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For about twenty years my wife Kit and I have been visiting the Berkshires annually after the Jewish High Holidays for a well-deserved respite after the long Holy Day season. Loving the Berkshires as I do, there is no place in New England like Tanglewood.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

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Since 1990, the Billboard Music Award show has been celebrating top artists and their accomplishments throughout the year. Finalists are based on fundamental interactions with music fans, album and digital song sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social engagement, each tracked by B…

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Musicians come from every corner of the world, including ours. Famous artists such as Nils Lofgren and Tommy Keen attended Walter Johnson.

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The official launch party as a public charity is a cocktail attire ticketed event with heavy hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, dancing, a high end silent auction and tons of fun! Come show your support for glioblastoma on the rooftop and indoor portion of Tommy Joe’s @ 6PM.

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The Whitman community celebrated the school’s first in-person Festival of the Arts event since May 2019 on April 27-28. The festival showcased students’ artwork, and featured performances from Whitman’s music groups and drama program. 

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After his go-to spot, a once-beloved Spanish restaurant, bar and nightclub in Rockville went bankrupt during the start of the pandemic, Ecuadorian bartender and bar manager Steven Tobar felt the need to bring the nightlife back to Rockville– nearly two years later, Kumbia was born.

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Olivia Rodrigo rose to stardom with the release of her hit song “Drivers License.” Although the 19-year-old had been acting for several years prior in shows like “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and “Bizaardvark,” it was the singer’s grammy-nominated song that garnered the atte…

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Cantor Rachel Brook the first female senior Cantor at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago who was Cantoral Soloist at Temple Beth Ami in Montgomery County joins her friends in a concert celebrating the work of Steven Sondheim. Check the Synagogue website for details

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Gaithersburg, MD (January 31, 2022) The winners of the 19th Annual Young Artist Award Competition will be presented virtually in a pre-recorded concert free of charge on Vimeo on Friday, February 4, at 7:30 p.m. Administered by the City of Gaithersburg and supported by the Kentlands Communit…

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Gaithersburg, MD (January 11, 2022) Gaithersburg’s Arts on the Green presents its Sunday Salon Series, featuring Beguiling Brahms on January 16 and Celtic Love Songs on February 13. Concerts will be held at 3 p.m. at Kentlands Mansion, 320 Kent Square Road. The music series is designed to pr…

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(Gaithersburg, MD) Treat yourself this fall to music, entertainment, art and more. Pumpkin-Spice up the Halloween season with an in-person class or workshop, visit one of the several City galleries, or purchase tickets to an in-person play, concert or film. More arts programming is being add…

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Rachel Brook is cantor at Park Avenue Synagogue and was the Cantorial Soloist at Temple Beth Ami for 2 years. Last week she participated in the Songs of Hope program

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The gothic serial “Dark Shadows” has had various incarnations over the years. Starting as an original television soap opera of the 1960s and 1970s, it became a comic book series, a big-budget 1991 primetime series, and several movies. The most recent adaptation was a Tim Burton film, which is both an homage and a spoof […]

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Visitors of the Kentlands Mansion and Arts Barn in Gaithersburg currently have an opportunity to celebrate a famous phenomenal singer of the mid-twentieth century: the great Nat King Cole. Cole was not only a suave romantic balladeer but also a jazz pianist of renown. Both sides of Cole are on display in a enthralling performance […]

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The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has developed a new way to experience a film. On a fairly regular basis, it screens a movie with the BSO playing the orchestral soundtrack score live. These performances are done for several showings, divided between the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore and the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda. […]

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A grand and lavish “My Fair Lady” is at the Kennedy Center through Jan. 19, and this touring production of Director Bartlett Sher’s recent Broadway musical will beguile you with its excellent singing and acting. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, the […]

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The literary activism of one of America’s most renowned African–American poets will be examined at 8 p.m. on Jan. 24, at the Music Center at Strathmore with Manuel Cinema’s “No Blue Memories: The Life of  Gwendolyn Brooks.” A multi-media piece using shadow puppetry, silhouetted actors and live music, the work captures the complexities of Brooks’ […]

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The New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna is a New Year’s tradition known throughout the world. Attendees at Strathmore Music Center recently had the opportunity to enjoy an authentic recreation of a Vienna New Year’s Day concert, all without a passport or plane flight to the capital of Austria to experience one of Europe’s loveliest […]

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George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” is an annual tradition for many at this time of year, and the largest production in our area was held this past weekend in two stunning performances at Strathmore Music Center, with its excellent acoustics. Handel himself said relative to this work: “I did think I did see all heaven before […]

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I  recently had the pleasure of visiting Washington D.C. at the Blues Alley to hear the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra’s annual tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington’s take on the “Nutcracker Suite” of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Jazz renditions of popular Christmas tunes such as “Let It Snow,” “Happy Holidays” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (the […]

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We live in an age when, because of increased life expectancy, it is not uncommon to see people working into their 70s and beyond and when multiple presidential candidates this election cycle, including the incumbent, are septuagenarians. Nonetheless, we can only look on in amazement as a classical pianist performs with nimble fingers at the […]

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When a young composer who had never had an opera of his own performed became a finalist in a competition through a work entitled “Cavalleria Rusticana,” he probably never expected the wild success his tale of marital betrayal and lush music would receive.  Pietro Mascagni probably also never anticipated that his short opera would frequently […]

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It was a season that almost did not happen. But now, the National Philharmonic is back in business as they kick off the 2019-2020 season with their opening concert, called “Eroica + Beethoven,” combining Ludwig van Beethoven’s Eroica (Symphony No. 3), played by the orchestra, and his Triple Concerto in C Major, performed by guest […]

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It is not Wolf Trap, but the gazebo in downtown Takoma Park does host live entertainment.  A public piano is currently installed at the gazebo as part of the Arts at Takoma Park, beckoning all those who play the instrument and all those who love its music. The piano made its concert debut on Aug. […]

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With one-year-old twins, Maureen Andary has her hands full. That has not curbed her professional activities, however. She performs along Sara Curtin as the duo, The Sweater Set, a few times a month at such venues as Millennium Stage and the Creative Cauldron. They were artists-in-residence at Strathmore, too and may also be found playing […]

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SILVER SPRING – A unanimous vote by the National Philharmonic board of directors on Aug. 10 paved the way for a bright future for the National Philharmonic under new management but with the same musicians and conductors. The orchestra and chorale, which perform at The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, will open its season […]

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BETHESDA—On July 16, the National Philharmonic, who hold residency in Montgomery County’s The Music Center at Strathmore, announced that it will be closing its doors after years of financial decline. The National Philharmonic has been performing for more than 40 years with many local musicians from Montgomery County. The Philharmonic’s closure will affect the jobs […]

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By Barbara Trainin Blank    @traininblank It was not only outsized musical talent but fortitude that enabled Leon Fleisher to continue his accomplished career despite a debilitated right hand. At age 90, Fleisher is still the latter – continuing an international schedule of performances, guest conducting and master classes that might be daunting for a […]

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By Barbara Trainin Blank    @traininblank Some say men’s choruses are on the decline – with many going the coed route. On the other side of the coin are the persistence of gay men’s choral groups and the determination of male glee clubs on college campuses across the country to continue. That’s the view of […]

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By Barbara Trainin Blank    @traininblank Jennifer Bivin is an old hat at “The Nutcracker.” The high-school senior, who has been studying at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre for four years, is this year dancing her fifth full-length “Nutcracker” and her second “Nutcracker Suite,” – the under-45-minute version for younger audiences. She danced the romantic role of the […]

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By Barbara Trainin Blank    @traininblank The logistics alone are daunting. Taking hundreds of students who arrive via buses and seating them in as large a venue as The Music Center at Strathmore isn’t easy, especially when they’re second-graders. Once in their places, they hear a classical music concert, which the National Philharmonic Orchestra performs for […]

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By Barbara Trainin Blank Violinist Gil Shaham has won the kind of praise that would turn the head of any musician. The Washington Post, for example, extolled his “go-for-broke passion, his silvery tone, spot-on-intonation and meticulously molded phrasing.” The multiple Grammy winner has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Orchestre […]

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Julia Nixon has enjoyed a long and enviable career. The rhythm and blues/soul singer understudied, then took over the lead role of Effie – first performed by Jennifer Holiday – in the original Broadway production of “Dreamgirls.” “It was a great roller coaster ride,” said Nixon, a D.C. resident with roots in the South. “That […]

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Heartfelt folk ballads, songs based on Greek myths, and punk odes to making friends with woodland creatures while drugged out, came together at the Rhizome Monday night.

Singer-songwriter Jesse Ainslie began the night with his jangly, melancholy, country-influenced tracks. Ainslie, who is signed to Takoma Park’s own Epifo Records came to Rhizome as part of a tour supporting his latest album, “Only In The Dark.”

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SILVER SPRING — Jazz bands shared the stage with African percussionists and Japanese dance troupes, while artisans displayed work that traveled across the Atlantic, at the World Music Festival Sunday in Silver Spring.

The festival highlighted the diverse culture of the D.C. area, with musical performances, food, and artisans. One vendor, Jean-Jacques from GlobalBatik.com, specialized in African art and clothing imported from the West African country of Togo. His wares are handmade by ten different artists in Togo with local fabrics and dyes, according to Jacques.

A popular product in GlobalBatik’s catalog is Batik shirts, according to Jacques. Many of his shirts feature bright, vibrant colors and West African themes and symbols.

“You can fit any kind of story that is related to Africa. In this case, I used an Adrinka symbol, which are visual symbols that usually represent words of wisdom,” said Jacques. “Or this T-shirt here, I put a map of the continent with all the lines representing the main rivers.”

Modern symbols, such as imagery from the Marvel movie “Black Panther,” had a presence among Jacques’s shirts as well. The designs being placed on non-traditional items, such as tank tops, further showed the mix of old and new that Jacques cultivated.

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Derwood-based singer-songwriter Hayley Fahey. COURTESY PHOTO  The love of music was like mother’s milk to Hayley Fahey.

“My mother used to sing songs to me in my crib,” said the Derwood-based singer-songwriter. “Both of my grandmothers sang and played piano.”

Music filled the house, mostly of her father’s preferred singers – Eva Cassidy, Stevie Wonder, Dixie Chicks, and Bob Marley – exposing the young Hayley to a “variety of genres.” The singer herself started writing songs when she was a child.

Fahey performed in church and school choirs and “did all the high-school musicals,” but technically, her first time on stage was in a musical revue at Roberto Clemente Middle School.

She feels so grateful to the school, Fahey said, that she volunteers there as a performer. Fahey also is a special guest, announcing the winner of the Battle for the Bands, then rehearing and recording one of her original songs with the winners.

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Little Miss Ann opens a new season of “Backyard Theater for Kids” at the Mansion at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO  Elementary school teachers often spend time singing to or with students, but not everyone ends up a professional singer.

Ann Torralba did. With a Masters in special education, Torralba spent seven years teaching public elementary school students “on the spectrum.”

She often bought her guitar to class and joined a band while in graduate school.

“But I never thought I’d play professionally,” Torralba said. “I had very little formal training.”

A Chicago resident, Torralba now occasionally goes on the road as “Little Miss Ann,” and one of her out-of-town gigs will be at the Mansion at Strathmore, as part of its “Backyard Theater for Kids” summer music series, which she launches on July 5.

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Folk duo Alice and Isaac performed at Round House Theatre to celebrate the release of their debut album, “What I Was Thinking.” PHOTO BY MATT HOOKE  BETHESDA — Performing at Round House Theatre, the same theater where they first met during a production of “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” folk duo Alice and Isaac celebrated the release of their debut album, “What I Was Thinking,” a series of upbeat love songs.

The guitar-mandolin duo, whose real names are Katie Kleiger and Brandon McCoy, met two years ago but did not play music together until this past December. The delay resulted from Kleiger’s moving to New York City after the “Miss Bennet” production. Kleiger and McCoy reconnected after she moved back to the area, and the duo started playing together between showings of the play “The Book of Will” at Round House Theatre. The name “Alice and Isaac” comes from the names of the characters they performed in the play.

“We were playing just for ourselves (in the Green Room), and every now and then someone would sit down and listen,” said Kleiger. “But I mainly felt we were in the way, taking up this shared space.”

McCoy and Kleiger are actors by trade, and their musical-theater background showed through with polished two-part-harmony vocals. The concert is part of Round House’s move to become a more-diverse arts space, according to McCoy.

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Bassist Ernest Jones and drummer Dave Miller join legendary musician/producer Martin Bisi in a performance at the Rhizome. PHOTO BY MATT HOOKE  WASHINGTON, D.C. — With his eyes closed, engrossed in the music, and sweat dripping down his face, the Washington D.C.-based musician Kamyar Arsani sang the words: “You are Nothing but a God,” as he performed at the Rhizome near the Takoma Park Metro station in Northwest Washington, D.C.

The show displayed tremendous diversity, with Arsani’s Persian music accompanied by a set of minimalist music by Takoma Park musician Jason Mullinax and headliner Martin Bisi’s noise rock.

Arsani’s music hails from a rich tradition of Sufi mystics. He took a bare-bones approach to his set, with two instruments, his voice, and the daf. The daf, a large, handheld frame drum with metal ingots attached, is an ancient instrument, its roots stretching back hundreds of years. Arsani paid tribute to this heritage while also giving the instrument a modern touch. Arsani’s first set, a collection of original compositions, showcased the new, while his second set, an adaptation of a poem by the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi, featured the old.

The Iranian-born Arsani began the performance singing in English, before switching to Farsi. He used dynamics, masterfully switching from bombastic, impassioned sections to subdued, quiet moments, when his voice became only a whisper.

“I saw people getting shot, screaming ‘freedom’ in Farsi, and just getting shot like it was no big deal, but it was a big deal for me,” said Arsani. “When I play my instruments that’s one of my first thoughts, is ‘How can I speak to that energy? How can I channel the feelings that those people went through?’”

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Swedish-born musician Robert Lighthouse performed at the Silver Spring Blues Festival. PHOTO BY MATT HOOKE  SILVER SPRING — Singers pined for old lovers, protested social ills, and asked the timeless question, “When I get drunk, who’s gonna carry me home?,” at the 10th annual Silver Spring Blues Festival on Saturday.

The 12-hour-long concert featured 12 artists performing on two stages in downtown Silver Spring. The show marked the end of Blues Week, a series of concerts in the area leading up to Saturday’s festivities, in which 1920s-era blues classics shared the stage with new original songs to create a lively mix of styles.

Alan Bowser, former president of Silver Spring Town Center, started the Silver Spring Blues Festival in 2009. He created the festival to be something unique to Silver Spring, and to help support local businesses.

“Over the years we’ve grown from one stage from two stages. We’ve gone from all-electric blues to electric blues and acoustic blues. We’ve gone from one day to Blues Week because there wasn’t enough time for just one day of blues,” said Bowser.

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Jim Kennedy’s latest CD reflects multiple sources of inspiration. COURTESY PHOTO  Asking Jim Kennedy how he intends to market his new album, “The Mischief of Life,” elicits an unexpected response.

“The point is not to sell the album; the point is to make it,” said Kennedy. “Music can be produced as a consumer product with sales as the goal, or it can be [artistic] expression and craftwork. My ‘marketing strategy’ is to share the CD with people. and hope they like it. I’m not trying to become a rock star or get rich.”

If they do like it, he’ll try to put together a “good group of musicians” and perform it to attentive audiences. If that doesn’t happen, he says he’s “still perfectly satisfied” having made the CD.

Kennedy wrote all 12 songs on “The Mischief of Life.” He plays all the instruments, and did the engineering and producing. He recorded the songs in his “home studio” – a laptop on his kitchen table and a cluttered corner of his band-rehearsal room.

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Folksinger David Mallett. COURTESY PHOTOFolksinger-songwriter David Mallett grew up in rural Maine, in a somewhat-isolated existence. That changed when, at the age of 12, he acquired a Martin – the cream of the crop of guitars – for only $120. “My mother used to sing hillbilly songs and the songs of Jimmy Rogers around the […]