The last time that there was a performance at Caffe Lena’s 47 Phila Street home was back on Sunday, June 5. Since then, the building has been undergoing major renovations.
But the Caffe didn’t stop presenting music. Instead, it’s been on the move – jumping from venue to venue around Saratoga Springs and beyond. The Grove at Neumann, Universal Preservation Hall, Saratoga Arts Center, the Parting Glass, the Washington Inn, Northshire Bookstore, Skidmore College, Spring Street Gallery, Bailey’s Cafe, Creative Sparks and the Barn in Schenectady are among the various venues that offered Caffe Lena a home away from home during the summer and fall months.
Now the Caffe is finally heading back to its real home. The first show back at the freshly renovated, re-made, re-modeled Caffe Lena will be at 8pm on Friday, December 30 when the Suitcase Junketsteps onto the stage. Tickets are currently on sale, priced at $22, but don’t expect them to last long…
MUSIC: Jorma Kaukonen @ Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock. Still more fretboard fireworks, this time a solo show by the veteran guitarslinger who was just at The Egg with Hot Tuna. 8pm. $55 & $65. UPDATE: This show is now officially sold out…
MUSIC: A$AP Ferg @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. His hit single “New Level” featuring Future was recently certified gold, and now he’s bringing his Turnt & Burnt Tour to town. With special guests Playboy Carti and Rob Stone. 8pm. $28.
ARTS WALK: First Friday @ various locations, Albany. The monthly arts walk… 5-9pm.
THEATER: “Camelot” @ theREP, Albany. “In short, there’s simply not a more congenial spot. For happily ever aftering than here in Camelot…” The classic Lerner and Loewe musical stars Kevin McGuire as King Arthur. 8pm. $25-$65. Through December 24.
WHO:Dead & Company
Featuring Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer & Bob Weir with Oteil Biurbridge & Jeff Chimenti WHERE:Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs WHEN: Tuesday, June 20, 7pm HOW MUCH: $75.50, $99.50 & $149.50; lawn $40
Tickets on sale to the general public: 10am Friday, December 9
Meanwhile, the band is back in action again on Friday (December 2) playing a free show at Gug’s in Glens Falls. Candy Ambulance (with the relatively recent addition of MaryLeigh Roohan to their line-up) and Rentboy will be sharing the stage. The fun starts at 9:30pm.
Image from “JUÁREZ: A Documentary Mythology” by Theater Mitu at MASS MoCA on Saturday.
A riveting work of theater explores the border community of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas — one a hot zone of the drug cartel wars, the other, directly across the border, the self-proclaimed “Safest Large City in America.” Led by Juárez-born and -raised founding artistic director Rubén Polendo, Theater Mitu’s company members condensed hundreds of hours of interviews and field recordings from both cities. Drawing on their research, JUÁREZ: A Documentary Mythology illuminates the region’s memories, hopes and fears, and takes the stage at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (December 3).
Based on the disparate lifestyles of “murder capital of the world” Juárez, Mexico, and its neighboring town on the U.S. and Mexico border, El Paso, Texas, Theater Mitu has developed a piece that draws upon the communities’ “memories from the past, both recent and distant, and hopes for the future, near and far.” Incorporating real citizens’ interviews on audio and video, JUÁREZ creates a multimedia environment engrossed in the authentic issues and emotions of these border towns. As its story unfolds, JUÁREZ confronts hardship and struggle directly, ultimately turning the tides and leaving the viewer with cautious optimism.
You could call it Best Bets, Prime Picks, Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Greater Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. Only one entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think we missed or overlooked.
Here’s The Dozen for the month of December:
TODAY (THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1): John Gorka @ Caffe Lena at the Washington Inn, Saratoga Springs. The veteran singer-songwriter rolls into town in support of his new/old Red House Records album, Before Beginning: The Unreleased I Know – Nashville 1985. 7pm. $27.
FRIDAY (DECEMBER 2): The Joey Alexander Trio @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The 13-year-old jazz piano prodigy returns in support of his recently released sophomore album, Countdown. 8pm. $45 & $75.
SATURDAY (DECEMBER 3): Chris Botti @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. The trumpeter is often mistakenly lumped in with the “smooth jazz” crowd, but Botti knows how to play the real-deal jazz. And he also has a top-notch band. 8pm. $29, $49, $69 & $79.
The Egg in Albany has announced two more new concerts for 2017.
The country a cappella quintet Home Free heads into The Egg in support of their latest album, Full of (Even More) Cheer at 7:30pm on Sunday, April 23. Advance tickets are $22.50, $35 & $125; prices increase $5 at the door.
And Rodriguez – the subject of the 2012 Academy Award-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” – steps into the spotlight at The Egg on Friday, June 30. Tickets are priced at $49, $59 & $69.
Tickets for both new concerts will go on sale to the general public at 11am on Friday (December 2).
MUSIC: John Gorka @ Caffe Lena at the Washington Inn, Saratoga Springs. The veteran singer-songwriter rolls into town in support of his new/old Red House Records album, Before Beginning: The Unreleased I Know – Nashville 1985. 7pm. $27.
TALK: TEDxAlbany @ Overit, Albany. Comedian Jaye McBride emcees the day-long program of 11 speakers, including Ric Orlando (New World Bistro), Mal Harrison (Museum of Sex), Sam Necrason (CommerceHub), and others. 9am-3:15pm. $75. Also on free live stream…
MUSIC: I Love the ’90s Tour @ Times Union Center, Albany. Jump in the musical Way-Back Machine with Vanilla Ice, Salt N Pepa with Spinderella, Rob Base, Color Me Badd, Coolio and Tone Loc. 7:30pm. $59, $75 & $99.
MUSIC: The Saratoga Springs Victorian Streetwalk @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. Christmas tree lighting, caroling, Santa Claus and entertainment by John & Orion Kribs, Drank the Gold, Betsy & the ByeGons, David Moore Irish Band, Sonny & Perley, Rich Bolton and of course Sax-O-Claus. 6-9pm. FREE.
PARTICIPATORY MUSIC: Unsilent Night @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. Composer Phil Kline leads the street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Walk a carefully chosen route through North Adam city’s streets, and create a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener’s perspective. Meet in the MASS MoCA parking lot at 5:15pm; the walk starts at 5:30pm. FREE.
MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: John Davidson @ the BOOM Room, Pittsfield. The singer, Broadway and TV star returns for a fundraiser for the Berkshire Organization for Original Music. 6pm. Donations requested.
THEATER: “Camelot” @ theREP, Albany. “In short, there’s simply not a more congenial spot for happily ever-aftering than here in Camelot…” The classic Lerner and Loewe musical stars Kevin McGuire as King Arthur. 7:30pm. $25-$65. Through December 24.