Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In

  • PHOTO BY JESSE SHOTLAND<br/>Miro Sprage

    PHOTO BY JESSE SHOTLAND
    Miro Sprage

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Makaya McCraven

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    Makaya McCraven

  • Luray

    Luray

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Kishi Bashi

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    Kishi Bashi

  • The Butterfly Swing Band

    The Butterfly Swing Band

  • Jimmy Burgoff, right, and Mark Ricker

    Jimmy Burgoff, right, and Mark Ricker

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Sam Amidon

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    Sam Amidon

  • The Smile Makers

    The Smile Makers

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Makaya McCraven

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    Makaya McCraven

  • PHOTO BY JESSE SHOTLAND<br/>Miro Sprage
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Makaya McCraven
  • Luray
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Kishi Bashi
  • The Butterfly Swing Band
  • Jimmy Burgoff, right, and Mark Ricker
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Sam Amidon
  • The Smile Makers
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Makaya McCraven

Valley musician Jimmy Burgoff, a bass player with more than 40 years of experience, knows the importance of a good gig.

“As a performing artist rather than a recording artist, it’s good to have a place to play in public,” he said in a recent interview. For the past nine years, he and his longtime friend, guitarist Mark Ricker, have been playing every Friday night at The Black Sheep in Amherst.

They’ll be there again Friday at 6 p.m., playing bossa nova, standards and ballads from the “American Songbook.” There is no cover charge.

Burgoff and Ricker met at a jam session in 2000 and have played together for so long there’s an almost telepathic ease to their duo shows. “We hardly ever look at music — we hardly call the tunes. He starts and I follow along,” Burgoff said.

The guitarist and bassist are often joined by a guest musician, and Burgoff noted that with the calendar now flipped to September, students are back and some curious up-and-comers will no doubt be “coming in to check it out. They’re welcome to sit in if they know what they’re doing!”

Burgoff also plays with the colorful Bee’s Knees International Cafe Orchestra, which includes Charlie Gamble on alto and soprano sax, Craig Hollingsworth on accordion, Sirinam on guitar and Danny Ferro on percussion. The quintet plays everything from Argentinian tangos to New Orleans jazz to Brazilian choro to Danish waltzes. “We’re all over the map!” Burgoff said.

Pianist Miro Sprague and duo Moonlight and Morning Star play jazz at the Loft Lounge at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton Friday at 7 p.m.

The Butterfly Swing Band plays swing from the e_SSRq20s, e_SSRq30s and e_SSRq40s at the Arts Block in Greenfield Friday at 8 p.m. Get there early at 7 for a free swing-dance lesson.

Luray, the atmospheric Washington, D.C., band led by vocalist/banjo player Shannon Carey, just released its debut full-length CD, “The Wilder.” The group returns to the area for a show at the intimate Parlor Room in Northampton Friday at 8 p.m. Seth Walker starts off the evening.

The Smile Makers, the Worcester-based progressive duo of Nicole Sutka on bass/flute/vocals and Eric Donaldson on guitar/vocals, play the Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Saturday at 7 p.m.

Vocalist/violinist/loop-pedal expert Kishi Bashi returns by popular demand to the Valley for a show at Pearl Street in Northampton Tuesday at 8 p.m. Elizabeth and the Catapult open.

Sam Amidon is a multi-instrumentalist (banjo, fiddle, guitar, piano) whose latest album, “Bright Sunny South” (released on the Nonesuch label earlier this year), reworks traditional songs like “As I Roved Out” and “Streets of Derry,” as well as recent songs by Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw. Amidon plays the Iron Horse in Northampton Thursday at 7 p.m.

Drummer Makaya McCraven has local roots, though he’s been living in Chicago and has been described by at least one impressed critic there as “the city’s most dynamic drummer.” His jazz music incorporates fusion, hip hop and more. He brings his trio back to the Iron Horse Thursday at 10 p.m.

Guillermo Sexo, Ghost Box Orchestra and Young Adults will be at the Sierra Grille in Northampton Thursday at 10 p.m.

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