The Music Haven’s 2013 summer season was unfortunately delayed when the scheduled opening concert by Malian guitar great Vieux Farka Toure’s performance – slated for Sunday, July 7 – was cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions.
Disappointing to be sure, but Music Haven concert-goers still got a dose of great African music when South African vocalist Lorraine Klaasen launched the belated series on Sunday, July 14.
The Soweto-bred Klaasen – the daughter of Tandie Klaasen, who known as the Ella Fitzgerald of South Africa — brought her band African Connexion to the Central Park concert venue in Schenectady to deliver the joyous, infectious beat of township music. Much of the free concert was devoted to a tribute to Africa’s iconic musical legend Miriam Makeba, but Klaasen hit her highwater mark with a towering, tour de force performance of the Gershwins’ classic “Summertime.”
The Hamilton Hill Arts Center’s Umoja African Dance Ensemble opened the show with a high-energy performance of their own.
The Music Haven concert series continues at 7pm on Sunday (July 21) when Americana singer-songwriter Ana Egg and her band the Ohiomen take the stage in Schenectady’s Central Park in support of her new album, “Bad Blood,” produced by Steve Earle at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock. Admission is free.