Mark Pagani, the leader of Sister Sadie’s Foundry, may be based in New Haven — he’s a professor of geology and geophysics and the director of Yale’s Climate and Energy Institute — but his music sounds like it comes from somewhere drier and dustier. West Texas, maybe. Arizona. New Mexico. Somewhere with a horizon much farther away than they ever get in Connecticut.
As the first strains of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Tanga” drifted out over a series of al fresco dinner tables at Neighborhood Music School, Brian Wallace inched toward the front of the stage, his trumpet pressed to his lips with some urgency. A trilling rang out, followed by that loping Gillespie strain that is so overwhelmingly pleasant, then impossible to tear your ears away from.
Audience members shimmied — hesitantly first, then not hesitantly at all — and shook just a little from their chairs, sinking into a sensual jazz rhythm that felt at once deeply familiar and refreshing. It really was summer, several members of the audience seemed to agree with their in-chair dance steps. Even the aural landscape had gotten on board.
by David Yaffe-Bellany | Jul 18, 2016 7:27 am | Comments (2)
George Edwards was an Air Force instructor working at a base in Ohio when he realized he was “a voluntary slave.”
On Memorial Day 1960, Edwards — an intense, sharp-eyed man who served in the New Haven branch of the Black Panthers Party — heard a recording of a speech by Malcolm X that made him question his service to the United States.
“I had a serious confrontation with history, politics, racism. I was becoming conscious of the world,” he said. “This man had shown a light to the darkness of my brain.”
Zach Lupetin was right up on the mic, shoulders swinging as he and Liz Beebe rocked a little in place and sweat began to drip down their faces. Feet started stomping back and forth. Beebe settled into a sort of two-step-meets-P.-Funk groove as Lupetin got the crowd to come closer to the front. He bowed down just slightly to deliver a statement, certain as it had ever been coming from his lips: You can lose your mind. Lose control. But you ain’t going back to that old dustbowl.
The crowd hollered and came closer. Already a few members in the front were ecstatic, throwing their heads back as guitar washed over them. Dueling brass cut in, and a couple in the front went wild, dancing with the little space they had. Beebe joined him on vocals for a final round of the song. Lupetin smiled, as if to say: Oh yes, there’s even more where that came from.
Fans of New Haven-based indie-pop duo Ports of Spain gathered last Thursday at the Fairfield Theater Company’s StageOne, a 225-capacity concert hall in downtown Fairfield to watch the band perform its largest musical undertaking to date. Upon entering the venue, audience members walked through an art gallery and reception area towards a large black curtain, through which lay an intimate, seated amphitheater.
Inside the theater, they might have also noticed the cameras. The Ports of Spain show at FTC doubled as a video shoot, as the band, a steady New Haven favorite, seeks to expand its reach beyond the Elm City.