Berezan, Pasiones to star in Charlotte’s Web weekend shows

Berezan, Pasiones to star in Charlotte’s Web weekend shows


Variety is the theme this weekend as Charlotte’s Web presents two different acts on Friday and Saturday, both at Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main Street.

Jennifer Berezan and friends

At 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27, returning favorite Jennifer Berezan will perform for the fall Equinox and her CD release concert. Join the Web audience for an evening of her poignant and uplifting songs, old favorites and new material.

Dirty Linen observed, “Jennifer Berezen is a rising star on the folk scene, evoking the vocal power of Mary Chapin Carpenter in keen observance of life, love, politics and injustice.” She has been called “… a folk artist with just enough touches of country and rock that keeps her tasteful without pigeonholing her.” (The Davis Enterprise). Her vision of music as a source of spiritual renewal can be traced back to her childhood growing up on the Canadian prairies of Alberta, where she learned first hand of the relationship between humans and the wonders of nature. Since then, her studies of Buddhism and indigenous spiritualities have continued to influence her writing.

Joining her on this CD release concert (her fourth—Praises for the World) will be her longtime musical companions Nina Gerber and Jami Sieber. Together they create an extraordinary mix of musicians who weave beautiful harmony vocals, rocking guitars and lush cello into healing and inspiring musical landscaapes. Theirs is a celebratory and moving mix of music with a unique focus on the heart, the spirit and the healing of the world. A follow-up to the best-selling Returning, it’s an ecstatic weave of the unique voices of poets, musicians, singers and the sounds of nature. The CD’s featured guests include Alice Walker, Patti Cathcart (from Tuck and Patti), Chris Webster, Jami Sieber, and many others.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. The performance is co-sponsored by a group of supportive individuals and organizations to whom we are all most grateful. Jennifer Berezan will lead a workshop, “Returning” on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Cynthia, (815) 963-3942 for information.

Pasiones—come to the cabaret!

At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, indulge your “passion” for a different flavor of music with two talented artists combining the best of history and art.

Presented as a folk cabaret, “Pasiones: Songs of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939” spotlights the songs written during “the good fight,” which attracted thousands of men and women from 50 countries to Spain to battle fascism and Franco. Created and performed by Chicago’s Michael Smith and Jamie O’Reilly, “Pasiones” premiered in 1997 at the Rhino Theater Festival, receiving much critical and popular acclaim. It was chosen one of the best of 1997 by the Windy City Times and received a critic’s choice from the Chicago Reader, among other honors.

This act has since toured the U.S. The 20-song cycle, sung in six languages, is interwoven with text from Hemingway and Bertold Brecht. O’Reilly and Smith began their artistic collaboration in 1994 with a staging of The Snow Queen, acting as co-creators, with Jamie as producer and performer, and Michael acting as composer and musical director. Their celebrated, diverse theatrical offerings now include “Hello Dali: From the Sublime to the Surreal,” a tribute to art, “Artful and Alluring” and “Scarlet Confessions, a Musical Diary.”

“A heartfelt, sublime piece of work, sweeping and passionate,” praised the Chicago Tribune. “Smith and O’Reilly demonstrate powerfully that the music of the people who fought and died in the Spanish Civil War resonates throughout time and space,” raved Singout magazine. “Songs of haunting, sometimes astonishing beauty…” (Vanity Fair). Also performing in “Pasiones” is Katrina O’Reilly on vocals, clarinet and piano.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; Canterbury Books, Highcrest Center, 398-1454; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

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