Friday, October 16, 2009

Help Us Match the Gates Online Opportunity Challenge Grant

The Brooks Memorial Library Trustees and the Friends of the Library invite you to The River Garden on Friday, November 13, 7 PM, to hear jazz pianist/composer Chris Bakriges and son, David, who will present a benefit concert for the Library based their just released CD--Teaching the Eye to Hear: Musical Reflections on Matisse's Jazz.

The proceeds will match a challenge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Online Opportunity Grant to assist the Library in upgrading their public access computers. The main goal of the grant is to help libraries and their communities build long-term capacity for supporting free computer and Internet access in public libraries.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15.00 ($20 at the door) at the Library, The Book Cellar, Everyone's Books, Baker's and online at Brattleboro Tix ( .

In 1941 the artist Henri Matisse was diagnosed with cancer and, following surgery, he was essentially bedridden. More problematic for Matisse was his inability to pick up and fully utilize the nuances of a paint brush. He found, however, a new lease on his enormous creativity when he realized that he could maneuver scissors through prepared sheets of brightly colored paper. He referred to this technique as "painting with scissors" and it was this format that occupied him until his death. Among his first adventures with paper cutouts was a book called Jazz, which Matisse prepared in 1942 with the help of his assistant Lydia Delectorskay which was published by Teriade in 1947. The book contained twenty color plates was initially only printed in a hundred copies.

Both the text and the cut outs themselves inspired southern Vermont pianist and composer Christopher Bakriges to make what he refers to as musical reflections on Matisse's work. Matisse used the energy of a still young musical idiom called jazz in enticing the art world to "teach the eye to hear." Along with his son, violinist David Bakriges, Christopher will present a musicological background to these original compositions as well as perform other tunes from the Great American Songbook that inspired the imagination of French jazz fans in the early years of the music.

A Detroit native, Chris has led his own groups since the early 80s and has performed internationally since 1990, including tours in India, Pakistan, Turkey, England, France, Canada, and the Czech Republic. A published scholar, Chris earned his doctorate in ethnomusicology from York University in Toronto and regularly lecturers around the world. Chris is currently Artist-in-residence and Lecturer at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He was music director and house pianist at Mo'Jazz Cafe, Vermont's only jazz club, from the late 90's until its closing in late 2007. He performed regularly at Pink's Alley in Manchester, Vermont throughout 2008 and tours the United States with the Oikos Ensemble, the Cleveland-based World Jazz group.

Sample Chris's music at his web site,