Guitarist Howard Fishman to perform as Basement Music Series continues

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BENNINGTON — Singer and guitarist Howard Fishman will perform on Saturday, April 27 as the 15th season of the Vermont Arts Exchange's Basement Music Series continues. Fishman will be joined by special guest Russel Farhang on violin. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Masonic Hall at 504 Main St., Bennington.

Fishman and Farhang, half of the Howard Fishman Quartet, play music that combines opposites: dark and light, celebration and introspection, love and heartbreak, elegance and roughness. Together, they explore a repertoire that has its roots in classic American song, jazz, country, blues, swing, and gospel, all filtered through a lens open to non-idiomatic experimentation.

The two have been making music together for twenty years. They have toured the U.S. and Europe, barnstorming in small clubs and headlining on prestigious stages.

The New York Times has written that the group's music "transcends time and idiom," citing Fishman as a "charismatic rhythm guitarist and an endearingly low-key singer" and Farhang's violin playing as having "gorgeous, finely shaped cadenzas executed with perfect intonation, twirling pirouettes and subtly bent notes...and a fluent sense of melodic invention." All About Jazz says, "Fishman reaches deep into the history of American song, puts what he finds in a contemporary blender and comes up with something entirely his own."

The pair has only recently begun performing in intimate duo-format, wowing audiences in New York and London with their unique style and chemistry.

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"Howard is no stranger to VAE's music series and is responsible for connecting us with so many wonderful musicians that have graced our stage," said VAE's executive director, Matthew Perry. "Like all the many times before, Howard will arrive here with different artists to perform and present something new and different; this night will truly be that experience."

"Fishman's on-stage persona accounts for as much of his appeal as does his encyclopedic repertory," wrote Phillip Pantuso in Brooklyn magazine. "He's a soulful, intuitive guitarist, and he has a low-key, elastic singing voice. In person, he is often quiet, pensive, ruminatory, but when performing he's suddenly wild. He'll stamp his foot, call for extemporaneous solos from various band members, and let out a frequent yawp of delight. He plays to the crowd like a consummate showman, absorbing the energy of the room and reflecting it back out."

Tickets for this Basement Music Series concert are $18 in advance through or by calling 800-838-3006. If not sold out, tickets are $22 at the door. Student tickets are available for $10. Garam garam will be providing homemade food to purchase and Thyme Tables Catering of Shaftsbury will provide a cash bar. The Masonic Hall is an accessible facility, call for specific accommodations.

Follow the season at, on the new Basement Music Series Facebook page and on Twitter ( For more information about Vermont Arts Exchange, the Basement Music Series, exhibits and camps, contact VAE at 802-442-5549 or visit

To learn about becoming a Basement Music Series sponsor, contact Perry at 802-442-5549 or


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