15+ shows to see this week: March 31-April 6
DakhaBrakha brings the sound and spirit of Ukraine to the State Theatre, Béla Fleck gets back to bluegrass, and the Milk Carton Kids make their long-awaited return to Ithaca. Plus, locals Johnny Dowd and Jasperoo unveil their new albums!
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!
The Sound of Ukraine
After debuting at the 2017 GrassRoots Festival and selling out the Haunt in 2019 Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha makes its long-awaited return to Ithaca. Known for its distinctive vocal harmonies and instrumentation, the Kyiv-based band is led by Vladyslav Troitskyi, who sings and narrates throughout the show. Learn more here. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine looms large over the band’s current tour, so in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, concert promoter DSP Shows is making a donation to The Voices of Children Foundation, a Ukrainian charity that provides psychological and psychosocial support to children. Find out more here. SF Jazz has also created the Dakhabrakha Fund to support the band.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: State Theatre
Cost: $25-$35, available online here
Aaron Lipp returns to South Hill Cider. A native of Naples, N.Y., and a master of many instruments – guitar, fiddle, Hammond B3 organ – and styles – old-time, bluegrass, rockabilly, country, gospel – Lipp is a familiar face to upstate music fans through a variety of projects and collaborations in recent years. His latest solo album is “Nothing to Lose.” Find out more here.
When: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: South Hill Cider
Cost: free; donations welcome
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 Finite Element, aka Rich Kennicutt, an electronic musician from Binghamton who “weaves lush soundscapes with Berlin School synth sequences, soaring leads, and dark ambient atmospheres.” Hear more here.
When: 8-10 p.m. Thursday
Where: The Downstairs (below the Watershed)
The Cornell Department of Music and Center for Historical Keyboards present the final installment of the spring Salon series, as The Taliesin Trio (Xak Bjerken, piano; Ellen Jewett, violin; and Elizabeth Simkin, cello) will perform the Piano Trios of Robert Schumann. By the mid-19th century, pianos in different national styles proliferated freely in continental Europe. Clara Schumann, one of the most renowned virtuoso pianists of her day, regularly performed on French, English, and German pianos. In this Salon, the Taliesin Trio will give a preview of their project to record all three piano trios by Robert Schumann. The performance will feature the Center’s 1865 Pleyel French piano.
When: 5 p.m. Friday
Where: A.D. White House, Cornell University
Cost: free; reservations recommended — go here
It’s Johnny Dowd Time
Local legend Johnny Dowd will host an April Fool’s CD release party and art show to celebrate his latest album, “Homemade Pie.” Johnny’s trio will be joined by special guest Kim Sherwood-Caso, who contributes vocals to the new album. And since it’s Downtown Ithaca’s First Friday Gallery Night, Dowd will display some of the artwork that he’s been creating in recent years. And he’ll release another new single on his bandcamp page, as well as the latest in a series of music videos that accompany the new album. Find out more here.
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: The Downstairs
Cost: small cover
Guitarists Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia will bring their “Blood Brothers” tour to Central New York. Zito is a five-time Blues Music Award Winner and Castiglia is the 2020 BMA award winner for Blues Rock Album of the Year, “Masterpiece”; both artists are on the Gulf Coast Records label. The tour will showcase each band for a set and then will end with both bands together onstage creating a sound of classic southern rock and blues.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Center for the Arts, Homer
Cost: $25, available online here
Syracuse-based psychedelic prog-rockers Vaporeyes return to Ithaca to showcase their ever-shifting live show. The band has shared the stage with a variety of brethren, including Jimkata, Zoogma, Papadosio, The Werks, RAQ, Kung Fu, Aqueous, Brothers Past, DrFameus, Tauk, Spafford, Cycles, and more, and its latest single is titled “Take It All,” which you can hear here. Learn about the band more here.
When: 10 p.m. Friday
Where: The Upstairs
Ready for Release
Jasperoo – the duo of John and Mary Beth Bunge – will play a pair of shows to mark the release of their new album “Pandemonium.” Says Mary Beth: “We’ll meld instrumental Americana old-time with original tunes, share stories, and sell CDs and stickers.” The shows are free, family friendly, and open to the public. Learn more here and here.
When & Where: 3 p.m. Saturday, Community School of Music and Arts, Ithaca
When & Where: 7 p.m. Saturday, Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts, Trumansburg
Strong Maybe will kick off its April residency in downtown Ithaca, performing on Saturday nights for the coming month. The Ithaca-based band includes Matthew Saccuccimorano (drums), Mark Wienand Karlsen (saxes and flute), and Chad Lieberman (keyboards), who have created a sound they describe as “mostly improvised psychotic cartoon animal dream soundtrack music.” Their latest release is “Rona,” created via file sharing during the lockdown. Hear for yourself here!
When: 8-11 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Downstairs
One More Shot
Buffalo-based southern-soul band Miller and the Other Sinners return to Ithaca. Led by guitarist-singer David Michael Miller, the band can be described as “imagining Chris Stapleton blended with ZZ Top and Tower of Power, the structure of solid songs and freedom for moving jams.” Their latest release is the EP, “Rise.” Learn more here.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Upstairs
Cost: small cover
Singing for Spring
The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble presents its spring concert: “The Spirit Sings!” under the direction of Sean Linfors. The program will feature a set of three works by Zanaida Robles, Morten Lauridsen, and Mozart explores the “Veni Sancte Spiritus” (“Come, Holy Spirit”) text, and short pieces by Stephen Paulus and Moses Hogan illuminate the spirit-filled voice. Also on this concert, CVE is proud to premiere a newly commissioned work by American composer Christopher Harris titled “Joy Never Leaves,” which came about through a partnership with several other choruses to commission Harris’ work. “Joy Never Leaves” is an uplifting setting of Devondra Banks’ poem of the same name, and speaks of the persistence of the spirit through adversity. Learn more here.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: St. Catherine of Siena, 309 Siena Dr., Ithaca
Cost: pay what you can; donations are welcome at the door.
Hailing from Harlem
Ithaca College’s Hockett Chamber Music Series will present Harlem Quartet, the New York-based ensemble that advances diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with a varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. The group has performed with Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Misha Dichter, Jeremy Denk, and Paquito D’Rivera, as well as collaborating with jazz masters Chick Corea and Gary Burton on the album “Hot House,” a 2013 multi-Grammy Award-winning release. Find out more here.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Ford Hall, Ithaca College
Cost: free and open to all
A rare Monday night gig will feature the double bill of Magic Beans and Annie in the Water. Hailing from Boulder, Colo., Magic Beans is a funk-Americana-improv project that has built up a national reputation and resume in its 10 years. On April 30, the band will release its third studio album, “Slice of Life,” a “14-song documentation of a year spent away from the familiar confines of the road.” Find out more here. Hailing from the Adirondacks region of northern New York, Annie in the Water has won fans with its high-energy stage show. The band just released a new studio album titled “Sun at Dawn.” Find out more here.
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Where: The Upstairs
Cost: $15; advance tickets available online here.
The Milk Carton Kids make their long-awaited return to Ithaca. Long been known for their stellar harmonies, incisive songwriting, and witty stage banter, the duo of Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale last performed here in 2012. Their latest release, “Prologue,” is a boxset marking the 10th anniversary of the pair’s studio debut album of the same name; it follows their 2019 album, “The Only Ones.” Find out more here.
Opening the show is Michaela Anne, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter who is readying for the June 10 release of “Oh To Be That Free,” the follow-up to her acclaimed YepRoc release “Desert Dove." Learn more about her here.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Hangar Theatre (moved from the Center for the Arts)
Cost: $35, available online here
Back to Bluegrass
Béla Fleck returns to Ithaca to showcase his latest album, “My Bluegrass Heart,” on which the banjo virtuoso returns to his roots. “This is not a straight bluegrass album, but it’s written for a bluegrass band. I like taking that instrumentation, and seeing what I can do with it – how I can stretch it, what I can take from what I've learned from other kinds of music, and what can apply for this combination of musicians, the very particularly ‘bluegrass’ idea of how music works, and what can be accomplished that might be unexpected, but still has deep connections to the origins.” For this leg of the tour, he’ll be joined by Sierra Hull, Mark Schatz, Justin Moses, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan. Find out more here.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6
Where: State Theatre of Ithaca
Cost: $28.50-$48.50, available here.
All About the Bass
The Angela and William Haines Young Concert Artists Residency will present its Spring 2022 Concert featuring double bassist Xavier Foley accompanied by pianist Kelly Yu-Chieh Lin. Foley is known for communicating his virtuosity and passion for music on the double bass, which is rarely presented as a solo instrument. Winner of a prestigious 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Foley was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Sphinx Organization for a new work titled “For Justice and Peace” for Violin, Bass, and String Orchestra, which was recently performed at venues including Carnegie Hall as part of a program designed to promote social justice. Find out more here.
When: 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 6
Where: Hockett Family Recital Hall, Ithaca College
Cost: free and open to all
Aiken is at Cortland Beer Company at 6 p.m. Thursday
Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to Crossroads in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday
Jeremy Bussman hosts the weekly Open Mic Night at the Upstairs at 7-10 p.m. Thursday
The Vinyl Lounge continues its weekly residency at Trumansburg’s Atlas Bowl at 7-10 p.m.
The Immortal Jellyfish are at Hopshire Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Friday
Travis Rocco is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m. Friday
Darkwine is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Friday
Steve Daniels and Friends are at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday
The Lakeside Drifters are at Treleaven Winery at 1-4 p.m. Saturday
The East-West Blues Band is at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards at 1-4 p.m. Saturday
Andrew Alling is at Chateau Dusseau at 3 p.m. Saturday
Freight returns to Stone Bend Farm at 4-7 p.m. Saturday
Rachel Beverly is at Summerhill Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Saturday
Chris and Lori Haun are at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Saturday
Raedwald Howland-Bolton is at Two Goats Brewery at 6 p.m. Saturday
Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to Brewers Café and Tap Room at 6 p.m. Saturday
Joe K is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday
M3 is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday
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
Chickenwire Parachute is at the Bike Bar at 7-9 p.m. Wednesday
Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to the Ridge in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7