Women in Music Celebration to benefit FOMAG

WEST BRATTLEBORO — Now in its 51st season, Friends of Music at Guilford presents its eighth Women in Music Celebration, a house-concert gala, at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.

The fundraiser includes food, music, and a silent auction offering a few gift certificates and a large number of 2-for-1 tickets to arts events around the region.

The menu includes hors d'oeuvres, salads, and sides, with fruit and Vermont cheeses, and a variety of wines and other beverages. Desserts to be served after the concert have been donated by area restaurants, inns, bakeries, and private chefs.

The featured composer is singer-songwriter Billie Holiday, who NPR's Jazz Profiles described as “a musician's musician with a radiant voice, an impeccable sense of time and subtle, often ironic delivery ... the premier song stylist of the 20th century.”

In addition to sharing some of Holiday's life story, Samirah Evans will interpret songs Holiday wrote or made famous, with piano accompaniment by Ken Olsson.

Evans was a jazz and blues vocalist in New Orleans, where she first performed at the Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1990 and was a regular fixture there for 14 consecutive years. She has toured Europe, Asia, and both North and South America as a headliner, and shared stages with a multitude of legendary artists.

In 2006, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Evans moved with her husband Chris Lenois to his native Vermont and has been performing across New England for the past several years.

Olsson has given several recitals on FOMAG's Tracker Organ in the Organ Barn off Packer Corners Road in rural Guilford. He serves as conductor of the Labor Day Weekend Festival orchestra, and accompanied wife Julie Olsson in a concert of arias and art songs in 2012.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates