Lakou Mizik's Jonas Attis dances with girls at Feast and Field Market in 2016. Photo by Seth Butler/sethbutler.com

An Unlikely Venue Presents World-Class International Music


Submitted a year ago
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Chloe Powell

BarnArts presents four acclaimed international groups this summer

Many might not know how to find Barnard, VT on the map, but a maple-lined farm field in this small rural town is becoming a center for world-class music, and international musicians. This July and August, BarnArts Center For the Arts presents four international acts at this unique rural venue: Betsayada Machada from Venezuela on July 27, The Villalobos Brothers from Mexico on August 12, Lakou Mizik from Haiti on August 25, and Connla from Ireland August 30th.

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Locals and visitors are used to finding an eclectic array of performers as part of BarnArts Thursday Night Music Series, a free concert series held every Thursday at Feast and Field Farmers' Market, a unique market held on the farm where 4 family farms share a lease. This Thursday, BarnArts present an eight member Afro-Venezuelan band, to kick off these exciting international concerts.  

Betsayada Machado & la Parranda el Clavo, Thursday, July 27th

Betsayada Machado

Passionate and colorful at the same time, Betsayda Machado is one of the most representative singers in Venezuelan music today. Her mastery on several Afro–Caribbean rhythms and the strength of her voice have made her share the stage with the biggest stars in Venezuela, bringing traditional elements to their music.La Parranda is from the Afro-Venezuelan village of El Clavo, known to be the most important community of African descent in Venezuela. Machado grew up singing and playing with these musicians, they are her family, her homeboys, and the perfect company for her first solo tour. The parranderos have been playing together for three decades, never to leave town, but now Betsayda Machado & Parranda El Clavo just recorded their first album and are on an international tour that will ultimately end in Africa, in a search for their roots.

Says the band’s manager Juan Souki, “They all come from a region where farming is key and one of the singers is a full time cocoa farmer.  The focus of the trip, beyond the music, is actually finding common ground with other communities in the world, as most of them never traveled or performed outside the region in the past.” 

This engagement of Betsayada Machado y La Parranda El Clavo is made possible with support from Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

As with all the Thursday Night Series performances, artist fees are also supported by donations during the music and by event sponsors. 

Two special ticketed events will also be held on two separate weekend nights in August, Saturday, August 12 for the Villalobos Brothers and Friday, August 25 for Lakou Mizik.  Both of these bands won over audiences in the past at Feast and Field Market. 

The Villalobos Brothers: Saturday, August 12th

The Villalobos Brothers performing in 2015. Photo by Seth Butler/Sethbutler.com

The Villalobos Brothers first played on a market Thursday in 2014, and have come back to Barnard ever year to dazzle the crowds with their “Contemporary High-Octane Mexican Fiddling,” and lap up the good vibrations they get from getting out of cities and to rural Vermont.

Acclaimed as the best band in NYC in the 2013 Battle of the Burroughs, the band has performed on notable stages such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as important festivals across the world. Ernesto, Alberto and Luis Villalobos, are three brothers classically trained in violin. They, along with their guitarist Humberto Flores, an honorary brother, all hail from Veracruz, Mexico. Not only dynamic and skilled performers, their music carries a message of love and justice and is rooted in today. 

Guitarist Humberto Flores, and brothers Luis, Alberto, and Ernesto Villalobos

This year another Albertico Lescay will be playing a set before the Villalobos Brothers. Lescay is a renowned trumpet player and keyboardist from Santiago de Cuba, currently living in Havana.  Lescay’s music combines traditional folkloric music from his family’s Afro-Cuban heritage with jazz, soul, gospel and electronic sounds.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m., Albertico Lescay plays at 6 p.m. and the Villalobos Brothers take the stage at 7:30 p.m. 

Benefiting Migrant Justice: A portion of the proceeds from the Aug 12 concert will be shared with Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based human rights non-profit organizing around dairy farm workers rights on VT dairy farms.  They will speak about their work between acts. 

Lakou Mizik: Friday, August 12th


Last summer, Haitian band Lakou Mizik won over audiences at the Feast and Field Market as part of the Thursday market music, and now they return to Barnard this season for a ticketed concert on Friday, August 25.   Doors open at 5:30 p.m, with a pre-show performance and workshop with the band's master drummer and singer Sanba Zao.  The concert begins at 7 p.m. This 9-piece multi-generational roots band from Haiti was formed following the 2010 earthquake to bring a positive message of Haitian culture to the world. The band features an all-star cast of important Haitian musicians from a variety of traditions from rara to voodoo to church singing traditions. 

The New York Times says:  "Its songs, some of which are topical, draw on the rhythms and incantations of voodoo, the trumpeting of rara carnival music and hearty call-and-response vocal harmonies on their way to galloping, exultant dance grooves.” Read about the band's local ties here.

Tickets for these two special concerts are on sale at www.barnarts.org and cost $25 for adults, $10 for 12 and under. Drinks and food will be available for purchase during all of the Music on the Farm events.   

In addition, BarnArts presents a second free concert with acclaimed international musicians, Connla from Northern Ireland:

Connla: Thursday, August 30th 

Connla of Northern Ireland, performing August 30th at Feast and Field Market

Labelled as the Hottest New Group out of Northern Ireland, (Chicago Irish American News) Connla have been quickly making an impact on the folk/traditional scene. Since the release of their EP in April 2015, and album “River Waiting” in July 2016 they have received fantastic reviews at home and internationally.They have already gathered a big following in the UK, reland, Europe and the USA. Songlines magazine made Connla their “must see act” for the tour of the UK and stated “A band this young shouldn’t be this good”. Their sensitive and innovative arrangements of traditional and modern folksongs and tunes, have helped them create a sound which is very identifiable as Connla. BarnArts presents the group for donation August 30th.  They will also be performing at the New World Festival in Randolph, VT Sunday September 3rd.

For more info about BarnArts, visit barnarts.org

For more info on Feast and Field, visit feastandfield.com

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