’s endeavors as well. I saw Andrea on Monday and she confirmed that she and Jake are both on the record. Below is the press release on the upcoming album. Pretty exciting for everyone involved! FMI on the album, CLICK HERE.

Some local musicians spend their entire careers as sidemen, backing up and sitting in as needed for band leaders and assorted singers. Saco resident Rob Duquette has made his career since the mid-1990s as a well respected and in-demand sideman, most notably as a member of Jonathan Edwards’  touring band. He has also regularly played with other notables like Jack Sonni (Dire Straits) and the legendary composer David Amram over the last 15 years.  He gained national attention as part of the jazz-folk-pop group “Cactus Highway” in the early 2000s, who the Boston Herald called “a duo of true sophistication,” and the Village Voice called, “amazing”.

But it wasn’t until the release of duquette’s first album “This Time” in 2014 that he finally stepped out of the shadows. With the release of duquette’s new 2017 album “Trust the Night”, he further comes into his own as both a writer and bandleader, forging an indie-folk, singer-songwriter sound while mixing in touches of his extensive jazz and world music background, “Trust The Night” showcases Duquette’s many musical talents in a way that he has not revealed before.

The new album features the multi-instrumentalist Duquette as well as a stellar backing band anchored by John Kumnick (Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie) on bass and Duquette’s high school bandmate Nick Luca (Iron and Wine, Sheryl Crow) on guitar and synths. Jonathan Edwards plays harmonica on several songs, and sings on “Coffee in the Dark”, a tale about a strong woman who leaves her privileged upbringing to forge her own way as a fish monger. Rob elaborates on one the new songs saying “the album features original stories of the human condition, taken from my daily observations…..most notably on ‘Perfect Stranger’ a song about the author’s teenage experience of sitting next to a random person on a plane trip, and discovering the kindness of strangers.”

Interestingly, Rob’s day job is bringing his original children’s music to schools, festivals and libraries across the northeast, spreading lessons of love and kindness. With this new album release, he hopes to turn the attention to leading his own four piece band and headlining club and theater gigs throughout New England.

“Trust The Night” will have an official CD release event on July 22 at One Longfellow Square in Portland Maine featuring the full band and special guests. It will be available exclusively at Bull Moose stores throughout Maine beginning on June 4.

“Rob is an amazing multi-instrumentalist, on percussion, guitar, vocals and whatever else he can fit in the van!”

-Jonathan Edwards

“Rob Duquette really knocked me out!”

-Legendary drummer Joe Porcaro

For fans of: Dawes, David Gray, Jackson Browne

For more info contact: Cornmeal Artist Management, Charlie Gaylord, 23 Canterbury Circle, Kennebunk ME 04043  – 207-967-3996 office – 207-294-1575 cell

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PD All Around

June 27, 2017

Look Up!

There’s all kinds of professional development happening this summer in Maine on arts education. I’ve thought a great deal of PD over the years as a teacher who attended hundreds of learning opportunities and as a provider of PD. I found THIS ARTICLE recently that talks about what teachers wish to get out of PD. I believe that most importantly educators seeking quality arts education professional development need to be reminded to look up! I’m exploring what that means for me personally and professionally.

Participants at Hannaford Hall on the USM, Portland campus listen intently.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit two wonderful learning opportunities underway. One was held at the USM, Portland campus, sponsored by the Maine Department of Education. Jeff Poulin, arts education manager from the Americans for the Arts kicked off the day with a lively presentation on the history of federal mandates including today’s work on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). With his mom and sister in the audience Jeff provided a clear picture and included his own story of how he started and continues in the arts and the value of advocacy on many levels. He included a photo of himself at a very young age as a tap dancer and he delighted those in attendance with a tap dance at the conclusion of his presentation.

Participants broke into three groups: music, visual arts, and theatre/dance to continue work around assessment. The questions discussed included: Why do you assess? What do you assess? What is powerful about those thing that you access? I suggest that you take a minute and answer these questions. They could prompt a conversation with a colleague. Participants from all over Maine will continue their work tomorrow.

Laurie Downy and Molly Brown go over the details before sending participants on their way to select an artwork to respond to at the Portland Art Museum.

I spent part of the afternoon at the Portland Museum of Art with Side X Side. They had seven workshops happening simultaneously in different locations in the city with Portland teachers.   Laurie Downy and Molly Brown were facilitating a lesson. They sent the teachers out into the museum to observe and document something that they found interesting. Asking them to journal and selecting from multiple techniques from drawing to writing to journaling to mapping. Most inspiring was this quote by Shaun McNift from Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go. “People find that there most inspired creations come when they are “present” and responsive to what emerges naturally from the process. Creation requires attention and complete focus. But most of all it demands that we take the plunge into new territory without knowing what will appear.”

If you choose to engage in professional development this summer, whether independently or with a group, I do hope that you it ignites your creativity!

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MAMMs Summer Concerts

June 26, 2017

The Kids are Alright

This summer is going to be rocking!  The Maine Academy of Modern Music (MAMM) is excited to announce that its popular The Kids Are Alright (TKAA) family friendly, local music series will take place every Friday in July, 10:30 – 11:30 am at the Deering Oaks Park bandstand.  The events are FREE and open to the public!

The series is presented by MAMM in partnership with Friends of Deering Oaks and the Portland Public Library with sponsorship from Aura, Maine Life Real Estate Co, and Maine Red Claws.

TKAA aims to present a wide variety of genres and styles of local music with accessible programming to the community.  For the past year, the series has been running for free at the Portland Public Library with big turnouts and has hosted some of Portland’s favorite local acts, like Samuel James and Maine Marimba Ensemble.  The Friends of Deering Oaks provided the opportunity to move the series outside for the summer.

In addition to live performances by some of the area’s top talent, each event will feature an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and learn what it’s like to be a musician in Maine.

JULY’S SCHEDULE:

Each featured act will be followed by Maine Academy of Modern Music student ensembles.

“We’ve seen that The Kids Are Alright really serves a need for quality, diverse music programming for families and young children in the area by the response to these concerts” says Emilia Dahlin, host and coordinator of the series (and mother of a toddler).

The Kids Are Alright aims to encourage children’s involvement in the musical arts.

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Bay Chamber Summer Events

June 25, 2017

Free opportunities for all ages

Bay Chamber is excited to present several free offerings this summer to spread the joy and wondrous sounds of music to everyone in Midcoast Maine. I attended the Music on the Water event last year and it was a blast. Got a boat? Grab it and join me on Megunticook Lake in Camden!

Tuesday 25 July – 9:30AM – Zoot Coffee 

MORNING COFFEE CONCERT 

CHRISTOPHER COSTANZA, cello

Much-loved musician Christopher Costanza performs in this bustling and inviting café on Elm Street – FREE!

Saturday 5 August – 6PM – Megunticook Lake 

MUSIC ON THE LAKE 

A follow up to our hugely successful lake concert last year; join us for a musical happening featuring New York City band BROWN RICE FAMILY on Megunticook Lake – FREE!

Wednesday 9 August – 5PM – Union Hall

ENVISION FACULTY PERFORMANCE – MUSICAL TAPAS 

Josie and Sophie Davis, Anna and Maya French, Nate Martin and Colin Wheatley present an intimate evening of music for strings. The program includes seldom performed duos and trios Dvorak and Gliére, and a group performance of traditional Celtic music. Come relish in this FREE, pre-dinner concert.

Wednesday 16 August – 11AM – Union Hall

YOGA CLASS WITH PALAVER STRINGS

Palaver Strings will present a family-friendly yoga class, complete with live music. Yoga teachers, Missy Hatch and Rachel Nixon will choreograph the movements to the music. All welcome!

Friday 11 August – 4PM – Union Hall 

ENVISION WORKSHOP SHARING

Envision is an intense, weeklong workshop, offering young musicians the opportunity to study chamber music under the direction of professional musicians. Students will receive coaching from Sophieand Josie Davis, Maya French, Nate Martin, Christina Spurling and Colin Wheatley, with additional art activities and workshops.

Please join us to hear the musicians of tomorrow in this FREEculminating performance of Bay Chamber’s Envision program, supporting youth-focused music making and studies.

Sunday 13 August – 5:00PM – Rockport Marine Park 

JAZZ ON THE WATER 

FREE outdoor jazz performance on picturesque Rockport Harbor. A prestigious ensemble of artists from around the world come together to play for the Creative Ensemble Collective, a nonprofit organization fostering exceptional and diverse music. The concert this year will explore the development of jazz in the 20th century. This unique musical journey will reveal the music’s unwavering loyalty to its roots in blues and dance, as well as its restless spirit of innovation and change.

Thursday 17 August – 1PM – Camden Village Green 

SIXTH FLOOR TRIO PLAYS ON THE GREEN

This adventurous trio plays a free concert on the Camden Village Green. Bring a picnic and join these exceptional musicians for a fun interactive outdoor concert.

Friday 18 August – 1PM – Camden Village Green 

PALAVER STRINGS PLAY ON THE GREEN 

Our much loved resident string ensemble plays outdoors on the Camden Village Green; join us for a free lunchtime concert.

Programs and artists may be subject to change 

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Spruce Mountain High School

June 16, 2017

Rocking out

Spruce Mountain High School in Jay with students attending from Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls. Thank you to music educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative teacher leader, Dianne Fenlason for sharing the work of their students. Rock of Ages is a walk through history and the integral role rock music has played. AMAZING performance!

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