Music: Deep Hamden Festival Fri.-Sun., Oct. 12-14, takes broad view of “Americana”

Friday: Goodnight Blue Moon, Junebug Saddle; Saturday: Allen Lowe & The Orchestra; Sunday: Jarawa & The Healing Drum Society, Little Silver

Best Video Film & Cultural Center presents Deep Hamden, a three-day festival of music from Oct. 12-14. Featured artists are Goodnight Blue Moon and Junebug Saddle (Fri., Oct. 12, 7 PM), Allen Lowe & The Orchestra (Sat., Oct. 13, 8 PM), and (Sun., Oct. 14, Doors at 6 PM, Music at 6:30 PM) Brian Jarawa Gray and the Healing Drum Society and Little Silver. The cover is $10 for each night.

Organized by jazz saxophonist Allen Lowe, the Deep Hamden festival is loosely based on an Americana theme. But where Americana is usually considered to be an offshoot of country and rock, in Deep Hamden Americana also encompasses jazz, Dixieland and African percussion elements.

Deep Hamden originated as a festival in 2017 to honor both the range of American music and the creative community of Connecticut. The first festival included jazz, various forms of improvised music, and an African drum ensemble. The greater New Haven area is uniquely multicultural and contains a wide range of musical talent.

Friday, Oct. 12, Doors at 7 PM, Music starts at 7:30 PM:

Blending rich vocal harmonies with lush orchestrations, Goodnight Blue Moon has created a sound that is steeped in tradition, yet entirely current. GNBM is known for their energetic, honest, and dynamic live performances, offering a refreshing take on Americana roots music.

Junebug Saddle is the passion project of singer, Val McKee, who longed to dig up the roots of her East Tennessee upbringing and bring some of her favorite musicians along to play in the dirt. Val and David Johnson pay homage to some of their favorite classic country, folk, and Americana musicians, in addition to originals and “countrifying” songs they grew up on.

Saturday, Oct. 13, starting at 8 PM:

Allen Lowe & The Orchestra perform “A Love Supine: a Dixieland Love Supreme,” first performed at Dizzy’s at Lincoln Center in February, 2018. Though the suite is somewhat of a tribute to John Coltrane, it is as much an examination of American modernism, particularly as it pertains to jazz and improvised music. A 2-CD set of this program will be released in February 2019 by the legendary jazz label ESP Disk.

Sunday, Oct. 14, Doors 6 PM, Music starts at 6:30 PM:

The Healing Drum Society is led by Brian Jarawa Gray, better known as Jarawa. Jarawa has more then 30 years of experience as a percussionist, songwriter, band leader and performing artist. He has taught world music in public and private schools and universities in Connecticut and New York. Jarawa performs Natural Centric Drumming and the music of the African Diaspora.

Little Silver released their debut album “Somewhere You Found My Name” July, 2017. Based at the time in Brooklyn and now relocated to Hamden, Little Silver’s music is built around the ethereal vocals of married duo Erika Simonian and Steve Curtis. “Somewhere You Found My Name” is a gorgeous collection of original songs that confront the shifting landscape of gaining and losing loved ones, changes in perspective, and the uncertainty of life itself. Little Silver’s sparse arrangements and beautifully understated vocals bring these everyday truths to life. Simonian and Curtis will perform as a duo for this show.

Music: Mercy Choir CD release, Little Silver play Fri., Apr. 6, 7:30 PM

Mercy Choir. (Photo by Kathleen Cei)

Mercy Choir plays Best Video Performance Space Friday, Apr. 6. It is a CD Release show for their new EP “More Than Ever.” Little Silver—formerly based in Brooklyn, NY and now headquartered in the greater New Haven area—open. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale from $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Mercy Choir is the songwriting and recording project of New Haven, CT based musician Paul Belbusti. Since 2004, Belbusti has produced a large quantity of critically acclaimed music ranging from abstract experiments to more traditional pop and rock and roll, released both digitally and physically on his own imprint (Dead Language Records) and collaboratively.

Mercy Choir, as a recording project, is generally Belbusti alone (with a few exceptions), recording in his home studio with a mixture of analog and digital instruments and techniques. As a live band, Mercy Choir is a shifting and evolving entity. Many musicians and friends pass through. Join and rejoin. Contributing arrangements and breathing new life into songs that may have started as crude, lo-fi, sketches. The Mercy Choir discography is joyously uneven and unpredictable.

Little Silver released their debut album “Somewhere You Found My Name” July, 2017. Based in Brooklyn, and built around the ethereal vocals of married duo Erika Simonian and Steve Curtis, “Somewhere You Found My Name” is a gorgeous collection of original songs which confront the shifting landscape of gaining and losing loved ones, changes in perspective, and the uncertainty of life itself. Little Silver’s sparse arrangements and beautifully understated vocals bring these everyday truths to life.

Little Silver.

Simonian and Curtis co-wrote all of the material on the new album. The experience of being partners in both life and music informs the themes of growth, loss, commitment, and the evolution of relationships that are woven throughout “Somewhere You Found My Name.” The beauty in Little Silver’s music is the way that they collaborate and create as a couple, working through life’s changes and encouraging the listener to process these experiences along with them. Though the circle of life is often not considered a headline in itself, it can be a personal catalyst for music that is important and meant to be shared.

The record was chosen as a Rolling Stone Editor’s Pick in July, 2017. Jon Dolan wrote, “The elegantly understated debut from this Brooklyn band does what great, grown-up indie rock at its best has always done: It maps out states of personal, emotional and historical in-betweenness with careful, intelligent grace… Songs […] take their time building from muted beauty to closely held grandeur.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: TERRI & ROB DUO, R/S EQUINOX

• Friday, Mar. 30. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST; JAZZ/FOLK/ROCK: SEMAPHORA

• Tuesday, Apr. 3, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Wednesday, Apr. 4. JAZZ: CHARTER OAK JAZZ FEATURING BRETT BOTTOMLEY; NEW HAVEN IMPROVISERS COLLECTIVE

• Thursday, Apr. 5. POWER POP: THE MOLD MONKIES (2 SETS! MINI-CD RELEASE!)

• Friday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR, LITTLE SILVER

• Saturday, Apr. 7, Noon-2 PM. COFFEE & CONVERSATION WITH STATE SEN. PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE MARTIN LOONEY & STATE REP. JOSH ELLIOTT

• Sunday, Apr. 8, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Apr. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Apr. 12. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Friday, Apr. 13. BLUEGRASS/AMERICANA: RIVER RUN

• Sunday, Apr. 15. STAND UP FOR STEVE SUNDAY

• Wednesday, Apr. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNA MAY; PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, Apr. 19. ACOUSTIC ROCK: RICHARD NEAL with THE BIRDMEN (rescheduled from Mar. 2)

• Friday, Apr. 20. BLUEGRASS: MATT FLINNER TRIO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Apr. 21. FOLK/BLUES: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH 4 CT BLUES/ROOTS DIVAS—LAUREN AGNELLI, SANDY CONNELLY, JILLIAN GREY & LYNN MALAVOLTI

• Monday, Apr. 23, 6:30-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Apr. 24, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, Apr. 25. BLUES/FOLK: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Apr. 26. INDIE ROCK: FIELD DAY, AMERICANA: LOVE LOVE

• Friday, Apr. 27. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS w/ TONY PURRONE

• Saturday, Apr. 28, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BUDDIE (from Philadelphia)

•Tuesday, May 1, 8 AM-Wednesday, May 2, 8 PM. THE GREAT GIVE® ONLNE FUNDRAISER

• Wednesday, May 2. TRIBUTE TO JONI MITCHELL’S “HEJIRA”: JACK VEES

• Thursday, May 3. BLUES ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, May 4. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT feat. ISABELLA MENDES

• Sunday, May 6, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, May 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, May 11, 7 PM. STATE OF THE NATION: PROTEST MUSIC CABARET

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, May 17. INDIE ROCK: HOUSE SPARROW (MA), PROCEDURE CLUB, PERENNIAL

• Friday, May 18. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Sunday, May 20, 6 PM. INDIE ROCK: FUTURE TEENS, more TBA

• Monday, May 21, 6:30-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, May 23. JAZZ: BOTTOMLEY/SOUZA/MORRISON

• Thursday, May. 24. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Friday, May 25. ACOUSTIC OLD-TIMEY/SWING: THE RED HOTS

• Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Sunday, June 3, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, June 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, June 15, 7:30 PM. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Thursday, June 28, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: JACOB JOHNSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Tuesday, July 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)