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Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In

  • Bombino

  • Susan Wilson photo

  • Robert Levin

  • Lisa Bastoni

  • Philip B. Price


Friday, July 06, 2018

The Aston Magna Music Festival is the country’s longest-running summer festival of “early music” (a loose label that might include compositions from the Medieval, Renaissance or Baroque periods, circa 500 - 1800), with expert musicians performing the works on period instruments. 

And for the first time in its 46 years, the festival, which spreads its concerts across seven northeast venues, has added some performances in the Pioneer Valley — three Friday shows at Northfield Mount Hermon’s Rhodes Arts Center.

The first concert takes place tonight, Friday, July 6, at 7:30 p.m., and features Robert Levin (top left), piano, and Daniel Stepner (lower left), baroque violin, offering up “Brahms: The Sonatas for Piano and Violin,” with Levin performing on his own 1869 Streicher piano. 

Stepner, who is also the Aston Magna artistic director, emphasized how unique an opportunity it is to experience music played on period instruments. “A Mozart sonata for violin and keyboard, heard with fortepiano and gut strings on the violin, is a revelatory experience for player and listener alike,” he said in a statement on the festival’s website.

The Friday, July 13 concert, “Beethoven Septet, Mozart Quartet, Bernhard Romberg Trio,” features Eric Hoeprich, classical clarinet; Daniel Stepner, baroque violin; Todd Williams, natural horn; Andrew Schwartz, baroque bassoon; Anne Trout, bass, and Jacques Lee Wood, baroque cello.

The Pioneer Valley portion of the festival concludes on Friday July 20 with a concert that showcases Stepner’s new orchestration of J.S. Bach’s “Art of the Fugue.” The lineup includes the Aston Magna ensemble and special guests: Daniel Stepner, baroque violin; Christopher Krueger, flute; Peter Sykes, harpsichord; Laura Jeppesen, gamba; Stephen Hammer, baroque oboe; Loretta O’Sullivan, baroque cello, and Jason Fisher, viola.

Tickets and full season program information for all dates and venues can be found at astonmagna.org.

Trailer Park brings its swinging dance-ready “barbecue rock” (which combines rock’n’roll, R&B, New Orleans grooves and more) to the Platform Sports Bar at Union Station in Northampton on Friday at 6 p.m. The local quintet describes itself thusly: “Subsists on beer and raisings of ruckus.”

Winterpills frontman and Look Park member Philip B. Price recently released a treasure trove of original material from his vast home-recorded archives from 1988 to 2004 — including a 2 CD “best of” entitled “Without Your Love I’d Be Nowhere At All” — and he plays a solo show at the Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton on Friday at 8 p.m. Jim Kaminski (of local legends FAT) plays solo at 7 p.m., and When You Get the Blues appears at 9:30 p.m.

Nigerian singer/songwriter/guitarist Bombino, whose political and personal music is sung in the Tuareg language of Tamasheq, appears at The Iron Horse in Northampton on Saturday at 7 p.m. Billy Wylder opens.

Boston singer/songwriters Lisa Bastoni (right) and Danielle Miraglia perform folk and rootsy blues at the homey and cozy Montague Bookmill on Saturday at 8 p.m.

The free jazz duo of Chris Corsano (drums) and Paul Flaherty (saxophone) comes back to the Valley to celebrate Feeding Tube Records’ re-release of its album “The Hated Music” (on vinyl for the first time ever), and they’ll share the night with Sunburned Hand of the Man, Weeping Bong Band and Tarp (aka Joshua Burkett and Conrad Capistran), at The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Sunday at 7 p.m.

NYC guitarist Sheryl Bailey guest stars with the Green Street Trio at the Northampton Jazz Workshop at City Sports Grille inside Spare Time Northampton on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The trio’s pianist and bandleader Paul Arslanian calls Bailey “one of our favorite guitarists and greatest person ever. She brings joy and humor to the bandstand and flawlessly swings her way through beautiful melodies.” The open jazz jam session follows at 8:30 p.m.

Hadley party punks Snowhaus share a bill with Big Moon and on-tour-from-Philly bands Bleary Eyed and Junipur at Flywheel in Easthampton on Thursday at 8 p.m.