MUSIC: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center, Albany. There are lots of contemporary musicians – from the Neville Borthers to the Marsalis family to Dr. John – who conjure up the unique sounds of New Orleans. And then there’s the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. To borrow a phrase from Carly Simon, “Nobody does it better…” 7:30pm. $25. (Related stories: Preservation Hall Jazz Band Teams Up With Tom Waits for 78 RPM Record; Hump Day Unusual Moment)
MUSIC: Joan Baez @ the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. The Madonna of the ’60s folk revival is still going strong with recent nods to Richard Shindell, Steve Earle and Josh Ritter. And as a songwriter, well, let’s just say that Judas Priest famously covered one of her songs. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell. 8pm. SOLD OUT.
THEATER: “Basic Training” @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady. Comedian Kahil Ashanti delivers a tour de force one-man performance as 23 unforgettable characters in this hilarious performance about his experience as a member of the U.S. Air Force’s elite entertainment troupe, Tops in Blue. 8pm. $20. (Through Saturday)
READING: Sapphire @ UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany. The author of the 1996 novel “Push” – which served as the basis for the Best Picture-nominated Oscar contender “Precious” – will read from her work as part of the New York State Writers Institute series. 8pm. FREE.
LECTURE: “Performance Anxiety” with Linda Chatterton @ Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Williamstown. Flutist Chatterton will give a lecture aimed at musicians – but certainly helpful to anyone who speaks or performs publicly – on the subject of performance anxiety. 7pm. FREE.