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Warm up the winter concert

February 6 @ 7:00 pm

Berkshire and nationally known vocalist Wanda Houston. Press photo courtesy of the artist.
Wanda Houston

Wanda Houston and the Wanda Houston Band will perform a free virtual concert with Construct Inc. in Warm Up the Winter: Call to Action for Emergency Assistance to help neighbors in the southern Berkshires warm this winter.

This year’s event honors professional singer, actress, and song stylist Wanda Houston for her generous contributions to the annual winter benefit since its inception by Rabbi Deborah Zecher and the community at Hevreh more than ten years ago.

Wanda Houston has lived and performed professionally throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. She has performed on Broadway stages, in films, recordings, and television. Living on the East Coast in New York and New England has returned her to the roots of her career, music, and connected her with musicians who share her joy and belief in the power of its effect on the hearts of the people who take the time to listen.

As always, Warm Up the Winter proceeds go directly to community members in need of emergency assistance for fuel, utility, and rental payments, including covering emergency accommodation costs and, this year, keeping those who are homeless safe.

The coronavirus pandemic has made Construct’s annual winter gathering unsafe to continue in person, yet the urgency to raise funds to meet the increasing need remains.

“Warm Up the Winter has always provided a winter safety net for those who need it most,” said Construct’s executive director, Jane Ralph. “Construct usually receives $5,000-$10,000 in emergency assistance funds from the state to keep households who are homeless sheltered during the coldest winter nights. This year, due to the added pandemic expenses, Construct did not receive those funds. Therefore, this event is more important than ever, and we will need to stretch the funds farther than ever. For that reason, we recognize this event as a Call to Action more so than a traditional fundraiser.”

The event will begin virtually at 7 p.m. on February 6, and from then on, you can see it here » It will stay live after the February 6 premiere date for those unable to view the live stream.

Wanda Houston and the Wanda Houston Band

Wanda Houston has lived and performed professionally throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. She has performed on Broadway stages, in films, recordings, and television. Living on the East Coast in New York and New England has returned her to the roots of her career, music, and connected her with musicians who share her joy and belief in the power of its effect on the hearts of the people who take the time to listen.

She has worked in varying capacities with Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, John Tuturro, Eddie Izzard, Natalie Cole, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle and Sam Harris on the stages of Pasadena Playhouse, Universal Studios, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall. Construct is so grateful to Wanda for her commitment and generosity to Warm Up the Winter.

Robert Kelly began studying ragtime, jazz and classical repertoire at the age of five. Early influences include Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson and Dave Brubeck. He attended Berklee College of Music and traveled to many parts of the globe as the pianist with the United States Coast Guard Band. He has performed with Roberta Flack, Cheryl Bentyne of Manhattan Transfer, Dick Hyman, Dave McKenna, and Larry Coryell to name a few. For more about Rob: www.robertkellymusic.net

Jeff Stevens is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music and holds a Masters degree from California State University. For 32 years, he has taught music in private and public schools and has taught at the Empire Brass seminar at Tanglewood. He is the director of the Monument Mountain Regional High School Band and Jazz Ensemble as well as the Monument Valley Regional Middle School Band and Jazz Ensemble. In 1986, he was given the “Outstanding Arts Educator Award” by the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education. Jeff is currently director of Music for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District. Jeff has appeared throughout the Northeast as a member of the Berkshire Brass Quintet, the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, the Bluestars and the Advanced Phunk Band. He has performed with the Barrington Stage Company, Tri-Arts Theater Company, Berkshire Opera, the Berkshire Bach Society, and the Empire Brass. He has also performed with John Williams, Peter Serkin, Rolf Smedvig, Allan Dean, Kenny Rogers, Arlo Guthrie, David Bromberg, Natalie Cole, Cladio Roditi, Lew Soloff, Roger Voison, Bob Mintzer, The Yellowjackets, Peter Erskine, Yosef Lateef, John Abercrombie and Ernie Watts.

Jay Bradley has been “covering all the bases” from R&B, Small and Big Band Jazz and Musical Theater in the Berkshire, Litchfield and Dutchess County area for 20-plus years. Have drum kit will travel. Speaking of which, Jay plays Premier and Modern Drum Shop Drums as well as Istanbul Cymbals.

This year’s event is free and open to all the community. Warm Up the Winter continues to be among Construct’s most critical and impactful fundraisers, and donations are encouraged. Donations can be made on this website, by calling Construct’s Development Office at (413) 429-4433, or by texting ‘WARMUP2021’ to 855-202-2100 for a link to donate.

The stream will also be available to watch on Community Television for the Southern Berkshires (CTSB) Public Channel 1301 on Spectrum Cable and will also live stream at ctsbtv.org, Channel 1301. (Click on the green “Watch” button.)

Event Details

Event Categories : , , ,
Date:
February 6
Time:
7:00 pm

Event Location

Southern Berkshire
40 Railroad St.
Great Barrington, MA
413-528-4284

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