Deerhoof Bring the Noise to Hamden’s Space Ballroom

In numerous incarnations since the mid-1990s, San Francisco noise punks Deerhoof have taken an experimental approach to music touching on psychedelic, jazz, atmospheric and pop styles evident in the band’s 18 studio albums, a few EPs, a handful of live albums and numerous collaborations. The quartet of bassist and co-vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, drummer and co-vocalist Greg Saunier and dual guitarists John Dietrich and Ed Rodriguez — most recently released “Actually, You Can,” last October, and are appearing at the Space Ballroom in Hamden on Saturday, May 7 with indie rock trio Editrix to support the release. Saunier and I talked

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Myles Bullen to Make Hip Hop Poetry at New Haven’s State House on Friday

The past few years have witnessed a hip hop resurgence across New England. And every city from New Haven to Providence, Burlington to Portland seems to have at least one up-and-coming rapper making their presence felt. In Portland, Maine, that’s Myles Bullen, who brings a style that separates him from his contemporaries — heartfelt, genuine and chock full of prose, while he’s either performing with a ukulele for an intimate vibe or over some cool beats. On April 29, Bullen will be appearing at the State House in New Haven with local folk-rap staple Ceschi Ramos, fellow Portlandians The Bumbling

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The Nth Power Get Soulful at Bridgeport’s Park City Music Hall

Ever since guitarist and vocalist Nick Cassarino, bassist Nate Edgar and drummer Nikki Glaspie joined up for an impromptu late night jam during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival back in 2012, The Nth Power has been showing that soul music can be greater than just a power trio. With funk and groove, the band has a habit of making people dance and move around whenever they perform live. They also like to leave the door open for collaboration, which is evident in their latest album Reverence that came out last September. The Nth Power will be coming to

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Musical Masterworks’ 31st Season is Back in Person in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Its 30th season was held virtually, but Musical Masterworks is back in person this year, presenting the second concert of its 31st season on March 26 and 27 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The program will include Artistic Director Edward Arron on cello along with two Musical Masterworks veterans — Grammy nominee Adam Nieman on piano and two-time Grammy nominee Tara Helen O’Connor on flute. This year will be Arron’s 13th and final season leading Musical Masterworks. He will pass on the reins to violinist Tessa Lark as Artistic Director Designate.  When: Saturday, March 26

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Jane Bunnett and Maqueque to Bring Cuban Sound to Old Lyme

OLD LYME – Over the past seven years, renowned Canadian jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Maqueque – a group of five musicians from Cuba – have become one of the top jazz groups in North America, and in the past year have brought their vibrant sound to festivals from Newport to Monterey. On Saturday, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque will stop in Old Lyme for a one-night-only show at The Side Door Jazz Club at the Old Lyme Inn. Bunnett – winner of five Juno awards and nominated for three Grammy awards – first began digging into Cuban music after visiting

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Robert Cray Brings His Blues To Garde Arts Center

Robert Cray has a timeless approach to the blues that takes the roots of the music and makes it fresh, captivating and enjoyable to dive into. The Grammy award-winning guitarist & singer has been leading his own band for over 40 years and he’s one of the top blues artists around. You could even say that he’s reached legend status at this point in his illustrious & prolific career. He and his band will be performing at the Garde Arts Center in New London on March 11. Nashville singer-songwriter, activist and music therapist Kyshona will be starting off the show

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Slambovian Circus of Dreams Kicks Off 2022 Tour in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK — The Slambovian Circus of Dreams will return to Connecticut for its first show of 2022 at the Kate on Sunday as they present their sixth album, “A Very Unusual Head.”  “We were mixing the album when COVID hit. The whole album has to do with thinking outside the box and that’s how we can really solve our problems,” said Tink Lloyd, who plays accordion, cello, theremin and flute in the band.  Josiah Longo, singer and songwriter for the band, who’s married to LLoyd, said the songs are about finding ways to bring people back together, especially after

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Sunflower Bean Bring Their Brand of Glam to Hamden’s Space Ballroom on Saturday

Brooklyn’s music scene is one of the most esteemed on the planet and for good reason. It’s a place where a ton of musicians and bands cut their teeth before making it big in the mid to late 2000s. It was the epicenter of the indie rock universe. But with gentrification, the high cost of living and the closing of a few important venues, the community has been in a bit of an ebb lately, but there’s still always great music coming out of the New York borough. A fresh example is Sunflower Bean, a trio putting their own spin

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Lucky Chops to Put on a Party At Hamden’s Space Ballroom

Lucky Chops are the kind of band that can change the atmosphere of a room in an instant. Since starting out in the subways of New York, and now on stages all over the planet, the band has had a knack for making people dance with a brass-driven sound and a funky barrage of horns. The proof is seeing Lucky Chops live, when the audience and performers are bound to exchange a collective mass of energy – which you have a chance to witness on Feb. 1 at the Space Ballroom in Hamden at 8 p.m.  New Haven psychedelic funk act

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Con Brio Choral Society to Perform Three Centuries of Gloria

In their 25th anniversary Christmas concert, the Con Brio Choral Society will perform Glorias that traverse three centuries: Bach’s Mass in B Minor, completed in 1748 during the baroque period, a Gloria from Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, written in 1863, during the romantic period and the contemporary Rutter Gloria, composed in 1974.  The Rossini Gloria relies heavily on vocals, with only piano providing spare chords underneath. In exchange, the Mass in B Minor has a strong confluence of brass, vocal and strings. The Gloria starts out exuberantly, with voices layered in a way that makes the sopranos sound almost ethereal,

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Jazz Singer Judy Wexler to Perform at the Side Door on Saturday

The genesis for jazz singer Judy Wexler’s sixth and latest album, “Back to the Garden,” goes back to 2010, when she hosted a show in Los Angeles featuring a selection of hits from the 1960s. Although she called the performance “Talking to my Generation,” the title wasn’t quite accurate. “I’m really a child of the 70s,” Wexler told CT Examiner. “I’m not that old.”  But she loved the music, and Wexler said she had a lot of fun performing it. “I passed out fake hash brownies, you know – tried to make it an event,” she said. It was only

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Jazz Pianist Larry Fuller to Play The Side Door on Saturday

Jazz pianist Larry Fuller, who plays at The Side Door in Old Lyme on Saturday, chose Stevie Wonder’s 1985 hit song “Overjoyed” — the story of an as-yet unrequited love — as the title song for his new album, which offers of mix of Wonder, Wes Montgomery, George Gershwin, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and a few original compositions.  Fuller said the song is emblematic of one of his goals as a musician — to bring joy to the audience.  “What I try to do when I play music is just to bring joy,” said Fuller. “Sometimes music and especially jazz

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Tessa Lark to Lead Musical Masterworks as Arron Directs Final Season

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OLD LYME — Longtime Artistic Director Ed Arron, who will lead Musical Masterworks in its 31st season this fall, has announced that he will step down in 2022, passing the reins to violinist Tessa Lark, a musician well-known to Old Lyme audiences. Lark, 32, who has been performing with Musical Masterworks for eight years, will assume the role of artistic director designate this season and will become artistic director on July 1, 2022. She said she had dreamed of a directorship at Musical Masterworks and was thrilled when Arron called her.  “I remember the first time I played Musical Masterworks

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Taber Gable Debuts an Eclectic Jazz in Hidden Driveways

If you want to understand Taber Gable’s philosophy of jazz music, you don’t need to look further than the title of his debut album, Hidden Driveways. “Hidden Driveway– it’s a sign down here to warn drivers of places they may not see on the path that they’re on,” he said.  Gable, a 29-year-old musician from Knoxville, Tennessee, studied jazz at University of Hartford’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, before moving to perform in New York City. “In New York, I was typically known as a side man that would play, you know, straight ahead jazz at some of the jazz

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Grammy Award Winners to Produce Beethoven Concerts in Old Lyme

It’s the second time that acclaimed classical violinist James Ehnes will be performing in Old Lyme, and he’s glad to be back.  He has played with orchestras and in venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall in London and the Philharmonie in Berlin, but Ehnes said that smaller venues often stand out more in his mind. “Sometimes the most incredible experiences, these magical evenings, happen in places that are much more intimate,” said Ehnes, who will be playing in two concerts for Musical Masterworks, which has hosted classical music and chamber music concerts at the First Congregational Church

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Symphony Kicks Off Fall Outdoor Program with Free Concert at Hygienic on Friday

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra will kick off a program of outdoor musical performances with a free concert on Friday at Hygienic Art Park in New London. The orchestra is giving five outdoor musical performances as part of their fall “Soundscape” program. Rather than full orchestra performances, the organization is opting for a series of smaller performances — ensembles of two to five musicians on strings, woodwind and brass. Their repertoire will range from traditional classical movements to contemporary popular songs.  The first three events, performed at Hygienic Art Park, will feature violin and cello, a bass duet and clarinet

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House-bound, Dan Stevens Makes Music Online, Diddley Bows and Cigar Box Guitars

OLD LYME — “It’s the human spirit. People make music somehow, they figure out a way,” explained touring musician Ramblin’ Dan Stevens. “It’s like the little blades of grass between the cracks in the sidewalk, they’ll figure out some way to grow.” Sitting in Nightingale Acoustic Cafe on Lyme St., Stevens showed off instruments he’s had more time to make since his gigs stopped abruptly in early March. As he talks, he plucks a few licks on the one-string diddley bows and three-string cigar box guitars that he’s made out of found materials: cigar boxes, gum tins, sink drains, washers

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Musical Masterworks Adds a Managing Director, Sketches Plan for Coming Season

OLD LYME — “I’ve been making budgets for 40 years,” said Lawrence Thelen, the new managing director for Musical Masterworks, who will oversee budgeting, budget management and long term strategic planning for the 30-year-old nonprofit.  “The organization is tremendously strong right now and so it’s my goal to maintain that,” he said by phone on Thursday. “When I produced [an] off-Broadway show, or even at Goodspeed, or when I was artistic director, you’re constantly making budgets. You’re always making sure that you don’t go over budget because that’s how theaters close. It’s the easiest way that theaters close.” Thelen has

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Music at the Red Door Hosts an Intimate Pop-up Recital with Christa Rakich on Harpsichord

In a stirring noontime pop-up concert on a recent Wednesday, Christa Rakich performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s French Suite #5 in G, BWV 816 on the harpsichord as part of Music at the Red Door, a series of online performances hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford, CT. Rakich, a masterful interpreter of J. S. Bach’s work on a variety of keyboard instruments, has a lifetime of experience performing this piece. Rakich first learned it as a high school student. “It is a very old and very dear friend,” Rakich says. “Having grown up with it, it has revealed

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McAloon’s Debut Paints Nature in Chords and Complex Harmony

Singer-songwriter Octavia McAloon paints sweeping scenes of natural phenomena — think mountain skylines, rocky stream beds, starlit nighttime skies. “If the aurora borealis could get in not only through your eyes, but through your ears, what would it sound like?” she asks. “Two triads, that kind of go with each other, but that fade in and out against each other, which I think has the aurora’s effect of lights appearing and disappearing,” she answers, in chords. On her debut album, “With Breath of Wind,” set to drop Friday, McAloon supplies her own personal choir for lead vocals — some songs

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Chad Browne-Springer Gives “Intimate, Extraordinary” Performance Across COVID-19 Isolation

So much has erupted out of music and performance in the last two weeks, as we come to grips with a surreal world of COVID-19 isolation. Live-streamed shows, multi-voice and instrumental pieces recorded and assembled remotely, and improvisational jams via Zoom. After a time, we’ll all be able to sit together in one place and play and listen to music again. But even so, there will be a new normal. I’ve been tuning in to The Quarantined Series, organized by Sarah B. Golley to highlight original Connecticut musicians, live-streamed from their homes. Last week I got a chance to hear

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New-Haven-based Sarah Golley Sparks Online Music Event — The Quarantined Series

Every gig got cancelled. Then, a short pause. Then, online live shows began bubbling up and over the lid of the internet. Now a veritable phenomenon, examples of coordinated and impromptu performance are everywhere on social media: story book hours, dance-a-days, video projects of apartment-bound academics on sabbatical in Spain. Musicians are finding new ways to jam, to create, and to perform. NPR is curating a list of live music shows for artists around the country. Here in Connecticut, songwriter and New-Haven based performer Sarah B. Golley organized an ongoing local event,  “The Quarantined Series: A Series of Online Shows

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Poignant Show by Singer-Songwriter Aiofe O’Donovan at Old Saybrook’s Kate

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Irish-American singer-songwriter Aiofe O’Donovan summons all the whirring, humming, soaring, straining sounds of the cosmos in her latest solo project, Bull Frogs Croon (And Other Songs). The swoop and plumb of the strings, the poetry in the lyrics, left palpable vibrations in the air in her live performance at The Kate in Old Saybrook on a mid-March Wednesday night, in a set that drew from European classical repertoire, through bluegrass, through O’Donovan’s own compositions. It was a poignant show. The first event of O’Donovan’s U.S. and world tour, the audience responded enthusiastically to a generous set of songs. It could

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HannaH’s Field Warms up Essex with Rasta Folk Performance at Earth & Fire

ESSEX — On the eve of a February leap year, with the barest sliver of a moon hanging in the chill night sky, HannaH’s Field from Farmington gave an intimate studio performance at The Earth & Fire Art Studio & Gallery in Essex, CT. The space is located right on Main Street in Essex and serves as a community gathering place for art and artists of all kinds. Visual art, photography, woodworking, ceramics, jewelry are all displayed. Julie Tigner Bonilla, artist and owner, said this is exactly why she created the studio. “I wanted a place for people to be

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Benny Benack Plays for Love at the Side Door

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OLD LYME — Benny Benack III sang all the sweetheart songs you could wish for on a Valentine’s Day engagement at the Side Door in Old Lyme. He announced, “We’ll fit in as much Great American Songbook as we can here tonight!” With Sinatra-inspired vocals and a great band of friends and contemporaries, he delivered standards like “My Funny Valentine,” “Unforgettable” and “Home is Where the Heart Is” to an audience of Valentine’s couples. Several of his own song compositions followed this swinging nostalgic mode – “Irrepressible,” as well as the up-tempo “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” the title

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Yale’s Paul Berry Continues Popular Lecture Series on Basic Building Blocks of Beethoven

OLD LYME — “If you asked people to name one composer representative of the summit of western notated tradition, many would choose Beethoven,” according to Yale School of Music Professor Paul Berry. More the reason to take apart the idea of Beethoven as the towering genius — a notion that can overshadow the listener experience of the music, explained Berry about his upcoming lecture, the second in a three-lecture series, examining musical phrases in Beethoven’s work as well as the relationship between his biography and music.   Berry’s lectures complement the 29th season of Musical Masterworks, which will include all of

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Lark and Thurber Headline Full House at Musical Masterworks Weekend Concerts

Musical Masterworks played to a full house in its February 9th concert at the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme last weekend. The beautiful meetinghouse, built in 1910, has incredible natural acoustics that make it a great spot for the chamber music presented by the 29-year old organization. Artistic Director Edward Arron presided over the event, in a pre-concert talk as well as introductions to each musical piece during the concert. Arron is an engaging and affable speaker and educator, and these qualities translate into his cello playing. His character on cello is that of a considerate, attentive conversationalist who

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Surveying the Jazz Scene in Southeast Connecticut

I went to hear a good bit of jazz in the last month. All jazz. All different permutations. James Baldwin wrote that Jazz – all black American music – has at its origins a necessarily laconic expression, encoding what it was saying with circumspection. It needed to say things without being universally understood. It still does that, often with an extravagant filigree of virtuosity. It misdirects attention from the thing that is really being said, or the thing that is too painful to be said outright. “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” Emily Dickinson advised readers in a

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Clare Byrne Tonight at Nightingale’s Cafe

Guilford-based musician and songwriter Clare Byrne will be appearing this Friday at Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe in Old Lyme. Take a look at our interview with Byrne — now a regular arts columnist for CT Examiner — earlier this summer. Byrne will be appearing solo, with a guitar, a piano, and “lotsa songs, just some old, some new, some borrowed, many blue.” 7:30 – 9:30PMNightingale’s Acoustic Cafe68 Old Lyme StreetOld Lyme, CT

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Delfeayo Marsalis Tears into Old Lyme’s Side Door

Delfeayo Marsalis and his New Orleans-based Uptown Jazz Orchestra tore into the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme on Thursday January. The ten-man band wouldn’t wait even for Side Door owner Ken Kitchings to finish his introductions. The procession started in the hall, wove through the sold-out room and up onto the stage. Marsalis called out, “Hello Old Lyme! What I’d like to know is, where’s New Lyme?” Kitchings called back, “You’re making it!” Yes indeed. Marsalis and his brilliant Crescent City players helped nudge that idea just a little closer to reality in a show filled with the

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