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Highlights: Rusty Berrings Brass Band Brings New Orleans to the Valley

  • The Rusty Berrings Brass Band performs outside the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction on Friday evening, June 1, 2018. (Courtesy photograph)

  • The Americana quintet Say Darling, led by Norwich native Celia Woodsmith performs at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Saturday night, June 2, 2018, at 9. (Courtesy photograph)



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Over the last several of his 43 years directing Dartmouth College’s Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, trombonist Don Glasgo fantasized about playing gigs with a New Orleans-style brass band.

Friday night outside the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction, seven veteran jazz musicians will help the now-retired Norwich resident in bringing the dream to life.

Say hello to the Rusty Berrings Brass Band.

“At this point, I’m not sure how people are going to react to it,” Glasgo, of Norwich, said last week. “Will it be, ‘This is great!’ or ‘What do we need this for?’ I just know that it’s a great, cooperative group with a diversity of ages that enjoys playing together.

The relationship began as a one-off show for a worthy cause. While serenading the grand opening of the Rusty Berrings Memorial Skatepark in West Lebanon last October, Glasgo felt a spark among the jazz veterans he’d recruited for the occasion, enough to commit to months of rehearsal.

Joining the core group of Glasgo, drummer Chad Brunet, clarinetist/saxophonist Michael Geilich, saxophonist Josh Stumpff and sousaphonist/tuba player Jonathan Myers in the expanded venture are saxophonist Barbara Smith, trombonist Danielle Conerty and trumpeter Mike Conerty. The ensemble ranges in age from 29 (Danielle Conerty) to 69 (Glasgo), and work in day jobs ranging from music education and software engineering to psychotherapy and mental health.

The band’s co-leader, Brunet, grew up in New Orleans and played professionally for years before moving to the Upper Valley about eight years ago to work at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction.

“The first time I heard Chad play the drums,” Glasgo recalled. “It was, like, ‘Omigod!’ He’s got the New Orleans thing down cold.’”

Not long after the skatepark appearance, Glasgo noticed comparable chops in Smith and the Conertys, during a tribute concert to soul-music legend Otis Redding. Next he recruited Stumpff and Geilich, the latter one of Glasgo’s first Barbary Coast players.

At Friday’s show and during the Hartford Community Coalition’s block party at Lyman Point Park on Wednesday night, the new unit will play a mix of the members’ own compositions and covers of classics.

“We’ve really developed a nice feeling for each other,” Glasgo said last week. “It’s like going to church every Sunday with these people: Making music, raising our spirits together.”

The Rusty Berrings Brass Band performs outside the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction on Friday night at 6, and at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction on Wednesday night at 7.

Best Bets

JAG Productions’ staging of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill moves to the Grange Theater in South Pomfret this weekend with five performances, starting tonight at 7:30. Under the direction of Jarvis Antonio Green, New York-based actress Francesca Harper portrays Billie Holiday in Lanie Robertson’s reimagining of a gig just a few months before the blues diva’s death. For tickets ($32 to 35), visit jagproductionsvt.com.

Drag performer Joslyn Fox brings her cabaret act “Queens, Queers & Camo” to The Skinny Pancake in Hanover tonight at 8:30 and Friday night at 9. Admission is $8 in advance (call 603-277-9115) and $10 at the door. Proceeds from Friday’s show benefit the LGBTQ+ Health & Equality workgroup at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The White River Indie Festival kicks off on Friday afternoon with Hanover native Rick Moulton’s documentary Voice Of America: Lowell Thomas and the Rise of Broadcast Journalism. After the screening, which starts at 3 in the Byrne Theater at Northern Stage in White River Junction, Moulton, who now lives in Huntington, Vt., will talk about the movie with West Lebanon writer and editor Jack Beatty and writer Mitchell Stephens, author of the biography on which the documentary is based.

“Our film is important to anyone who cares about the state of news and the crisis of faith in our free press,” Moulton said last week. If you don’t already have a weekend pass to the festival, which runs through Sunday, admission at the door is $5 to $10.

The festival continues Friday night at 7 at the Byrne Theater with the world premiere of Thrasher Road, Plainfield director Samantha Davidson Green’s movie about a pregnant single woman driving back to her native Vermont after her best-laid plans founder in Los Angeles.

And among the screenings of three short films by Vermont directors on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 in the Byrne Theater, Norwich filmmaker Ben Silberfarb will unveil his new drama The Hike, about a couple encountering a menacing stranger during a backpacking trip.

To learn about these and other festival events, visit wrif.org.

Pianist Keane Southard plays “Music from Four Continents” at the First Congregational Church of Thetford on Saturday afternoon at 1. He recently played his new composition, An Appalachian Trail Symphony, on Vermont Public Radio. Admission is free.

The Metamorph duo of Margot Day and Kurt Knight performs electronic dance music on Saturday night at 30 Summer St. in Bradford, Vt., to kick off the venue’s Summer Street Music Series. The music begins at 7:30, after a potluck dinner that starts at 6:30. Admission is $10. After the performance, musicians and listeners are welcome to sit in on an open mic session.

The LATOQC trio plays and sings Quebecois and Cajun music at the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon on Saturday night at 7:30. Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The ensemble also will conduct a workshop on their genres at the center between 1 and 6 in the afternoon, at a fee of $30. To reserve tickets, sign up for the workshop and learn more, visit sevenstarsarts.org.

Celia Woodsmith and her Say Darling quintet perform a set of Americana music at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Saturday night at 9. For tickets ($12 to $15) and more information, visit skinnypancake.com or call 603-277-9115.

Looking Ahead

Americana singer-songwriter Iris DeMent will perform at Alumni Hall in Haverhill on June 9 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets ($28 to $30) and more information, visit courtstreetarts.org or call 603-989-5500.

Theater/Performance Art

Old Church Theater kicks off its two-weekend production of Pride @ Prejudice on Friday night at 7:30, at the theater’s temporary home at 176 Waits River Road in Bradford. Running through June 10, this affectionate parody of Jane Austen’s novel of manners follows the roller-coaster romance between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet through blogs and internet chat rooms. To reserve tickets ($6 to $12) and learn more, visit oldchurchtheater.org or call 802-222-3322.

Music

Roots musicians Chloe Powell and Justin Park kick off BarnArts’ weekly Music on the Farm series this afternoon at 5:30, with a performance at Fable Farm on Royalton Turnpike in Barnard. The series continues next Thursday afternoon with a show by folk-rocker Spencer Lewis and friends.

Folk singer-songwriters David Surette and Suzie Burke play the Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse on Friday night at 7, at the Methodist church in Sunapee Harbor. Admission is by donation.

The chamber quartet Jubal’s Lyre plays works of Baroque masters Dieterich Buxtehude, Georg Philipp Telemann, Domenico Scarlatti and Francesco Manfredini on Friday night at the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon. Admission to the concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m., costs $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To reserve tickets and learn more, visit sevenstarsarts.org.

The a cappella ensemble Harmony Night performs its annual spring concert at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon on Saturday night at 7. Admission is by donation.

On the theme of “Drama Queens,” the Cantabile women’s chorus performs two concerts this weekend in celebration of female choruses from opera, Broadway and cinema. The mini-tour begins on Saturday afternoon at 4 with a performance at the Norwich Congregational Church. And on Sunday afternoon at 4, the ensemble will fill the First Congregational Church of Lebanon with their voices. Admission is $5 to $15. To reserve tickets, visit cantabilewomen.org.

Bar and Club Circuit

The South Woodstock-based rock band Atlantic Veil pulls into Windsor Station tonight at 7. The Justin Panigutti Band appears on Friday night at 9:30, while Hambone rocks the house on Saturday night at 9:30 and Sensible Shoes plays next Thursday night at 7.

Saxophonist Michael Parker and guitarist Norm Wolfe play the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in White River Junction on Friday night at 7, collaborate with bassist Peter Concilio on a show at Carpenter & Main in Norwich on Tuesday night at 7, then perform together Wednesday night at 6 at the Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm.

Bassist Peter Concilio, guitarist Dave Tonkin, trumpeter Dave Ellis and drummer Tim Gilmore fill Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners with jazz rhythms on Friday night at 8.

The weekend line-up at Salt hill Pub in Hanover features guitarist Ted Mortimer on Friday night at 9 and singer-storyteller Doug Lantz on Saturday night at 9.

Whiskey Crossing plays country blues at Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon on Friday night at 9, and the folk duo of Mark and Deb Bond plays Saturday night at 9.

About Gladys frontman Rich Thomas kicks off the weekend at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon with a solo acoustic set of rock and pop on Friday night at 9. And on Saturday night at 9, acoustic rocker Alec Currier comes calling.

Arthur James sings and plays the blues at Newport’s Salt hill Pub on Friday night at 9, and singer-songwriter Chris Powers commands the microphone on Saturday night at 9.

The Brian Cook Band plays R&B, country, folk and some of the trio’s own compositions on Saturday night at 6 at Big Fatty’s BBQ in White River Junction.

Pianist Sonny Saul plays jazz at On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9.

Soulfix plays the Farmer’s Table in Grantham on Saturday night at 7.

The Americana ensemble of keyboardist Doc Winslow, bassist Tom Lord, guitarist Kit Creeger and drummer Bryant Harris serenades the weekly brunch at Poor Thom’s Tavern in Meriden on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Open Mics

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic starting at 7:30 on Thursday nights. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Joe Stallsmith leads his weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass on Monday night at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

Woodstock musician Jim Yeager hosts open mics on the following nights over the coming week: at Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock on Monday at 7:30; at the Public House in Quechee on Tuesday at 6; on Wednesday from 8 to midnight at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners; and next Thursday night at 7 at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret.

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads a weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

Tom Masterson hosts the weekly open mic at Bradford’s Colatina Exit on Tuesday nights at 8.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.