Photographs by Timothy Raab
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
When Citizen Cope brought his solo acoustic show to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall earlier this month, we had no idea that it was just the beginning of several concerts that he’s be performing around Greater Nippertown.
But since his Music Hall performance, it’s been announced that he would also be playing with his band at the Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival in Croton Point on Saturday, June 20, in addition to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with Counting Crows and Hollis Brown on Tuesday, September 1.
But, of course, those shows won’t be anything like the warm, soulful performance at the intimate and acoustically spakling Troy Savings Bank Music Hall…
The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy welcomes comedian Paula Poundstone on Saturday (April 18). 25 years ago, Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country — stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. A high school drop-out, she went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular rascal of a weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.” She tours regularly, performing stand-up comedy across the country, causing Bob Zany of The Boston Globe to write: “Poundstone can regale an audience for several hours with her distinctive brand of wry, intelligent and witty comedy.” Audience members may put it a little less elegantly: “I peed my pants.”
While there is no doubt that Poundstone is funny, the thing that probably separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd. Poundstone says: “No two shows I do are the same. It’s not that I don’t repeat material. I do. My shows, when they’re good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves. Then, someone says, “Tell that story you used to tell,” and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them. No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.”
Review by Brett Williams
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Videos and photographs by Timothy Raab
As she finished an a cappella passage during the first set of Caladh Nua’s Wednesday night show at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, lead singer Lisa Butler looked slowly, wonderingly up from her microphone, apparently delighted by the legendary acoustic quality of the Capital Region’s most under-appreciated venue. Though she probably couldn’t see it, staring back at Ms. Butler was an audience equally delighted with the performance put on by one of Ireland’s best young traditional music ensembles.
Midway through a tour of the Midwest and Northeast, quintet Caladh Nua became the latest installment of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s traditional Irish music concert which has, in recent years, featured the likes of the Chieftains and Danú. And while Caladh Nua – which translates roughly to “New Haven” – may lack the stateside name-recognition of those other acts, that takes nothing away from their playing, which was as technically good as it was stirring – by turns lilting and melancholy, contemplative and rousing. Everything, in short, traditional Irish music should be.
Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu
“That’s the thing about jazz,” Marcus Roberts explained as he settled in on the piano bench in the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. “There’s room for everybody’s personality and perspective.” And certainly the opening night of the inaugural Bridge Jazz Festival proved that and more with a diverse array of music all nestled under the big umbrella of “jazz.” Three bands. Three unique approaches. All with a decidedly international spin.
Led by composer-keyboardist Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius, Heard – the Local 518 “world jazz ensemble” – kicked off the evening in fine fashion, melding jazz with influences that ranged from classical to African music. The percolating percussion duo of Zorkie Nelson and Ade Knowles with bassist Bobby Kendall laid the foundation, while Woodbury Kasius and clarinetist Jonathan Greene soared through a five-song, 35-minute set of buoyant, joyous melodies beginning with “Waltz for the Aviary” and the upbeat “Karibu.” While the set was primarily instrumental, they added the only vocals of the evening on “O Feche” and “Market Song,” singing in Ga, the native language of Ghana.
The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall continues its series featuring compelling artists. Here are four March concerts worth jotting down on your calendar.
LILY TOMLIN, Saturday (March 7), 8pm
It’ll be a delightful bit of nostalgia as we have a rare chance to be in the presence of Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. This sardonic comic artist takes her audience on a trip The Washington Post called “wise and howlingly funny” with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Sister Boogie Woman, to Mrs. Beasley and to the iconic Edith Ann.
The Daily News says “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” Don’t miss this warm and uniquely affecting experience filled with comical insights and wildly, witty observations about the human condition.
UPDATE: Lily Tomlin’s performance is now officially sold out…
Two nights. Two different venues. Six diverse jazz bands heating up this long, cold winter… This weekend the inaugural Bridge Jazz Festival takes over the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Friday and the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts on Saturday.
FRIDAY (FEBRUARY 27), 7:30pm
at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
Featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio, the Anat Cohen Quartet and Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius & Heard
Tickets: $28, $36 & $42; $15 Test Drive tickets are also available to people who have not previously purchased tickets to the Hall.
SATURDAY (FEBRUARY 28), 6pm
at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts, Albany
Featuring the Fred Hersch Trio, Cécile McLorin Savant and Gretchen Parlato/Alan Hampton Duo
Tickets: $40; $30 students
All-festival tickets are also available for both nights priced at $60; $40 students.
BUT WAIT… We’re giving away a pair of FREE ALL-FESTIVAL TICKETS – that’s two tickets to Friday AND Saturday night. To enter, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. The deadline to enter is 12noon on Friday (February 27), and the winner will be selected at random and notified on Friday afternoon. Don’t delay, enter today! And good luck!
Here’s more about the musicians:
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Pop singer and Albany native Whitney Wolanin and her band the Shenanigans headlined the B95.5-FM Rockin’ Christmas 2014 celebration at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall earlier this month. Proceeds from the concert benefitted Siena College’s Rockin’ Christmas Scholarship Fund.