The Van Dyck in Schenectady has been pretty quiet lately, at least as far as national acts have been concerned. But four new shows have just been announced for the historic nightspot, so things are definitely looking up for 2012. Blues-rocker Popa Chubby rolls into the Van Dyck for a pair of shows (7 & 9:30pm) on Friday, January 27, and he’s bringing along his band this time around ($15 in advance; $18 at the door). Jazz trumpet titan Randy Brecker blows into town for shows at 7 & 9:30pm on Saturday, March 3, with a band featuring saxophonist Ada Rovatti, drummer David Calarco, bassist John Menegon and guitarist Matt Finck ($22 in advance; $25 at the door). The last time he was in town Jason Marsalis was behind the drum kit with John Ellis & Double-Wide, but when he hits the Van Dyck for shows at 7 & 9:30pm on Friday, March 16, he’ll be at the vibraphone, leading the Jason Marsalis Vibes Band, featuring bassist Will Goble, pianist Austin Johnson and drummer David Potter ($23 in advance; $26 at the door). And jazz-fusion, prog-rock guitar hero Allan Holdsworth returns at 7 & 9:30pm on Saturday, March 24, with bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Virgil Donati ($25 in advance; $28 at the door).
Up in Saratoga Springs, Vapor promises to get things smokin’ with En Vogue at 9pm on Thursday, February 2. Tix for the trio are $30. Also rapper Biz Markie graces the Vapor stage on Saturday, January 21. Doors open at 9pm, and tix are $10.
Club Helsinki in Hudson tries its hand at hosting stand-up comedy when veteran comic David Brenner hits the stage for a two night stand at 9pm on Saturday, March 3 and at 8pm on Sunday, March 4. Also Saratoga’s Railbird launches the 2012 calendar with a show on the Hudson stage at 9pm on Friday, January 6.
The Linda in Albany welcomes back the marvelous singer-songwriter-rocker Willie Nile at 8pm on Saturday, February 18 ($23) and Faroe Islands singer-songwriter Teitur at 8pm on Thursday, March 1 ($17). Also, a number of Local 518 shows are slated to roll into The Linda, including the annual Elvis Birthday Bash featuring Mark Gamsjager & the Lustre Kings with Johnny Rabb and other special guests at 8pm on Saturday, January 7 ($20); Emma Torncello’s CD release party at 7:30pm on Saturday, January 21 ($12); ska-rockers Smittix with Skadee and Hard Soul at 7:30pm on January 28 ($12); and bluesman Ernie Williams’ 86th birthday bash at 8pm on Saturday, February 4 ($18).
Burmese singer-songwriter Khin Maung Toe – who has recorded more than 20 albums in his musical career – makes a concert tour stop at the Washington Avenue Armory at 4pm on Saturday, January 14. Tix are $30 & $50. Other recent additions to the Armory’s concert calendar include Atlanta hip-hopster Roscoe Dash at 8pm on Friday, January 20 ($27.50); the double-bill of rap stars Rick Ross and Ace Hood at 8pm on Saturday, January 21 ($40; students $35; VIP $99); and an EDM throwdown with Rusko and Savoy at 8:30pm on Saturday, February 11 ($35).
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Mingus Big Band was added to the schedule for the Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in June.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, PART II: The Egg in Albany has added three new concerts – Zee Avi, Sarah Jarosz and Shelby Lynne – to their 2012 calendar.