MUSIC: The Krar Collective @ Freedom Square, Troy. Temesegen Zeleke on the krar (a 5- or 6-stringed harp), singer Genet Asefa and drummer Grum Begashaw bring mind-blowing Ethiopian grooves, with dazzling krar, kebero drums and stunning vocals. Rooted in tradition and soaked with attitude, the trio has been dubbed “the White Stripes of Ethiopia” for their minimalist rocky sound. 6:30pm. FREE.
FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Bellstock @ 1459 Route 23c, East Jewett. It’s Day Two of the 20th annual Bellstock. Today’s featured performers include Jack Nemier, the Kollectiv, Way Down, the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, Formula 5, Tauk, Wreckloose and Eastbound Jesus.
READINGS: William Kennedy @ Skidmore College’s Davis Auditorium, Saratoga Springs. The NYS Summer Writers Institute continues its series of readings with the Writers Institute founder and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. 8pm. FREE.
MUSIC: Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. One of Afropop’s living legends, the gifted guitarist and soulful vocalist is one of the most successful African recordings artists in North America. His organic, savvy mix of traditional ways, pan-African influences, and cosmopolitan pop forms has become widely known as “Tuku” music. 9pm. $25.
FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill. Day Two of the biggest and best bluegrass festival of the northeast features the Del McCoury Band, the Gibson Brothers, Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, the Infamous Stringdusters, the Duhks, the SteelDrivers, Della Mae, the Lonesome River Band and lots more… Music starts at 11am. More info here…
MUSIC: Luciano @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. Reggae great Luciano brings his unique brand of roots reggae to the Spa City. Known for his electrifying epic live performances, he will be backed by the famed seven-piece i-KRONICK band for his much anticipated first tour of North America in years. The evening will also feature selections by DJ TRUMASTR and knomad. 9:30pm. $25.
THEATER: “Taliesin” @ the Fields Sculpture Park at Omi International Arts Center, Ghent. The Mettawee River Theatre Company utilizes fantastic giant figures, puppets and masks to tell this Welsh tale of transformation and imagination. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome; picnicking is encouraged prior to the show. 8pm. FREE.
MUSIC: The Bluebillies @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. Styled after the old-time “brother acts” (Everly Brothers, Louvin Brothers, etc.), the husband-and-wife duo of Mark and Mel Guarino team up with John Kribs for their close harmony mix of old-time hillbilly, bluegrass and folk music. 8pm. $17.
THEATER: “Seagull (Thinking of you)” @ the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington. Mass Live Arts, a new experimental theater festival in the Berkshires, launches its inaugural season with Obie-Award winning, Brooklyn-based company Half Straddle and writer-director Tina Satter’s beautiful and dark variation on Chekhov’s classic. 8pm. $35. Through Saturday.
CIRCUS: Zoppé Italian Family Circus @ the Big Top at Broadway & Hamilton streets, Schenectady. Old school European circus for the 21st century. Thrill to the daring young men on the flying trapeze. Be dazzled by the beautiful girl walking the tightrope. And experience the elegance of the equestrian ballet. Nino the Clown, jugglers, aerialists, dancing dogs and so much more. It’s all under the big top… 2:30 & 7pm. $25 & $35. Through Sunday.
THEATER: “This” @ Henry Hudson Studios, Hudson. The Proprietors Theatre Company presents Melissa James Gibson’s crackling comedy about friends, marriage, kids, and all of… “This.” 8pm. $20. Also at 8pm on Saturday.
MUSIC: Katie Mullins @ the Spotty Dog, Hudson. The former opera singer and actress released her debut album Pastoral in 2009, establishing herself as a singer/songwriter who moves beyond the typical “girl with guitar” mold. On her new album, Wedding, she sings with the same rich voice and uses unexpected instruments like the mbira, a thumb-piano in the Zimbabwean tuning that she made herself, in addition to a baritone ukulele and keyboards. With Bell Cycle. 8pm.
MUSIC: No Quarter @ Riverfront Park, Athens. Led Zeppelin tribute band. 7pm. FREE.