20+ shows to see this week: March 24-30
Fast-rising Latin American blues guitarist Jose Ramirez makes his Ithaca debut, Tab Benoit comes to Homer, and a special silent film screens with live music at Cornell Cinema. Plus, dozens of local favorites are playing around 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 cancellation information. Stay safe, and enjoy as much live music as you can in the coming days!
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
Cornell Cinema will host a special screening of “The City Without Jews” (1924). Directed by H.K. Breslauer, the film is a darkly comedic satire with an original score performed live by world-renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin, who previously performed at Cornell Cinema with “The Ancient Law” (1923) in 2018.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Willard Straight Theatre, Cornell University
Cost: $12 general, $10 students ($2 off for All-Access Pass holders), available online here.
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: Ends Thursday; one screening at 7 p.m.
Cornell University Organist Annette Richards performs a concert that investigates what happened to German organ music in the decades after the death of J. S. Bach. Despite Bach’s legacy as a teacher and the remarkable repertoire of his works transmitted in manuscript by his students, relatively few substantial compositions for the organ appear to have been written by the later generation of organists. Yet C. P. E. Bach, J. L. Krebs, and others did leave a body of organ music that charms, thrills, and amply repays close listening. This program presents some of that music, along with J. S. Bach’s set of variations on “Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig,” BWV 768.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Anabel Taylor Chapel, Cornell University
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 His Divine Shadow, the duo of Jim Wells (aka Staticer) and Reka Wells (aka Fainting Lessons): “ Like thoughts held between recall and forgetting. Establishing a space
to be and move, outside time and expectations. A ride in the slipstream.”
When: 8-10 p.m. Thursday
Where: The Downstairs (below the Watershed)
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
Ready for Release
After a months-long Omicron-induced hiatus, Practice at Pete’s returns with a vengeance, as host band Secret Service Men marks the long-awaited release of its debut CD, “Unity Through Circle Pit.” Check it out online here. Local hardcore stalwarts Mill Bastards will open the show.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Pete’s Cayuga Bar
Cost: small cover
Read an interview with Secret Service Men here!
Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards Salon Series continues with another event. Invented by Johann Andreas Stein in the 1770s in Augsburg, Germany, the Viennese piano thrived for roughly 100 years before being superseded by French, English, and American designs. The CCHK collection holds a Stein copy as well as one of the last representatives of the lineage, an 1857 instrument by Stein's grandson, Johann Baptist Streicher. In this Salon, CCHK artist-in-residence Mike Lee explores why the Viennese piano shot to prominence but fell out of fashion as it grew in size. The Salon also traces the legacy of three generations of a piano-making dynasty and the pivotal role Nanette Streicher (née Stein) – perhaps the best-known female piano maker ever – holds in the history of music. Excerpts from Mozart and Brahms will be performed on both instruments.
When: 5 p.m. Friday
Where: A.D. White House, Cornell
Cost: free, but seating is limited; reservations are available here.
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)
Life is a Cabaret
Check out the “Feelin' Groovy Cabaret,” hosted by the Center for the Arts. Join a long list of talented theater performers from throughout Central New York as they explore Broadway Hits of the 60’s and 70’s in a cabaret-style event.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday (postponed from an earlier date)
Where: Center for the Arts, Homer
Cost: $10 suggested donation at the door.
Attention, Beatles fans: The Fab Four-The Ultimate Tribute is coming to downtown Ithaca. The Emmy Award-winning quartet known for its precise attention to detail, offering uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles' classics such as "Can't Buy Me Love," "Yesterday," "A Day In The Life," "Twist And Shout," "Here Comes The Sun," "Hey Jude,” and many more, along with a stage show that includes three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career. The group has won fans around the world, including Japan, Australia, France, Hong Kong, The United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: State Theatre
Cost: $14.75-$54.50, available online here
Jam-rock trio Organ Fairchild returns to Ithaca to promote its recently released debut album, “Brewed in Buffalo.” The band – Joe Bellanti (organ, keyboards), Corey Kertzie (drums, percussion), and Dave Ruch (guitar) – are longtime veterans of the Western New York rock and jam band scenes who reunited in 2019 in this new organ-trio project. Read an interview from November 2021 here.
When: 10 p.m. Friday
Where: The Upstairs
The Cornell Festival Chamber Orchestra will feature a sinfonietta performing new works by Cornell graduate composers Joshua Biggs, Laura Cetilia, John Eagle, Miles Jefferson Friday, and Han Xu.
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Barnes Hall
Remembering Leon Arguello
Local musicians are invited to join together to pay tribute to the late Leon Arguello, who passed away in a car accident last weekend. "This coming Saturday, March 26th, our friend Leon Arguello was booked to play at Stonebend Farm for the weekly Saturday Night Music event," says organizer Jennie Stearns. "As many of are aware, Leon left this world a few days ago....much too soon. Leon was loved by so many. We are honoring Leon by asking some of Leon's friends to play a song or two to respectfully hold the space where Leon would have been. We will have a sign-up list available at 4 p.m. and it will have an open mic feel. If you want to be a part of this, please join us." Any donations gathered at Stonebend will go to Leon's children.
When: 5-8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Stone Bend Farm
Cost: donations are welcome
Local singer-songwriter Tenzin Chopak (Rockwood Ferry, Swamp Kids) returns for an intimate duo show with pianist Emmett Scott.
8 p.m. Saturday CANCELED!!
Where: The Downstairs
Cost: $10; advance tickets available here
A collaboration between the Ithaca College School of Music, Cornell University, and Ithaca High School will bring Florence Price’s “Song of Hope” to the concert stage for the first time in its intended format. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and educated at the New England Conservatory of Music, Price (1887-1953) was a classical composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher. She is noted as the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra when her Symphony No. 1 in E minor was performed in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, a substantial collection of her works and papers was found in her abandoned summer home. According to graduate student conductor Michael Stern, B.M. ’18, Price wrote “Song of Hope” in 1930 for orchestra, large choir, and multiple vocal soloists, but it was never performed. Performing “Song of Hope” will be a choir being comprising the Ithaca High School Chorale, Cornell University Chamber Singers, and Ithaca College Madrigal Singers alongside the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra. The two soloists are current School of Music senior Naya Griles and former student Holden Turner. The concert will also feature performances by the Symphony Orchestra of Beethoven’s “Coriolan Overture” and Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.”
When: 8:15 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ford Hall, Ithaca College
Cost: free and open to all
Note: A pre-concert talk by Michael Cooper, professor of music at Southwestern University and a leading researcher on the life and music of Florence Price, will take place at 7:15 p.m. in the Iger Lecture Hall.
The Big Leagues
Rising Latin American blues artist Jose Ramirez will bring his “Major League Blues” album release tour to downtown Ithaca. Hailing from Costa Rica, Ramirez has played with some of the biggest names in the blues industry, including Buddy Guy, Anson Funderburgh, Janiva Magness, Mark Hummel, and more. His debut album, “Here I Come,” was produced by Funderburgh and was nominated for 2021 Blues Music Award. Released earlier this month by Delmark Records, “Major League Blues” features a guest appearance by the late Chicago blues great Jimmy Johnson. Find out more here.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Upstairs
Cost: small cover charge
The Cornell Department of Music presents “The Pleasures of the Quarrel: Three Parisian Operatic Hits from the Contested Season of 1753,” a comedic opera performance of three 18th-century works. Members of the New York Baroque Dance Company under director Catherine Turocy will collaborate with Rebecca Harris-Warrick in the unique production, which imagines a mash-up between factions of opera lovers in mid-18th-century Paris, during the so-called “War of the Buffoons.” Using excerpts from three memorable works, it will highlight the contested music and dance styles of the day while giving them a lively and humorous airing within a contemporary frame. Singers Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Marie Marquis, Dominik Belavy, and Tyler Duncan perform the lead roles, accompanied by the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, directed by Michelle Di Russo.
When: 3 p.m. Sunday; pre-performance talk with Harris-Warrick at 2 p.m.
Where: Bailey Hall
Cost: free with no tickets required.
Additional events include:
• 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Lincoln Hall, B20: Harris-Warrick and the cast will give a sneak preview of the upcoming mainstage performance. Additional activities include an ongoing exhibit at the Cox Library of Music and Dance (220 Lincoln Hall) with 18th-century scores, librettos, and visual materials.
• 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Kroch Library: A pop-up exhibit will provide additional context for the performance utilizing the library’s 18th-century collections.
Under the Big Top
Local icon Johnny Dowd returns to central Brooktondale, showcasing his distinctive repertoire from his decades-long career. His latest album is titled “Homemade Pie,” and he’s been releasing even more new material through his bandcamp page. The Fun Plums will open the show.
When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Brookton’s Market
The Fifth Annual Ithaca Big Band Summit will feature the jazz ensembles of Ithaca College, Cornell, and Ithaca High School, under the direction of Mike Titlebaum, Paul Merrill, and Michael Treat.
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Klarman Hall, Cornell University
Fiery blues guitarist Tab Benoit returns to Central New York, showcasing his powerful voice and propulsive rhythms. His brand of gritty and soulful Delta swamp blues has won him a devoted legion of fans over his long career, as well as five Blues Music Awards, including BB King Entertainer of the Year (twice) and an induction into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Fellow Louisiana-based guitarist Josh Garrett will open the show.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Center for the Arts, Homer
Cost: $15-$30, available online here
Pianist Thomas Feng will perform a recital titled “Threads Through Time.” The concert will feature a contemplative program of tributes and homages with music by Julia Perry, Donald Martino, Jessie Marino, and Adolphus Hailstork.
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Barnes Hall, Cornell University
Cost: free and open to all
Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to Salt Point Brewing in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday
Aiken is at Cortland Beer Company at 6 p.m. Thursday
Jeremy Bussman hosts the weekly Open Mic Night at the Upstairs at 7-10 p.m. Thursday
Rena Guinn is at Barnstormer Winery at 5 p.m. Friday
Two Horse Johnson is at the Seneca Cheese Company at 5:30 p.m. Friday
The Beauchesnes Trio is at Hopshire Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Friday
Raedwald Howland-Bolton is at Aurora Brewing Company at 6-9 p.m. Friday
Steve Maclean is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m. Friday
Frank Raponi is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Friday
The Rollin’ Rust is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday
Brad Allen is at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Saturday
Roger Decker is at Summerhill Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Saturday
The Horse Stories Trio is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday
The Custom Taylor Band returns to Goody’s Lake Como Inn at 7 p.m. Saturday
Tommy Tornado is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday
Pine Box will open for Johnny Lawhorn & the Pentagram String Band at the Seabring Inn at 8 p.m. Saturday
Double Tiger will do a DJ set at the Range at 10 p.m. Saturday
Robin Burnett is at Solera Tap House at 2-5 p.m. Sunday
The Center for the Arts in Homer hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday
Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday
Levi Dusseau is at Salt Point Brewing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to Crossroads in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31