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22+ shows to see this weekend: Sept. 16-19

Almost Queen

It’s the busiest weekend on the music scene in almost two years! The State Theatre and Hangar Theatre kick off their fall seasons, three festivals will spotlight a variety of regional bands, and some of the country’s top musicians will perform in the area in the coming days.

Please be sure to check with each show’s event page for various venue protocols, as well as potential postponement or cancellations due to the weather. Stay safe, and enjoy as much live music as you can in the coming days!

They Will Rock You

Almost Queen returns to Ithaca to kick off the State Theatre’s fall season. Known for its authentic recreation of Queen’s trademark sound, the quartet captures the complexities of the original hits with four-part harmonies and intricate musical interludes. Add in genuine costumes and a vast catalog of hits, it’s a rewarding, fun tribute to the legendary British band.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: State Theatre of Ithaca

Cost: $25-$45

Event Info

Note: Audience members ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated, show proof of vaccination and valid government ID, and wear a CDC approved mask at all times indoors except when eating or drinking. Please bring your vaccination card (or a photo of it) and/or your NYS Excelsior Pass, along with a corresponding state or federal ID for entry.  Children under the age of 12 may attend the concert if they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours prior to when doors open. Learn more here.

Molly Tuttle
Credit Provided
Molly Tuttle comes to the Hangar Theatre Friday night.

Strings On Fire

Guitar virtuoso Molly Tuttle will return to Ithaca to promote her latest album, “but I’d rather be with you,” which includes her take on a classics such as The National’s “Fake Empire” and the Rolling Stones “She’s a Rainbow.” It’s a strong follow-up to her debut, “When You’re Ready,” which established the California native in the Nashville music scene. She also was named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year – the first woman in the history of the IBMA to win that honor.” Learn more here.

Note: Audience members ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated, show proof of vaccination and valid government ID, and wear a CDC approved mask at all times indoors.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Hangar Theatre, Ithaca

Cost: $25

Event Info

The Watkins Family Hour
Credit Provided
The Watkins Family Hour plays Homer Sunday night.

All in the Family

The Watkins Family Hour will come to Central New York, with siblings Sean and Sara Watkins (known for their trio Nickel Creek) visiting the Center for the Arts in Homer to promote their new album, “brother sister.”  A duo-centric record, but one that feels bigger than just two people, the album features Sean on guitar and Sara on fiddle, and with both of them sharing vocals. The two enlisted producer Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara) and mixer-engineer Clay Blair to harness the energy and honesty of their live sound.

When: 8 p.m. Sunday

Where: Center for the Arts, Homer

Cost: $25-$30, available in advance here

Event Info

Jazz on the Grass

The Lawncert series continues with vocalist Venissa Santí tackling the Great American Songbook with the help of Harry Aceto (bass), Eric Aceto (violin), Chad Lieberman (keys) and Ashley Ickes (drums). Bring your own chairs, beverages, etc; social distancing protocols are in place.

When: 5-7 p.m. Thursday

Where: 6018 Podunk Rd, Trumansburg

Cost: $10 suggested donation

Event Info

Alexander Fals-Hayley Dayis duo
Credit Provided
The Alexander Fals-Hayley Dayis duo comes to South Hill Cider Thursday.


The Alexander Fals-Hayley Dayis duo will be joined by guest percussionist Bryan Davis for a show on Ithaca’s South Hill. Known for their work in the band Wovenhome, the two draw from a variety of influences ranging from African to South American for their eclectic indie-folk songs.

When: 5-8 p.m. Thursday

Where: South Hill Cider

Cost: free

Event Info

Loons on the Lake

The Smoking Loons return to Myers Park to close out the Summer Concert Series (this is a makeup of a previously postponed date). Led by guitarist Frank Raponi and Jeff McCaffery, with the rhythm section of drummer Josh Drotar and bassist Josh Taylor, the Loons play a variety of cool cover tunes.

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Myers Park, Lansing

Cost: free

Event Info

Rena Guinn
Credit Provided
Rena Guinn

Forest for the Treetops

The annual Heebasquabee Treetops Festival returns to Hector, with four days of music at the Glendale Farm. Performers include Rena Guinn, Cool Club and the Lipker Sisters, Off the Rails, Brett Beardslee, and many more.

When: Thursday-Sunday

Where: Glendale Farm, Route 414 and Covert Road, Hector

Cost: donations welcome

Event Info

Brothers in Arms

Cornell Cinema presents the Ithaca premiere of “Los Hermanos” (“The Brothers”), directed by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider. The 2020 film tells the tale of Afro-Cuban brothers, violinist Ilmar and pianist Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, who have been physically separated since their childhood – Ilmar in the U.S., Aldo in Cuba. When Obama opens up relations with Cuba, the two virtuosos get together for a U.S. tour. The filmmakers follow the brothers alone and together, in the US and Havana, in this "engaging musical documentary." (Movie Nation). In English and Spanish; subtitled. Learn more here.

Note: per University guidelines, this event is only open to the Cornell community and their affiliates; masks are required.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Willard Straight Theatre, Cornell Univesrity

Cost: $9.50

Event Info

Gabe Stillman
Credit Provided
Gabe Stillman

Blues Blaster

The Gabe Stillman Band comes to Ithaca.  Based in Williamsport, Pa., the trio draws from the blues as well as other branches of Americana. Stillman’s first two albums, “The Grind” and “Flyin’ High,” the latter on which he’s backed by the Nighthawks, have been followed by his latest album, “Just Say the Word,” released last month. Find out more here.

When: 7-10 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Dock

Cost: Free

Event Info

Tenci and Izzy True
Credit Provided
Tenci and Izzy True will perform at the Neighbors Gallery Friday night.

Welcome Return

Now living in Chicago, former Ithacan Izzy True will return for a just-announced show with fellow Chicagoan Tenci, the bedroom-folk project of Jess Shoman. After cutting their teeth in Fight a Scary Dog and the Realbads, Izzy True has gone on to lead a variety of lineups to showcase their distinctive songwriting; they’re currently joined by Sam Goldstein (drums) and Curtis Oren (bass, sax, flute). Hear more here: Izzy True and Tenci

When: 5 p.m. Friday

Where: Neighbors Gallery, 526 Elm St., Ithaca

Cost: $7 suggested donation

Event Info


The Kids Are All Right

The Friday Night Farm Jams series continues with Three Sharp Minors, Ithaca's newest, youngest jazz combo, making its debut. Featuring Fritz Marohn on keyboards, Jacob Merrill on sax, and Silas Richardson on drums, the trio will play jazz classics with a Gen Z flair (with possible guest appearances from members of Gen X).

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Finger Lakes Cider House

Cost: $5

Event Info

Ariel Arbisser
Credit Provided
Ariel Arbisser

Ready for Release

Ithaca singer Ariel Arbisser will unveil her long-awaited debut solo album, “Risk of Love,” at an eclectic event on the Ithaca waterfront. Along with her all-star band – Andy Adelewitz, Colleen Countryman, Ashley Ickes, Liam Lawson, Nate Marshall and Harry Nichols – Arbisser will be joined by opening acts La Llorona and Nick Santamarina; artists Yen Ospina, Pickle Kitten, SensEmilia, Blue Bassoon Jewelery; community groups No Mas Lagrimas and TIP; and others. Food and drink also will be available. The event is outdoors with rain cover; vaccinations, masks, and social distancing encouraged.

When: 7-11:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Ithaca Farmers Market

Cost: $8 in advance, tickets available here; $15 at the door

Event Info

Juge Greenspun
Credit Provided
Juge Greenspun

Like a Spark

Covering two days – Friday and Sunday – the Brightspark Jam will celebrate the spirit of the ABC Café, which played a key role in Ithaca’s cultural scene until closing a decade ago. Friday’s performers include Les Visionnaires, PAD9, Manure Verbord, Insolent Cur, Shaka, Juge Greenspun and Sunny Weather. Sunday’s lineup includes Dee, Unsubscribe, Park Doing, Chris Corsano, Mary Lorson, Johnny Dowd, Ken Hallett and the Walkers, The 86ers and Shaka.

When: 3-11 p.m. Friday and 2-11 p.m. Sunday

Where: Brooktondale Community Center, 524 Valley Rd, Brooktondale

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info

Secret Service Men
Credit Jim Catalano
Secret Service Men

Punk Prophets

Ithaca’s top two punk bands – Mill Bastards and Secret Service Men join forces for a night of loud and fast music. Mill Bastards are just off opening for D.R.I. in Binghamton) and Secret Service Men just released their debut album, “Unity Through Circle Pit”). DIYing Breed rounds out the lineup.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: The Dock

Cost: Free

Event Info


For the Children

The Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble will host a free one-hour concert for all kids of all ages to learn about this great American music, jazz. Under the direction of Mike Titlebaum, the ensemble “will play, sing, demonstrate instruments — basically, do anything and everything to help answer the question ‘What is jazz?’"

Find more here, including a link to a live stream of the concert.

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Ford Hall in the Whalen Center for Music at Ithaca College; Ample free parking is available in the "J" lot by the towers.

Cost: free and open to all; current Ithaca College policy requires everyone indoors on campus to wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status.

Event Info

Analogue Sons
Credit Jim Catalano
Analogue Sons will headline the inaugural Off The Vine Festival on Saturday

Dashing Debut

The debut "Off The Vine" festival will come to Trumansburg, featuring 13 regional musical acts performing on three stages. The lineup includes headliners the Analogue Sons, along with Kitestring, Spazzare, Bob Roberts Calamity, Last Call Kings, Tijuana Danger Dogs, Leo and The Maydays, Triple Down, Patchwork Down, Rachel Beverly, Adam Guinn, Rena Guinn and the Night Animals, and Vinegar Williams.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Brews and Brats at Autumn View, 9632 State Route 96, Trumansburg

Cost: Pay what you can; all proceeds go to non-for-profit New Vine Records to support local artists

Event Info

Voices Raised

The Ithaca Community Mass Choir (ICMC) will host the debut Concert for Peace & Unity in Our Community.

When: 4-6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Bernie Milton Pavilion, Saturday

Cost: Free; donations welcome

Event Info

Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno
Credit Provided
Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno

Dynamic Duo

Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno return with their mix of compelling originals and old-time tunes, as showcased on their self-titled debut album released by Free Dirt Records. They also collaborated on Leva’s debut record, “Time is Everything,” which Rolling Stone wrote “shone a light on the past without giving up its place in the present.” Learn more here.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Big Sky Music Studio at Sweet Land Farm, Trumansburg

Cost: $20

Event Info

Cornell Glee Club
Credit Provided
The Cornell Glee Club

Happy Homecoming

Under the direction of Sarah Bowe, Cornell's Glee Club and Chorus celebrate Homecoming with a look back at repertoire favorites and Cornell songs. Masks are required for all individuals regardless of vaccination status.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Bailey Hall, Cornell University

Cost: $5-$18, available in advance at cornelltickets.com

Event Info

Dead Weather

The Dock will host a double-bill show featuring regional Grateful Dead tribute favorites Dark Hollow (founded in 1996) along with Like A Hurricane - A Neil Young Tribute (described as “a top-shelf, low-fi musical performance in the tradition of Rust Never Sleeps, Live Rust, Weld, and Unplugged that also captures the spirit of his studio recordings with Crazy Horse, CSN&Y, and Buffalo Springfield”). Expect to hear plenty of classic tunes along with some deep cuts throughout the night.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Dock

Cost: $15, advance tickets available here.

Event Info

Cobra Cadaver
Credit Jim Catalano
Cobra Cadaver

Ready to Rock

Ithaca’s own Stranded With A Kiss and Cobra Cadaver will team up for a night of edgy rock and roll in downtown Ithaca. Both bands are working on new albums.

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Range

Cost: small cover

Event Info

Awesome Foursome

The Lawncert series continues with Venissa Santi, Mary Lorson, Jennie Lowe and Michael Stark sharing a variety of original songs in a bucolic setting. Bring your own chairs, beverages, etc; social distancing protocols are in place.

When: 4-7 p.m. Sunday

Where: 6018 Podunk Rd, Trumansburg

Cost: $10 suggested donation

Credit Provided
MSZM plays Press Bay Alley Friday night

Music in the Air

There are a bunch of cool shows around the area in the coming days; most are free of charge except where noted.


Liam Lawson is at Brookton’s Market at 5 p.m.

The Ende Brothers are at Grist Iron Brewing at 5 p.m.

Stratcat Willie Hayes is at Lucky Hare’s Hector Taproom at 5-8 p.m.

Jennie Lowe and Michael Stark are at the Lucky Hare Press Bay Alley stage at 6-8 p.m.

Max Childs is at the Greenhouse Café at 8-9:30 p.m.

Tommy Tornado is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m.

The Upstairs House Band will host its debut Thursday Nite Jams from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. ($5)


Mike Stark and Zaun Marshburg bring MSZM to Press Bay Alley at 5-8 p.m.

The Soul Benders are at Two Goats Brewing in Hector at 5-7 p.m.

Planet Jr. is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m.

East-West Blues Band is at Hazlitt's Oasis at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards at 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Go Gone returns to Hopshire Farm and Brewery in Dryden at 6-8 p.m.

Mike Aiken is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m.

The Petty Thieves are at Treleaven Winery at 6-9 p.m. ($5)

Greg McQuade is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m.


Matt Ocone and Lily Gershon are at the Ithaca Farmers Market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Immortal Jellyfish are at Americana Vineyards at 2-4:30 p.m.

The Thompson Hall duo is at Summerhill Brewing at 2-4 p.m., followed by Off The Rails at 5-7 p.m.

Whistlin’ Dyl is at Two Goats Brewing in Hector at 5-7 p.m.

Austin MacRae and Tim Ball join forces at Brewer’s Café and Taproom in Dryden at 6-8 p.m.

Pat Young is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m.

The Forty Thieves are at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m.

The Longwood Jazz Project is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m.


Charlie Young is at Brookton’s Market at noon

Liam Alone is at Grist Iron Brewing at 2-5 p.m.

The Tarps are at Americana Vineyards at 2-4:30 p.m.

Cass and the Bailout Crew are at Two Goats Brewing in Hector at 4-6 p.m.

Tim Ball and Austin MacRae
Tim Ball and Austin MacRae play Brewer's Cafe and Tap Room Saturday night.