Archive for the ‘Real Good For Free’ Category

FREE FEST: Empire State Plaza’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Empire State Plaza at 50 Anniversary Celebration takes place from 12noon-8pm on Wednesday (September 16), featuring a farmers market, a 50th anniversary cake, special tours of the Plaza, a spotlight on the Plaza’s art collection, a panel discussion, and, of course, live music.

And it’s all free.

Here’s the complete, updated schedule of events for the celebration:



FREE FEST: Hispanic Heritage Celebration @ Empire State Plaza Convention Center on Saturday

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The fall festival season continues, and while there are still plenty of outdoor fests coming up on the calendar, this one brings the festivities indoors.

You can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration, a free, one-day fest paying tribute to Latin culture. Rich in tradition, the Hispanic community will come together from 5-10pm on Saturday (September 12) in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center for a colorful pageantry of live music, dance, food and family friendly activities.

Singer of salsa and pop ballads, headliner Alex Matos won the prestigious Casandra Award of the Dominican Republic in 2014 as “Salsero of the Year.”

Here’s the complete line-up of performers at the 2015 Hispanic Heritage Celebration:


FREE FEST: Drum Boogie Festival in Woodstock on Saturday

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Bang a gong…

The fourth biennial Drum Boogie Festival returns to Andy Lee Field on Rock City Road in Woodstock from 11am-8pm on Saturday (September 12). The rain date is Sunday (September 13).

The Drum Boogie Festival is a free, one-day, family-friendly, multi-cultural music festival that celebrates rhythm and diverse styles of music, dance and voice from all around the world. This year’s festival will bring together world-class performers and introduce the audience to an assortment of musical styles that feature percussion including jazz, rock,
classical, African, Balinese, reggae, steel pan and more.

And there’s more to Drum Boogie than just drumming; it’s song, dance, food and family fun. There will also be food trucks and fun children’s activities at the venue.

Hosting the festivities will be Ward Todd, President/CEO of the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce and former Morning Show host at Kingston’s WKNY-AM. Presented by the Woodstock Chimes Fund, this year’s Drum Boogie Festival will support Family of Woodstock’s Domestic Violence Program and will be staffed by Family volunteers. Festival-goers are urged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Here’s the schedule of world-class performers at Saturday’s 2015 Drum Boogie Festival:



Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Interview and story by Don Wilcock

“To be a writer in the world, you need to have all kinds of eyes and ears open all the time and be noticing all kinds of little things and big things,” says Booker T. Jones, who headlines the free Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival at Jennings Landing on Saturday (September 12). “You need to be always looking out as a creative person. I think that’s what I do that alerts me (to things in the musicians’ personality that I’m able to translate into their music).”

In 1962, at a time when Motown had all but turned soul music into lipstick and slinky dresses, Booker T. Jone blended the Ray Charles-Hammond B-3-organ-special soul sauce of “What’d I Say” into a righteous and uproarious instrumental hit single called “Green Onions.” Hand-in-glove with guitarist Steve Cropper, bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn and drummer Al Jackson, Jr., Jones threw out the rule book against mixed-race bands in the south and built Stax Records – and the towering southern soul sound along with it – around his band the MGs, pumping out hit after hit for the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd and Albert King.


FREE FEST: Jazz at the Lake 2015 @ Shepard Park, Lake George

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Jason Marsalis

Jason Marsalis

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Stanley Johnson

You might know it as the Lake George Jazz Fest. Or maybe as the Lake George Jazz Weekend. But the official name is Jazz at the Lake. The lake is still Lake George, and the jazz still makes it the best jazz fest in Nippertown – bar none.

On Saturday and Sunday, September 19 & 20, the two-day festival returns to the scenic Shepard Park in Lake George, where the shimmering lake serves as the backdrop behind the stage. Sponsored by the Lake George Arts Project, the fest doesn’t bother booking pop acts masquerading as jazz just to attract a crowd. This is a real jazz festival presenting both established and emerging, adventurous musicians who take a wide-ranging, global approach to the music.

And best of all, the entire festival is absolutely FREE.

Here’s the schedule for the 2015 Jazz at the Lake:


LarkFest 2015 Announces Line-Up of Bands

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015


Photograph of Jocelyn Arndt by Stanley Johnson

With Albany’s biggest street festival just about two weeks away, organizers have finally unveiled the line-up of bands for LarkFest….

The city street will once again be shut down to traffic, as Larkfest 2015 takes over Albany’s alleged “Greenwich Village” – the stretch of Lark Street from Washington to Madison avenues – on Saturday, September 19.

It’s touted as “New York’s largest one day street festival,” and it’s slated to run from 10am-5:30pm with two stages of live music and entertainment, including top local and regional bands, fun activities for people of all ages, visual arts, music, poetry, magic acts and more. Eight bands in all will be performing throughout the day – four on each stage.

And, of course, admission is FREE.

Here’s the schedule of bands for LarkFest 2014:


FREE FEST: The Final Stretch Music Fest in Saratoga This Weekend

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Monday (September 7) is Labor Day, which also marks the last day of racing of the 2015 season at the Saratoga Race Course, And as the meet rounds the bend and heads for home, Saratoga Springs will be celebrating the end of another great summer of horses with the annual Final Stretch Music Festival.

The free, two-day music festival will be held at five different outdoor locations throughout downtown with the music starting at 7pm on Saturday and Sunday evenings, bringing the 2015 Saratoga Springs racing meet to a close.

Here’s the complete schedule of bands for the 2015 Final Stretch Music Fest:


FREE: Live! Folklife Concert Series @ the Crandall Library

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
The North and South Dakotas

The North and South Dakotas

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Yes, it’s September, and the free outdoor summer series season is winding down (although there are still a few still on the calendar), but, of course, that doesn’t mean the end of no-dough shows.

The 2015 fall edition of the Live! Folklife Concert Series is gearing up at the Crandall Library in Glens Falls, and there’s an impressive line-up of musical talent on tap. And, yes, you guessed it – admission is free…

The concerts take place at 7pm on Thursdays, beginning with Annie & the Hedonists on Thursday, September 17 and continuing through October 29 with a special show that finds Ramblin Jug Stompers teaming up with veteran jazz/blues/soul singer Jill Hughes on October 29.

The fall concert series is being held in conjunction with the Folklife Gallery’s photographic exhibition, A Transitional Interpretation: American Roots Music by Five Photographers, featuring the work of Local 518 photographers Joseph Deuel, Enid Farber, Bryan Lasky, Andrzej Pilarczyk and Lawrence White.

Here’s the schedule of 2015′s free fall concerts at the Crandall Library:


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