This year, the art world’s ability to rally and produce engaging and vital works has been a constant glimmer of hope amidst global turmoil. With the revived Friday Five, we bring you our weekly choice of the top five things to check out in the near future—highlights from all over, as well as from the Flynn. And as you enjoy, please consider supporting these artists and arts organizations. Every donation counts. We hope these diverse works from all corners of the art world ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination, and help strengthen and energize our community.
In addition to these weekly selections, we also keep a more comprehensive rolling list of ongoing and upcoming happenings at our ONLINE ARTS GUIDE.
Through the art of storytelling, Ferene Paris Meyer shares her lived experiences as a Black womxn to engage folx on anti-racism, equity, empathy, and more. Join her for this heartfelt offering on MLK Day in collaboration with the Melrose Human Rights Commission.
Also on MLK Day:
The ECHO Center for Lake Champlain and other community distribution sites will be giving out free, family-friendly MLK-themed art activity packets. Choose a time to pick up your FREE packet.
And the Woodstock Vermont Film Series is playing John Lewis: Good Trouble, the acclaimed documentary chronicling the life of the late civil rights icon, through January 17.
Royce Hall and UCLA hold a special history for legendary saxophonist Charles Lloyd. In the 1960s he sold out two nights in the famed concert hall with his quartet featuring Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure, and Jack DeJohnette. This year, he returns with an equally astonishing group of musicians featuring pianist Gerald Clayton, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Justin Brown to perform from his most recent album, Kindred Spirits.
What connects all of Charles Lloyd’s work over the past 60 years are his unforgettable two-bar and four-bar phrases and his focus on the spiritual quality of sound. Melody, rhythm, and emotion are bonded so tightly in these musical molecules that the elements can’t be separated. This is particularly evident in Kindred Spirits. CAP UCLA is honored to bring back one of our favorite musicians to perform at Royce Hall once again.
Wild Horses is the show where four best friends sit down with someone wonderful and have a fun, loose, dinner-party-style conversation where they ask hard-hitting questions like "have you ever seen a ghost?" After the chat, the horsies do an improv set inspired by the conversation.
Wild Horses is: STEPHANIE ALLYNNE (One Mississippi, L Word: Generation Q), MARY HOLLAND (Happiest Season, Veep), LAUREN LAPKUS (The Wrong Missy, Jurassic World), and ERIN WHITEHEAD (Craig of the Creek, Animals). With special guest NAOMI EKPERIGIN (Broad City)!
Art is how we process the world around us. It opens up avenues of thought, imagination, wonder, and reckoning. PROTOTYPE presents MODULATION, a creative investigation on the strands that weave together our lives over this past tumultuous and revelatory year. A digital, self-guided exploration of these distanced times created by thirteen of the most provocative and diverse voices in the contemporary music idiom; MODULATION leads you through the themes of ISOLATION, IDENTITY, and FEAR, with the connection of BREATH.
An electrifying auditory and visual journey of new creations awaits. As our society, country and world continue to exist in a form of suspended animation, we persevere through distance in search of humanity. We reflect on the long days behind us and reveal some answers through this creative effort. The voices of artists—including Flynn Creative Chair Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)—show us the hope and the irrepressible power of music to provide comfort and instigate contemplation of ourselves, our art, our world.
The Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts (CLA) presents a conversation and live remote performance with "The American Songster" Dom Flemons. The webcast event is hosted by OSU Director of Popular Music and Performing Arts Bob Santelli and is part of CLA’s American String Series. This segment of American Strings is comprised of a conversation and solo performance by Flemons, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector. He has received two Emmy Award nominations and in 2020 was selected for the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship Award for the traditional arts category, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
With a repertoire covering over 100 years of early American popular music, Flemons has branded the moniker "The American Songster." He is considered an expert player on the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife, and rhythm bones. His latest project, first released in February of 2020, is titled Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus on Omnivore Recordings. The two CD albums feature three parts: the original Prospect Hill album, the 2015 EP What Got Over, and The Drum Major Instinct which includes 12 previously unissued instrumental tracks.
New York’s only music and dance festival of its kind celebrates 36 years of music and dance. For the first time, live-streamed worldwide from our homes to yours. Join us for two nights of great Balkan Music, Dance, and Arts online. Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band headline, along with 40 bands and performers over two nights. Enjoy live-streamed cybercast concerts on both nights from across the US on our stages. Live-streamed dance instruction on Friday evening! Great live and pre-recorded music videos both nights. Profits from the festival will be donated to charitable or educational organizations related to Balkan cultures and communities.
For the first time in its 17-year history, NYC Winter Jazzfest will not be presented in person due to the challenges of this pandemic. However the commitment to showcasing talent and lifting concerns of our community has not wavered. This season will feature artists across disciplines in performance and conversation about the issues of our time. Programs will be presented in partnership with the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, The New School, SummerStage, and Voices of a People's History of the United States. All programs are FREE and open to the public.