Roxbury Arts Group in full swing

Roxbury — Since the Roxbury Arts Group announced its 2013 season, audiences have not stopped cheering at performances given by Melanie, the Queen of Woodstock, Tony award winner Jim Caruso, Grammy award winner Billy Stritch, and violin virtuosos and one of today’s leading World Music and Classical Fusion ensembles the Villalobos Brothers. And there is plenty more still to come! With venues in Roxbury, Stamford and the Denver-Vega Valley, the Roxbury Arts Group has a widely diverse season planned with perennial favorites FIDDLERS! 20, Whet Paint and this year’s holiday radio play “Miracle On 34th Street”, and new programs including Drop In Art Classes at the Roxbury Arts Center and Art Start Academy at 76 MAIN! in Stamford.

Don’t miss out
Essential Thursdays performance series at the Old School Baptist Church, curated by Jungeun Kim, a multi-award winning and internationally renowned pianist whose impressive résumé includes being the founder and executive director of the New York Summer Music Festival, has assembled some of the finest musicians the classical world has to offer. The series kicked off on June 27 with Essential Thursdays: Jazz and featured Janelle Reichman on saxophone and clarinet, Matt Davis on guitar, Bob Sabin on bass and Gernot Bernroider on drums. Marking a very special event and for the first time in the history of the Old School Baptist Church performances, a baby-grand piano will be brought in for Essential Thursdays: Classical Duo on July 11 for Jungeun Kim. Accompanying her will be multi-award winning violinist Saeka Matsuyama. A Woodwind Trio completes the Essential Thursdays series on August 1 and features Robert Phillips on bassoon, Pascal Archer on clarinet and Dr. Mark Snyder on oboe. Ate-o-Ate Gourmet Catering Truck will be on site at each performance to offer fine and tasty treats.

Musician John Scarpulla will headline three upcoming evenings in the Carriage House at 76 MAIN! entitled “John Scarpulla & Friends - Unplugged and Intimate.” Each one of these performances will feature Scarpulla with a different singer/songwriter whose music and styles impressed him so much while on tour, that he just had to bring them to the Catskill community to enjoy. Both Scarpulla and guests will perform a set each of their own music and then end the evenings singing together. All of the John Scarpulla & Friends performances will be at 7:30 pm in the Carriage House at 76 MAIN! in Stamford, and TP’s Café will be on location serving food for audience members to purchase.
On June 29, Scarpulla and special guest Walker Hornung, known for his blend of rock and Trinidadian soca (a type of music known as the “soul of calypso”), brought down the house. On July 27, Sophie Gault will join Scarpulla. Born in Maryland and raised on the eastern shore, Gault was first influenced by her father’s love of rhythm and blues. She has emerged as an Americana singer/songwriter whose energy, rich voice, and foot-stomping guitar playing define her performances. Finally, on September 21, the Unplugged and Intimate series will feature Mike Poulopoulos.  Intelligent, soulful, melodic and melancholy, acoustic singer-songwriter M.R. Poulopoulos is one of New York’s Capital Region’s most honest and eloquent artists. His wide-ranging influences share a common foundation in American blues and roots music, but his sound is very much his own.

Triple header
Top of the charts band and “American’s most inventive stringband” Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem will be coming to the Roxbury Arts Center later in the year and there is so much more! “In addition to these high caliber performances, the Roxbury Arts Group also has many workshops and residencies planned for the upcoming year” said Roxbury Arts Group executive director Jenny Rosenzweig. She added, “There is truly something for everyone who is looking to explore their own creativity and develop their artistic skills.”

Designed for the ‘tween’ age group, the weeklong Rock n’ Pop Theater Camp returns for a fourth year.  Led by experienced children’s theater director and educator Nancy Bondurant Couch and singer, songwriter, and producer Kelly Wohlford, campers will learn a mini-musical and a concert to perform in front of an audience at the end of the week. 

Dance classes
The Roxbury Arts Group will also be offering dance classes led by professional dancer Victoria Lundell, monthly Drop In Art Classes for all ages taught by a team of experienced teaching artists including Nat Thomas, Marilyn Silver and Lisbeth Firmin and the opportunity to participate in a residency program led by internationally touring acrobatic dance ensemble Galumpha.  And on-going monthly favorites continue at 76 MAIN! in Stamford. Writers’ Evenings, where writers present new works in progress and receive feedback through a moderated discussion will convene every third Monday of the month and Open Mic JAMS with emcees Kevin Prior and Mike Herman presenting fun filled evenings with some of the best singers and musicians the region has to offer, happens every first Friday of the month.

Fine arts
And for the fine arts, the Roxbury Arts Group also has an exciting season of art exhibitions planned for the Walt Meade Gallery located in the Roxbury Arts Center. The current exhibition “Mentor + Mentee”, an exhibit that explores this mutually nurturing relationship in a variety of fine arts mediums and includes the work of Nat Thomas, Peter Yamaoka, Janice DeMarino and Elaine Grandy, will run through July 13. Curated by Kevin Q. Gray, “Nostalgia + Memory” opens with an artist reception on August 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. and features the works of a number of artists who use alternative and antiquarian photographic processes, sometimes mixed with other media, to explore notions of nostalgia and memory.

The final exhibit in 2013 opening November 2, will be “Paper Works”, an exhibit that celebrates one of the most cherished mediums of great artists throughout the centuries - works on paper and works of paper.

The Roxbury Arts Group is also contributing to many community events this season such as Busk & Bard, Roxbury’s street performer festival on August 31. And one should not forget the Roxbury Arts Group’s art-related fundraising events, which this year will include For Arts’ Sake on July 20 and a Great Gatsby themed lawn party on the grounds of Shepherd Hills Golf Course in Roxbury on August 17. For Arts’ Sake has been expanded to include a live auction, along with a silent auction, door prizes and a bountiful spread of hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. The Gatsby Party, inspired by the intrigue and opulence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” will emulate the madcap decadence of the 1920’s with an extravagant menu, lawn games and maybe even a bathtub filled with bubbly! Period dress is highly recommended.

For more information about the Roxbury Arts Group’s upcoming season, please visit their website at, or call their office at 607 326-7908.