Helga Davis, “a powerful vocalist with an almost operatic range and all the bruised sensuality of Jeanne Lee,” responds to Nick Cave’s Until with an intimate performance, accompanied by her loop station and saxophonist Curtis Macdonald, inside the exhibition.
Davis has been starring in the international tour of Einstein on the Beach; Robert Wilson describes her as “a united whole, with spellbinding inner power and strength.” She also starred in Wilson’s The Temptation of St. Anthony, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock; Milton, by Katie Pearl and Lisa Damour; and Elsewhere, with cellist Maya Beiser and music by Missy Mazolli. In 2011 Davis served as a “Sweet Peach” in Soho Rep’s production of Jomama Jones, Radiate, a production which made The New Yorker theatre critic Hilton Als’ top ten list. She is the recipient of the BRIC Fireworks grant and just completed her first full-length theater piece, Cassandra. Davis may also be heard on the new VIA Records release, Oceanic Verses, a multi-media opera work written for her by composer Paola Prestini. In fall 2015, Davis performed in her fifth Next Wave festival at BAM in Shara Nova (formerly Shara Worden, My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak’s You Us We All. She hosts a radio program on WQXR’s Q2, and was awarded an ASCAP Multimedia Award for hosting 24:33: twenty-four hours and thirty-three minutes of the playful and playable John Cage.
Curtis Robert Macdonald is an alto saxophonist, composer, and producer whose works blend composition, sound design, and improvisation. He has won commissions from Aszure Barton & Artists, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Kate Weare Company, Hubbard Street Dance, Bayerisches Staatsballett (The Bavarian State Ballet), Larry Keigwin & Co., and The Juilliard School. In 2014, he was co-awarded the first Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation Prize for his collaboration with Aszure Barton on the dance Awáa, where his work is featured in several modern dance and ballet companies worldwide. Curtis has released three albums as a bandleader, Community Immunity (2011), Twice Through The Wall (2013), and most recently, Scotobiology — the study of darkness, which is inspired by the effects of artificial light on living beings. Curtis works closely with the great American composer, multi-instrumentalist, and 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Threadgill as a member of his ensemble “Double-Up” for whom Henry composed “Old Locks and Irregular Verbs” in dedication to cornetist, composer, and conductor Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris. For more information on Curtis’ music and upcoming performances, please visit curtismacdonald.com.
Please call the box office to reserve tickets. Space is limited for this gallery performance. 413.662.2111 x1
photo by Masha Froliak