ICYMI: John Stein with Ed Lucie and Mike Conners perform for #VAHA New Bedford’s Centre Street Sessions

ICYMI: John Stein with Ed Lucie and Mike Conners perform for #VAHA New Bedford’s Centre Street Sessions

Watch: Set 1 / Set 2

Guitarist and composer John Stein returns to New Bedford as the featured artist for September’s virtual AHA night (VAHA) with Ed Lucie on electric bass and Mike Connors on drums. Recorded earlier at the New Bedford Art Museum (NBAM/Artworks), the two 45 minute sets will stream from the VAHA webpage and thereafter at AHA New Bedford’s Facebook page beginning at 5:30 and 7:15 on the evening of Sept. 10.

John Stein just retired from 36 years on the faculty of Berklee College in Boston, and his most recent CD, Watershed, was on the JazzWeek national radio chart for a record 28 weeks, including several weeks in the top 10 and peaking at #2.

For over 20 years, the city of New Bedford, MA has celebrated the second Thursday of every month as AHA (Art, History, Architecture) Night, and provided many events in the downtown area, including special activities for children, and always for no charge.

Centre Street Sessions usually take place in the Summer months of June through September outside, in the parking lot of Fiber Optic Center, in the heart of the Historic District and within the Whaling Heritage Historical National Park. Sponsored by AHA, Fiber Optic Center and Whaling City Sound these concerts have showcased many performers and enabled people to enjoy world-class music in a relaxed, informal, and acoustically comfortable setting.

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Neal Weiss and the Fiber Optic Center New Media Gallery in the news

Neal Weiss and the Fiber Optic Center New Media Gallery in the news


JR Uretsky sat down with Don Wilkinson, who is a writer for “South Coast Today”  to speak about the work she has done and how she came to love what she does.  “Jamie Uretsky (also known as JR Uretsky), a performance and video artist, best known locally as the new innovative Curator at the New Bedford Art Museum / Artworks!, at the Whaler’s Tavern after she had spent much of the day working alongside UMD’s Gallery Director Viera Levitt, selecting work for UMD’s MFA exhibition, which will show at both the Star Store Building and at NBAM/AW!”…

DW: “Tell me about the origins of the Fiber Optic Center New Media Gallery.”

JRU: “When I first came (to the museum), there was no way to show video. It’s 2018, there are video artists, digital media artists, sound artists. We do the weird stuff in there. It was a nice fit. … Neal Weiss and the Fiber Optic Center gave start-up money. Whaling City Sound donated funds for programming. We can give a modest stipend to musicians, speakers and poets. I value performers. They should be paid.”



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6/10 Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People at New Bedford Jazz Festival

6/10 Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People at New Bedford Jazz Festival

Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People
Performing music from JazzWeek’s #1 newly released CD
“Weather or Not”
Saturday, June 10, 2017 5p
The 6th annual New Bedford JazzFest for the benefit of Your Theatre 2-7p
New Bedford Pier 3
New Bedford, MA
$20 – General Admission
The Joys of Jazz on the Waterfront

Great performers and tasty food highlight an epic experience at a nice price in New Bedford, at the 6th Annual New Bedford JazzFest.

New Bedford is again on the cusp of summer—thank heavens!— and its waterfront will again be the site for, not fishing, as it has for centuries, but jazz!

On June 10, Whaling City Sound, along with various other local sponsors, present the 6th Annual New Bedford JazzFest, featuring national and local jazz talent. Headlining this highly anticipated event will be Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People, an exhilarating and supremely talented New York-based trio and one of Whaling City Sound’s marquee artists. Gibbs’ last four recordings have climbed to the top spot on national jazz radio charts, including his latest release, Weather or Not, in part an ear-tingling tribute to jazz greats Weather Report.

Neal Weiss, the chief proprietor at Whaling City Sound, runs the fast-growing label, which is credited with many chart-topping jazz titles. WCS has been responsible for releasing much of Gibbs’ most recent work. “Gerry is a dynamic performer, who brings tremendous energy and excitement to the stage, and inspires his band-mates.”

In addition to Gibbs’ Thrasher People, the lineup at Jazzfest also features another Whaling City Sound artist, Dino Govoni and his quartet, which in turn stars the sublime vocals of Boston’s acclaimed Cassandre McKinley. By turns powerful and soulful, bluesy and jazzy, McKinley will surely be a highlight of the festival, as she fronts the impressive work of Govoni and his sax-led quartet.

To help keep the energy high, Matthew Hartnett and the Gumbo All-Stars bring a NOLA twist to New Bedford. Hartnett’s zesty creole jazz will certainly transport festival-goers to the French Quarter, where boogie and funky trombones reign.

The day kicks off early with the SouthCoast Jazz Orchestra, a thrilling 17-piece big band appearing at the festival for its sixth year. You’ll revel in their booming big band sound, led by Symphony Music Shop owner Bob Williamson.

The music kicks off around 2:15. But come early to take advantage of the food trucks and an “Artists Colony” curated by the New Bedford Art Museum.

The fun doesn’t stop after the festival. Bring your ticket stub to JazzFest partner the Greasy Lucky Brewery, where you’ll witness a funky jazz jam session with a house band and special guests.

Advance tickets are a steal at $20 at NewBedfordJazzFest.com, by calling the Your Theatre box office at 508-993-0772, or in person at Bridgewater Credit Union (Fairhaven branch), Greasy Luck Brewery and Symphony Music Shop. After June 5, tickets will go for $25. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. There’s parking at the Elm Street Garage. The event is under a tent, so it’s on rain or shine.

JazzFest is produced by and for the benefit of Your Theatre, Inc. (YTI), New Bedford’s 70-year old community theater group. YTI has partnered with Waterfront Historic League (WHALE) to purchase, restore and convert 149 William St. (First Baptist Church) into a theatre for YTI. Proceeds from this event will assist in this partnership to preserve vital historic architecture and provide a lasting home for New Bedford’s longest running community theatre. www.yourtheatre.org


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