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22+ shows to see this week: Dec. 7-14

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Joe Lopez
Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke and the Indigo Girls return to the State Theatre, the Cosmic Joke Collective is back with another array of local luminaries, and Tri-Force gets ready for its debut! Plus, holiday-themed shows continue throughout the area!

Note: the events are listed below in chronological order, in two separate sections. And see the list of regional concerts at the end of the post!

Also, it’s time for WITH’s winter membership drive! Tune into “Open Tunings” each morning, as host Scott Regan is joined by a variety of special guests. For more information, or to make a donation, go here!

Thomas Feng

Paying Tribute

Pianist Thomas Feng will present “Quo Vadis?: The Life and Music of Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru,” a lecture-recital honoring the extraordinary life and music of Ethiopian composer and nun, Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru. Biography, cultural history, original archival research, and performances of Emahoy's compositions interweave into the presentation, in commemoration of the composer's upcoming 99th birthday.

When: 5 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 7

Where: A.D. White House, Cornell

Cost: free and open to all

Event Info

Indigo Girls
Jeremy Cowart
Courtesy of the artist
Indigo Girls

Closer to Fine

Indigo Girls make a welcome return to Ithaca, with Amy Ray and Emily Saliers playing songs from their deep discography dating back to 1989.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7

Where: State Theatre

Cost: $37-$68, available online here

Event Info

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Triple Threat

Practice Presents returns with another cool show, this one featuring local favorites Secret Service Men, New Motor Club, and Viva Mayhem playing punk, garage rock, ska, and more!

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7

Where: The Upstairs

Cost: $10

Event Info

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The Rongo Band

Rongo Revival

Richie Stearns and Friends will reconstitute The Rongo Band that played old-time tunes and fiddle music at the now-defunct Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg. Richie will be joined by longtime compatriots Rosie Newton, Steve Selin, and Ben Gould for a mix of old-time tunes, country classics, and original songs.

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: South Hill Cider

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info

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Tinsel Tunes

The Ithaca Concert Band will present its annual Holiday Concert. “This concert will feature modern and traditional Christmas arrangements through time and a lively Hanukkah-inspired piece. No time to catch a full Nutcracker ballet this season? You can catch the ‘Short But Sweet Nutcracker Suite’ with ICB.” Find out more about ICB here!

When: 7-8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Ford Hall, Ithaca College

Cost: free and open to all; donations welcome

Event Info

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Blackberry Smoke

Ready to Rock

After performing an all-acoustic show here in April 2019, southern rock favorites Blackberry Smoke return to Ithaca to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their breakout album, “The Whippoorwill.” Founded in 2000, the Georgia-based band includes vocalist-lead guitarist Charlie Starr, guitarist-vocalist Paul Jackson, bassist-vocalist Richard Turner, drummer Brit Turner, and keyboardist Brandon Still. Their latest release is “Stoned,” a collection of Rolling Stones covers. Find out more about them here!

Read Jeff Spevak's 2021 interview with Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr here!

Yesterday's Wine, the duo of Wyatt Durrette and Levi Lowrey, will open the show.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: State Theatre of Ithaca

Cost: $27.50 and up, available online here

Event Info

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Going Underground

The Venissa Santí 4 Tet will perform in downtown Ithaca, with acclaimed Latin jazz vocalist Santí joined by keyboardist Michael Stark, bassist Walt Lorenzut, and Olive Mitra on drums and cajón.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: $12

Event Info


Eclectic and Electric

Tri-Force – the joint venture of Felix Free, Cosmic-T, and Mystik Fool, will perform in downtown Ithaca. "The foretold coming together of three highly celebrated diversely melanated eclectic bohemian funky fresh artists." Open to all ages.

When: 8 p.m. Friday Where: Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge

Cost: $15

Event Info

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Underground Springhouse

Straight Outta Athens

Hailing from the music scene of Athens, Georgia, Underground Springhouse blends reggae, country, funk, and rock influences to create its distinctive sound. The band’s 2018 debut single, “Joyfell,” was followed by the 2019 EP “Tom Foolery” and 2021’s self-titled full-length album. Their most recent single “I’ll Be Fine,” (April 2022) finds the band incorporating southern rock and blues influences. The group includes Members Haas (guitar/vocals), Jackson Thompson (bass/vocals), Max Motley (keyboard/vocals), Mitch Davidson (guitar/vocals), and Jacob Sherwin (drums/percussion). Find out more about them here!

When: 9:30 p.m. Friday

Where: The Range

Cost: $10

Event Info

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The Rave-Ons

It’s a Crazy Feeling

Cortland Repertory Theatre will present three concerts with Todd Meredith and the Rave-Ons, who have performed multiple times at CRT to sold-out houses, with tribute concerts to Buddy Holly and the Crickets as well as other popular groups of the 1950s and early 60s. At 11 a.m. Saturday, CRT will host a Holiday Broadway Brunch fundraiser, with an hour-long performance by the band as well as a silent auction, catered sweet treats, and beer and wine cash bar featuring specialty holiday drinks created by the CRT bartenders. The band also will performs full two-act concerts on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Find out more about the band here!

When: 11 a.m. Saturday (brunch event); 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday (concerts)

Where: CRT Downtown, 24 Port Watson St., Cortland

Cost: $100 per table of four for brunch event; for the concerts, tickets are $35 for adults; $120 for a group of four; $25 for under age 21, available by calling (800) 427-6160 or online at CortlandRep.org.

Event Info

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Let’s Dance!

Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca will present its latest event. “Join us for a relaxed afternoon of contras, with the added fun of a few Finnish traditional dances. Calling by David Smukler, Finnish dances taught by Katrina Mackey, music by the joined forces of local contra favorite O’Shanigans and local Finnish favorite Metku.”

“Early registration to provide vaccination information by email at hfdi.webmaster@gmail.com is highly recommended. Everyone must provide proof of full vaccination either through early registration or at the door; N95, KN94, or surgical masks required and must be worn.”

When: 2-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fall Creek Elementary School=

Cost: $10 for members, $12 for non-members

Event Info

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Voices Carry

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers will present their Winter Concert. “Our selections will feature some holiday classics, standard Negro spirituals and gospel, and new pieces that we are excited to share! The livestream will take place on our brand-new YouTube channel for those who are unable to make the performance in person.” Find out more about the ensemble here!

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Ford Hall, Ithaca College

Cost: free and open to all; $20 suggested donation

Event Info

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Cheryle Tan

History on Parade

Cheryl Tan will present a keyboard recital, “Late Styles: Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms” that includes the use of two of Cornell’s historical keyboard instruments.

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Barnes Hall, Cornell

Cost: free and open to all

Event Info

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Dark as a Dungeon

The Electrozone returns with another cool “Dungeon Knights” event in downtown Ithaca. “Time's end is coming for 2022 and so too must Dungeon Knights make a final stand. In an effort to break the bounds of time itself 2022 has conjured an unholy horde of unimaginable proportions to see that no year will ever usurp it. Though vastly outnumbered, local heroes Avoidance have summoned a band of champions to meet this onslaught head on and ensure this year will not be the last year. The nocturnal warrior Notule and the dark wizard Moon Eyed Kitty join Avoidance's perilous quest. What's this? Hidden forces stir who may yet save our heroes or brutally slay them. Who will win on this night of champions, 2022 or Dungeon Synth?!? …. Join us if you dare!”

More about the musicians:

AVOIDANCE (Ithaca): “The combined might of Lexi Turner (Prayer Rope) and E (Phantom Project) manifests Avoidance. AVOIDANCE conjure a swirling mass of rumbling electronics and haunting refrains that speak of the night and the horrors just beyond it.”

NOTULE (Rochester) “Handcrafted Dungeon Synth, founded in Ithaca, inspired by esoterica of the past and future.”

MOON EYED KITTY (Ithaca) “Crawling out of the night, Moon Eyed Kitty passionately blends several styles of music, and some much more arcane, from his leathery tome of electronic music.”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Rest Gallery, 113 W State St., Ithaca

Cost; $10-$15 sliding scale

Event Info


Blurring Boundaries

SOUK returns to the stage, playing middle-eastern and Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Greek music, ranging between hypnotic and danceable, instrumental and vocal pieces. SOUK was formed in 2010 by Nikolai Ruskin, Jesse Koennecke, and Dara Anissi, who have been performing together for over two decades. Performing on violin, oud, percussion, and several other traditional instruments, they will be joined by Middle Eastern dancers Anna Horn and Alicia Free. ”SOUK plays traditional Arabic and Turkish music, based on Maqam, a complex modal system with emphasis on improvisation, and Iqa, a wide variety of rhythms. Their repertoire ranges from Raqs Sharqi, the music played in cabarets for bellydance, to Muwashahat, 16th century songs that migrated from Andalusia to Aleppo, Golden Era classics by famous singers like Ohm Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez, to folk music from Upper Egypt and the Black Sea region of Turkey.

When: 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts

Cost: $11 in advance, available online here; $15 at the door

Event Info

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Two for One

Deep Dive will host a double bill – two shows, one ticket – featuring the return of the Cosmic Joke Collective along with Portland, Maine-based “indie pranksters” SeepeopleS.

Hosted by the Mighty Mickie Quinn, this month’s CJC will feature “some of Ithaca's best shining their light on you with solo performances and new ensembles.” Performers include Angie Beeler; Billy Coté & Mary Lorson with Steve Gollnick and Brian Dozoretz; Joe Gibson; Sam Lupowitz; and Fusebox, a new trio comprising Josh Ross (Kitestring), Julia Felice (Whiskey Crisis), and Harry Nichols (Noon Fifteen).

Led by Will Bradford, SeepeopleS have released five full-length albums and 2 EPs on their own imprint, RascalZRecordZ, with one more due out this fall. “It would be an accurate statement to say that there isn't a single band on the planet that covers as much ground musically, or traverses through as many musical universes as SeepeopleS does.” Find out more about them here!

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $10 in advance, available online here; $15 at the door

Event Info

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Lisa Ann Wright

Songs to Sing

Lisa Ann Wright plays an afternoon show at Brookton’s Market. She has performed with several area bands including Annie Ol’ Thyme, Uncle Joe and the Rosebud Ramblers, and the Tomcats, as well as spending many years in the D.C. metro area, singing and playing with dance bands and the “Snarky Sisterz” duo. She most recently performed her original songs under the show title of “Love, Death, and Taxes” in Ontario as part of her artist residency on Halls Island. Her songs “tend to be topical but not strident, self-reflective at times but hopefully not too much so, and chill — but not elevator-ready.”

When: 1-3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Brookton’s Market

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info

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A Savage Holiday

The Savage Club of Ithaca is hosting a holiday music concert that will feature a variety of choral holiday music, ranging from old-English carols to modern sing-along favorites. Founded as an offshoot of the Cornell Glee, Banjo, and Mandolin Club, the Savage Club of Ithaca has been entertaining audiences and promoting the arts since 1895. The Savage Club provides grants to community arts organizations that specialize in youth performance, including the Community School of Music and Arts, Women’s Works, Vitamin L Chorus, Running to Places Theatre Company and Armstrong School of Dance.

When: 2-3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Savage Club Performing Arts Center, 1004 Auburn Road, Groton

13073 (15 minutes north of Triphammer Marketplace).

Cost: Admission is free, with freewill donations accepted. “All proceeds go to renovations for the performing arts center, which is made available as a rehearsal and performance space to local groups.”

Event Info

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Simply ‘The Best’

The Ithaca Community Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Aaron Burgess, will present a concert titled “The Best of the Best.” The orchestra will be performing Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Opus 70, and Hayden’s Symphony No. 103 “The Drumroll.” The orchestra welcomes Reuben Foley as the new assistant conductor; he’ll lead the orchestra in Emilie Mayer’s “Faust - Ouverture.” The public is invited to attend a reception held directly after the concert.

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Lansing Middle School Auditorium

Cost: A recommended donation of $7 will be accepted at the door, and children are admitted free of charge.

Event Info

‘Radiant Dawn’

Conducted by artistic music director Sean Linfors, the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble will present a concert titled “Radiant Dawn,” which will include the premiere of Christine Donkin’s piece, “Sorrow into Song.” Find out more about the CVE here!

When: 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: St. Catherine of Siena, 309 Siena Dr., Ithaca

Cost: donations are welcome at the door

Event Info

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The Scott B Adams Acoustic Ensemble

Sounds of the Solstice

The Scott B Adams Acoustic Ensemble will present its Annual Solstice Concert at Red Newt Cellars. A holiday tradition for more than 20 years, and back after a pandemic break, the event features original, acoustic, and holiday music performed by Scott B Adams, Eric Aceto, and Doug Robinson. Find out more here!

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Red Newt Cellars

Cost: Sold out! Send Adams a message via Facebook or the website to get on the waiting list.

Event Info

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Going Big

The Deep Dive House Big Band continues its every-other-Wednesday residency under the direction of local jazz professor Greg Evans, who teaches at Ithaca College and Cornell University and plays drums with Rose and the Bros and other area bands. The DDBB will feature players from Cornell University, Ithaca College, and the greater Ithaca Community every other Wednesday for the coming month.

When: 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: free; ages 18 and up

Event Info

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Ming De Mers
Cornell Jazz Combos

More Shows

The Argos Grove Trio plays jazz at the Argos Inn at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays

The Jesse Collins Trio hosts “Jazz at the Market” at Brookton’s Market at 6-9 p.m. Wednesday

Gone Acoustic plays Salt Point Brewing at 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday

The Cornell Jazz program will give its Combo Showcase concert in the Klarman Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday

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

Scott B. Adams hosts Open Mic Night at the Scale House Brewery at 6-9 p.m. Thursdays

The Brewhouse Blues Band returns to Hopshire Farm and Brewery at 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday

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Ella Drotar

Ella Drotar is at BRU64 in Cortland at 6 p.m. Thursday

Pat and Dan are at Cortland Beer Company at 6 p.m. Thursday

Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse to Crossroads Bar and Grille in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday

The Dutchess of Spirit Posse hosts a DJ Dance Party at the Range at 9 p.m. Thursday ($5)

DJ Dale hosts a weekly Karaoke Night at the Upstairs at 10 p.m. Thursdays

Dubber Rucky (DJ ha-MEEN and Kenny Christianson) returns for an experimental dance party at Deep Dive at 10 p.m. Thursday (no cover!)


Louiston, joined by Chris Ploss and Joey Arcuri, is at Two Goats Brewing at 5 p.m. Friday

GoGone returns to Deep Dive for a happy hour show at 5-7 p.m. Friday

Paul Davie is at McGraw Box Brewing Company at 5:30 p.m. Friday

Harmonic Dirt is at Heuga’s Alpine in Tully at 6 p.m. Friday

Travis Rocco is at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Friday

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The BobCats Band

The BobCats Band plays Hopshire Farm and Brewery at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Clint Bush is at the Dryden Hotel at 7-9 p.m. Friday

Organist Anna Steppler will perform “Winter Light,” a recital of seasonal music, at 7 p.m. Friday in Cornell’s Anabel Taylor Chapel

Band by the River is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday

Marc Ryan and Monica are at Hairy Tony's in Cortland at 8 p.m. Friday

Pat Comstock and Scott Muir are at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards at 1-4 p.m. Saturday

The Double Standards are at Treleaven Winery at 1-4 p.m. Saturday

The Percolators are at Brookton’s Market at 2-4 p.m. Saturday

Adam Parker is at Chateau Dusseau in Locke at 3-6 p.m. Saturday

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Brian John McBrearty

Jennie Lowe and Brian John McBrearty join forces at Stone Bend Farm at 5-7 p.m. Saturday

Past My Bedtime is at McGraw Box Brewing Company at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

Levi and the Wranglers are at Summerhill Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

Terrapin Station is at Two Goats Brewing at 5 p.m. Friday

The Midnight Mike Petroff Blues Harp Band plays ONCO Fermentations in Tully at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

The Junkyard Heights Trio is at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Saturday

Clint Bush plays Brewer's Kitchen and Taproom at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Jimi Marley is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday

The Range hosts a Salsa Night Latin Dance Party, featuring DJs and dance lessons, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday


Delaques and ANNATTO return to the Downstairs at 9 p.m. Saturday ($5-$10 sliding scale)

Bradford Allen plays ONCO Fermentations in Tully at 12-3 p.m. Sunday


Tilia Cordata hosts “Serve! Drag Brunch” at Deep Dive at 12-4 p.m. Sunday

Payton Bird and Sean Fried are at McGraw Box Brewing Company at 2-4 p.m. Sunday

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

The Horse Stories Trio is at Solera Tap Room at 2-5 p.m. Sunday

Marc Ryan is at the Bluewater Grill in Skaneateles at 5 p.m. Sunday

Robin Burnett and Scott Muir are at Solera Tap Room at 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday

The Center for the Arts in Homer hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7-9 p.m. Tuesday

The Argos Grove Trio plays jazz at the Argos Inn at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays

Rachel Beverly is at Salt Point Brewing at 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday

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

The Range hosts its weekly Salsa Night Latin Dance Party, featuring DJs and dance lessons, from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday

The Analogue Sons return to the Argos Warehouse at 8 p.m. Wednesday

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The David Bromberg Quintet

Regional shows

Dec. 7, The Beach Boys with John Stamos and the Holiday Vibrations Orchestra, OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theater, Syracuse

Dec. 7, Thievery Corporation, Town Ballroom, Buffalo

Dec. 7, Chris Duarte, 443 Social Club, Syracuse

Dec. 8, Celtic Women, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo

Dec. 8, Nikki Glaser, Del Lago Resort, Waterloo

Dec. 8, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Landmark Theatre, Syracuse

Dec. 9, Grand Funk Railroad, Del Lago Resort, Waterloo

Dec. 9, Veronica Lewis, 443 Social Club, Syracuse

Dec. 9, Junexa, Lost Horizon, Syracuse

Dec. 9, David Bromberg, Center for the Arts, Homer (SOLD OUT!)

Dec. 10, Clockmen, Fuzzrod, and Massive Blowout, The Bug Jar, Rochester

Dec. 10, Saliva, The L, Horseheads

Dec. 10, Luminaire: Christmas! Turning Stone Showroom, Verona

Dec. 10, Lindsey Stirling, Del Lago Resort, Waterloo

Dec. 10, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Westcott Theater, Syracuse

Dec. 10, Veronica Lewis, Abilene Bar and Lounge, Rochester

Dec. 11, Irish Christmas in America, Earlville Opera House, Earlville

Dec. 12, Soweto Gospel Choir, Corning Museum of Glass

Dec. 15, Lita Ford, Touch of Texas, Binghamton

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Teddy Allison
Lita Ford

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