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Keeping Tabs on the Arts

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE UMASS FAC<br/>Karim Nagi
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE KATZ<br/>"Now and Then" is on view, along with other mixed media works by Sue Katz, at Gallery A3 in Amherst.
  • Harrison Bankhead

Global rhythms

TEAL-ONE97, an all-star rock music collective created by a new generation of American maestros of Middle Eastern and North African descent, will present “New Generation — New Day — New Sound” Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

With multilingual vocals, and global rhythms and melodies, the group creates a unique soundscape that pays homage to each artist’s ethnic and American musical heritage.

Like the music, the band members cross over multiple boundaries.

Originally from Iraq, Laith Alattar’s tenor voice mixes nostalgia for yesterday with MC Rai’s hip North African vibe featuring chaabi folk, rebel rai and the music from the global dance floor.

Simo Filali Chahad, born in Casablanca, Morocco, performs on keyboards, guitar, drums and vocals. With a master’s degree in computer science, Chahad programs a unique mix of tech and live sounds.

Cheb Yassin, of Algeria, comes to the United States via Tunisia and Egypt. While in Cairo, Yassin emerged as the ambassador to rai music when he was awarded the 2000 International Music Festival Musical Arrangement Award. In 2005, Yassin was picket up by Dandana TV, the first Arab-American network to broadcast from the U.S.

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian drummer, DJ, composer and folk dancer. The creator of Turbo Tabla, Nagi has released four internationally distributed CDs of Arab house-electronica featuring acoustic instruments. Nagi is a true crossover artist, uniting the traditional and the modern, the ethnic and the urban.

American-born Paul Hefti, a guitarist and composer, will perform with the group.

The show is presented by the UMass Fine Arts Center Asian Arts & Culture Program.

A pre-performance talk will be presented for ticket holders at 6:45 p.m. by Banning Eyre, senior editor at Afropop.org and a commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

Tickets are available by calling 545-2511. For information, visit fineartscenter.com.

Baba Ken Okulolo

Baba Ken Okulolo, a San Francisco Bay Area-based Nigerian band leader, vocalist, bassist, teacher, multi-instrumentalist, will perform with his West African Highlife Band tonight at 7:30 in Chapin Auditorium on the Mount Holyoke campus in South Hadley. Okulolo, whose roots extend deep into his country’s musical history, first performed in the United States as a bassist on King Sunny Ade’s world tours. He is known for early stints with Nigeria’s legendary Afrobeat creator, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Highlife master Victor Olaiya and the seminal Afro-rock group Monomono. Seating is limited to 1,000. No advance tickets.

Gallery A3

“CONSTRUCTS,” an exhibit of mixed media work featuring found objects and photography by Sue Katz, opens with a reception April 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. and will remain on view through April 27 at Gallery A3, 28 Amity St., Amherst.

Katz constructs two- and three-dimensional structures made of found objects and images. Hunting for treasures at home, on a dog walk or in her travels, she combines her finds, then “kicks around objects on her studio floor until only some paint is needed to unify and transform,” according to her artist’s statement.

Katz also plays on her computer with “paint chip” squares that she crops from photographs of color, texture and pattern. As in her constructs, she considers each square to be a single unit or person; with a partner or partners, she makes families of two, three or four.

The gallery’s new hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 7 p.m. For information, call 256-4250 or visit www.gallerya3.com.

∎ Gallery A3 and Amherst Art Walk will present “Open Forum: Marketing for Artists” April 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst.

On the program: a discussion of how to use social media to promote and sell artwork. Speakers will be Carey Baker, a website designer, and Catherine Weber, a social media consultant.

Will include refreshments and networking. Admission is $7.

King of jazz

“The Savoy King,” the story of drummer Chick Webb, will be shown Monday at 7 p.m. at the Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St., Amherst, as part of the Jazz à la Mode Film Series.

Webb built a popular jazz orchestra and helped topple racial barriers as he became the King of Swing at Harlem’s only racially integrated nightclub, the Savoy Ballroom.

Born in Baltimore, he broke his back as a boy and faced life as a hunchback dwarf afflicted with spinal tuberculosis. Someone suggested drumming as a kind of physical therapy, and Webb found his calling, running off to New York City when he was 16.

The unrated film, which runs 90 minutes, features interviews with those who knew or played with Webb and period footage.

The evening begins with a live jazz performance and includes commentary by NEPR Jazz à la Mode host, Tom Reney.

For information, call 253-2547 or visit www.amherstcinema.org.

Magic jazz

The Magic Triangle Jazz Series will present the Harrison Bankhead Quartet tonight at 8 in Bezanson Recital Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bankhead will be joined by Edward Wilderson Jr. and Mars Williams, reeds, and Avreeayl Ra, drums.

Bankhead, a Chicago bassist, combines an appreciation for musical challenges with a journeyman’s ability to fit in an array of styles from straight-ahead to free jazz, flamenco, classical gospel and soul.

Bankhead released his first record, “Morning Sun Moon Harvest (Engine), under his own name in 2011.

Tickets cost $12; $7 for students. To reserve, call 545-2511.

Infinity jazz

The Infinity Brass Ensemble will perform Friday at 8 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

On the program: “Passed Time” by UMass alumnus Edward Jacobs, and music from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”

For ticket information, call 545-2511 or visit www.umasstix.com/musicanddance.

Music at UMass

∎ “Extending Cage’s Legacy,” a lecture in music theory by guest speaker Rob Haskins, an associate professor of music history at the University of New Hampshire, will be presented Friday at 1:25 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

Haskins will speak about music of John Cage, an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. Cage was a pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music and non-standard use of musical instruments. Since the late 1980s, many scholars have wrestled with Cage’s ideas with varying results. The lecture will offer a provisional assessment of Cage’s achievements and will point toward productive ways in which people can engage with and creatively extend Cage’s legacy, using theater as the principle example. The talk is free and open to the public.

∎ UMass piano professor Gilles Vonsattel will present a recital Saturday at 8 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall. On the program: Beethoven’s Six Bagatelles, Op. 126, Heinz Holliger’s “Partita,” Maurice Ravel’s “Sonatine” and “Gaspard de la Nuit” and Arthur Honegger’s “Hommage à Ravel.”

Tickets $10; cost $3 for UMass Amherst students; $5 for other students, senior citizens and children under 18 years. To reserve, visit www.umasstix.com or call the Fine Arts Center box office at 545-2511.

∎ Cellist Nancy Green will hold a master class Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

Green, who is among “the elite of today’s concert cellists” (Fanfare magazine), is an international recording artist, known for her CDs of previously unrecorded work, as well as staples of the cello repertoire. She has performed extensively on the concert stage and for radio and TV in the United States, Europe and Asia. She has appeared as a soloist in venues such as Boston’s Symphony Hall, New York City’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Herkulessaal in Munich, Germany, and Wigmore Hall in London, as well as in major concert halls in Shanghai, Taipei and Seoul. The public is welcome to observe the class for free.

∎ Trumpeter Marc Reese will present master classes Tuesday in Bezanson Recital Hall. A brass quintet masterclass will be held at noon; a trumpet class will be held at 1:10 p.m.

Reese has been a member of the Empire Brass quintet since 1996. He performs extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, in venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Mozarteum in Salzburg and Suntory Hall in Japan. He is the assistant dean and head of the brass department at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. The public is welcome to observe the class for free.

∎ The Low Brass Fest will take place Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on the UMass Amherst Campus. This concert was changed from its original of April 10.

Under the direction of Laura Klock, Greg Spiridopoulos and John Bottomley, musicians from the Horn, Trombone and Tuba/Euphonium studios will perform original and transcribed works from classical and popular repertoires, including the antiphonal brass music of Giovanni Gabrieli. Free

∎ The UMass Jazz Lab Ensemble will perform April 4 at 8 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall. Free and open to the public.

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