New American Mandolin Ensemble coming to Bing Arts Center

Date: 5/8/2014

SPRINGFIELD – The Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner Ave., will present a performance by the New American Mandolin Ensemble (NAME) on May 10 at 8 p.m. as part of the Bing’s House Concert Series.

Widely recognized for their performances of contemporary classical music for plucked string instruments reflecting folk, jazz, and world music influences, New American Mandolin Ensemble is a group of professional musicians dedicated to presenting original compositions. Championing the best of contemporary composers for this medium, the group has a special interest in promoting new works from the United States.

Their program at the Bing Arts Center will include works written expressly for plucked strings by New England composers such as Michael Nix (Massachusetts), Frank Wallace (New Hampshire), and Owen Hartford (Boston). The audience will also hear works from Brazil (Jobim), Australia (R. Charlton), and the Netherlands (E. Stopler). Also included in the program are the rock-influenced “Yutuma” by the American mandolinist Chris Acquavella, and the toe-tapping “Homeward Bound” by the fiddler Eden Macadam-Somer.

Based in southern New England, all members of the New American Mandolin Ensemble are involved professionally in some aspect of plucked strings, including teaching, performing, and composing.

NAME director Mark M. Davis studied classical guitar and mandolin with Hibbard Perry, of the Rhode Island school of Giuseppe Pettine and William Place. Further studies with the German guitarist/conductor/composer Siegfried Behrend instilled his fascination with modern forms of musical expression.

Admission is $15. Tickets are available in advance by calling 731-9730 and at the door (seating is limited). Doors open at 7:30.

The Bing will also host 61 Ramblers on May 16 at 8 p.m.

This swinging retro country quartet performs classics from the golden age of country music. JimJoe Greedy, Joel Meginsky, Sean Baker, and Jeff Roncali deliver ironically upbeat tales of dissolution, heartbreak, and low expectations by Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Hank Williams, Earnest Tubb, Johnny Paycheck and other stars with great names. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $7.50 at the door. Refreshments available.

On May 17 at 8 p.m. the acclaimed film, “Fruitvale Station” will be screened.

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler makes his directorial debut with this drama centered on the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year old Bay Area father who was senselessly gunned down by BART officers on New Year’s Day in 2009, and whose murder sent shockwaves through the nation after being captured on camera by his fellow passengers. The film is rated R. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The admission is $7.50 at the door. Refreshments available.

On May 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Bing will present “Ignite the Mic!” hosted by Teatro V!da

Join Teatro V!da for Ignite the Mic! Spanish and English poetry and music performances will create an intimate and fun evening of voices celebrating the healing power of arts in everyday life. The mic will be open for ages 12 to 25, but The Bing hopes everyone will come out to support the young artists. Performers may sign-up beginning at 6:45 p.m. Admission is $3 at the door. Refreshments available.

On May 31 at 8 p.m., the Bing will host Peter Blanchette at 8 p.m.

Blanchette is the inventor of the 11-string archguitar. His repertoire of unusual and internationally acclaimed arrangements and compositions spans from medieval to contemporary to ethnic, played in solo recital or with selected other instrumentalists to form the Virtual Consort. In 2011, he received New England Public Radio Foundation’s Arts and Humanities Award for outstanding individual artist.

His classical/jazz concept recording, “Had Miles Met Maurice” (Dorian #dor-93198) was selected by AudioPhile Magazine as a “Top 100 Jazz CD of 2001.” Blanchette worked extensively with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom and director John Turturro on Turturro’s film “Illuminata.” Blanchette is also the founder and Artistic Director of the critically-acclaimed Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $15.