Rather quietly, the 23Arts Initiative has been serving up some of the region’s most challenging and thoughtful musical programming under the shadow of Hunter Mountain. While jam rock, modern country and nationalistic celebrations of culture may dominate the slopes of Hunter, 23Arts tends to favor serious modern jazz, classical music, experimental rock and an inclusive assortment of hybrid and progressive styles, all of it sharing a certain fundamental quality of seriousness and rigor.
When Tannersville-based 23Arts commences its ambitious four-weekend music festival in July, it will press into use no fewer than 16 venues, all in the Tannersville area. Some are 23Arts standbys – the Doctorow Center for the Arts, for example – while others are novel, surprising and, to borrow the term du jour, pop-up.
23Arts has broken the programming into four styles, one per weekend. Up first is jazz on the weekend of July 13 through 15. Highlights include a tribute to Horace Silver, “Another Side of Silver,” featuring Camille Thurman & the Darrell Green Trio, at the Mountain Top Library on Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m. On Saturday, July 14 at noon, the Brianna Thomas Band and Camille Thurman & the Darrell Green Trio perform at the Last Chance Tavern: a show that will be broadcast live on WIOX 91.3 FM. The Brianna Thomas Band sticks around for an 8 p.m. show honoring Nina Simone, “Brianna Sings Nina,” at the Last Chance.
On Sunday, July 15 at 11:30 a.m., the Brianna Thomas Band and Camille Thurman featuring special guest Chris Washburne present “Ladies Sing the Blues,” in which two of jazz’s greatest young vocal talents – vocalist Brianna Thomas and saxophonist/vocalist Camille Thurman – team up with special guest trombonist Chris Washburne of SYOTOS for a performance covering legendary blues across history from titans like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. This show takes place at the Kaaterskill United Methodist Church.