GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 16, 2009

Saxophonists highlight spring festival

Around Cape Ann

Two veteran saxophone musicians will perform here this weekend in separate concerts as part of a spring festival hosted by Blackburn Performing Arts.

The festival kicks off tomorrow night with Henley Douglas and the Soultet. Saturday evening features Mike Tucker with his new quintet. Both performances are at 8 p.m. at the arts center at One Washington Street at The Blackburn Building in Gloucester.

Henley Douglas, a master of the tenor, baritone and soprano saxes, has been described as a "one-man sax tornado." He has performed across the continent from the Montreal Jazz Festival to the San Jose Jazz Festival. He has been a fixture of the Boston music scene for more than 20 years. He first established himself by forming the acclaimed Heavy Metal Horns with bandmate Garret Savluk. The group went on to record with the Del Fuegos and James Montgomery as well as accompanied the group Extreme on a six-month world tour.

The sounds of saxophone continue Saturday with Tucker, who has performed as a leader and a side man. In 2002 he competed as a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition in Washington, D.C. He later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where his career got a jump start. Tucker and his quartet have performed at jazz festivals around the world. On his home turf, he has performed at the Kennedy Center, and The JVC Jazz Festival in New York City. Tucker has appeared on nationally syndicated jazz radio shows including Toast of the Nation on NPR, Voice of America, and on XM Satellite Radio Jazz and Beyond.

On his return to Gloucester, where he fills the house, Tucker plays with his new quintet, comprised of Michael Palma on keyboards, Lee Fish on drums, Dan Carpel on string bass and Greg Duncan on guitar. In the past year, Tucker has been busy touring with Blue Note Recording artist Robin McKelle. This concert will premiere new compositions written by Tucker and his bandmates over the past year.

Tickets for both concerts are available at the door, or for reservations and information, call 978-281-0680.

"Spring Fling" Dance Party

New Year's Rockport Eve 2008 Recovery Benefit will hold a "Spring Fling" Dance Party for all ages Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Rockport Congregational Church's function hall. The Fundamentals will perform classic and oldies rock 'n' roll from the '60s through the '80s. Admission is $10. Or, one can bring a donation of non-perishable food for the Cape Ann Food Pantry, for a $5 admission. Light refreshments will be available. For advance tickets, call 978-546-9038. Tickets also on sale at the door.

Daisy Nell & Capt. Stan host special guests

Daisy Nell & Capt. Stan and the Crabgrass Band will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. at One World Coffee House at First Universalist Church at 59 Main St. in Essex. A familiar voice on the North Shore music scene, Nell is known for a broad repertoire of traditional folk, chanteys and contemporary songs. Her husband, Capt. Stan, adds his guitar and dobro to Nell's banjo and guitar. Together they cover a lot of territory from sea to farm. They will be featuring music from their latest CD, "Grist for the Mill." The couple has been working a few new songs for this concert. They will include a guest set from Salem musicians Bill and Sarah Smith who are best known for their contra dance series in Salem. They are described as the quintessential folk music couple, who have played together more than 30 years. They will play with the Crabgrass Band on a few songs, plus offer a few of their own. Aside from the array of banjos and guitars, one ensemble a capella number will feature six-part harmony. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to New Year's Rockport Eve, which went into the red as a result of the snowstorm on New Year's Eve. Suggested donation is $15. For reservations call 978-768-7056. For information, visit www.oneworldcoffeehouse.org.

Ristuben and Backstrom at coffeehouse

St. John's Episcopal Church in Gloucester will hold a coffee house concert featuring local performing artists Gary Backstrom, and the Karen Ristuben Trio tomorrow at 7 p.m. ¬ Ristuben will play an early set with Rory McKenzie on bass and Peter Fedele on guitar. The church, at 48 Middle St., is known for its great acoustics. Backstrom will follow the trio in a solo performance. Coffee, desserts and beverages will be available for purchase. This is a fund-raising event for the church and the suggested admission is $8. Parking is available at the church lot off Washington Street, across from the Ned's Groceria, or on nearby side streets.

Roland Merullo, noted writer will speak

Rockport Public Library will host best-selling author Roland Merullo at the next session of its Meet the Author series on Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. He will discuss his writing career and his latest work, "The Italian Summer: Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como." The book captures a summer spent with his family enjoying the golf courses and cuisine of the Italian countryside. Merullo combines his two great passions, travel and golf, in a humorous and poignant look at Mediterranean life. Merullo grew up in Revere. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Brown University, where he earned a Master's in Russian language and literature. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Outside, Yankee, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Magazine, Reader's Digest, Travel and Leisure Golf and Links. Merullo also worked for the U.S. Information Agency in the former Soviet Union, served in the Peace Corps in Micronesia, has done carpentry, and taught creative writing and literature.

One-man Shakespeare show

¬ To celebrate William Shakespeare's 445th birthday, actor J.T. Turner brings his critically acclaimed one-man show, "Shakespeare's Ghost" to the Ipswich Performing Arts Center tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

"The premise is this: What if Shakespeare has been haunting theaters for the last few hundred years? What might he say to a modern audience about his life, his work and the different ways his plays have been treated over the centuries?" said Turner. Using factual information and 18 pieces from various Shakespearean plays, he will take the audience on a tour of Shakespeare's world and works.

"Even people who don't like Shakespeare love this show. It is loaded with theater stories and behind-the-scenes tales from Elizabethan times right up to the present," he said.

The event will benefit the Tiger Tots Daycare Program. For reservations and information, call 508-942-9938.

Eco film festival

Essex County Greenbelt and the Cape Ann Farmers' Market are partnering with Cape Ann Community Cinema to present a week-long eco film festival to commemorate Earth Day. The "Green Day" series will feature thought-provoking films — some startling — about the environment and people working to create a sustainable future. The series culminates on Earth Day, April 22, with an evening gathering, appetizers and the film "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" at 7:15 p.m.

The films and show times are:

Tonight, "Burning the Future: Coal in America" at 7:15 p.m.

Tomorrow, "The Garden" at 7:15 p.m..

On Saturday, April 18, "Being Green" starring Elmo at 10:30 a.m., a free show for children; "Scarred Lands" at 12:30 p.m.; "Mama Earth/Crude Impact" at 2:45 p.m.; "Tapped" at 5 p.m.; and "The Garden" at 7:15 p.m.

Sunday, April 19, "No Wonder to Compare: The Marvel of Cetaceans" at 1:30 p.m., plus the bonus short "Disneyland Dream," a 1956 home movie entered into the Library of Congress in 2008. Filmmaker Robbins Barstow, co-founder of the Connecticut Cetacean Society, will present both. The festival also will present a rare promotional film of Pleasure Island, Wakefield's own "Disneyland Of The East."

On Monday, April 20, "The Garden" at 7:15 p.m..

Tuesday is "Burning the Future: Coal in America" at 7:15 p.m.

The finale is next Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.

'The Chalk Garden' in the Pines

Theater in the Pines presents "The Chalk Garden" by Enid Bagnold from Thursday, April 23, through Sunday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Spiran Hall on Broadway in Rockport. The piece is a comedy, mystery and drama about a mysterious governess who turns an eccentric English household upside down by her insistence on truth.¬  The actors include¬  Jonathan Arnold, Lori Hahn, Allie Lees, Justine Curley, Martin Ray, Barbara Brewer, Bernadette Cruz, Anne Parsons, and Sarah Clark.¬ 

Stardust returns

"The Way It Used to Be," the monthly night of dinner and dancing hosted by the musical group Stardust, is on tap for the Gloucester House on Friday, April 24. The evening features a classic night of dining and dancing. Ed Carfano and Stardust host the event, featuring music from the 1930s to the 1950s. The band's initial goal was to bring this musical era back to life for the seniors of Gloucester, and the first events drew rave reviews.

The event once again will feature instruction in salsa dancing by Tina's School of Dance from 6 to 7 p.m. Stardust will play from 7 to 10 p.m., and a buffet dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. The Gloucester House restaurant is located off Rogers Street at Seven Seas Wharf. To reserve tickets, call 978-283-1812.

LyricFlutes in Concert

LyricFlutes will performn Sunday at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of The Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport, 4 Cleaves St. The program will include works from the flute repertoire by Vivaldi, Kuhlau, Pleyel, Tcherepnin, Moyse and Saito. Admission is $10. Reception to follow. LyricFlutes is a newly formed group dedicated to performing music composed for the flute in solo, duet, trio and quartet forms as well as in partnership with piano and organ. Since the group's recent debut, audiences have responded enthusiastically to rarely heard virtuoso compositions from the baroque through modern periods. Members of the group include Jean Antrim, Fran Pierce, Joanne O'Connor, Valerie Roche and Jeanette Tausanovitch. Jocelyn Chaparro will assist on the piano and organ.

Hospital displays watercolors

Eight of Joan Jarmin's floral watercolors are on display at the Pat Maynard Memorial Gallery in the lobby of Addison Gilbert Hospital during April. Jarmin studied at the DeCordova Museum School and the Montserrat School of Art in Beverly. She is an original member of the Cape Ann Watercolor Painters.

Spring Poetry Fest

In observance of National Poetry Month, the Rockport Public Library will hold a Spring Poetry Reading event with seven Cape Ann poets on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. Ten members of the public will have an opportunity to join the local writers in reading their work.Poets Ray Bentley, Amy Dengler, Dodie Gibbons, Ruth Maassen, Gloria Masterson Richardson, Carol Seitchik, and Suellen Wedmore will each read three or four of their poems. Time will be allotted for ten other "open mike" poets to read a one-page poem on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public. The library is handicapped accessible.

Museum presents more Lowe slides

In conjunction with the exhibition "Charles A. Lowe Photos: Gloucester 1975," Cape Ann Museum is presenting a second slide show, with commentary by Peter Watson, former editor of the Gloucester Daily Times, on Saturday at 11 a.m. To reserve a space, call 978-283-0455, ext. 11. This program is free. Many images in the show are ones that Lowe considered his favorites. The slide show also features images not included in the slide show program on March 21. The Lowe exhibit will be on view through May 31. A catalogue of Lowe images accompanies the exhibition. Reproductions of photos from the Charles A. Lowe archives are also available for purchase. The museum offers free admission every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon through the end of May. Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant St. in Gloucester. The museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information call 978-283-0455.

RAA Spring Photo Show

The Rockport Art Association is holding it annual Spring Photo show, which runs through May 5. There is a public reception Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is free to the public. The $100 Gerald R. O'Brien Memorial Award of excellence in photography, went to Eoin Vincent for his work "Early Morning Light." Honorable mentions went to Jeff Trubisz for "Fog Banks and Seastorks," Richard Seeley for "Moose Shake" and Pegg Harold O'Brien for "Colors" Rockport Art Association is at 12 Main St. For information, call 978-546-6604.

Mendelssohn, Arnatt at free concert

A free concert to will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. at St. John's Church at 705 Hale St. in Beverly Farms. The church will celebrate the 200th birthday of Felix Mendelssohn and offer a retrospective of the works of Ronald Arnatt on the occasion of his retirement from the position of artistic director of St. John's Concert Series. Guest artists performing include Barbara Bruns, Nicholas White, Maria Benotti, Jayne West. For information, call 978-468-2039, or visit our Web site at www.sjcs.info. The concert will be followed by a reception.

Talk about nesting water birds

A talk about nesting water birds of the Essex County Islands takes place April 22 featuring the field ornithologist of the Essex County Ornithological Club, Jim Berry. Berry's favorite activity is the study of birds, other wildlife, and plant communities in the context of their ecological relationships. He has been active in the Nest Record Program of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology for 30 years, has participated on breeding-bird-atlas projects in seven states, and has led field trips for various groups most of his adult life. The event takes place at 7 p.m. downstairs at Cruiseport Gloucester at 6 Rowe Square in Gloucester. Free admission. For more information call, 978-281-8079.

Marut returns to Cape Ann

The paths of Jesus and Buddha meet through the teachings of world renowned Buddhist monk, the Venerable Sumati Marut, who will give community talks in Essex from April 28 to 30. The event, "The Spiritual Teachings of Jesus and the Buddha" takes place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Essex Room at 27R Main St. (behind Woodman's and on up the hill.) in Essex. Marut will lead this unique series of three interfaith teachings that will focus on the three primary components of these two spiritual traditions: renunciation, compassion and wisdom. For more information, visit www.aci-capeann.org.

Pioneer poetry

An evening of poetry, photography and song inspired by a collection of poems that record the voices of 19th century pioneer women as they and their families homesteaded the Okanogan Valley of Washington state will be the subject of a Gloucester Lyceum program tonight at 7 at Sawyer Free Library. The free event, "Oh How Can I Keep On Singing: Voices of Pioneer Women," celebrates National Poetry Month. The program will be performed by Kathleen Adams, Barbara Braver, Geraldine Herbert and Kristina Martin and introduced by Jill Carter. Photographs of the Okanogan Valley taken by noted, local photographer Susan Oleksiw during her visit to the area last summer will be on display in the Matz Gallery.

Rocky Neck Gallery accepting new work

The Rocky Neck Gallery (formerly the Bryan Gallery) at 53 Rocky Neck Ave. is seeking new artists in all media for the summer season. Located on the water in the center of America's oldest working art colony, the airy gallery is one of the most visible spots on Rocky Neck. It is run as a co-operative. A gift shop featuring cards, shrink-wrapped art and Giclées, crafts, and smaller affordable art pieces will be added this year. Artists' work will be juried prior to acceptance. Anyone interested must submit an application by May 1. For information and application form, see www.rockyneckartcolony.org or call Susan Hershey at 978-546-9549.

Museum program for students during vacation

Cape Ann Museum invites students, ages 6 to 10, to a special vacation week program. Visit the museum April 21 to learn more about Gloucester's ties to the Azores. Visit the museum April 23 to learn more about life in and around the salt marshes of Cape Ann. Each session will include an examination of art, artifacts and photographs from our collection, as well as an art activity. This is a drop off program from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per child. To register, call 978-283-0455, ext. 12, or e-mail courtneyrichardson@capeannmuseum.org.

Museum announces guided tours

Cape Ann Museum will provide weekly guided tours led by docents trained in teaching the public about the museum's art and history collections this month. The tours are "Highlights of the Collection," the Captain Elias Davis House, and the Fitz Henry Lane Collection. Tours are free with the price of admission. Tours for April and May are as follows:

Highlights of the Collection: Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Captain Elias Davis House: Saturdays April 18 and May 2, 16, 30 at 2 p.m.

Fitz Henry Lane Collection: Saturdays April 25 and May 9, 23 at 2 p.m.

Visit www.capeannmuseum.org for further details. The museum also provides tours to private groups through advance reservation. To book a private tour, contact Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455, ext. 11.

'Life Without Summer' book talk

Local Boston author Lynne Griffin will be touring the Boston area to promote her debut novel "Life Without Summer." She is making a stop in Salem on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cornerstone Books at 45 Lafayette St. in Salem.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000, ext. 3445 or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.