Hemispheres, Amber Olsson at The Myrna
Hemispheres debut album, “The Corners of Mountains,” was hailed as something you don’t want to miss.
The same goes for their upcoming Myrna Loy concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.
The album’s evocative musical landscapes are inspired by Montana’s beauty.
“We’re an instrumental duo, but our music is really melody-driven that has a singable quality that just connects with Montana,” and how we’re shaped by our environment,” says cellist Maren Haynes Marchesini.
“A lot of our songs have a sense of physical landscape, but some of them are more of an emotional landscape,” says guitarist Kate Plummer.
“Half the concert will be Hemispheres, and we’re bringing some new material and guests to play with us. The other half will be Amber’s music.”
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This 70-minute concert will be filmed for a future Myrna Soundstage and will be followed by an onstage interview by musician John Dendy.
Tickets are $12 and available at 15 N. Ewing St.,https://themyrnaloy.com/. For more information, call 406-443-0287.
Entertainment at the Lewis & Clark Tap Room
Lewis & Clark Tap Room has scheduled the following upcoming events:
Left on Tenth plays a combination of Rock ‘n Roll, Soul, Ska, Reggae, and Latin music on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Bone Dry Comedy presents The Gateway Show with Billy Anderson on Sunday, Aug. 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. General admission is $15 Online and $20 at the door.
For info on all shows: Lewis & Clark Tap Room, 1535 Dodge Ave., https://lctaproom.com/ or call 406-442-5960.
State Capital Band concert
The State Capital Band will complete their 120th season of concerts in the park Thursday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. in Memorial Park. The free concert will be under the direction of Robert Loveridge and will be performed by a group of some of the finest local musicians.
Music selected for this concert will be the favorite pieces chosen by the audience from the previous five concerts. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, picnics or snacks and enjoy an evening of music with your family and friends.
Naomi Moon Siegel at The Myrna Loy
Naomi Moon Siegel, a winner of an Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award for Emerging Artist of the Year, performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at The Myrna Loy.
The expressive trombone player is changing the way the trombone is heard and viewed – fusing folk melodies with fantastical soundscapes and tight grooves.
She’s known for playing her own style of indie-folk/pop/jazz that transcends genre.
“I’m bringing my Missoula quartet with me,” she says, which includes Missoula phenoms Lhanna Writesel on alto sax, Tommy Sciple on bass and Ed Stalling on drums.
This concert will be filmed for a future episode of The Myrna Soundstage. The 70-minute performance is followed by an onstage interview by musician John Dendy.
“We’re going to play all my original music” and maybe a couple written by the bass player, she says. “These are songs that sort of span the last 10 years – a few new ones and then some older ones and a few that I wrote here in Montana that to me…reflect the landscape that I’m privileged to sort of simmer in and marinate in.
“I’ve been here for the past six years – so it’s interesting to me to see how that’s shown up in my music.”
Expect to hear improvised music with melodies and grooves. “We try to keep things kind of open so we can go in any direction we feel in the moment.”
Siegel fell in love with the trombone when she was 10 years old at her public elementary school in Chicago.
“I chose it because I thought the slide was really cool and I liked the tenor range of the instrument – it resonated with me.”
And then she got to play in the jazz band in sixth grade, playing “Louie Louie.”
“I felt like a rock star,” she laughs.
It had a great bass line with the trombone, but she also got to improvise.
“That combination of ensemble, communal creation, plus self-expression and taking risks– that’s something I just can’t get enough of.”
She’s really looking forward to playing The Myrna Loy. “I think what The Myrna Loy is doing is really cool – creating this listening environment. So often our venues are bars and breweries and the music is secondary.
“The band I’m bringing and the way I approach my music – it’s a very dynamic performance. I think it’s refreshing and it’s experimental and accessible.
“It’s a fun combination of strong melodies, strong grooves that make you want to move and dynamic interpreting and improvisation.
“With instrumental music there’s more opportunity for emotional landscapes that are more open and free for the listener to feel and make space for whatever comes up for them.”
Acclaimed Montana trombonist MJ Williams is a Siegel fan.
“She’s got a great sound, a great attitude and her compositions are really unique,” says Williams. “She’s just a really great player.”
Tickets are $12 and are available at 15 N. Ewing St.,https://themyrnaloy.com/. For more information, call 406-443-0287.
Vibraphonist to play at The Myrna
A limited NEA-supported tour will bring jazz vibrophone great Joel Ross and his band, Good Vibes, to The Myrna Loy for one Montana concert Wednesday, Aug 17, at The Myrna Loy in Helena.
Love for the vibraphone took some time, admits Joel Ross, who is getting rave reviews from critics for his mastery of the instrument.
Turns out his first passion was to be a secret agent.
Then he fell in love with drums, when growing up and playing them in the local Baptist church in Chicago.
But the vibraphone is where the young musician is making his musical mark.
He and his band, Good Vibes, perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at The Myrna Loy.
“The years Mr. Ross spent in childhood learning drums at church laid an important foundation,” wrote a New York Times music reviewer. ‘It tends to be what I’m reaching for,’ said Ross, ‘to put the audience into that space of reaching up, worship and praise.’”
Just 26 years old, Ross has already recorded three critically-acclaimed albums with his bands.
“What I do love about the vibraphone and respect about it is that it is a mix of drums, which has always been my first love, and the piano, which is probably my other favorite instrument.” On the drums he can explore rhythms, while on the piano he can dive into harmony and theory.
“The vibraphone is the best mixture of these two worlds for me to express myself musically.”
It’s likely the Myrna crowd will hear some of Ross’ newest music.
“We’ve been learning and playing music that I plan to record soon,” he says in a phone interview from New York City..
The music he and his band are creating have taken them to some of the most prestigious jazz stages and venues across the globe, from the Jazz Gallery in New York, the Kennedy Center and the Village Vanguard to celebrated venues in Italy, Netherlands, Paris, Germany and London.
Ross topped the DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star category for vibraphone, and in 2017 he became one of the youngest artists to receive a coveted Residency Commission from The Jazz Gallery. This NEA-supported album tour takes him to all the top jazz festivals and houses–and of course, to The Myrna Loy.
DownBeat wrote of him: “Ross’s playing erupts through the layers of lush arrangements like consistent currents of electricity, high-powered and full of luminous energy.”
Tickets are $24 and available at 15 N. Ewing St.,https://themyrnaloy.com/. For more information, call 406-443-0287.
Montana Playwrights Network show at HAT
A rollicking family entertainment, "The Perilous Plight of Pleasantville + A Golden Oldies Variety Show" features an original comedy by Pamela Jamruszka Mencher.
Written in the style of a 19th century melodrama about an intrepid librarian, Miss Britannica, who must save the fair hamlet of Pleasantville from the nefarious villains, Madame Gypsum and her sly henchman, Hench.
The play is followed by an olio (variety show) featuring lively music; sketches and jokes such as were presented in 19th century Montana by traveling performers. This unique theatrical entertainment is a fast-paced, humorous family show, perfect for a summer evening out at the Helena Avenue Theatre.
The opening weekend played to enthusiastic audiences in a well ventilated, air-conditioned and cool theatre venue. With two weekends remaining, bring the entire family and friends to enjoy this laughter-filled evening of live theatre, music and dramatic recitation. Get your tickets online, or call for reservations.
Dates for performances are Aug. 5, 6, & 12 at 7:30 p.m., and matinees at 2 p.m. on Aug. 7, 13 & 14.
Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Tickets are available on MPN’s website: www.montanaplaywrights.org or on Eventbrite.com at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-perilous-plight-of-pleasantville-golden-oldies-variety-show-tickets-380665058437. Or, call for reservations at 406-235-0353.
'The Marvelous Wonderettes' at Hill Park
Grandstreet Theatre presents "The Marvelous Wonderettes" through Aug. 13 on the outdoor stage at Hill Park.
Journey back to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet The Wonderettes: four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s & '60s hits including “Mr. Sandman,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and “It’s My Party.”
Tickets: Box office 406-442-4270 (afternoons) or online at www.GrandstreetTheatre.com.
Cost: Tuesday, Wednesday evenings and Sundays $23; Thursday-Saturdays $27; students 18 and under $17.
Historical road signs topic of presentation
What isn’t on the historical road signs?
Jefferson County has 18 historical highway markers. The state of Montana has over 200 roadside markers.
Montana Historical Society interpretive historian Christine Brown will present “All the Sign Text that Isn’t Fit to Print.” The talk highlights stories left on the cutting room floor and range from war heroes, abusive husbands, and powerful widows to suicide, robbery, and runaway horses.
The presentation will be Saturday Aug. 13, at 3 p.m. at the Jefferson County Museum, 5 N. Main St., Clancy. This is a free event. If you would like more information about the historical road signs in Montana, please visit HMDB.org, which lists historical road signs for all the U.S.A.
Benefit for Afghan refugees
On Saturday, Aug. 6, Plymouth Congregational Church, Hands on Global, as well as 18 other local co-sponsors, invite the public to participate in a benefit for Afghan refugees currently living in Helena. All are invited to play or watch ping pong, featuring local celebrities.
The benefit will take place in the lower level of Plymouth, located at the corner of Winne and Oakes, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ping pong players of all ages and abilities, as well as those just wanting to watch, are welcome to participate anytime. In addition, local musicians will perform throughout the morning.
Donations from the ping pong benefit will be used to purchase school supplies, clothes and other necessary goods.
Plan to meet our Afghan neighbors and enjoy their culinary contributions over the lunch hour. To help recover some of the food costs, there will be a small fee charged to those who want to try some Afghan snacks. For more information, contact Plymouth at 406-442-9883. Donations for this cause (checks or cash) are welcome anytime by contacting the church.
Helena movie listings
760 Great Northern, 406-442-4225, cinemark.com
- Bullet Train, R
- Easter Sunday, PG-13
- DC League of Super-Pets, PG
- Nope, R
- Thor: Love and Thunder, PG-13
- Where the Crawdads Sing, PG-13
- Minions: The Rise of Gru, PG
- Top Gun: Maverick, PG-13
- Elvis, PG-13
- Jurassic World Dominion, PG-13
The Myrna Loy
15 N. Ewing,406-443-0287, myrnaloycenter.com
- Bullet Train, R
- Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, PG