Blog :: 08-2012

Stowe summer music festival, Music Festival of the Americas - at Stowe Vermont, summer concert vermont

11th Annual Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe Celebrates

European and Latin American Composers

Music Director Alondra de la Parra welcomes guest artists Valentina Lisitsa, piano; bandoneonist, Juan Pablo Jofre; tenor Jose Ortega, and

Vermont singers Julie Ness and Jennifer Hansen


Stowe, VT (August 4 12)

The Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe's 11th annual concert series, August 23-25, is a Musical Love Story, as old Europe "falls in love" with young America.


Revered European masters Grieg, Dvo?ák and Mozart, and Latin American composers--Castro, Marquez, Montoya, and Luis Bacalov--come together under the baton of Music Director, Alondra de la Parra and The Festival Orchestra.


Thursday, August 23: Pianist Valentina Lisitsa performs Grieg's PIANO CONCERTO.  Lisitsa "combines an imperious sweep with aristocratic poise and sensitivity", according to Music Web International. Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE OVERTURE and Dvo?áks SYMPHONY NO. 8 round out the program.


Friday, August 24: One of the true masters of the bandoneon, Juan Pablo Jofre performs Luis Bacalov's TRIPLE CONCERTO, and Vermont soprano, Julie Ness, will be featured soloist. Bacalov received the Academy Award® for IL POSTINO's Best Original Score. Music from de la Parra's best-selling Sony Classics recording, Mi Alma Mexicana (My Mexican Heart) will also be performed, including the masterful crowd-pleasing HUAPANGO, by Jose´ Pablo Moncayo.


Saturday, August 25: A community chorus of Vermonters, rehearsed by Choral Master Rufus Patrick, also from Vermont, will join the festival for a night of two contrasting masses:  Schubert's MASS No. 2 IN G MAJOR and Bacalov's MISA TANGO. Guest artists will be tenor Jose´ Ortega, Vermonters Julie Ness, soprano, and mezzo, Jennifer Hansen, and banoneonist, Juan Pablo Jofre.


The Music Festival of the Americas is held at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont. Concerts are 8PM, and all seats are $30.

Tickets are available online at or at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center box office, phone 802.760.4634. Information: or 802.760.6797

The Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation, presenting premier international virtuosos and rising young talent from both the classical and world-music genres under the baton of Music Director Alondra de la Parra, and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Americas.


Music Festival of the Americas:


Alondra de la Parra:

Valentina Lisitsa:

Juan Pablo Jofre:

Stowe summer music festival, Music Festival of the Americas - at Stowe Vermont, summer concert vermont.


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TAJ MAHAL TRIO at Spruce Peak | Stowe Blog | Smith Macdonald Group

Taj Mahal Trio - Plays Stowe, VT

Another world famous Blues specialist comes to Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center.  Taj Mahal who's been playing the blues and roots music for decades comes to bring his musical talents to Stowe on August 15th.

Personally Taj brings back many wonderful memories for me, the first being that my wife, Jen, and I danced to his version of "Further on Down The Road" as our wedding song.  In addition to providing the back drop of our first song together, we have seen Taj on numerous occasions, in NYC at the Blue Note Jazz Club and in New Orleans at the Jazz Festival to name a few.  For me the raw sound he brings to his guitar and music are what makes us one of America's unique music genres.

If your looking for something special to do mid week and want to get up and dance, check out Taj Mahal at Spruce Peak.

Get tickets here:  Culture & the Arts - TAJ MAHAL TRIO at Spruce Peak.

Here's more information about Taj:

Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20thcentury blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world - west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. What ties it all together is his insatiable interest in musical discovery. Over the years, his passion and curiosity have led him around the world, and the resulting global perspective is reflected in his music today.

Born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem on May 17, 1942, Taj grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was a jazz pianist, composer and arranger of Caribbean descent, and his mother was a schoolteacher and gospel singer from South Carolina. Both parents encouraged their children to take pride in their diverse ethnic and cultural roots. His father had an extensive record collection and a shortwave radio that brought sounds from near and far into the home. His parents also started him on classical piano lessons, but after only two weeks, young Henry already had other plans about what and how he wanted to play.


In addition to piano, the young musician learned to play the clarinet, trombone and harmonica, and he loved to sing. He discovered his stepfather's guitar and became serious about it in his teens when a guitarist from North Carolina moved in next door and taught him the various styles of Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed and other titans of Delta and Chicago blues.

Springfield in the 1950s was full of recent arrivals, not just from around the U.S. but from all over the globe. "We spoke several dialects in my house - Southern, Caribbean, African - and we heard dialects from eastern and western Europe," Taj recalls. In addition, musicians from the Caribbean, Africa and all over the U.S. frequently visited the Fredericks home, and Taj became even more fascinated with roots - the origins of the various forms of music he was hearing, the path they took to reach their current form, and how they influenced each other along the way. He threw himself into the study of older forms of African-American music, which the record companies of the day largely ignored.

Henry studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the early 1960s. Inspired by a dream, he adopted the musical alias of Taj Mahal and formed the popular U. Mass party band, the Elektras. After graduating, he headed west in 1964 to Los Angeles, where he formed the Rising Sons, a six-piece outfit that included guitarist Ry Cooder. The band opened for numerous high-profile touring artists of the '60s, including Otis Redding, the Temptations and Martha and the Vandellas. Around this same time, Taj also mingled with various blues legends, including Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin' Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes.

This diversity of musical experience served as the bedrock for Taj's first three recordings: Taj Mahal (1967), The Natch'l Blues (1968) and Giant Step (1969). Drawing on all the sounds and styles he'd absorbed as a child and a young adult, these early albums showed signs of the musical exploration that would be Taj's hallmark over the years to come.

In the 1970s, Taj carved out a unique musical niche with a string of adventurous recordings, including Happy To be Just Like I Am (1971), Recycling the Blues and Other Related Stuff (1972), the GRAMMY®-nominated soundtrack to the movie Sounder (1973), Mo' Roots (1974), Music Fuh Ya (Music Para Tu) (1977) and Evolution (The Most Recent (1978).

Taj's recorded output slowed somewhat during the 1980s as he toured relentlessly and immersed himself in the music and culture of his new home in Hawaii. Still, that decade saw the well-received release of Taj in 1987, as well as the first three of his celebrated children's albums on the Music For Little People label.

He returned to a full recording and touring schedule in the 1990s, including such projects as the musical scores for the Langston Hughes/Zora Neale Hurston play Mule Bone (1991) and the movie Zebrahead (1992). Later in the decade, Taj released a series of recordings with the Phantom Blues Band, including Dancing the Blues (1993), Phantom Blues (1996), and the two GRAMMY® winners, Señor Blues (1997) and the live Shoutin' in Key (2000). Overall, he has been nominated for nine GRAMMY® Awards.

During this same period, Taj continued to expand his multicultural horizons by joining Indian classical musicians on Mumtaz Mahal in 1995, and recording Sacred Island, a blend of Hawaiian music and blues, with the Hula Blues Band in 1998. Kulanjan, released in 1999, was a collaborative project with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate (the kora is a 21-string west African harp). He recorded a second album with the Hula Blues Band, Hanapepe Dream, in 2003. Zanzibar, a European release, followed in 2005.

Taj continues to tour internationally, doing as many as 150 shows per year throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

He joins the Heads Up International label in the fall of 2008 with the worldwide release of Maestro. This twelve-track set - his first U.S. release in five years - marks the fortieth anniversary of Taj's rich and varied recording career by mixing original material, chestnuts borrowed from vintage sources and newcomers alike. This anniversary gala includes performances by Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos, Ziggy Marley and others - many of whom have been directly influenced by Taj's music and guidance.

"The one thing I've always demanded of the records I've made is that they be danceable," he says. "This record is danceable, it's listenable, it has lots of different rhythms, it's accessible, it's all right in front of you. It's a lot of fun, and it represents where I am at this particular moment in my life. This record is just the beginning of another chapter, one that's going to be open to more music and more ideas. Even at the end of forty years, in many ways my music is just getting started."

Stowe VT Annual Antique Car Show | Stowe Blog

Stowe Antique Car ShowIt's the 55th year of the Stowe Antique Car Show!

The Stowe Antique Car Show runs from August 10 to 12, 2012.

Headquartered at the Nichols lodge and campground, the Stowe Antique Car Show has been a mainstay of summertime in Stowe and Vermont.  It's the largest and oldest antique car show in New England and draws over 1,000 cars that are placed on display in the fields surrounding Nichols lodge.

Additionally, there is a car parade and on Saturday night they close down the village for a street dance and select car viewing.  This is a family friendly event that allows for those who want to spend the day checking out cars from the past.  You can easily walk around the showgrounds and the antique cars will take you back to a time forgotten.  Set up shop on the side of the Mt. road and watch the cars parade around town.

Come check out the history of the US auto industry and see which make and model has joined the ranks as the newest antique car!  Each year a new make and model can qualify for the Stowe Antique Car Show, so see which cars decide to show up as the new classic antiques.

Stowe becomes a buzz with people who travel from all over the world to see these antique cars.  Hosted by the Vermont Auto Enthusiasts, who hand out awards for different makes and models, this car show is world renown.  In addition to the cars there's a flea market featuring auto related items.  You can camp on location or stay in many of Stowe's world famous lodges.  If you are planning on coming be sure the make a dinner reservation early.  For suggestions, check out our blog post on places we love to eat.

Learn more about the Stowe Antique Car Show here: Stowe Annual Antique Car Show.