12+ shows to see this weekend: Dec. 3-5
The Winter Lights Festival returns to downtown Ithaca, Cornell Cinema screens David Byrne's "American Utopia," and Mt. Joy sells out the State Theatre. Plus, holiday events abound throughout the area, and much more.
Please be sure to check with each venue for its covid 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!
Downtown Ithaca’s Winter Lights Festival returns, with a variety of activities planned for the Commons this weekend and next. That includes the legendary Silent Disco, which allows participants to dial in one of three local DJs on their wireless headsets to dance the night away. Tonight’s tunes will be provided by The Dutchess of Spirit Posse, DJ ha-MEEN, and Proper Philth, while Saturday’s spinners include DJ Tori Vee, DJ Whoisbriantech, and DJ Michael Judah Miller.
When: 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Bernie Milton Pavilion, The Commons
Taking it to the Street
The Cortland Main Street Music Series continues its fall Live at Rose Hall series with the third of its four concerts. On the bill are Cortland rockers the Unknown Woodsmen, who will perform in the main area of the former church, along with openers Dana Twigg and Bug Tussle, who will perform in the intimate downstairs lounge, Studio AV. A free live stream will be provided by American Vintage Productions.
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Rose Hall, 19 Church St., Cortland
Cost: free; donations for the CMSMS are welcome
Byrne, Baby, Byrne
Cornell Cinema will screen "American Utopia," Spike Lee’s groundbreaking filmed version of the former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's brilliant, timely Broadway musical sensation that ran from October 2019 to February 2020 (and reopened on Broadway in September ’21).
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Willard Straight Theatre, Cornell University
Cost: $5.50-$9.50, available online here.
The Peter Mack Quartet will showcase the talents of Auburn-based bassist Mack, drummer Harvey Sorgen (Hot Tuna, Paul Simon), saxophonist Jeff Lederer (Allison Miller, Bobby Sanabria), and keyboardist Chuck Lamb (Bela Fleck, Peter Frampton). Mack and Lamb will open the show with selections from their new CD.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Auburn Public Theatre
Birds of a Feather
Orebolo – featuring Rick Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach, and Jeff Arevalo of Goose – will bring their acoustic grooves to Homer
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Center for the Arts, Homer
Combing It Down
The Comb Down continues its two-night stand in downtown Ithaca, bringing with them their incessant funk grooves and boundless energy. The band features some of Ithaca’s top talents – keyboardist Jon Petronzio, bassist Andrew Battles, trombonist TJ Schaper, guitarist Brian Mlodzinski, drummer Ashley Ickes, percussionist Bryan Davis and trumpeter Jack Storer. They’ll be joined by special guests for this show: Pato Z, a multi-instrumentalist who plays bass for Nahko and Medicine for the People; and Double Tiger, aka Jay Spaker (ex-JBB), on guitar and some vocals.
When: 10:30 p.m. Friday
Where: The Upstairs
Cost: $10 in advance, tickets available here; $15 at the door
Home for the Holiday
The Trumansburg Conservatory of the Arts will host its Handmade Holiday Market, featuring a variety of local art, wearables, crafts, and foods. Music will be provided by banjo-guitar composer John Bunge at 12:30-2:30 p.m., followed by a Celtic band at 3-5 p.m.
When: 12-5 p.m. Saturday
After a one-year hiatus, the annual Trumansburg Winterfest returns for its 25th year to bring together area businesses, organizations, and community members, while providing winter activities for kids, adults, and entire families. Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy is this year’s featured entertainer.
When: 2-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Main Street, Trumansburg
Trombones on Parade
The annual Christmas in Aurora celebration returns to the village on the east shore of Cayuga Lake, with a variety of activities planned throughout the day. That includes a concert by Bones East, a trombone octet performing Christmas, and secular music under the direction of William Harris (formerly of Syracuse Symphony). Visit auroranewyork.us for more information.
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Morgan Opera House, 370 Main St., Aurora
Students of Rebecca Anderson will perform a violin studio recital.
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Barnes Hall
Feel the Beats
The Cornell Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Michael Sparhuber, will present three quartets featuring music by Owen Clayton Condon, Dave Molk, and Nigel Westlake.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lincoln B20
Ode to Joy
Philadelphia-bred, Los Angeles-based indie-folk rockers Mt. Joy come to Ithaca on their fall tour. They’re celebrating the release of their latest song, “Astrovan: Live from Red Rocks,” a follow-up to their 2020 album, “Rearrange Us.” Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Amy Allen will open the show.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: State Theatre
Cost: SOLD OUT!
For Those About To Rock
Led by guitarist Donnie B. Angus, CNY-based AC/DC tribute band Bonfire will bring its powerhouse show to Cortland, covering the best of both the Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras of the legendary rock band.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Night Owls, 3840 Route 11, Cortland
For the Rest of Us
Air your grievances in downtown Ithaca this weekend, as local Phish tribute band Nectar returns to host a “Phestivus” party. The band includes drummer Jeff Goodmark, guitarist Steve Bassi, bassist Richard Ross and keyboardist Cameron Fitch, who endeavor to bring fans the best of the vast Phish catalog.
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Upstairs
Be My Guest
The Cornell Department of Music welcomes guest saxophonist Jaleel Shaw for a performance with the Cornell Jazz Ensemble and the Appel Jazz Combo, under the direction of Paul Merrill. The program will include music by Shaw, Mary Lou Williams, Sam Rivers, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Florence Price, Ellen Rowe, and Horace Silver. Shaw, winner of the 2014 Downbeat Critics Poll for “Rising Star Alto Saxophonist,” is a longtime member of the Roy Haynes Quartet, Tom Harrell’s “Colors Of A Dream,” and has performed with Christian McBride, Jason Moran, the Mingus Big Band, Pat Metheny, Stefon Harris, Roy Hargrove, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jimmy Cobb, and many others.
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Bailey Hall
Cost: free and open to all
Joined in Song
The Cornell Vocal Program presents a wide-ranging recital of song, from Ludwig van Beethoven to Margaret Bonds to Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Burn," with pianist richard valitutto. Featuring the students of Tamara Acosta, Anna Coogan, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Ricardo Lugo-Garay, Gary Moulsdale, Patrice Pastore, and Steven Stull.
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Lincoln B20, Cornell Univ.
The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble will present “Amid the Cold, Cold Winter: Music of Howells and Distler,” under the direction of artistic music director and conductor Sean Linfors. The program will include: Praetorius, “Lo How a Rose”; Distler, “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen Variations”, “Lobe den Herren”, “Singet dem Herrn”; and Howells, “A Spotless Rose”, “Like as the Hart”, “Mag and Nunc Gloucester Service.”
Masks are required.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church
309 Siena Dr. Ithaca
Cost: donations welcome at the door
Lessons and Carols
A beloved annual tradition returns with the Cornell University Lessons and Carols sung by the Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club, interspersed with traditional readings by members of the Cornell community, with conductor Sarah Bowe and organist Anna Steppler. Co-sponsored by the Department of Music and the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making and Cornell United Religious Work.
When: 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday
Where: Sage Chapel; the Monday performance will also be livestreamed at www.cornell.edu/video/
Please note important information: doors will open at 6:30 p.m. There is no indoor waiting area at Sage Chapel. Seating is limited to 75% capacity per Cornell policy and is first-come, first-served. Campus visitors and members of the public must adhere to Cornell’s public health requirements for events, which include wearing masks while indoors and providing proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Due to Covid restrictions, audience singing is not permitted indoors. A participatory carol sing will follow outdoors, weather permitting.
Not From Brooklyn is at the Aurora Brewing Company at 5:30-8:30 p.m.
The Zydeco Trail Riders come to Hopshire Farm and Brewery at 6-8 p.m. Friday
NYC party dance band MOJO is the Dock at 6 p.m. Friday
The Dirty Doves are at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Friday
Horse Stories Trio is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Friday
Greg McQuade is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday
Rachel Beverly plays the Holiday Festival at Trevleaven Wines at 1-4 p.m. Saturday
Sandra Esparza is at Chateau Dusseau in Locke at 3 p.m. Saturday
Levi Dusseau and Friends are at Summerhill Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Saturday
Freight returns to Stone Bend Farm at 5-7 p.m. Saturday
Erin and the Backwoods Blues Project returns to the Dock at 5-8 p.m. Saturday
The Vectors are at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Saturday
Inner Crazy is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday
Mojo is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday
Tailor Made is at Goody’s Lake Como Inn at 9 p.m. Saturday