Posts Tagged ‘Albany’

Celebrating the Work of Zora Neale Hurston [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Zora Neale Hurston fascinates us for many reasons, not the least of which is that she is claimed as part of LGBTQ history. As was common in that era, this basic identity was masked and hidden, and both scholars and journalists are hesitant to make the claim outright for lack of specific attribution. Nevertheless, one only needs to read her work, her hilarious portrait of men and unsparing depiction of the foibles of life as a minority to sense that this was no ordinary daughter of a Baptist minister, but an authentic and rebellious voice that rarely held back. Still it seems the one inhibition she could not overcome was revealing her own basic identity. To me, it is and has always been there, between the lines, for those who know how to parse the truth from literary obfuscation. – Larry Murray

The UAlbany Performing Arts Center and the NYS Writers Institute are pleased to present Eyes on Zora: The Life and Legacy of Zora Neale Hurston, a series of events focusing on the life and work of one of the most important and celebrated figures to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance. Outspoken, spirited and gifted, Hurston (1891-1960) was an anthropologist but is more identified and well-known as a prolific writer, her books defining the black American experience. Famous for her vivacious and unapologetic personality, Hurston wrote works of fiction and folklore which drove forward both the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement.

Ushering in February’s Black History Month, public events take place beginning on Friday (January 29) in various locations both on and beyond the University at Albany campus. The schedule includes:

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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ArtBeat: “Folk Modern” @ Albany International Airport Gallery [Get Visual]

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Installation of found-object assemblages by Jack Metzger, 2006-2015 (photo: Arthur Evans)

Installation of found-object assemblages by Jack Metzger, 2006-2015 (photo: Arthur Evans)

Review by David Brickman

The creative process can be deceptively simple, but I find exposure to it is almost always uplifting. There’s a delight in seeing how a person, whatever their flaws, can draw from within themselves the strength, imagination, and skill to produce something new and wonderful to behold.

Folk Modern, the current exhibition at Albany International Airport Gallery (on view through Sunday, May 8), explores how eight regional makers (perhaps a better word in this case than “artists”) have delved into that creative impulse and, as such, is a celebration of it. Emblematic of the special qualities of this process is the work of Jack Metzger (pictured at the top of this post), a shop owner who seems to just really like to collect odd, old stuff and mess around with it. His installation in the show reveals a discerning eye, a sense of wit and a reverence for the integrity of a good, mysterious object. It’s also great fun.

The mounted text that introduces the show makes the point that “the wall between folk and fine art has been crumbling for some time, and inhabitants of both sides have been finding much common ground.” Indeed, one would honestly have to admit that, without peeking first at a resume, there’s no way to tell which of these people is on which side of that fading divide.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

LIVE: The Tedeschi Trucks Band @ The Egg, 12/8/15

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
The Tedeschi Trucks Band

The Tedeschi Trucks Band

Review by Steven Stock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The twelve-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band ventured through a lot of territory in their well-received two-hour performance at The Egg’s Hart Theatre, covering songs made popular by Betty Harris, Bobby “Blue” Bland, the Box Tops, George Harrison and John Prine before sending everyone home happy with a rollicking version of the Coasters’ (or perhaps you prefer Ray Charles’ rendition?) nugget “Let’s Go Get Stoned.”

That disparate range of influences only begins to suggest this ensemble’s versatility. “Don’t Miss Me,” a rare carryover from the Derek Trucks Band repertoire, began as a conventional blues then suddenly veered left into Trout Mask Replica terrain. With three horns (saxophone, trumpet and trombone) and three backing vocalists, the overall sound of the group resembled an updated version of the Stax/Volt sound crossed with Joe Cocker’s early-’70 Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Cocker more or less poached the Mad Dogs from Leon Russell, but that didn’t prevent Russell (along with compatriots Rita Coolidge and Dave Mason) from joining Tedeschi Trucks in paying tribute to Cocker’s band earlier this year at the Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia.

At The Egg, it was refreshing to witness two performers who built their sizable reputations as superb guitarists subordinate their egos to work effectively in a big-band context. On the lengthy coda to “I Want More,” Derek Trucks did get his licks in while engaging in lovely dialogue with Kofi Burbridge’s flute, a passage evocative of Traffic at its finest.

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LIVE: The Portland Cello Project @ the Madison Theater, 10/31/15

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Review by Greg Haymes

If someone officially designated October as Alt-Cello Awareness Month, I didn’t get the memo. But I definitely got the music…

The month started off with goth folk-rock cellist Melora Creager leading her band Rasputina in Troy at the Queen’s Ball, the after-party for the Enchated City steam-punk festival. Two weeks later at Club Helsinki in Hudson, Rasputina held a CD release party for their new album, “Unknown.” The following week, cellist-singer-songwriter Ben Sollee teamed up with the cello-led indie Orchestra Mother Falcon for a dazzling collaborative concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

And on Halloween night, the month of October wrapped up with the biggest cello-bration of them all – the Portland Cello Project in a dizzying concert at Albany’s Madison Theater.

The Oregon-based collective – which can swell to as many as 20 members at their hometown gigs – featured a core touring group of five – count ’em, 5 – cellists at the Madison, which converted one of its movie theaters into a live performance venue a year ago. And if you have an aversion to genre-jumping, well, this wasn’t the place for you.

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LIVE: The Dave Rawlings Machine @ The Egg, 11/7/15

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Rawlings3

Review by Bokonon
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Thirty years ago d. boon obliquely suggested cutting down on the guitar solos. I’m good with that. I could live a long happy life without hearing another guitar solo. But Dave Rawlings doesn’t count. He can play as many as he wants to, whenever, wherever he wants.

Rawlings played some solos at The Egg recently, yes, yes he did. And he could have played more. It would have been OK, even d. boon says so.

Rawlings brings such invention and opportunity to every pass on the six-string, cascading lines full of seconds and ninths, brilliant raindrops of sound. Much is made in the geek world of his ’36 Olympic, but the fact is it’s all about his hands. Epic. Swirling. Enchanting.

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LIVE: Holly Bowling @ the Massry Center, 10/28/15

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Holly Bowling

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

One woman. One piano. Ten fingers. 88 keys…

Holly Bowling took the stage at the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts recently and delivered a solo piano recital quite unlike anything that you’ve ever seen or heard before.

The repertoire for her nearly three-hour concert was culled primarily from the songbag of Vermont’s jam-band kingpins Phish, although she did slip the Grateful Dead’s “Cassidy” into the mix during the second portion of her concert.

While many of her interpretations were re-inventions of Phish faves, there were also a number of selections that she had painstakingly transcribed from renowned live performances, like the epic, show-closing rendition of “Tweezer” from Tahoe in July, 2013, which clocked in at a sprawling 37 minutes. See the video below…

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The Egg Announces New Concert

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

The Egg in Albany has announced the return of the sublime Brad Mehldau Trio at 8pm on Saturday, April 16.

Over the past two decades, few artists have done more to extend and refine the piano trio’s possibilities than Brad Mehldau – both within the jazz genre and beyond. Along with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, the trio is at home performing Thelonious Monk classics, American Songbook standards and thoroughly captivating original tunes, as well as contemporary pop songs from the pens of Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, Kurt Cobain and Radiohead.

Tickets for the concert are $29.50 and are currently available only to members of The Egg. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 11am on Friday (November 20).

GO HERE to read a review of the Brad Mehldau Trio’s 12/14/14 concert at The Egg…

LIVE: The Moth & the Flame @ The Hollow, 10/14/15

Monday, November 16th, 2015
The Moth and the Flame

The Moth & the Flame

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Los Angeles-based alt-rockers the Moth & the Flame were one of the most buzzed-about bands of September’s waterlogged PearlPalooza street fest, and so it was no surprise when they made a return to Albany’s North Pearl Street for a free headlining concert at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen last month.

They were joined by Katie Hammon’s Bear Grass, who opened the show.

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