Nightcrawler: Sound Tracks

True to its name, the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival (JFF) focuses on the arts of moviemaking and storytelling. But as Festival Director Dyan Wiley is quick to point out, this year’s field of film offerings also appears to be laced with as much sound as cinema.

“It’s totally driven by what’s out there in the independent film world, but, yes, years like this, it certainly seem to have a lot of music and musical special events,” Wiley says of this, the eighth annual installment of the event.

In addition to a documentary on “Hava Nagila” (featuring an appearance by guest speaker Sheryl Shakinovsky, great-granddaughter of the song’s creator, Avraham Zvildesohn), the 2013 JFF will feature a live music performance by Shakin’ All Over prior to a screening of Dirty Dancing, a Philip Glass soundtrack (in Besa: The Promise) and more. The entire event features 20 films in eight Valley towns between April 4 and 18. For a complete schedule, prices and more, kindly point your browser to


In other news, the times, they sure a changin’ for up-and-comers Dawes. Fresh off a successful stint at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, the L.A. rock quartet is slated to perform at the Mullins Center in Amherst this Saturday, April 6, in support of no less than “the voice of a generation,” Bob Dylan.

“It’s a high honor to even share the stage with him,” Dawes singer/six-stringer Taylor Goldsmith told the Crawler. “Along with having written the songs he has, he’s able to keep a live show more fresh and spontaneous than most artists could even understand, let alone do.”

Dawes’ debut full-length, Stories Don’t End, hits shelves April 9. As of press time, tix for the Dylan show were still available at


Meanwhile, local artists looking for a big break of their own may want to head to the hills, so to speak…

“The Mountain Soul Vocal Competition does a great job showcasing new talent while also proving that Dolly’s songwriting is incredibly versatile and can easily cross musical genres,” says Chamber marketing director and event organizer Amanda Marr of the Tennessee-based contest of same name. “Since Dolly Parton is Sevierville’s hometown girl, holding a competition that honors her songwriting ability was a natural fit for us. We are honored that Dollywood sponsors the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition each year.”

Audition tapes, sent by mail, will be judged by a panel of entertainment professionals. Thirty finalists (20 in the 13-plus category and 10 in the 12 and under category) will be invited to perform during the final rounds at Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass on May 18, in downtown Sevierville, Tenn. Winning competitors will take home cash and prizes, including a recording session in Nashville and a guitar autographed by Dolly Parton.

Contestants may submit up to two songs written by Dolly Parton per entry. All songs written by Dolly Parton are eligible for the competition this year. It is not necessary, nor is it encouraged, to impersonate Dolly Parton, either physically or vocally.

Interested vocalists may obtain an application and complete set of rules online at or by calling the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce at (888) 889-7415. Entries must be postmarked by April 12.


Last but not least, as mentioned in last week’s column, Northampton Arts Council director Bob Cilman announced that he will retire from his longtime post this fall. The Crawler recently caught up with the Valley staple, who offered the following thoughts:

“I think the Four Sundays and Transperformance provide a great base for the next director,” he says of the two annual events he helped create for the Council since coming on board in 1989.” I look forward to stepping aside from the Arts Council so younger people can set out in a new direction.”

Having just hit “the big 6-0,” Cilman concluded that it was time to focus on his other job: directing the world-renowned Young@Heart Chorus.•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

Author: Gary Carra

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