What better way to celebrate the coming of spring than a Bayou-themed dance party with three local dance bands! Everyone is invited on Sunday, April 7 from 5:00-8:00 pm to the Vermont Jazz Center for music hailing from the Louisiana Bayou to the streets of Brazil and from points all over the Afro-Creole culture sphere. Featured will be two of Brattleboro’s signature New Orleans roots music ensembles, Bayou X and the Celebration Brass Band, with a special guest appearance by SOVESA, the Vermont Jazz Center Samba Ensemble. The event is a benefit for the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus (and it happens to be our director, Becky Graber’s, birthday).
First up will be Bayou X, based out of Langdon, NH and Brattleboro, VT, a high-energy band that performs an eclectic blend of popular and folkloric material, both original and traditional. They incorporate Cajun and Creole Zydeco dance music of southwest Louisiana, New Orleans R&B standards, and music from across the global Afro-Creole diaspora. The band is led by New Orleans native, Peter Simoneaux, on fiddle and vocals, with Linda Simoneaux on accordions and vocals, Lucas Houk on electric bass, Bob Everingham on electric guitar, and Ben Carr on drums.
Following Bayou X, even the dead will get up and dance (though you might not see them) when SOVESA, the VJC Samba Ensemble hits the dance floor! SOVESA performs classic and contemporary Brazilian samba rhythms, under the direction of Julian Gerstin, Ron Kelley, and Veronica Stevens. The group practices every other Sunday at the Vermont Jazz Center, and welcomes new members.
The last set of the evening will feature the Celebration Brass Band, Brattleboro’s own New Orleans-style brass band, directed by native New Orleanian Pete Simoneaux on bass drum and vocals, with Tim Ellis and Linda Simoneaux alternating on sousaphone, Stephen Voorhees on snare drum, Julian Gerstin on percussion, and a dynamic cast of leading Brattleboro horn players, including co-directors Walter Slowinski and Ron Kelley on saxophones, Dan DeWalt on trombone, Anders Burrows on trumpet. When the CBB hits the stage, you’re going to want to join in the 2nd Line!
Finger foods, both savory and sweet, will be provided. There will be plenty room for both seating and dancing.
The Brattleboro Women’s Chorus welcomes all women and girls age 10 and up and provides the opportunity to sing and perform in a group. The operating budget is only partially covered by membership dues. Financial aid is offered, and funds are raised through donations, concert proceeds, and fundraisers such as this one.
Suggested donation is $10 – $50 at the door. For more information about the event or the chorus, see www.BrattleboroWomensChorus.org.