Music: Singer-songwriter Ginny Bales at Best Video Wed., Oct. 23

Singer-songwriter Ginny bales plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

Ginny Bales graduated from Barnard College and has taught at Southern Connecticut State University, the College of New Rochelle, and Yale. She performed as a solo singer-songwriter in coffeehouses, concerts and music festivals on the East and West coasts. She played bass and piano with Night Angels, opened for Bonnie Raitt, and has appeared on 15 albums. She wrote book, music, and lyrics for the full-length musical Stanton Women’s Chorus, which had its first Equity production in May of 1989. She was named Songwriter of the Year for 1987 by the Connecticut Songwriters Association.

She was a Fellow at the 1999 Cabaret Symposium at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She began performances of her cabaret show “I Sang at Your Wedding” (original songs and commentary based on her years of experience as a wedding singer) in 2001, her Cole Porter show in 2003, and her Rodgers and Hart show in 2005. Her songs have been featured in the Washington, DC Cabaret Network showcases in 2001 and 2004.

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Music: GuitarTownCT bluegrass jam Mon., Oct. 21, at 5:30 PM

The monthly first Sunday GuitarTownCT bluegrass jams became so successful that Chris Wuerth added a new jam to the schedule. For those who need to twang community-wise more than once a month—or can’t make the Sunday afternoon events—we now have a bluegrass jam (usually) on the Third Monday of every month from 6-9 PM. Admission to this jam is a suggested donation of $5. October’s jam is on Monday, Oct. 21, from 5:30-9 PM.

Players of all abilities are welcome as well as those who just enjoy listening.

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Monthly Irish jam takes place Sun., Oct. 20, at 2 PM

Best Video Performance Space hosts a monthly acoustic Irish music jam. The October jam takes place on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 2-4 PM. The jam, organized by musicians Jim & Willow Sirch, takes place on the third Sunday of each month (unless it needs to be rescheduled due to other Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming).

As with our bluegrass jams, feel free to come and join in or just sit and listen.

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Music: Fernando Pinto Presents Yves Lambert Trio, River Run Fri., Oct. 18, at 8 PM

Fernando Pinto Presents the Yves Lambert Trio and River Run at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Oct. 18. The show starts at 8 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available through BrownPaperTickets.com.

Yves Lambert is a back country musician with a kamikaze style, whose 40 year career has been full of risks, adventures, and challenges. Over time, Yves Lambert has become a veritable patriarch of the revival of Quebec’s musical roots. His very personal manner of linking the relevance of his words with anecdotes and his concerns contribute to his great propensity for interpretation.

Lambert can sing it all, from Boisson d’avril with Groovy Aardvark (a hard rock Quebecois band), to children’s songs such as Gilles Vigneault’s Un trésor dans mon jardin, or by going blues on Petite fleur by Sidney Béchet. He also passionately supports the songs of poet Gaston Miron, all while maintaining his traditional music leadership role in La Bottine Souriante and his Bébert Orchestra. In fact, some Quebec critics portray Yves Lambert as a beacon in the aesthetics of Quebec’s cultural heritage.

It was in 1976 that the singer and multi-instrumentalist founded what became the legendary group La Bottine Souriante, with partners Mario Forest and André Marchand. Mr. Lambert’s natural talent and charisma, together with this growing group, has had a strong impact on the evolution of Quebec’s musical heritage as well as the revival of traditional music.

Throughout his 26 years as a member of La Bottine Souriante, Yves Lambert was the link between the various incarnations of the group and was their heart and soul. From 1976 to January 2003, he contributed to the group’s rise by participating in numerous shows, tours, and television programs in Quebec as well as around the world. The Bottine experience led him to share various awards with the group, including 3 Junos, 8 Félix Awards for Traditional Album of the Year, and 1 BBC Award for Traditional Album and Group of the Year, as well as Félix nominations in the following categories: Show of the Year, Group of the Year, and Most Successful Artist Outside Quebec

Lambert, Rondeau, and Gauthier experimented with the trio concept during their 23-concert summer circuit tour in Eastern Quebec in 2010. Strongly encouraged by charmed audiences and by the pleasure of the musical challenge, in fall 2012, the trio delivered an album where the “sound” achieved extraordinary mastery and affirmed the trio’s distinctive personality. The trio brilliantly demonstrates how traditional local music continually reinvents itself within a modern context.

Despite there being only three musicians, nothing of the sound is lost. The three multi-instrumentalists multiply the decibels as though there were many more than three members. Studio wizardry? Absolutely not! With a simple modification to his guitar, Olivier Rondeau added depth by expanding the instrument’s dynamic range. This process enables a new way of playing guitar and bass simultaneously. What we hear on the album can be 95% reproduced live on stage.

River Run is not your typical Americana family band. Based in New Haven, CT, their sound is rooted firmly in guitarist Bill’s classic rock influences, earthy vocals from lead singer Sam, and Kat’s intuitive and sonorous fiddle interludes. With soaring sibling harmony and original song writing, they create an undeniably enchanting musical experience.

Brian Slattery in The New Haven Independent:

Sam’s powerful voice made it clear why she took lead vocals, and yet her voice and Kat’s blended as only siblings’ voices can. Bill’s guitar provided the solid foundation for them both. The final element in the band’s sound was Kat’s fiddle playing, at which she excelled.

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Literary: “Stories of Youth” presented by CT Library Consortium and CT Storytelling Center Fri., 4-6 PM

Wind down your week with “Stories of Youth” at Best Video Film & Cultural Center.

The Connecticut Storytelling Center and the Connecticut Library Consortium have teamed to present a novel way to spend your Friday rush hour. Saul Fussiner, accompanied by Brian Slattery on violin, presents “Stories of Youth,” featuring storytellers Cynthia Rojas, Sharen McKay, Wendy Marans and Sara deBeer, Oct. 18th from 4-6 p.m. at Best Video Film & Cultural Center, 1842 Whitney Ave., Hamden.

The audience can experience different forms and styles of storytelling; learn about Tellabration!, a month-long worldwide storytelling celebration that was founded by the Connecticut Storytelling Center; and learn about storytelling learning opportunities provided by the center and the CLC.

Fussiner is the director of creative writing at ACES School of the Arts in New Haven, and produces and hosts the “Songs + Stories at Next Door” series at Next Door in New Haven. His one-man show “The Ghosts of Poland” recounts his family connection and personal travels to Poland. His one-man show “I’ve Heard Those Drums All My Life” is about moments of deep connection in Ireland. Slattery is a novelist, journalist (arts editor at the New Haven Independent) and musician who’s involved in several projects.

Rojas has told stories at Chion Wolf’s “The Mouth-Off” storytelling series at Hartford’s Mark Twain House, as well as Institute Library in New Haven, the Buttonwood Tree in Middletown, and Storytelling New Haven. She has shared in many storytelling gigs with all of the other tellers. McKay has told stories for many years. Besides some folktales, many of her stories recount her growing years in an Irish Catholic family in Rhode Island. Marans began storytelling in 2014, at New Haven’s Institute Library. She works with children who have speech and language disabilities, and is a board member of Music Haven. In her quieter moments, she can be found playing the cello and quilting. DeBeer has been a member of the storytelling community for over 40 years, and is vice president of the Board of Directors of the Connectcut Storytelling Center. Each November, with Arnold Pritchard, she leads the Institute Library storytelling workshops for “Tellabration!”

The program is free and open to the public. Snacks and drinks will be sold at the Best Video Coffee & Wine Bar. For more info, contact Amanda Stern, CLC Events & Special Projects Manager, at astern@ctlibrarians.org.

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Music: Zoo Front, Anne Castellano & The Smoke play Thurs., Oct. 17, at 7:30 PM

Zoo Front.

The indie rock bands Zoo Front and Anne Castellano & The Smoke plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 17. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The last couple of years have been busy ones for Zoo Front. Their CD Red Stereo Dress marked the beginning of a new era for the band, with Nancie Tief making her singing and songwriting debut. Adding to the fun, they adopted a new working philosophy they call ABM – “ambient background mischief.” The idea is to add a subliminal track to each song that somehow fills out the sound in a way that defies definition. The personnel is Ed Ekendu (Guitar), Nancie Tief (Guitar),  Lisa Tonner (Drums) and Ju Dee Luna (bass).
Anne Castellano and the Smoke was formed in December 2011. The band has released a full-length CD, “Electric”, which came out in 2013, and an EP, “Bridge to Nowhere”, which was released in 2015. The band is currently working as a three-piece, with Anne Castellano on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Vincent Tuckwood on bass and vocals, and Tony Castellano on drums and vocals. They are playing shows and finishing up their second album.

Music: Acoustic songs from Gilead Road Wed., Oct. 16

Gilead Road plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Gilead Road is an acoustic duo singing original songs sprinkled with contemporary and traditional favorites. Their songs tell stories of personal history and reflect on life in today’s wild world. Lizzy sings and Glenn brings his guitar, voice and songwriting. Together they spark a chemistry that is more than the sum of its parts.

Lizzy grew up singing in her church choir, in glee club and with her mother. Lizzy’s childhood friends, Annie and Barbi, taught her to hold a strong melody line while they sang harmony. They spent hours singing songs from The Judy Collins Songbook. Lizzy traveled to Appalachia in 1975 and was introduced to Hedy West and her glorious old time banjo music. Three children arrived and so did nightly lullabies and lusty singing in the car on road trips. The kids knew all the words to the Nanci Griffith and John Prine albums that were on endless repeat on the car stereo.

Lizzy continued singing in church choirs, and especially delighted in singing with the vibrant gospel choir, Salt and Pepper, and in the AME Zion Church. In 1998, she fulfilled a longtime dream of being in a band and founded the New Haven group, “The Lucky Dogs.” She loves finding solidly written stories to sing and looks at covers as a way to share in the creation of those wonderful songs.

Glenn grew up playing the classical violin and listened to truly horrible British Rock bands that have sunk deep into deserved obscurity. He was a storyteller from a very young age. He delighted his cousins with long rambling bedtime stories and often gave his mother a choice of two explanations of why he was out after curfew, one of which contained the truth. Glenn has played in several local bands, including Jazz Folks and currently plays with the award winning Heather Fay (Best Folk Artist, CT Music Awards 2015/2016) and with The Girls From Ruby Falls (Best Americana Band, CT Music Awards 2016).

Glenn writes songs that tell stories of love, home, and family lore and Lizzy loves to sing them.

Gilead Road has just released their first album. It will be available at CD Baby and through their website, GileadRoad.com. You can also pick up a copy at the Best Video concert on October 16th!

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Music: Hans Bilger, Amber Anchor play Mon., Oct. 14, at 8 PM

Indie folk artist Hans Bilger and Americana duo Amber Anchor play Best Video Performance Space on Monday, Oct. 14. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Hans Bilger is a bassist, singer, songwriter and composer from Brooklyn, NY. After an early diet of country and bluegrass music provided by his family band, the Charismatic Megafauna, he pursued formal training in improvised and classical music. His mentors include the bassists Greg Cohen (Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits), Samuel Suggs (Concert Artists Guild), Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), J.A. Granelli (Mr. Lucky), Axel Scherka (Staatskapelle Berlin), Kurt Muroki (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), and others.

Bilger moved to Austin, TX in 2016, where he quickly became a sought-after sideman and session bassist. Recent projects include recordings with Eli Greenhoe, Odell Fox, R.O. Shapiro, Jenner Fox, Micah Motenko, and Will Taylor. Last year, he was commissioned to compose the score for Cora Dance’s gifts, a site-specific work choreographed by Shannon Hummel. The work premiered in Brooklyn in January 2019. Meridian, Bilger’s first album as a leader, will be released this September by Good Child Music.

Bilger is also fascinated by the natural world. While studying evolutionary biology at Yale University, he co-authored a study on musical structure in birdsong with the ornithologist Dr. Richard Prum and wrote Aviary, a piece that uses songbird songs as raw material for a series of improvisatory and through-composed movements. Last fall, he joined the labs of Drs. Julia Clarke and Michael Ryan at UT Austin to start a PhD on the evolution of vocal communication in birds, bats and frogs. His scientific work is supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and UT Austin. He is currently at work on Austin Menagerie (working title), a series of musical sketches based on Texas fauna.

Bilger currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he splits his time between writing, performing, and CT-scanning bat larynges at the Museum für Naturkunde.

Hometown Easton-based favorite, Amber Anchor, builds upon the great tradition of American folk. Dan Tressler and Jeff Smith are revered for both their vocal harmonies, and their ability to seamlessly swap between guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo. The duo often performs at the Tressler Barn, a timeless space filled with antique furniture, cozy fires, potluck feasts, and a spirit of camaraderie and authenticity.

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Music: Django’s Reserve swings gypsy jazz Fri., Oct. 11

Django’s Reserve plays Best Video Performance Space Friday, Oct. 11. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

Django’s Reserve is an acoustic ensemble that performs jazz in the style of European gypsies, made famous by the great Sinti guitar virtuoso Django Reinhardt in the 1930s through the 50s. This tradition continues throughout the world today, renowned for its spirited improvisation and driving rhythms.

While always paying homage to the greats, Django’s Reserve infuses each performance with original arrangements, personality, and a deep connection to the music as a living art.

The group is Luke Hendon, Preston Parish and Johnny Florio on guitars along with Jamie Doris on bass and singer-songwriter Emma Rae.

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Music: Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band plays Thurs., Oct. 10

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 10. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band has performed in various configurations in Connecticut for over a decade, and reconstituted in 2017 with several new musicians, a new song mix and new presentation. Matt Fleury (vocals, banjo), Jerry Devokaitis (vocals, guitar), Scott Camara (Dobro), Dave Aston (bass) have each been active bluegrass musicians for many years.

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band always offers a fun mix of traditional standards and entertaining classics that bring fond memories and a smile. From music stages to special occasions, we’ll entertain!

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