MUSIC: Chris Smither @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. One of the finest singer-songwriters around, Smither’s tunes have been recorded by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Diana Krall. He’s deeply rooted in the acoustic blues, but he can stretch far beyond that realm, too. (Related story: Chris Smither, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?) 7 & 9:30pm. $24.
CRUISE/MUSIC: David Amram Quartet @ the Shoreline Restaurant & the Adirondac, Lake George. It’s the kickoff of the Lake George Jazz Weekend, celebrating the 80th birthday of one of the true renaissance men of our time, composer-musician David Amram. A recpetion at the Shoreline will followed by a jazz cruise with music by Amram & his jazz band. (More info) 6pm reception; 7:30pm cruise. $25.
DANCE/PERFORMANCE: “A Light Conversation” @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. Wally Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos offer an intimate dialogue in movement reflecting on life being lived. (More info) 8pm. $15. (Also at 8pm Saturday)
FESTIVAL/MUSIC: The Irish 2000 Music & Arts Festival @ Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Ballston Spa. It’s the Friday night kickoff of Nippertown’s biggest annual Celtic music bash featuring Gaelic Storm, Enter the Haggis, Screaming Orphans and more. (More info) (Related story: Patrick Murphy, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?) 5pm. $20.
DISCUSSION/DEMONSTRATION: Michael Collins & Eric Marczak @ Hudson Valley Community College’s Bulmer Telecommunication Center, Troy. Two acclaimed luthier/woodworkers present a program titled “More Than Just Wire and Wood: The Fine Art of Guitar Building.” 12noon. FREE.
MUSIC: Ziggy Marley @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park. Carrying on the tradition of his father, the legendary reggae king Bob Marley, Ziggy livelys up Northern Lights with his infectious Jamaican rhythms. (Related story: Ziggy Marley, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?) 8:30pm. $25.
ARTS WALK: Art Night Schenectady @ various locations, Schenectady. Yes, it’s the third Friday of the month already, and the Electric City has a big batch of art and arts-related stuff to see and hear – including the Yuko Kishimoto Trio @ Proctors Robb Alley and the wildly eclectic Variety Circus @ Proctors’ GE Theatre. (Related story: Yuko Kishimoto interview) 5-9pm. FREE.
MUSIC: The Todd Nelson Trio @ Franklin’s Tower, Albany. Former guitarist with one of Nippertown’s most acclaimed bands, the Units (later known as Fear of Strangers), Nelson fires up his instrumental trio in celebration of the release of his excellent new debut solo CD, “Here.” 7pm. FREE.