Jeanne Moreau in Louis
Malle's "Elevator to the Gallows" at the UWM Union Theatre.
Saturday 7:00-8:30 p.m., 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Why? Because you may have had your film fill over the last week—the Latin American Film Festival closes Friday—but don’t miss the chance to see this 1958 classic on the big screen. Why you ask? Louis Malle (his first film), Jeanne Moreau, Miles Davis. Enough said? If not, rest assured that this is one a flurry of great French noir classics made in the 1950s, in which Malle shows his allegiance to a masters like Robert Bresson and Jean-Pierre Melville. And Davis’s improvised jazz score is one of his great recordings.
Friday 8:00 p.m., 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield
Why? Because Whalen used to light up the Madison music scene in the 1990s, and has since gone on to even greater heights—recording with dozens of jazz luminaries and fronting his own ensembles both large and small. Now living in Washington, D.C., he returns to Wisconsin with a quartet for an intimate concert at the Wilson Center’s Dawes Studio. This set doesn’t have an official title, but Whalen is playing tributes to Bud Powell, Wayne Shorter and Art Blakey in the near future, so expect a diverse assortment of jazz standards and originals that tap into the mainstream and several tributaries as well.
Early Music Now presents The Rose Ensemble at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat
Saturday 7:30 p.m., 2333 S. 6th St.
Why? Because it’s hard to imagine a concert this season with a more amicable union of site and sound. Saint Josaphat’s, an acknowledged masterpiece of Eastern European revival architecture, hosts the Twin Cities’ Rose Ensemble’s latest program, which features music of early Slavic music from Poland, Bohemia and the Ukraine. The 12-voiced choral ensemble—accompanied in typical Early Music style by simple percussion, vielle (think violin) and psaltry (think simple organ)—spans several centuries and styles in a program that is informed by both beauty and scholarship.
The Del McCoury Band at the Wilson Center for the Arts
Saturday 8:00 p.m., 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield
Why? Because he’s a living connection to Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, in which he played in 1963. And in the 50 years since, McCoury has kept the vibrant, soulful, bootstompin’ tradition of bluegrass alive in America. If the acoustics are right, they will harmonize into a single microphone, just like the old days at the Grand Old Opry broadcasts. And his band—which includes two of his sons—has been playing together for a long time, which means it’s one of the tightest ensembles in any genre.
The Del McCoury Band
plays Brookfield's Wilson Center.
Drum roll ...
Saturday 8:00 p.m., 1034 N. 4th St.
Why? Because you might think there’s nothing new or original in the performing arts these days. Which probably means you should get to know Brent Gohde, the mind behind Cedar Block. Last year, he and his collaborators sought to discover the secrets of the universe through art and music. (Is it mere coincidence that the actual discovery of the Higgs-Boson Particle happened just a few months later?) This year’s offering looks to the past rather than the future, celebrating the trials and glory of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookstore, where Gohde once worked and made his connections with the creative circulatory system of Milwaukee. Part reminiscence, part variety show, part party—it’s bound to be surprising in all sorts of surprising ways.