ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 23 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 25, 2019


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds celebrates 29 years of concerts in Highgate. There are shows and festivals in Burlington, East Fairfield, Enosburg Falls, Essex, Grand Isle, Highgate Center, Johnson, Milton, Montgomery, Morrisville, North Hero, Shelburne, Sheldon, St. Albans, St. Albans Bay, and Swanton.


HIGHGATE CENTER--Jazz will mesmerize Highgate Municipal Park as Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate continue 29 years of Summer Sounds concerts at home with Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. With Chuck Miller, keys; Bill Darrow, guitar and vocals; Glendon Ingalls, bass and mini trumpet; and Steve Wanderlich, drums; Ms. Johnson is jazzy, bluesy, funky, and nearly perfect.
      "We'll definitely do the standards," Ms. Johnson said, "the Billie [Holiday], the Nat King Cole, the Ella [Fitzgerald]. And I hope my grown up 'Junkettes' will join us!" The Junkettes are Highgate's own young people who have grown up dancing and singing to her performances here.
      Singing jazz, blues and funk has been a central part of her life since her own teen days in New York City. In the 1980s she pursued musical projects in Houston, Texas and Boston including unique work she titled The Billie Holiday Story. She launched Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers in 1989 to sing the jazz and blues standards by her favorite African-American artists. The active touring artist is a regular performer in Summer Sounds, Discover Jazz, and First Night.
      The international entertainer lives in Burlington. She has performed with national musicians from New Orleans and international jazz musicians from Yaroslavl and Rostav, Russia and Paris. She runs workshops in vocal-performance coaching for all levels and continues to Moonlight in Vermont as she keeps clients fit, counseled and musically entertained.
      Her albums include a Tour Down Memory Lane, recorded during her Vermont opera house tour, Black Pearls, and JENNI takes 1 & 2.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, La Quinta Inn and Suites of St. Albans, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Click here for more info.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls begins a four day run of The Music Man this evening. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with a matinee Sunday at 2 p.m.
      The book, music, and lyrics of this classic musical were written by Meredith Willson, based on a now-old story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. Con man Harold Hill poses as a boys' band organizer and leader in order to sell instruments and uniforms to the townsfolk of River City. To seal the deal, he promises to train the members of the new band. Cue the music. Little do they know that Harold Hill is no musician; he plans to skip town before he has to follow through. Marian the librarian sees through him and the rest plays out on stage.
      General admission is $14.99 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Reserved tickets for $18 offer premium seats in the front three rows. Call the House (802.933.6171) or click here for tickets and more info.


EAST FAIRFIELD--The 27th annual Jig in the Valley brings eight hours of some of the best outdoor music in Vermont to the the old Meeting House on Sunday from noon on.
      Rusty Bucket, the Dale and Darcy Band, Carol Ann Jones, The Buck Hollers, The Oleo Romeo Big-Ass Variety Show, and the Nobby Reed Project will be joined by special guests including Vermont's legendary sax man Joe Moore, Telecaster master George Lewis, New Orleans' own trumpeter Al Zanzler, Las Vegas saxophonist Tommy Steele, and West Virginia treasures Phil Rolleston and Patrick Gabbert will fill the day with folk, funk, jazz, bluegrass, blues, country and everything in between. No telling who else might join fun. There will be a parade with Black Creek Adventure Camp's Puddledock Circus, plus homemade wood-fired pizza, Deb's Famous Pie Table, raffles galore, the Humble Art auction, and grilled chicken, burgers, hotdogs, and fresh side salads under the food tent.
      "Best damned party in the state," said organizer Tyrone Shaw. "This is the Fairfield Community Center's most important fund raiser of the year."
      Admission is $10 per person or $25 for families. All proceeds benefit the Fairfield Community Center programs. This year marks the first Jig in which the bands will be set up on the new terrace in front of the Meeting House on the Green instead of the traditional flatbed. The event is held rain or shine and will move inside in case of rain. Please bring a canned food item along for the Food Shelf. Click here for more info or call 802.827.6626 to volunteer.


SWANTON--Cars and bling did so well last year, the Swanton Arts Council will do it again as they host the second annual Artisan Jewelry Show at the Swanton Car Show in the Village Green on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      Vermont has jewelry artists that you will be able to chat with, purchase from, and enjoy live demonstrations by. There will also be food available. Email Janet Soavi or find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents a Latin Dance Social with dance instructor E. Victoria Moore and DJ Raul on Thursday at a special time of 6 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


ESSEX--The Nobby Reed Project plays an outdoor concert at Truck, Taps and Tunes in the parking lot by Double-E Theater this afternoon at 5 p.m.

ST. ALBANS BAY--Kick off the weekend early on Thirsty Thursdays with S.A.S. at the Bayside tonight at 6:30 p.m. The seasoned trio will play classic and pop rock songs from the 70s to the 90s every other Thursday through September.

SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace presents the Heliand Consort Summer Gathering on Thursday at 7 p.m. The 2019 tour of Vermont offers a new series of programs of songs, chamber music and poetry inspired by the seasons in New England.
      The Heliand Consort first took shape when Elisabeth LeBlanc of St. Albans and Rachael Elliott of Lyndon sat side-by-side in the Vermont Youth Orchestra. They connected with founding pianist Annemieke Spoelstra to form a trio to perform live chamber music throughout the state. The name "Heliand" is Old Saxon for "healing power." The Consort grew into a dynamic group of virtuoso musicians who perform engaging classical music, from the baroque era through 20th century, and contemporary repertoire. The core ensemble includes flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, and is wheelchair accessible. The suggested donation benefits the performers. Call 802.326.4603 or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry at One Federal presents Bardela in the Thursday Night Music Series this evening at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.0330 or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Django Soulo making music from the heart, for the heart, on Thursday, the Vermont-based duo the Flycatchers playing Red Dirt Oklahoma and Texas Alt Country sounds on Friday, and Middlebury's acoustic duo Java Sparrow with Tom Van Sant and Glenn Goodwin on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey continues the Summer Music in the Pub series with Kelly Dolan on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts Nobby Reed and Scott Dubois for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Friday's theme is "Camo/Jungle." The BBQ chicken buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $11 per person ($5 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome. Be sure to come early, usually around 6, to get a good seat.

ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry at One Federal presents "folk-rock espresso with a shot of bluegrass and a hint of jazz" Rebecca Padula on Friday and Elmore singer-songwriter the Christine Malcolm Duet on Saturday. Shows begin at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.0330 or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company hosts the Home Grown Music Festival with Shake, Troy Millette, Jer Coons, Even Allis, The Pylos, Chris & Erica, Danny and the Parts, the Blue Rock Boys, the Owlstars, Bethany Conner, Chad Conant, Andy Hoadly, and more on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
      The free, outdoor, family-friendly event, offers music, craft beer, music, food trucks, music, outdoor games, music, raffles and prizes and live music from a host of bands. Funds raised will benefit organizations focused on cleaning local waterways, including Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi. Admission is free to the all ages event.

SHELDON--The Abbey presents the 2019 Riverside Country Jam "down by the river where the green grass grows" at the Abbey River Rapids Pavilion on Saturday at 3 - 10 p.m.
      Bring your lawn chairs. Nashville recording artists Becki Mcleod, Adam Rickler, Sarah Montgomery, and Tawnya Reynolds from the Voice will play some excellent rock, country and blues. Admission is $25. Tickets are available at the Abbey and at

SWANTON--Swanton Sound Stage presents Burlington folk singer and songwriter Eric George on the Village Green on Saturday at 4 p.m.
      Swanton Arts Council will showcase local musicians in a four-part series that will take place once each month over the summer, June-September. Local musicians making music live are inspiring. The event is funded by an Amplify Grant from RiseVT.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts presents the Green Mountain Horn Club in the Island Arts Center at the Homer Knight Barn on Saturday at 6:30pm. Gates at 5:30.
      The all French horn ensemble was founded in 1984 by the VSO's Alan Parshley. The twenty-three players holds concerts now and then when we can get people together. They have performed in opera houses, churches, schools, and scenic outdoor locations throughout Vermont. Their varied repertoire includes Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, original works for large horn choir, marches, movie music, and popular selections.
      Admission is by donation.

ST. ALBANS--Mill River Brewing hosts the Buck Hollers on Saturday at 7 p.m. The 4-person folk, country, bluegrass band hails from Fairfax.

EAST FAIRFIELD--The Jig in the Valley brings eight hours of some of the best outdoor music in Vermont to the old Meeting House with Rusty Bucket, the Dale and Darcy Band, Carol Ann Jones, The Buck Hollers, The Oleo Romeo Big-Ass Variety Show, the Nobby Reed Project and a host of special guests on Sunday from noon on.

HIGHGATE CENTER--Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, continues 29 years of concerts in Highgate with Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.

MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts continues at the INN on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The event officially includes everything but dancing, but there is always hope. Come early for dinner; service begins at 5 p.m.
      This month, the featured musicians are Jacob Racusin and Seth Eames, the featured artist is NVAA President Janet Bonneau, and the featured writer is Jo Anne Bennett, past winner of Canada's Seal for her novel Downfall People. The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work, curated and hosted by Bob and Becca Cummins.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

Tuesday JOHNSON--Tuesday Night Live in Johnson continues with Ernest on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Concerts are free and live every Tuesday, rain or shine. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Enosburg Town Band plays a weekly free summer concert in Lincoln Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Bring a chair or a blanket to enjoy an hour long concert under the stars under the direction of Alisa Martin. Performances will continue on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. through August 21.

ST. ALBANS--Squirrel the Band plays their Downtown Summer Concert Series debut in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Squirrel will also perfom at One Fed on August 1.
      14th Star Brewing and the Traveling Canteen serve food and drink at all of this year's Summer Concert Series events.
      Admission is free.

MORRISVILLE--The Wednesday Night Live summer music series continues with Cookies Hot Club with Ballet Wolcott plus community weaving with yarn in the River Arts tent in Oxbow Riverfront Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The series continues each week through August 22. There will be a rotating mix of food vendors every week, from American barbecue to Nepalese staples.

ST. ALBANS--The Bayside presents the Starline Rhythm Boys on Wednesday at 6 p.m. No cover, just "three old guys playin' country" every Wednesday evening through the summer.

NORTH HERO--Will Patton joins Carol Ann Jones at North Hero House waterfront inn and restaurant for a performance of originals, improv, and hand-picked Americana, classic country, folk and blues on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
      Call 802.372.4732 or email for reservations.

GRAND ISLE--Island Arts presents the Citizens Concert Band at the Lake House on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      The rain site is on site.


SHELBURNE--Young Tradition Trad Camp has several performances this year.
      Today's Free Lunchtime Concert features singer-composer Moira Smiley at Lake Champlain Waldorf High School at 12:15 p.m. It is open to anyone who wants to attend
      The End of Camp Showcase takes over Lake Champlain Waldorf High School on Friday at 3 p.m. The event includes core and guest instructors and campers showing off some of the traditional tunes, songs, and dance taught and learned during the camp week. There are also Showcases at Burger Night at Summervale this evening at 5:30 p.m. and at Bread and Butter Farm on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
      Trad Camp is a concentrated opportunity for kids 8-16 years old to be inspired by, learn about and perform tunes, songs, and dances in a variety of traditional styles. Campers participate in several group sessions with a variety of core staff and guest instructors, who are among the best and most respected musicians and teachers in the region, and a few from other parts of the world. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Last Night is Franklin County's New Year's Eve Celebration for kids, teens, families, and adults. 14th Star Brewery hosts an Event Planning Mixer in The Room this evening at 5:30 p.m.
      The inaugural Last Night was a huge success last year. Come to join the Last Night Committee or to feature you local business event at Last Night. Find them on Facebook for more info.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.

Good News!

There are so many events around the region that we miss some of them.
Be sure to check these calendars for what's happening near you ...
All Arts Council of Franklin County
Cambridge Arts Council
Franklin County Regional
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


Links to the Summer Music series in Franklin County
Summer Sounds
Summer Music at Grace
Downtown Summer Concert Series
Summer Evenings with
Vermont Treasures
Citizens Band
Wednesday Night Live
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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