The Berkshires Christmas and holiday entertainment schedule now includes two performances of Matt Cusson and Friends: Home for Christmas, presented by Barrington Stage Company, on Saturday, December 19 at 7pm and Sunday, December 20 at 3pm at BSC’s Mainstage Theatre, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. The concerts will include special guests Shoshana Bean (vocals), Tyron Chase (guitar), Prescott Ellison (drums) and Chris Loftlin (bass), as well as the St. Joseph’s High School Chorus.
The concert will feature such holiday favorites as “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as well as songs from Cusson’s self-titled album, including “Every Step,” “Comfortable” and “Once Upon A Time.”
An extraordinary songwriter and musician, Matt Cusson was born and raised in Pittsfield, MA, and is an alumnus of St. Joseph’s High School and Berkshire Community College. Matt developed his love of music early, avidly listening to Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, The Beatles, and more. He taught himself how to play piano in part by listening and copying the jazzy chords he loved so much in the music of Brian McKnight. His passion for music led him to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston where he played with John Mayer, Ryan Leslie, and was chosen to participate in the Singer Showcase, a forum highlighting Berklee’s best vocalists. Matt also won the 2009 Maxell Song of the Year/John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
Shoshana Bean was most recently seen starring opposite Holly Madison in the Las Vegas burlesque spectacular, Peepshow. She defied gravity as the green-skinned witch, Elphaba in the Broadway and touring production of Wicked, and her debut solo album, Superhero hit #5 on the iTunes R&B charts, making it the only independent album in the top 100. Shoshana was in the original cast of the Tony-award winning musical, Hairspray, and the Off-Broadway revival of Godspell.
Also a Berklee alumnus, Tyron Chase began playing guitar at the age of five and graduated from the world renowned Duke Ellington High School of the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Tyron currently performs with Brian McKnight, but has also shared the stage with such musicians as Joe, BeBe Winans, Donell Jones, Walter Beasley, Andre Ward, Natalie Cole, Jonathan Butler and Oleta Adams.
A drummer, keyboardist and songwriter, Prescott Ellison counts among his influences the music of Sting, Peter Gabriel, Prince and Pat Metheny. His style has evolved into an eclectic blend of funk, dreamy rock, and new age jazz, highlighted with exotic rhythms, colorful melodies and infectious hooks. Ellison toured with Arrested Development and Brian McKnight and has performed with a number of other artists, including Stevie Wonder, Brian Adams, Desiree, Ginuwine, Christina Aguilera, comedian Wayne Brady and Latin artist, Paulina Rubio.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Chris Loftlin is also a Berklee College of Music alumnus and has performed, recorded and arranged for an array of artists including Walter Beasley, Alex Bugnon, Missing Persons, Gerald Levert, John Scofield, Wayne Brady and Matt Cusson. He is Brian McKnight’s bassist and musical director.
Performances for Matt Cusson and Friends: Home for Christmas are Saturday, December 19 at 7pm and Sunday, December 20 at 3pm at BSC’s Mainstage Theatre, 30 Union Street , Pittsfield . Tickets are $25 for all Adults, $20 for Seniors and $15 for Youth 18 and under. Tickets may be purchased through the Barrington Stage Company Box Office by phone at 413-236-8888, Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm, or online at www.barringtonstageco.org.
More Berkshires Christmas holiday events scheduled …
Visitors to the Berkshires and Berkshire county residents have a variety of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday events to add to their schedules, ranging from the first annual Holiday Farmers markets in Gt. Barrington and Williamstown to long-time favorites, A Christmas Carol at Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum.
- Berkshires holiday farmers markets – Nov. 21, 2009 – Gt. Barrington & Williamstown
- Drawn Together, a group art exhibition, is scheduled for display at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in downtown Pittsfield, MA from November 13, 2009 through January 9, 2010;
- Tomáseen Foley’s “A Celtic Christmas”in performance at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown on Friday, December 4, 8pm;
- Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum – November 13 to January 3, 2010;
- A Christmas Carol, Berkshire Theatre Festival – December 12 through December 30, 2009;