- Featured musicians, poets and writers;
- Free and open to the public;
- Sponsored by the MCC Foundation Annual Fund Campaign;
- Hosted by Stephen Campiglio.
February 20, 2014
Christine Casson is the author of a book of poems, After the First World (Star Cloud Press, 2008), and was named "Poet of the Month" at PoetryNet.org. Her work has appeared in Agenda (England), Stand (England), The Dalhousie Review, DoubleTake, Natural Bridge, and Alabama Literary Review, among others, and in the anthologies Fashioned Pleasures (Parallel Press, 2005), Never Before (Four Way Books, 2005), and Conversation Pieces (Everyman's Library, 2007). She has also published critical essays on the work of Leslie Marmon Silko and the poetry of Linda Hogan and Robert Penn Warren. Ms. Casson is currently writing a book of non-fiction that explores the relationship between trauma and memory, as well as a study of the poetic sequence, entitled Sequence and Time Signature: A Study in Poetic Orchestration. She is Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Please visit on the college's website: www.emerson.edu for more information on their writing, publishing and literature program.
Daniel Tobin is the author of seven books of poems, Where the World is Made (University Press of New England, 1999), Double Life (Louisiana State University Press, 2004), and the following titles from Four Way Books: The Narrows (2005), Second Things ( 2008), Belated Heavens (2010), The Net (2014) and From Nothing (forthcoming, 2016). He is also author of the critical studies Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney (University Press of Kentucky, 1999) and Awake in America (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). In addition, Tobin has edited The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), Light in the Hand: The Selected Poems Lola Ridge (Quale Press, 2007), and (with Pimone Triplett) Poet's Work, Poet's Play: Essays on the Practice and the Art (University of Michigan Press, 2007). Among his awards are the "The Discovery/The Nation Award," The Robert Penn Warren Award, The Greensboro Review Prize, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award, and fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His work has been anthologized in Hammer and Blaze, The Bread Loaf Anthology of New American Poets, Poetry Daily Essentials 2007, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, and many other collections.
David Uhl is one of Connecticut’s most sought after professional bassists. He has experience in extensive styles, including everything from Classical to Latin and from Folk to Big Band Jazz, and can be seen playing these styles in a variety of venues around the state almost every weekend. He teaches a Master Bass Class for Credit-Free Programs at MCC>
Originally from Tennessee, Taber Gable is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after pianists in Connecticut. He is a senior at The Hartt School, where he has studied with some of the most prolific and talented jazz musicians in the world, including Steve Davis and Nat Reeves.
Corey Hutchins has been tap dancing for nearly 25 years. He traveled the world as a featured dancer with the Broadway hit, Riverdance, the Show. In 2010, he was a special performing guest at The White House for the First Lady and guests.
Jocelyn Pleasant Quartet - 7:30 PM
Jocelyn Pleasant is a percussionist and educator from Bloomfield, CT. She received her first formal training from the Hartt School Community Division in classical percussion at age 10. In addition, she studied African percussion and jazz drum set the Artists Collective---Jackie and Dollie McLean's community arts center in Hartford. Jocelyn now resides in Middletown, CT and teaches and plays in a variety of genres and settings. She is currently on staff at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (mallet percussion), the Artists Collective (drum set and African percussion), and Green Street Arts Center (drums and African percussion). She has performed with such figures as Jay Hoggard, Steve Davis, Warren Byrd, Phil Bowler, Kim Clarke, Paul Brown, Nat Reeves, Shawnn Monteiro, Sumi Tonooka, and Sankofa Kuumba.
January 16, 2014
Joseph Torra is the author of numerous novels and books of poetry. His fiction titles include Gas Station, Tony Luongo, and My Ground (these three books now collected into the My Ground Trilogy); two novels published by Pressed Wafer in Boston, Call Me Waiter and What's So Funny; The Bystander's Scrapbook, and They Say (Quale Press, www.quale.com). His poetry titles include After the Chinese (also published by Pressed Wafer); Duck Tour The Movie (Cy Gist Press; http://cygistpress.blogspot.com); and two more titles published by Quale Press, Watteau Sky (prose poetry) and the 2013 title, Time Being. Joe published lift magazine in the early 1990s, and presently serves as editor of Let the Bucket Down, a magazine of Boston Area writing. He lives in Somerville, MA with his family. For more information on the author, please visit his website www.joetorra.com.
Barbara Henning has published three novels, seven books of poetry, and several limited art/poetry pamphlets. Her most recent books are two collections of poetry and prose, A Swift Passage (Quale Press; see website above) and Cities & Memory (Chax Press); a novel, Thirty Miles from Rosebud; and a chapbook, A Slow Curve (Monkey Puzzle). She is also the author/editor of a book of interviews, Looking Up Harryette Mullen (Belladonna), and The Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins (Blazevox). In the 1990's, Barbara edited Long News in the Short Century: A Journal of Writing and Art. Born in Detroit in 1948, Barbara Henning has lived mostly in New York City since 1983. As a long-time yoga practitioner, she brings this knowledge and discipline to her writing and her teaching at Naropa University, http://www.writers.com, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, where she is Professor Emerita.
The members of the jazz improv ensemble, Gaslight Arkestra are (left to right in photo): Dave Parsons, guitar; Dennis Martinez, bass; Trek Perry-Culbreath, saxophone; Jay Wood, drums; and Matthew Bister, keyboards. The band cites as musical influences the “Bitches Brew” era of Miles Davis, the more avant-garde years of John Coltrane, the funk jams of Medeski, Martin & Wood, the experimentation of John Zorn, and, by virtue of using the name, “Arkestra,” the explorations of Sun Ra. For more information, please visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/GasLight/204994234693.
November 21, 2013
Born in Romania, Vera Schwarcz is an historian on China and a poet. She earned her B.A. from Vassar College, M.A. from Yale University, and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is the author of eight books on Chinese and Jewish history, including the prize-winning Bridge Across Broken Time: Chinese and Jewish Cultural Memory; The Chinese Enlightenment: Intellectuals and the Legacy of the May Fourth Movement of 1919; Time for Telling Truth is Running Out: Conversations with Zhang Shenfu; Place and Memory in Singing Crane Garden and the forthcoming volume: Colors of Veracity: A Quest for Truth in China, and Beyond (Hawaii University Press, 2014). She has also written five books of poetry, among them: In the Garden of Memory (with paper art by Holocaust survivor Chava Pressburger), Brief Rest in the Garden of Flourishing Grace; Chisel of Remembrance. Her most recent collection of poems is entitled Ancestral Intelligence: Renditions and Poems (Antrim House Books, 2013.) Schwarcz holds the Freeman Chair in East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University in CT. Her work won a Guggenheim Fellowship and is featured on the http://www.between2walls.com.
Alexandrina Sergio is the author of two poetry collections, My Daughter Is Drummer in the Rock ‘n Roll Band and That’s How The Light Gets In (Antrim House Books). Her work has recently appeared in Caduceus and Connecticut River Review, as well as the anthologies, Shifting Balance Sheets and Complex Allegiances (Wising Up Press) and Visions, Voices and Verses (Exiles Press). Her poems have received national and state awards and have been given multiple performances by a professional stage company. Sandy frequently performs her poetry, often accompanied by her husband, pianist David Sergio. For more information on the poet and her books, please visit: www.antrimhousebooks.com.
Photo credit: Rebecca Earl
Frank Wallace, composer, guitarist and baritone, has been called a "contemporary musical emancipation" by NewMusicBox.org. With echoes of blues, medieval, jazz, Latin, and classical music from Bach to avant-garde, Wallace’s works showcase the classical guitar in solo, duo, and large ensemble works, as well as in chamber works with voice, flute, violin, cello, English horn, mandolin, or piano. On stage, Wallace is known for his “elegant virtuosity” (Classics Today) on the solo guitar, as well as mastering the self-accompanied song. He tours nationally and internationally as soloist and with mezzo-soprano Nancy Knowles as Duo LiveOak. In Boston, he founded the new music Festival 21 in 2007, and in New York City he founded and co-directed the Second Sundays Classical Guitar Series. Wallace is a two-time winner of the NH Individual Fellowship Award (2001 and 2006). He has a BM from San Francisco Conservatory and has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory, Plymouth State College, Emmanuel College, Concord (NH) Community Music School and Franklin Pierce University as well as many international festivals. He has written works for ChromaDuo, Edel Muñoz, Jugend Zupf Orchestra of Germany, Mare Duo, Olson/De Cari Duo, Providence Mandolin Orchestra and others. His Mishi-maya-gat show will feature a solo performance. Wallace’s complete works and recordings are available at www.gyremusic.com.
October 17, 2013
Acoustic Americana and Roots
Horizon Blue, featuring (left to right in photo) Mark Annulli, bass, Peter Hill, guitar, and Monique Hill, vocals---plus other instrumentation---has two CDs to their credit, Shades of Blue and Once Upon a Song. Mark Annulli has been making music with a variety of rock, pop, folk, and blues bands for many years, and also plays in the band, Drop City. Peter Hill studied at the Hartford Conservatory and the Hartt School of Music and engineers the recordings of Horizon Blue and other groups. Monique Hill is a singer/songwriter who studied voice and music at the Hartford Conservatory and the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, CA, and is the principal songwriter for the band. Horizon Blue has gigged widely through the state, including Town of Middletown Concerts on the Green, Town of Cromwell Concerts on the Green, Windsor Shad Derby, The Big E, Connecticut Audubon Eagle Festival, Town of Wethersfield Corn Festival, Town of Windsor Locks Anniversary Celebration, Coventry Acoustic April, and Town of Newington Waterfall Festival, and at cultural venues such as the Wadsworth Atheneum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Mark Twain House, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Connecticut Historical Society, Hicks Stern Museum, Willimantic Northeast Railroad Museum, Hartford Hospital, Avon Public Library, and New London Art Center. The band can now add Mishi-maya-gat to this impressive list! For more information on Horizon Blue, please visit: www.horizonblue.us.
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet
James Tate was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1943. His father was an American pilot killed in the Second World War in 1944, when Tate was five months old, and which precipitated his first collection of poems, The Lost Pilot (1967), selected by Dudley Fitts for the Yale Series of Younger Poets while Tate was still a student at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Tate has published prolifically ever since, including The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970); Absences (1972); Viper Jazz (1976); Distance from Loved Ones (1990); Selected Poems (1991), which won the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award; and Worshipful Company of Fletchers (1994), which won the National Book Award. More recently, he has published Memoir of the Hawk (2001); Return to the City of White Donkeys (2004); and The Ghost Soldiers (2008). Tate has also published various works of prose, including a micro-tale collection, Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee (Wave Books, 2001), a collection of critical prose, The Route as Briefed (University of Michigan Press, 1999), and a collaborative novel (with poet Bill Knott), Lucky Darryl (Release Press, 1977). In 2012, Ecco Press published the collection, The Eternal Ones of the Dream: Selected Poems 1990–2010. Tate's honors include a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry, the Wallace Stevens Award, and a 1995 Tanning Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2001, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He teaches in the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Guggenheim and NEA award winning poet
Dara Wier was born in Louisiana in 1949 and received her MFA in 1974 from Bowling Green State University. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including the most recent, You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013). She has also published Selected Poems (2009); Remnants of Hannah (2006); Reverse Rapture (2005), which received the 2006 San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award; Hat On a Pond (2002); Voyages in English (2001); Our Master Plan (1998), which received the Phi Beta Kappa Award; Blue for the Plough (1992); The Book of Knowledge (1988); All You Have in Common (1984); The 8-Step Grapevine (1980); and Blood, Hook & Eye (1977). Her work has been included in recent volumes of Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize Anthology and has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. She teaches in and directs the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
September 19, 2013
Oboe Duo Agosto
Oboe Duo Agosto
Featuring Charles Huang and Ling-Fei Kang
Oboe Duo Agosto, created in 2009 by oboists Ling-Fei Kang and Charles Huang, aims to promote the instrument’s popularity through original duos, arrangements, and newly commissioned works.
Audiences across the USA, Canada, Brazil, and Asia have enjoyed their concerts, which include popular music, folk songs, and contemporary and theatrical pieces. The Duo performed at the 2013 International Double Reed Society Conference in Redlands, California, and will be featured as the ensemble in residence at the Hartford Women Composer Festival in March 2014.
Dr. Charles Huang, oboe recitalist and founding member of Oboe Duo Agosto and the Sylvanus Ensemble, is active in commissioning new works and advancing the repertoire for the oboe and English horn. Currently he serves as Chair of Chamber Music at The Hartt School, and in the summer Huang teaches at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil. Huang has been a Fulbright Scholar, semi-finalist in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, scholarship recipient to the Music Academy of the West and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and a winner of the Miami String Quartet Competition.
A native of Taiwan, oboist Ling-Fei Kang is an avid chamber musician and founding member of Oboe Duo Agosto and the Sylvanus Ensemble. She has concertized in festivals and venues in North America, Brazil, Taiwan, and Thailand. She is a grant-recipient of Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Taiwanese National Culture and Arts Foundation. Ms. Kang graduated with the Prix avec grande distinction from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and earned an Artist Diploma from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. Her principal teachers include Humbert Lucarelli and Bernard Jean.
For more information on the Duo, please visit: http://oboeduoagosto.wordpress.com/
Originally from the Upper Mississippi River Valley, Betsy Wheeler studied poetry and book arts at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, where she was a Maple House Fellow for Sutton Hoo Press. After a brief stint working in the publishing industry in Minnesota’s Twin Cities (as an intern at Graywolf Press, and as an events coordinator at Consortium), she went on to receive her M.F.A. in poetry from The Ohio State University. From 2005-2007, she held the Stadler Fellowship residency at Bucknell University. She now works as Managing Director for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at UMass, Amherst, and is editor and publisher of Pilot Books—a poetry micro-press. She is the author of the collection of poems, Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room (National Poetry Review Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in notnostrums, Bat City Review, The Journal, Forklift Ohio, Octopus, and elsewhere. She lives with her fiancé, Meghan, in Northampton, MA.
Seth Landman lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is a member of the Agnes Fox Press collective. His first book of poems is Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow Press, 2013). Recent poems have appeared in jubilat, Jellyfish, Horse Less Review, and Ghost Town, as well as the chapbook, A Note on the Text (above/ground, 2012). He works as an Academic Advisor at UMass, Amherst, and writes about fantasy basketball on ESPN.com. With the poet Seth Parker, he collaborates on Tyoyeu (@tyoyeu & tyoyeu.blogspot.com).
For additional information, contact: Stephen Campiglio