Sponsored by the City of Albany, Albany Center Gallery and WEXT 97.7FM, the mid-week lunchtime event series will feature an outdoor exhibition of artwork by a variety of Local 518 artists and crafters, as well as live musical performances from 11:30am-2pm each week, beginning on Wednesday (September 2). Admission is free.
Here’s the schedule of musical performers for the 2015 September in the City Art Fair series:
Zydeco is where blues was 55 years ago. In 1960, during the folk boom, blues was considered a subtext or footnote to folk music. Today, the energetic music of the Creole culture of Louisiana called zydeco is lumped together with polkas, Hawaiian music, brass band music from New Orleans and Cajun music by the Grammy Awards into a category called Best Regional Roots Album. The style gets second shrift from Americana media like No Depression, and zydeco bands struggle to get booked at the myriad of blues festivals across the country.
Vocalist and accordion player Terrance Simien and his band the Zydeco Experience are on a crusade to give zydeco music a higher profile. They’ll play a free concert tonight at Shepard Park in Lake George.
Simien is in the eighth generation of one of the earliest Creole families that settled in Mallet, just north of the Lafayette area of St. Landry Parish in Louisiana. “I grew up black,” says Simien, “but I’m part French, African, Spanish, native American and German. I’ve got more European ancestry than I do African ancestry, but I’m part of all my ancestry.”
Zydeco is a gumbo – an African word – of influences resulting from the mix of cultures that settled southern Louisiana in the 18th century. Ruled by the French, the Africans in the area were treated better than their counterparts in the British colonies. The French settlers instituted the Code Noir (Black Code) that freed many of the slaves who bred with Spanish and French colonists. Some went to school in Europe and developed a sophistication for improvising in the music they learned there and brought back home. Simien brings an almost jazz-like application of these myriad of influences into the 21st century with a high degree of excitement.
He was first exposed to zydeco music when his dad took him to dance halls in Mallet in southern Louisiana, and he saw few young people in the crowd. As a teenager he listened to Luke Collins’ one-hour zydeco show on Saturday afternoon radio, taped the broadcasts and taught himself how to play the piano accordion by listening to those tapes. He was determined not to let the style die.
The third annual Berne Summerfest will take place on Saturday (August 22) at the Berne Town Park on Route 443 in Berne. The single-day free, family-friendly festival runs from 12noon-dusk, capped off with a fireworks display at 8:30pm, followed by an open jam session on the Main Stage.
The fest features plenty of fun, including a car show, horseshoe tournament, reptile exhibit, arts & crafts, softball game, home run derby, children’s games and performances by Juggling Dangerously.
In addition there will be free concerts all day long on the Main Stage, beginning with a Berne’s Got Talent open mic session from 12noon-1pm.
Here’s the complete schedule of bands performing at the 2015 Berne Summerfest:
Spent all your money on big summer concert and festival tickets?
Lose your disposable income at the track?
Dishing out your dollars on back-to-school supplies?
Yeah, we know that your wallet starts lookin’ mighty thin toward the end of the summer, and some of the big free summer concert series – like Albany’s Alive at Five and Schenectady’s Music Haven – have wrapped it up for the season.
But there are still plenty of FREE music options all around Nippertown. Here’s a guide to help you find some of those no-dough shows. Just click on the series name to find the complete schedule of bands playing there:
With nearly 100 food vendors to choose from, 15,000 people flock to the annual New York State Food Festival at Albany’s Empire State Plaza for lunch, dinner… or both. They come for the food and stay for an evening of free rock and roll. The fest – which takes place from 11am-9pm on Wednesday (August 12) – showcases New York producers and specialty products, New York State beers and the always popular farmers market.
And, of course, there’s the music… Headliners Cracker have been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country… Heck, they’ve even had terms like “punk” and “classic-rock” thrown at them. But more than anything Cracker are survivors. Co-founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman have been at it for almost a quarter of a century making hit songs such as “Low,” “Euro-Trash Girl,” “Get Off This” and “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me.” They’ll roll into Albany in support of their latest release, the double-CD set Berkeley to Bakersfield.
Remember those good ole days when there were free concerts every Monday night on the Lake House Stage in Albany’s Washington Park?
Well, they might just be coming back…
After nearly a decade without the popular summer concert events in Washington Park – which were originally produced by Mona Golub and Second Wind Productions and then later by Maura Swift – Park Playhouse is working to build a new Monday Music Series in the upcoming years.
And they’ll be testing the waters this summer with a single, stand-alone concert on Monday, August 17, featuring Coxsackie-based jam-band faves Conehead Buddha. Albany soul-funk band the Victory Soul Orchestra will open the show at 6pm.
All seating – including the reserved seating area on ground level – will be free of charge
for this special event, which is presented by Park Playhouse and the Palace Theatre, in association with the City of Albany’s Department of Special Events.