Posts Tagged ‘Saratoga Springs’

ArtBeat: Alma Thomas @ Skidmore’s Tang Museum [Get Visual]

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Installation view of Alma Thomas at the Tang Teaching Museum. Photo by Arthur Evans.

Installation view of “Alma Thomas” at Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum. Photo by Arthur Evans.

Review by David Brickman

I wonder what Alma Thomas’ public school art students thought when, in 1972, their teacher – retired and elderly – became the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

The idea of an artist being that important and, yet, having had to teach school all her life is far from unique, but this extreme case is certainly food for thought. Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs has, in a sense, rescued this delightful painter from obscurity a second time with a sharp, spacious presentation of about two decades’ worth of her work (on view through Sunday, June 5) in a show simply titled Alma Thomas.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.


LIVE: Sean Rowe @ Newberry Music Hall, 10/17/15

Thursday, November 19th, 2015


Photographs by Tim Reidy

Sean Rowe – the Troy troubadour with the booming baritone voice – took the stage at Saratoga Springs’ Newberry Music Hall last month in support of his latest EP, Her Songs. The Albany-based duo the Sea the Sea opened the show.

Rowe is slated to return to the Spa City for a rare two-night stand at Caffe Lena at 8pm on Saturday, January 30 and 7pm on Sunday, January 31. Tickets are $25 in advance; $27 at the door.


SPAC: A Preview of Summer 2016 Offerings [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Renee Fleming (credit: Timothy White)

Renee Fleming (credit: Timothy White)

For the first time in five decades, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces upcoming summer programming prior to the holiday season with a special Holiday Collection promotion for early birds who like to buy their tickets at a savings. The Holiday Collection is a selection of nine incredible programs handpicked to help audiences celebrate the holiday season. Tickets will become available at at 10am on Monday, November 30, “Cyber Monday.” Scroll to the bottom for promotion details

“SPAC’s 2016 Anniversary Season is a celebration of the visionaries who brought SPAC to life and the community that sustained, enriched and expanded SPAC for five decades,” reads the SPAC press release announcing the season highlights. “As we celebrate 50 years, we must remember that the dreams of the future are as important as the history of the past. We pay tribute to our founders’ legacy by launching SPAC’s artistic future through innovative programming, once-in-a-lifetime special events, and world premieres by choreographer Justin Peck and composer Michael Torke. Together, we applaud our cherished resident founders George Balanchine, Lincoln Kirstein, Eugene Ormandy, and their world-renowned artistry.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

New Release Rack: Annie & the Hedonists’ “Tonal Indulgence”

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015


Review by Glenn Weiser

Tonal Indulgence
Annie & the Hedonists, 2015

With their fourth CD, Tonal Indulgence, local favorites Annie & the Hedonists have shown us again that they are the ultimate acoustic music cover band. The quartet, consisting of Annie Rosen on lead vocals, husband John Rosen on guitar, Peter Davis on piano, clarinet, banjo, and tenor guitar, and Don Young on upright bass and guitar, eschews writing originals in favor of well-chosen songs in a mix of genres. And with all their combined talents, you can see why they don’t stick to any one style.

The Hedonists’ new release contains 17 songs encompassing swing, string band music, hokum blues, contemporary folk and gospel. The kick-off track, blues chanteuse Trixie Smith’s 1922 “My Daddy Rocks Me,” was the first song to use the phrase “rock and roll.” It opens with Davis’ clarinet playing slinky melodic lines over a slow, sensual shuffle groove before Annie enters with her sultry alto to tout her man’s staying power. Hazel Dickens’ “My Heart’s Own Love,” evokes the Appalachians with Davis’ five-string banjo and guest artist Jay Ungar’s fiddling. The traditional ballad “The Water Is Wide” receives a languid swing treatment as Annie and daughter Hannah Rosen harmonize over a jazzy chord line, vaulting the old folk classic forward into the 1940s.


LIVE: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ Zankel Music Center, 10/23/15

Thursday, November 12th, 2015
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

The stage set at the Zankel Music Center for tenor master Joshua Redman and jazz provocateurs The Bad Plus (aka The Bad Plus Joshua Redman) was pretty bare-bones: drums, stand-up bass, piano, a tall stool and big mic for Redman… and a mahogany lectern with a simple green-and-gold “Skidmore College” banner hanging from the top of the dais. Did this show come with a lecture? Was this going to be on the Final? As it happened, the podium hadn’t been left out after an afternoon symposium. Skidmore President Dr. Philip A. Glotzbach used it to welcome the SRO crowd to the fifth anniversary celebration of the opening of Zankel Music Center.

Honestly, I was shocked; aside from the fact that I hadn’t known this was a special night, it seems like Zankel has been around forever, even though I was there opening night when Redman and piano icon Brad Mehldau christened the stage with an amazing set of mind-blowing duets. The Bad Plus also played Zankel during that opening season, though I missed that show. Now, these two major forces were back here, together, and thanks to the Zankel NOT being the Corning Preserve, we were able to hear every riveting syllable of the new musical language they have created.


Concerts Celebrate the Centennial of Songcatcher Alan Lomax

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
Alan Lomax (far left) recording with musicians for “American Patchwork”

Alan Lomax (far left) recording with musicians for “American Patchwork”

Folklorist, songfinder, author, radio personality, ethnomusicologist, oral historian, activist, filmmaker, concert producer, recording artist, scholar, archivist, lecturer — Alan Lomax was all of these things… and more.

Lomax was born in Texas in 1915, and with his father, John, and on his own, recorded a vast treasure trove of American folk music for the Library of Congress as well as a wide variety of record labels. Again, with his father and individually, Lomax published a series of highly influential printed collections, including “American Ballads and Folk Songs,” “Folk Song U.S.A.” and the seminal 1960 volume, “The Folk Songs of North America in the English Language.”

This month around Greater Nippertown, there are two big concerts scheduled to celebrate the centennial of Alan Lomax’s birth and his great musical legacy:


First Night Saratoga Announces Bands for Big New Year’s Eve Celebration

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015


First Night Saratoga – the family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that takes place in Saratoga Springs – is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the organizers have planned a jam-packed evening of entertainment, fun and fireworks.

The Thursday, December 31 festivities begin with the First Night 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm, and wrap up with the the Saratoga Performing Arts Center 50th
Anniversary First Night Fireworks display. In between, you’ll find 30 venues throughout the city offering a night full of live music, dance, comedy, magic and even a few psychics to predict what’s in store for you in 2016.

Headlining the 20th anniversary bash will be veteran omni-popsters NRBQ led by madcap keyboardist and founding member Terry Adams. NRBQ is scheduled to play at the City Center’s Main Hall, along with Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys and Harold Ford’s The Spirit: A Tribute to Johnny Cash.


LIVE: Howard Fishman Quintet @ Caffe Lena, 10/3/15

Friday, October 16th, 2015
Scott Barkan, Howard Fishman, Andrae Murchison and Andy Cotton

Scott Barkan, Howard Fishman, Andrae Murchison and Andy Cotton

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The Basement Tapes are a series of recordings made in 1967 after Bob Dylan had gone on tour with what was to become the Band and was convalescing in Woodstock. The series of recordings are considered legendary and a turning point in the history of rock, as Dylan turned away from the increasingly serious and complex explorational tendencies of the music of the time to focus on the basic and traditional origins of the music that has now been labeled as Americana.

This was documented in a book by well known author Greil Marcus titled “The Old Weird America.”

The celebration of the music can either be celebrated reverentially and academically by reproducing the songs note for note, or simply in the spirit of good friends recording casual music. Howard Fishman and his band chose the latter during their recent two-night stand at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs.


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