Music: The Moon Shells, Kat Wallace & David Sasso serve up Americana Sat., June 1, at

The Moon Shells and the duo of Kat Wallace & David Sasso play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, June 1. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The Moon Shells are a new project from Maggie Shar, Laura Murawski, and Brian Slattery, who met one another through the Appalachian fiddle community in 2015 and started playing together as often as they could. As musicians they were drawn to each other by a shared sense of rhythm and improvisation, grounded in the Appalachian fiddle tradition but drawing from the many kinds of music they love from Louisiana, West Africa, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, to create a sound that’s emotional and groovy at the same time.

Kat Wallace and David Sasso met playing hard and fast bluegrass with New Haven string band Five in the Chamber. Their shared background in classical music and affinity for all things trad brought them together to form an intimate and virtuosic duo. Both singers and multi-instrumentalists, Wallace and Sasso orbit around traditional folk, original songwriting, and the ever-evolving Americana movement. Their effortless vocal lines and innovative harmonization command the stage while allowing space for each song to tell it’s story. In April 2019, Kat and David will be recording their debut album in Dimension Sound Studios in Boston, produced by acclaimed cellist Mike Block.

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Children’s music: Robert Messore brings his Toddler Tunes to Best Video Sat., June 1, 10:30 AM

Robert Messore brings his Toddler Tunes kids’ music show to Best Video Performance Space Saturday, June 1. The event starts at 10:30 AM.

There’s a suggested donation of $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

Robert Messore puts on a high-energy sing-and-dance-along program for young children and their parents. Voted “Best Entertainer for Toddlers” in the 2011 Kidhaven.com readers poll, Messore’s public “Toddler Tunes” program at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Haven is the place to be every week! The songs are a mix of the classics and some newer songs that folks love. He recognizes that these programs are a place for parents to get together as much as anything, so he encourages folks with newborns through 6-yr-old children to attend.

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Music: Fleet-fingered, creative solo guitar by Glenn Roth Fri., May 31

Virtuoso fingerstyle guitarist Glenn Roth plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, May 31. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $8 (plus service charge) in advance or $10 at the door.

Glenn Roth is not your typical commuter from Connecticut. Instead of a briefcase, he carries a gig bag. His workspace is the vaulted splendor of Grand Central Terminal or the tunnels and platforms of the New York City subway system. A literal “underground” sensation, Glenn is a licensed performer in the MTA’s “Music under New York” program, playing for the most distracted and demanding audience in the world: legions of workers rushing to jobs throughout the Big Apple. And his fingers work magic, creating a soundscape of compelling melodies that invite them to leave the cityrush behind on an aural escape.

Glenn is a fingerstyle guitarist, his thumb riding the bassline and the melody driving all. His compositions suggest multiple guitars, but it’s really just one guy, ten flying fingers, one instrument. All instrumental, Glenn’s songs suggest moods and narratives that compel the listener to fill in the details.

Glenn has released six CDs to date: Innovations (2005), Busker (2006), Into the Unknown (2010), Welcome Home (2016), and a holiday CD. His original compositions have been hailed as “sheer virtuosity” and “delicate, accomplished solo acoustic guitar work” (PLAY: New Haven Arts & Entertainment Weekly). Glenn has shared bills with Stephen Bennett, Monty Montgomery, Tuck & Patti, Bucky Pizzarelli, Carl Verheyen, Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, and Vicky Genfan, among others.

Glenn plays regularly throughout the northeast and tours nationally & internationally to bring his music to new fans and locales. Glenn just released a new “Got It Covered” CD in June 2017 & “Jazzed” CD in September 2018.

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Music: Urs Leimgruber, Adam Matlock play Thurs., May 30

Improvisational musicians Urs Leimgruber and Adam Matlock play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, May 30. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Urs Leimgruber has been active for many years in the areas of contemporary improvisation, composition, jazz and new music. One of his earliest associations was as a member of the electric jazz/free music group ‘Om’ with Christy Doran, Fredy Studer and Bobby Burri, and he later formed the ‘Reflexionen’ quartet with Don Friedman and Bobby Burri in New York. More recently, his own projects have included ‘Ensemble Bleu’, ‘Xylem’, e_a.sonata 02 with the ARTE saxophone quartet, as well as a long association with Fritz Hauser: as a duo with the ongoing Music for saxophone and percussion; in the Leimgruber/Roidinger/Hauser trio; a trio with Joëlle Léandre; and a trio with Marilyn Crispell. He later formed the ‘quartet noir’ with Marilyn Crispell, Joëlle Léandre and Fritz Hauser, a trio with Jacques Demierre and Barre Phillips and the group SIX with Jacques Demierre, Isabelle Duthoit, Charlotte Hug, Dorothea Schürch and Thomas Lehn. Urs Leimgruber has also performed extensively as a solo artist and has been involved in mixed media presentations, providing music for dance, radio plays and film.

Urs Leimgruber has undertaken concert tours in Western and Eastern Europe, USA, Canada, South America and Japan, and appeared at concerts and on recordings with such musicians as Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Lauren Newton, Michel Doneda, Keith Rowe, Günter Christmann, Sunny Murray and Günter Müller among many others.

Adam Matlock works as an accordionist, composer, vocalist, and educator living and working in New Haven, CT. Matlock writes songs under the name An Historic, building narratives accompanied by musical inspirations from Balkan music and Klezmer, Soul, and various strains of rock. He also composes under his own name, most notably the opera Red Giant(2014) for 6 piece ensemble and three singers, and Earthseed Songs (2012) for voice and two instrumentalists. Matlock also began to expand his role as a performer in 2009, playing original music and interpretations with projects including An Historic, Broadcloth, Gzara, and Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps. He has recorded, performed, or improvised with artists including Anthony Braxton, Mario Pavone, Ceschi, Vinny Golia, Sigh, and Clara Engel, and works as a group and private teacher in the New Haven area.

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Music: Singer-songwriter George Morgio, rock group The Wyrd Brothers play Wed., May 29

Singer-songwriter George Morgio and the rock group The Wyrd Brothers play Best Video Performance Space on Wed., May 29. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

George Morgio started his musical career in the mid 1960’s. He was the lead singer and songwriter for NAIF, the North Atlantic Invasion Force, a band he formed in 1964. NAIF achieved success in the Southern Connecticut area, releasing Blue and Green Gown, Sweet Bird of Love and Elephant in My Tambourine, all of which hit the local charts.

During this time, NAIF played clubs, colleges, and concerts, opening for groups such as The Rascals, The Rolling Stones, The McCoys, The Searchers, The Zombies, Vanilla Fudge, and George Carlin. In 1968, their recording of Black on White hit #1 in Southern Connecticut and was on the national music charts. The hit was played on nationally televised American Bandstand and radio stations throughout the country.

George pursued a solo career, playing original songs in clubs, colleges, and concerts in the early 1970’s. In 1973 he took some time off from music, which turned into a thirty-plus year sabbatical. During this period he was involved in the demands of building up a successful antiques business. The History of Garage Bands in the 60’s: Volume I  was released in 1995. The CD was a retrospective of NAIF, containing 14 original works, including 7 songs previously unreleased.

With the release of his CD Listen in the Dark, George has returned to his love and passion, writing and performing original material. His songs are emotional journeys touching on love, the environment, world peace, the homeless, politics, and the human condition.

Brian & Peter Wyrd played in various bands together starting out in 1967 as a Byrds cover band in Jr High school. They spent their youth playing music in the family barn or down in the basement breathing in concrete dust. After 30 years Brian received an email from Peter with the first round of lyrics to “Racing to the Bottom.” Brian sent back a guitar part and the idea of a reunion was born.

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Music: Bluegrass and blues from roots super-group Frog Hollow Fri., May 24 (UPDATE: Starts at 7:30 PM)

Frog Hollow plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, May 24. The show starts at 8 PM starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10 ($5 for students).

Frog Hollow is Phil Rosenthal, Chris Wuerth, Peter Menta and Bobo Lavorgna, local bluegrass and blues musicians. They played together for the first time recently on Phil’s monthly radio show on ICRV Radio. They had such a good time, they decided to form a band, and this is their first gig. The music is classic bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and some original songs.

Phil Rosenthal was lead singer and guitarist in the seminal bluegrass band the Seldom Scene. His compositions have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Nick Cave and others. Peter Menta is the longtime leader of Washboard Slim & the Blue Lights. Bassist David “Bobo” Lavorgna has played Bass for some well known regional acts such as Jake & The family Jewels, Stormin Normin and Suzy, Blake Street Gut Band, 1917 Jazz Band, Swingin Jazz, Robert Silverman, Mike Cappezone, Tony Mason and the list goes on, and on and on. Chris Wuerth has played with the bluegrass ensembles Ragweed and the East Rock Ramblers and is well known for helming the popular GuitarTownCT concert series.

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Music: The Furors play Wed., May 22, at 8 PM

New Haven rock ‘n’ roll legends The Furors play Best Video Performance Space again Wednesday, May 22. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Comprised of guitarist Derek Holcomb and drummer Tom Dans—Holcomb sings lead and Dans harmonizes—The Furors have been playing together for over three decades. They have self-released numerous vinyl 45s, a vinyl LP and several compact discs. Their catalog is so beloved among local musicians that a tribute album, “Let’s Get Furious,” was released in 2003 featuring 38 Furors songs covered by 38 local musicians and groups.

The Furors’ music is joyful, quirky three-minute pop, like a cross between They Might Be Giants and early British Invasion rock ‘n’ roll.

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Music: GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam takes place Mon., May 20, 6-9 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. May’s jam is on Monday, May 20, from 6-9 PM.

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

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Music: Irish/Celtic music jam Sun., May 19, 2-4 PM

Best Video Performance hosts a monthly acoustic Irish music jam. The May jam takes place on Sunday, Mar. 19, 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: Indie rock and pop punk from When In Doubt (NJ), Kim Normal, The Magnetic Sat., May 18, at 7:30 PM

A triple bill of indie rock/punk bands—When In Doubt (from New Jersey), Kim Normal, The Magnetic—play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, May 18. 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 pop punk/alternative rock band When in Doubt was formed in 2016 by the two brothers Mike & Pete Benigno and Richie Mandanici. When In Doubt released a song and music video for “Left Your Mark,” reaching just shy of 1.7k views on YouTube, which then followed the 2018 release of a new EP again with Rob Chiarappa named “History.” This release focused a lot on what the bandmates as good friends have gone through and incorporated more of a raw sound. With this new music they now feel completely connected with nothing holding them back. They have also played local shows with bigger bands like Belmont, 7 Minutes in Heaven, The Stolen, VISTA, Boys of Fall, and In Her Own Words.

Kim Normal—formerly called No Idea—was formed in late 2016 in Central CT. The band built a fan base by performing at local farmer’s markets and private parties along with filming covers of full Nirvana and other albums for YouTube. After having success with the covers, the band began writing original material. Their first recording was a cover of “I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles. Two EPs, entitled “Your Peril” and “Fungus” followed in late 2017. With the addition of bassist Conor McCarthy, the band is actively playing shows and is currently working on recording their debut LP.

The Magnetic is based out of Danbury CT, indie rock/pop with melodic guitars, anthemic builds & beautifully relatable themes. Their debut EP ‘Quarter Life’ (recorded in 2016/17 at Mother Brother studios) tracks angst through grunge tinged pop songs. These are songs about the things that break us down & then the things that build us back up again. The Magnetic is Courtney LePere on vocals and bass, Kevin McLain on lead/rhythm guitar, and Joe Pacelli on guitar.

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