LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ SPAC, 6/26-27/10

June 30th, 2010, 4:01 pm by Greg

Ann Hampton Callaway

Ann Hampton Callaway

As usual, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival offered a smorgasbord of sounds. Some were old reliable sounds. Some were fresh and surprising. Some were – well, let’s just say, ummm – best passed over.

Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and the woefully under-rated pianist Ahmad Jamal were the two musicians that I was most looking forward to hearing, having never seen either of them in concert previously. And they didn’t disappoint. The 67-year-old Stanko’s early afternoon gazebo set on Saturday was delicious, veering from dreamy soundscapes to angular bop, as he led his young band – featuring Danish electric guitarist Jakob Bro – down the path less traveled.

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Comin’ Soon…

June 30th, 2010, 3:30 pm by Greg

Just last month Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann was in town leading his band 7 Walkers in one of the final shows at Revolution Hall. Now it seems that Kreutzmann is headed back to Nippertown and this time around, he’s bringing his Grateful Dead bandmate Mickey Hart. The Rhythm Devils are scheduled to land at Northern Lights in Clifton Park at 8pm on Thursday, September 2. Priced at $20 in advance, tix are slated to go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday. Also new on Northern Lights’ schedule is Thirty Seconds to Mars – featuring actor Jared Leto and his brother Shannon – who touch down in Clifton Park at 8pm on Saturday, September 11. Priced at $25, tix go on sale at 10am Saturday.

The legendary Al Kooper brings his band, the Funky Faculty, to the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 9pm on Friday, September 10. Tix are $25 (general admission standing), $35 (reserved seating) and $45 (gold circle seating).

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Five Firsts: Tony Califano of Fairview Avenue

June 30th, 2010, 2:31 pm by Greg

Tony CalifanoNAME: Tony Califano

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I think I went 50/50 with my dad on Tom Cochrane’s “Mad Mad World,” which had “Life is a Highway” on it. But I think around that same time I got Pearl Jam’s “Ten” on cassette for a birthday present (circa fourth grade). Actually, most of my early tapes were probably gifts. One that I really wore out was the “Forrest Gump” soundtrack. That had some great stuff on it – Hendrix, Randy Newman, Jefferson Airplane, “Freebird!”

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Real Good for Free: The New York State Summer Writers Institute

June 30th, 2010, 2:01 pm by Greg

Francine Prose (photo by Emma Dodge Hanson)

Francine Prose (photo by Emma Dodge Hanson)

The New York State Summer Writers Institute got underway earlier this week at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs when former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky shared the stage with jazz bassist Todd Coolman and saxman Pat LaBarbera from Skidmore’s Summer Jazz Institute. (Stay tuned for an upcoming review of that one.)

All readings are scheduled to begin at 8pm in Davis Auditorium of Palamountain Hall, except where noted. Admission to all events is free. Here’s the rest of the line-up for the Writers Institute events:

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Festival Fever: Sand Lake Summer Fest @ Butler Park, 7/2-4/10

June 30th, 2010, 1:01 pm by Greg

The Sand Lake Kiwanis Summer Fest takes over Butler Park in Averill Park Friday-Sunday for a big three-day Fourth of July celebration.

The weekend-long festivities amusement rides, children’s activities, food booths, a parade, sports tournaments, a variety talent show, crafts and much more fun for the whole family.

In addition, a popular local band will perform each night of the festival. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, 7:30pm: The True Tones
Saturday, 7:30pm: The Electric City Horns
Sunday, 7:30pm: Overture

And there will be fireworks not just on Sunday night, but on Saturday night as well. That’s right, two big nights of fireworks – Saturday and Sunday at about 9:15pm.

And it’s all free!

Pearl-Palooza @ Pearl St., Albany, 7/3
Columbia Family Fest @ Columbia County Fairgrounds, Chatham, 7/3
Fabulous Fourth Festivities & Fireworks @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany, 7/4
The WGNA Countryfest @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, 7/10
The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill, 7/15-18
The Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, Mass. 7/16-18
The Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., 8/13-15
moe.down @ Gelston Castle Estate, Mohawk, 9/3-5
Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George, 9/18-19/10

Hump Day Unusual Moment

June 30th, 2010, 12:01 pm by Greg

Here’s Cezary Skubiszewski conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as they perform the Victoria Bitter beer commercial theme song:

Real Good for Free: California Transit Authority @ Clifton Common, 7/4/10

June 30th, 2010, 11:01 am by Greg

The band Chicago blows into the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday night for a double-bill with the Doobie Brothers.

And you can catch one of the original Chicago bandmembers – drummer Danny Seraphine – in concert the next night at Clifton Common in Clifton Park – for free.

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Buy Your LiveNation Tickets Today

June 30th, 2010, 10:40 am by Sara

A little reminder: if you’re attending a LiveNation event this summer at SPAC and you haven’t bought tickets yet, today would be the day to buy them: it’s the last day of No Service Fee June.

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindAlbany PoetsHudson SoundsArtist and Musician Michael Eck