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22+ shows to see this week: March 17-23

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Dark Star Orchestra returns to the State Theatre of Ithaca on Friday night

A bevy of Celtic shows will help you to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – not just on Thursday but into the weekend! Plus, Cinemapolis screens a new Buddy Guy documentary, the Dark Star Orchestra and Postmodern Jukebox return to the State Theatre, and Henry Rollins comes to the Center for the Arts.

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

Richie Stearns

String Thing

Richie Stearns and Friends return to South Hill Cider for a night of old-time tunes. Richie, best known for his work with the Horse Flies, Richie & Rosie, and the Evil City String Band, will be joined by a special guest or two (or more) for this week’s event.

When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday

Where: South Hill Cider

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info


Welcome Return

After a long hiatus, the Vinyl Showcase returns to Atlas Bowl in Trumansburg, offering a weekly showcase for DJs, collectors, and enthusiasts.

When: 7-10 p.m. Thursdays

Where: Atlas Bowl

Cost: free

Event Info

Earl Richardson
Liz Knowles

Acoustic Energy

The Winter Village Music Camp will host a special concert featuring some of the camp’s top instructors: Liz Knowles and Jefferson Kramer, along with Drank the Gold. Learn more about the camp, or sign up for it, here.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: La Tourelle

Cost: $20-$25, available online here.

Event Info

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Taking It EZ

The Electrozone and the Downstairs continue their new weekly series, “EZ Nights,” which they call “a vibrant and eclectic showcase of artists and entertainers.” This week’s artist is Human Resources, the duo of Mathew Grigorov (guitar, electronics) and Andrew Paine (laptop), who create “improvised musical structures that move you through vast realms of time and space.”

When: 8-10 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Downstairs (below the Watershed)

Cost: $5

Event Info


Subterranean Dance

The Downstairs continues its new Friday night series for March: The Magenta Lounge, which features local DJs Proper Philth and ha-MEEN trading tracks on their turntables to create a unique experience with a laid-back vibe.

When: 7-11 p.m. Friday

Where: The Downstairs (below the Watershed)

Cost: $5

Event Info

Anvil Orchestra

Crime Classic

Cornell Cinema will host a special screening of “Underworld” (1927), Joseph von Sternberg’s classic silent crime film, with a live soundtrack performed by the Anvil Orchestra. “One of the first and greatest of the American gangster films, ‘Underworld’ has all the elements of the genre: gritty mis-en-scene in the Chicago underworld, explosive violence, and a love triangle that's also a contest between law and lawlessness. Mixing his usual dense visual compositions with quick-cut action sequences and dazzling montage, Sternberg takes the elements of former reporter Ben Hecht's original screenplay and turns them into a drama that's larger than life.” The film will be accompanied by an original score performed by the Anvil Orchestra: Terry Donahue (accordion, saw, and more) and Roger Miller (keyboard), two-thirds of the Alloy Orchestra, which disbanded a few years ago.

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Willard Straight Theatre, Cornell University

Cost: $12 general, $10 students ($2 off for All-Access Pass holders), available online here.

Event Info


Damn Right He’s Got The Blues

Cinemapolis will screen “The Torch,” Jim Farrell’s documentary about blues legend Buddy Guy, a frequent visitor to Ithaca over the past 30 years. “At 83, Chicago legend Buddy Guy remains the standard bearer for the blues, an icon determined to see the art form live on long after he’s gone. Enter young guitar phenom Quinn Sullivan, who has been mentored by Guy since he was a kid. This stirring documentary, amplified by electrifying musical performances, charts the guidance Guy himself received from the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf while observing the Grammy-winner passing his wisdom to the next generation.” Watch the trailer here.

When: Opens Friday

Where: Cinemapolis

Cost: $7-$10.50

Event Info

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Henry Rollins

Punk Raconteur

Henry Rollins will bring his “Good To See You” tour to central New York, as he faithfully recounts the events of his life in the brief pre-COVID period since his last tour. Rollins has toured the world as a spoken word artist, as frontman for both Rollins Band and Black Flag, and as a solitary traveler with insatiable curiosity, favoring road-less-traveled locales in places such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Siberia, North Korea, South Sudan, and Iran. When he’s not traveling, Rollins prefers to keep a relentless schedule full of work, with gigs as an actor, author, DJ, voice-over artist, and TV show host to name a few of the roles that keep his schedule full. Find out more here.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Center for the Arts, Homer

Cost: $32-$35, available online here.

Event Info


Carrying On Tradition

The Cornell Concert Series and Cornell Music will host Lúnasa, one of the most influential bands in the history of Irish traditional music. Named after an ancient Celtic harvest festival, Lúnasa drew from Ireland’s greatest bands to form what Folk Roots magazine has called an “Irish music dream team.” They have proven their mettle time and again, having sold over a quarter of a million albums, and performed more than 2,000 shows in 36 countries at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Bailey Hall, Cornell University

Cost: $19-$39, available online here.

Event Info

Note: The band also will host a free open soundcheck at 5:45-6:30 p.m.; find out more here.

Cherish the Ladies

Two for the Road

Cherish the Ladies, the acclaimed Irish-American band that has been bringing its blend of traditional and original music around the world for 37 years, returns to upstate New York for two concerts this weekend: Friday at Geneva’s Smith Opera House, and Saturday at the Broome County Forum in Binghamton, where it will join the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Daniel Hege. Find out more about the band here.

Who: Cherish the Ladies

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: The Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva

Cost: $22.50-$40.50, available online here.

Event Info

Who: Cherish the Ladies with the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Broome County Forum Theatre, 236 Washington St., Binghamton

Cost: $20-$55, available online here.

Event Info

To read an interview with Cherish the Ladies leader Joanie Madden, go here.

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Planet Jr.

Setting the Stage

Pregame for the DSO show at the State Theatre with Planet Jr, the Elmira/Corning-based jam band.

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday

Where: The Upstairs

Cost: $5

Event Info

Dark Star Orchestra

Night of the Dead

The Dark Star Orchestra makes its long-awaited return to Ithaca. Through more than 3,000 shows over the past two decades, DSO has carved out a reputation as one of the top Grateful Dead tribute bands. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a setlist from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique setlist for the show. "For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," keyboardist and vocalist Rob Barraco explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live." Find out more here.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: State Theatre of Ithaca

Cost: $35-$40, available online here.

Event Info


Jammin’ On

After the DSO concert, head down the Commons to catch Nectar, as the Ithaca band showcases its Phish tribute show. The group includes drummer Jeff Goodmark, guitarist Steve Bassi, keyboardist Jordan Fitch, and bassist Richard Ross. Find out more here.

When: 10 p.m. Friday

Where: The Range

Cost: $10

Event Info

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Jim Catalano
Three Stone Fire performs in 2019.

Celtic Fire

The Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts will host the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Coffeehouse, an informal evening of music by Three Stone Fire that will feature the traditional music and songs from Ireland and the British Isles. Local session band Se Leigheas, also will perform. The evening will conclude with an open Irish session, so bring your instrument.

When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts

Cost: $10 suggested donation

Event Info


‘Shoegaze & Sheer Delight’

The Electrozone returns to Sacred Root after a two-year hiatus to present an evening of shoegaze, electronics, and other surprises. The lineup includes Dolly Sods, Human Resources, Stepwriterun, and Staticer, with DJing by Lexi Turner (Prayer Rope/ Black, MA).

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge

Cost: $5-$10 sliding scale

Event Info

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The Grand Tour

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox brings to Ithaca its “Grand Reopening Tour,” as the pop-jazz phenomenon makes its long-awaited return to live performance with a celebration of the new Roaring 20s. As always with PMJ’s live shows, the tour will feature an ensemble of multi-talented singers and musicians who bring Bradlee’s generation-spanning arrangements to life each night. The core ensemble is often joined by surprise guests to make each concert unique and unpredictable. Learn more here.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: State Theatre of Ithaca Cost: $28.50-$149, available online here.

Event Info


Two of a Kind

MSZM – the duo of Michael Stark and Zaun Marshburn – will showcase its original material and improvisations created on keyboards, bass pedals, and drums.

When: 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: $10, advance tickets available here.

Event Info


Instrumental Inspiration

Rochester-based AKU returns to downtown Ithaca. The instrumental quartet draws from a variety of inspirations, including metal, prog rock, math rock, jazz, fusion, neo-soul, and much more; the band members cite influences such The Mars Volta, Animals as Leaders, Strawberry Girls, Victoria, Nerve, and others. Find out more here.

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Upstairs

Cost: small cover

Event Info

Ariana Kim
Ariana Kim

Dynamic Duo

The Cornell Department of Music will present violinist Ariana Kim in a long-awaited recital with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute. The duo will present the world premiere of “Maksimal” by Dan Temkin along with Beethoven's “Spring” sonata. Originally planned for the spring of 2020, this concert is a Beethoven birthday tribute with a 21st-century reimagining, as Temkin’s music is influenced by Beethoven's approach to rhythm and counterpoint.

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: Moakley House at the Cornell Golf Course

Cost: free; the Moakley House bar will be open and is accepting credit cards only.

Event Info

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A Good Cause

The Djug Django Quintet – Eric Aceto, Dave Davies, Brian Earle, Harry Aceto, and Jim Sherpa – will perform at a benefit for World Central Kitchen's Ukraine Relief. The event also will feature arts, crafts, baked goods, Ukrainian food, beverages, a silent auction, and more. To volunteer, donate goods, or participate in any way, email vicki@agavarestaurant.com. All proceeds will benefit WCK's Disaster Relief Efforts.

When: 5-9 p.m. Tuesday Where: Agava Restaurant

Event Info

Joellen Riggs Photography



Traonach is at Aurora Brewing Company at 4-7 p.m. Thursday

Levi and the Wranglers are at Chateau Dusseau in Locke at 5- 8 p.m. Thursday
The X'Plozionz are at Cortland Beer Company at 6 p.m. Thursday

Kilrush will bring their “Triple Distilled Celtic Rock" to Grist Iron Brewing at 4-8 p.m. Thursday

Rocco Rich and Aaron Craig are at Homer Hops at 5 p.m. Thursday

Romer is at the St. Charles Hotel in Cortland at 6-8 p.m. Thursday

Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to the Ridge in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Pine Box is at the Seabring Inn at 7 p.m. Thursday

Jeremy Bussman hosts the weekly Open Mic Night at the Upstairs at 7-10 p.m. Thursday

Thursgay at the Range returns for a DJ Dance Party with the Duchess of Spirit Posse and Tilla Cordata at 9 p.m. Thursday ($5 cover)


Home Brew Acoustic bring its Dead tribute show to Kilpatrick’s Publick House at 4:30 p.m. Friday

Three Stone Fire bring their Celtic tunes back to Hopshire Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Kipani is at Barnstormer Winery at 5 p.m. Friday

M3 is at Onco Fermentations in Tully at 6 p.m. Friday

Clint Bush is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Liam Alone is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Friday

Prismism is at Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge at 7 p.m. Friday

Aiken is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday

DJ Gourd is at the Upstairs at 10 p.m. Friday POSTPONED!

Saturday & Sunday

Vinyl Roots is at Finger Lakes Distilling at 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday

Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to Chateau Dusseau in Locke at 3 p.m. Saturday

Jessie Gray is at Stone Bend Farm at 4-7 p.m. Saturday

The Tarps Duo is at Summerhill Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Tink Bennett is at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Saturday

Kevin Ludwig and Jordan Loretz are at Treleaven Winery at 6-9 p.m. Saturday ($5 cover)

Scott Tremolo is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Billy Golicki is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday

Clint Bush is at Solera Tap House at 2-5 p.m. Sunday

The Ravines will be at Brookton’s Market at 3-5 p.m. Sunday

Next Week

The Center for the Arts in Homer hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday

Benny Bleu is at Salt Point Brewing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday

Karlem Sivera
Jessie Gray

Jim Catalano covers the Finger Lakes music scene for WITH (90.1 FM in Ithaca, WITHradio.org) and its affiliates.