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.
Jessica Thompson, Steve Rosenthal and Jocelyn Arem
Photograph by Sophie Brill
Multimedia archivist, musician and producer Jocelyn Arem will offer a multimedia presentation, “Reviving, Restoring and Re-imaging the Music Archive,” at 8pm on Thursday (March 26) at Skidmore College’s Filene Recital Hall in Saratoga Springs. Admission is free.
The program will feature music culled from the 2013 three-CD box set, Live at Caffe Lena: Music from America’s Legendary Coffeehouse (1967-2013), which Arem co-produced with Steve Rosenthal. The evening will start with a presentation on the audio restoration process by Arem, Rosenthal and Jessica Thompson, her colleagues from the Magic Shop Studio in NYC. Then they’ll examine the process with examples of the original audiotape recordings, the restored, re-mastered recordings and finally live performances.
David Longstreth led Dirty Projectors into the Skidmore gymnasium earlier this month, marking only the band’s second Nippertown appearance, following an EMPAC-sponsored performance at RPI in Troy back in January 2007. That’s a long wait between shows for the band’s Local 518 fans, and while DP’s sound has grown in the ensuing years, it appears that their audience hasn’t quite matched that growth. Even with opening act Delicate Steve – who headlined at MASS MoCA just a year ago – Skidmore’s annual spring concert didn’t quite even half-fill the gym…
There was a time not too long ago when nearly all of the Local 518 colleges kept the concert calendar jam packed with a wide variety of top notch national bands and musicians. Those days are over, however, and Skidmore College and RPI (thanks to EMPAC) have emerged as the most adventurous universities on the concert front. Unquestionably.
Now, Skidmore has announced a big spring concert – the Dirty Projectors are headed into Skidmore’s Williamson Sports Center on Saturday, April 13. To the best of my recollection, it will be the band’s first Capital Region concert since playing a free EMPAC-sponsored show at RPI in Troy back in January, 2007.
Critically acclaimed Brooklyn singer-songwriter Howard Fishmanis certainly an ambitious guy. During the course of his impressive musical career, he’s racked up a big batch of rave coast-to-coast reviews from The New York Times (“transcends time and idiom”) to The Los Angeles Times (“At a time when performers in virtually every genre are trying to stretch their stylistic boundaries, Fishman refuses to acknowledge that boundaries exist”).
He’s written “We Are Destroyed,” a jazz opera about the Donner Party (performed at Joe’s Pub in New York City, the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and the Pasadena Playhouse in California) and delved deep into the Big Pink collaborations of Bob Dylan and the Band (“The Basement Tapes Project”).
Saturday night (May 19) is gonna be one serious, extra special, double-barrelled celebration at Skidmore College’s Filene Recital Hall in Saratoga Springs.UPDATE: The venue for the concert has changed. The show will now take place at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs.
First off, it’s the 52nd anniversary celebration of the Spa City’s internationally renowned coffeehouse, Caffe Lena.
Secondly, it’s a centennial celebration for the godfather of American folk music, Woody Guthrie, who penned such classic songs as “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Hard Travelin’,” “Deportees,” “Roll On Columbia,” “Vigilante Man” and one of the best-known American songs of all time, “This Land Is Your Land,” in addition to his countless Dust Bowl ballads.
Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs will host its third annual Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 21. There will be plenty of Earth Day-themed activities throughout the day including tree planting, clothing swapping, painting (knowing Skidmore, likely body painting) and lots of live music.
Did we mention that it’s free? Not only that, but the fest will also offer free food – from cookies to burgers. You can’t beat that…
Here’s the schedule of music for Skidmore’s Earth Day Festival 2012:
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