LIVE: Sonny & Perley @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, 7/1/11

Sonny Daye, Charlie Tokarz and Perley Rousseau
Sonny Daye, Charlie Tokarz and Perley Rousseau

For more than a decade now, the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College has been presenting a wonderful Friday evening concert series throughout July and August.

It’s called UpBeat on The Roof, and for good reason – the concerts take place outdoors on the roof of the museum. The series has showcased all styles of music ranging from the exquisite folk of the Nancy Walker Trio to the contemplative jazz of the exceptional Brian Patneaude Quartet.

Last Friday evening, the exciting husband-and-wife duo of Sonny Daye and Perley Rousseau and their band performed an evening of mostly Louis Armstrong numbers with Charlie Tokarz in the musical driver’s seat switching between saxophone and clarinet.

However, it was Rousseau’s charismatic presence with that gorgeous and powerful voice that gave the music life and gusto, making tunes written in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s both relevant and contemporary.

The lady sure knows how to be belt it out when needed and then, a split-second later, reel it back in to massage it to a smoothness that’s simultaneously seductive and playful.

The Tang’s Upbeat On the Roof is a free concert series and a great way to start any weekend with a little music and song. Get there early to grab a seat!

The UpBeat On the Roof concert series continues at 7pm tonight at the Tang Museum with a performance by Melick, Moody & McKrell – featuring percussionist Brian Melick, fiddler Doug Moody and singer-songwriter-guitarist Kevin McKrell. Admission is free. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be inside the museum.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

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