Arts & Entertainment Briefs



Guest conductors chosen to 'Be Beethoven'

Guest conductors who won the chance to lead the Windham Orchestra take to the podium at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11.

'Be Beethoven' is a Windham Orchestra fundraiser offering would-be maestros the opportunity to conduct a musical work of their choice at a special evening at the Brattleboro Music Center.

The guest conductors are Janet Wallstein, Peter Amidon, Pedro Pereira, Tom Baehr, and Gene Murrow, along with a special guest, L. Beethoven. Windham Orchestra Maestro Hugh Keelan has worked with the conductors on their chosen piece. Tickets for the Feb. 11 open rehearsal are $10 per person, available at the door.

The public is invited to immerse themselves in a working rehearsal and to observe both the challenges and the joys of creating an orchestral presentation. Limited seating will be arranged around the players.

For more information, contact the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523, visit the website at, or stop by the Center at 72 Blanche Moyse Way.

Forchion to read his latest book of poems

William Forchion will read from his recent work at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St.

Forchion is a director, producer, poet, clown, acrobat, stuntman, father, friend, minister, coach, writer, and teacher, all in one package. He will read from "Sacred & Sacrosanct," a collection of poems, and discuss his latest project, #ApoemAday, a year-long project of daily poems. The reading will take place in the downstairs reading room of library.

Forchion grew up in Hammonton, N.J., where life on a farm nurtured his creative imagination. In 2017, he was selected to be a U.S. State Department cultural exchange Ambassador for the Arts, making two trips to Turkmenistan, and has called Brattleboro his home since 1998.

Free and open to the public, this venue is wheelchair accessible. For more information visit or call 802-254-5290.

Dance and drum classes start up next week

African Dance Vermont will start up dance and drum classes again in the new year with guest teachers on Wednesdays, Feb. 13 and March 6, at 118 Elliot St. The first class will be taught by Tara Murphy, the founder and director of Cape Cod African Drum and Dance who has been teaching African dance for 15 years. Matt Dean will teach a drum class and Ashley Jones will teach a dance class on March 6. Both teach regularly in Stonington, Conn.

There will be live drumming for both dance classes. The drum class, just on March 6, is from 6 to 7 p.m. and the cost is $10. The dance classes on Feb. 13 and March 6 are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and the cost is $15. All levels including beginners are welcome.

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Participants in the dance class with Murphy will learn the basic style of African dance as well as traditional dances from Mali, Guinea and Senegal, West Africa. The class emphasizes community, self-expression and the joy of movement.

Dean has made four trips to Guinea, West Africa where he studied under master drummers and dancers of the Les Ballet Africans, Ballet Djolibe and more. He spent nine years with an African drum & dance company in New York City where he worked with various colleges, dance classes, bands and DJs.

Jones trained under principal dancer of Les Ballet Africains, Abdoulaye Sylla. In 2000, she joined Abdoulaye's company Fotoba, touring and teaching throughout New England alongside Alisco Diabate, Yamousa Camara and Laurent Camara. With 23 years experience, Jones teaches traditional dance from Guinea, West Africa and shares the names, regions, tribes and meaning of the dances she teaches.

There will be more classes scheduled soon for the spring. Check out and African Dance Vermont on Facebook.


Women's Freedom Center presents 'A Suitable Girl'

The Women's Freedom Center will present the documentary film "A Suitable Girl" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Rockingham Library. The film follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married.

"A Suitable Girl" is the last in a series of six films by and about women, sponsored by the Women's Freedom Center. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to, email, call 802-463-4270 or stop by the Library at 65 Westminster St., Bellows Falls.

The Women's Freedom Center is the local nonprofit organization working to end domestic and sexual violence in Windham and Southern Windsor counties. The Center's 24/7 Hotline number is 1-802-885-2050.

Latin jazz trio to play at Wunderbar

Trio Mambo will play at Wunderbar, 22 Rockingham St., beginning at 8 p.m. this Friday.

Trio Mambo is a Latin jazz trio of piano, bass and congas, grooving and intricate at the same time. Classics like "Mambo Influenciado" and "Come Candela" mingle with brash originals such as "Soukw soukw " ("Shake it, shake it!" in Creole), romantic boleros, and 1950s soul bop grooves. If you've ever dug Ray Baretto's congas on a Hank Mobley tune, this band is for you.

Trio Mambo features three veterans of New England jazz: Dan DeWalt on piano and trombone; Wes Brown on bass; and Julian Gerstin on percussion. Before Trio Mambo, the three bandmates had worked together for many years in various combinations, notably as the rhythm section of Cuban singer/percussionist William Rodriguez' De Lomas y Sones.

DeWalt has led the jazz group Green Mountain Mambo, is a founding member of the world beat ensemble Simba, and is a trombonist with Latin big band Joe Velez y Creaci n and the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band.

Brown cut his professional teeth at age 18 with two years on the road with legendary pianist Earl "Fatha" Hines. He went on to perform and record with Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, Anthony Davis, Fred Ho and many others.

Gerstin has worked with a variety of musicians from experimental jazz composer Joel Harrison to afrobeat legends Orlando Julius and Baba Ken Okulolo, Cuban folkloric ensemble Iroko Nuevo and Puerto Rican folklore ensemble Bomba de Aqu . He currently leads his own jazz group, the Julian Gerstin Sextet, which includes Brown on bass.


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