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21+ shows to see this week: Jan. 24-Feb. 1

Jay Blakesberg
Jay Blakesberg
Twiddle photographed in San Francisco on July 23, 2019.

Twiddle postpones their Ithaca show, Big Head Todd and the Monsters come to Homer, and two concerts pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plus, catch a bunch of local favorites on stage around Ithaca, Cortland, and CNY in the coming days.

Note: the events are listed below in chronological order, in two separate sections.

And if you missed it, Jim Catalano highlighted his 15 favorite concerts of 2022 in his Soundoff column!


Voices Raised

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers (DCJS) will host a Community Celebration Concert to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program will feature spirituals and gospel songs by the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers (DCJS), music by Kendall Choir, Made in Color from Boynton Middle School, Ithaca College Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Ithaca College Treble Chorale, Dorothy Cotton Youth Singers and dance and step by the GIAC Jumpers.

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25

Where: State Theatre of Ithaca

Cost: free; donations welcome

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, Jan. 25

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: free; ages 18 and up

Event Info

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Downstate Grooves

Deep Dive hosts Brooklyn-based SunDub, who blend reggae, funk and soul into a unique sound as showcased on the band’s debut album, “Burden of Love.” Also on the bill are Hanzolo, a seven-piece band from upstate New York that draws on soul, funk, rock and jazz influences, and DJ Mike Judah, host of WICB’s “Reggae Explosions.”

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $8 in advance, available online here; $15 day of show

Event Info

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Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Monster Mash

Big Head Todd and The Monsters come to Central New York for a sold-out show in Homer. The band has “quietly become an American institution following three and a half decades of writing, recording, and touring (totaling over 3,500 performances). After countless sold out shows in amphitheaters and on the high seas, beaming their tunes to outer space (literally), earning the endorsement of everyone from Robert Plant to The Denver Broncos, and tallying tens of millions of streams, Big Head Todd and The Monsters cite the friendships formed in the crowd among their proudest accomplishments.”

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Center for the Arts, Homer


Event Info

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Fun Fundraiser

Stone Bend Farm and TradeDesignBuild will host a fundraiser party for the Finger Lakes Reuse Remap Program, featuring “a ton of amazing prize donations for the silent raffle from all our favorite local businesses!” and live music from Richie Stearns, Aaron Lipp, Ben Gould, and Pat Burke.

When: 5 p.m. Friday (postponed from Dec. 23)

Where: Stone Bend Farm, 196 Porter Hill Road, Newfield

Cost: donations welcome

Event Info

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Gordon Wenzel
Keiran Campbell and Sezi Seskir

Beethoven in Berlin

The Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards’ Salon series begins on Friday, as Sezi Seskir, fortepiano, and Keiran Campbell, cello, perform Beethoven’s Berlin cello sonatas. Beethoven’s Op. 5 cello sonatas were Beethoven’s first attempt toward making the roles of the two instruments more equal and were a celebration of the capabilities of the five-octave piano for which he composed these works. Seskir is Associate Professor of Music at Bucknell University, and Campbell is a core member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

When: 5 p.m. Friday

Where: A.D. White House, Cornell

Cost: free and open to all Event Info

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Cloey Tierno

Ready for Release

Cortland singer-songwriter Cloey Tierno will celebrate her debut album "I Fell in Love with the Rain" with an album release party at Rose Hall. “The album features a collection of 14 songs written by Cloey, who’s a senior at Cortland High School, and brought to life by the talent of multi-instrumentalist Gabe Cummins and producers Cummins and Chris Merkley.”

Opening the show is Jenna Noelle, another Cortland High student who has been performing a mix of original songs and covers with pop and R&B influences since 2019.

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday (postponed from Dec. 16, 2022)

Where: Rose Hall, 19 Church St., Cortland

Cost: $15, available online here (each attendee will receive a copy of "I Fell in Love with the Rain" with admission)

Event Info

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When Harry Met Sammy

Ithaca-based singer-songwriters Samuel B. Lupowitz and Harry Nichols (Noon Fifteen, Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis, The Funx, Thru Spectrums, Ariel Arbisser, Maddy Walsh, et al) share the stage for an intimate evening, trading tunes and tales from their catalogs. Nichols’s recent release, “Songs for the Rich and Beautiful,” is a song-for-song response to Lupowitz’s 2012 album “Songs to Make You Wealthier and More Attractive,” as Sam’s “No Man Is an Island” (2021) responded to Harry’s “Love en Route (2012).”

When: 7-9 p.m. Friday

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: Pay what you can at the door (suggested $5-$10)

Event Info

Read a 2022 interview with Harry Nichols here!

Read a 2021 interview with Samuel B. Lupowitz here!

Celebratory Concert

Ithaca College will present “A Concert Event Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” directed by Baruch J. Whitehead. “Concert attendees will experience the heart of the African-American musical experience, including spirituals, gospel, jazz, and popular, performed by: Ithaca College Ensembles: Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Choir, Chorus, Treble Chorale, and Jazz Vocal Ensemble; the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers; and guest duo Kuwento Mizik. There will also be a reading of King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

In addition, the concert will feature the world premiere of “Don’t Look Away (Requiem for a World that Never Was),” a thought-provoking piece about racism in America commissioned by associate voice professor Dawn Pierce ’97 in collaboration with IC alumni John Conahan ’96 (composer) and Meaghan Boeing ’00 (librettist). “The piece is designed as an empathetic call to engagement and point of entry for majority white communities that may be unsure of how to begin this difficult conversation, and a dramatic exploration of the damage done by the racism that has shaped American society and how it is still in force today.”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday; the concert will also be livestreamed, and then available on demand starting a few days after the concert, both at ithaca.edu/music/live.

Where: Ford Hall, James J. Whalen Center for Music, Ithac College

Cost: free and open to all

Event Info

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Jay Blakesburg

Fond Farewell

Twiddle brings its “Distance Makes The Heart” tour to Ithaca. The Vermont-based band – Mihali Savoulidis (vocals, guitar), Ryan Dempsey (keys, organ, synth), Brook Jordan (drums), and Zdenek Gubb (bass) – will be going on hiatus after its current tour. The group’s latest release is “Every Last Leaf,” showcases its trademark blend of funk, jazz, rock, reggae, and bluegrass influences. Update: this show has been postponed to April 2 due to illness in the band!

Yam Yam, a funk-soul-jazz-jam band from Harrisburg, Pa., opens the show.

When: 8 p.m. Friday POSTPONED TO April 2!

Where: State Theatre of Ithaca

Cost: $36, available online here (almost sold out!!)

Event Info

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Fwends Indeed

Deep Dive will welcome Ashley Ickes & Fwends for “A Twiddle Afterparty” after the latter band’s show at the State Theatre. “Join us for a musical hang of very special guests led by the one and only Ashley Ickes!”

When: 10 p.m. Friday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $10 at the door, 18+

Event Info

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Going Underground

Local singer-songwriters Silver Rein and Emma Vulnerability team up for “A Night of Musical Witchery” in downtown Ithaca. Their show will be preceded by a screening of the new short film “Transmission: Lisa Stephen Friday,” about the performer whose theatrical music project “Trans Am” played at the Hangar Theatre last summer.

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge

Cost: $5

Event Info

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Swinging Party

“Boost your January! Meet up with friends at the Village Swing scene, Saturdays 7 to 9 through January, at The Downstairs. Your hosts, Brian Earle and Wayne Gottlieb, will get your feet tapping! Watch for a new special guest artist each week. See you there!” They’ll be joined by bassists Ted Caldwell (Jan. 7, 21) and Harry Aceto (Jan. 14, 28) throughout the month. This week's guest singer is Jen Cork!
Update: "Wayne will not be able to make tonight's Village Swing session. He's feeling ill. Harry will play bass and Dave Davies will sub for Wayne on vocals and guitar."

When: 7-9 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info

Del Paxton

Triple Threat

Buffalo-based and Top Shelf Records artist Del Paxton returns to Ithaca for a indie-rock show with two hometown bands: Chimes of Bayonets and Gravestone Glue.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Rest Gallery

Cost: $5

Event Info

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Let’s Dance!

Deep Dive will host the David Bowie Ball: “Hey moonage daydreamers, space odditys, young americans, and jean genies! Get ready for the Bowie Ball, a burlesque celebration of the music of David Bowie with @parlorcityburlesque. Glamming up and costumes encouraged! Bowie dance party with DJ Hipster Dad to follow.”

“Central New York's newest black-owned burlesque troupe, the creative team at Parlor City Burlesque is dedicated to fostering a progressive community that prioritizes pleasure, consent and inclusivity. PCB is currently hosting monthly events in Binghamton and Ithaca.”

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $20

Event Info

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A Good Cause

Microtones is hosting a fundraiser rave party for local DIY nonprofit Ithaca Underground, with sets from “house-techno encyclopedia” Whoisbriantech and electronic music DJ Highstone, who plays “Trance, Acid, Progressive House, and Drum & Bass, particularly music from the late 90s / early 00s, throwing back to his roots in the NEPA rave scene of the late 90s.”

“We are throwing this party to support IU in its mission to create all-ages spaces where challenging art and music can thrive. Thanks for rocking with us.”

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Forest City Lodge 180, 536 W. Green St., Ithaca

Cost: $10 in advance, available online here; $20 at the door

Event Info

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The Sierra Duo

Dynamic Duo

The Cornell Department of Music will host The Sierra Duo (John Haines-Eitzen, cello, and Matthew Bengtson, piano), which will perform Roberto Sierra’s new work “Cuatro Piezas para cello y piano,” along with George Walker’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano” and Beethoven’s “Sonata in A Major, Op. 69.”

The new Sierra piece was a surprise gift to the duo about six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Haines-Eitzen and Bengtson previously recorded Sierra’s work on Albany Records, and Bengtson also recently recorded an album of Sierra’s solo piano music. The duo notes that “Roberto has a remarkable sense of what an instrument can do,” and “the demanding technique really stretches what’s possible on our instruments.” Bengtson is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, and Haines-Eitzen is Senior Lecturer and Artist-in-Residence at Cornell.

When: 3 p.m. Sunday

Where Barnes Hall, Cornell

Cost: free and open to all

Event Info

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Goin’ Goth

DJ Rob Haze and DJ Law host “Goth Night: Dark Alternative Monthly,” featuring “darkwave/postpunk/ebm/goth/industrial/electro/synth/bass.”

When: 9 p.m. Sunday

Where: Modern Alchemy Game Bar

Cost: $5 cover; 21+

Event Info

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X Marks the Spot Cornell’s new music group Ensemble X returns with a program titled “Throughlines,” which features recent works by British/Jamaican composer Matthew Kaner and Korean-American composer Juri Seo, as well as works from the latter half of the 20th century by American composer Milton Babbitt and Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. “This concert celebrates expressions of lyricism and instrumental vocality. Works on this program also pay homage to composers of the past, including Orlando Gibbons, Beethoven, Schoenberg, and Debussy.

“This program brings Cornell’s performing artists Mike Truesdell, Michael Poll, Thomas Feng, and Jack Yarbrough, together with guest artists Karl Henry, Emi Ferguson, Diego Vásquez, Asher Wulfman, Liviu Dubrota, Keegan Donlon, and Angelique Montes.”

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31

Where: Barnes Hall

Cost: free and open to all

Event Info

Annette Richards
Annette Richards

Natural Sounds

Cornell’s Midday Music for Organ series kicks off the semester in Sage Chapel. Annette Richards will perform “Nature’s music,” a program on the 1746 Italian organ featuring storms, birds, forests, and song, with music by Frescobaldi, Sweelinck, Poglietti, and Phillips.

When: 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1

Where: Sage Chapel

Cost: free and open to all

Event Info

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Going Galactic

The Galactic Escort Service returns, this time on every other Wednesday at Deep Dive, promising “another epic journey through sonic cosmology.” Core players include Tenzin Chopak, Emmett Scott, Michael Schuler, and Ashley Ickes, who create improvisations on a variety of instruments.

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $5

Event Info


More Shows

Sacred Root Kava Bar hosts Piano Happy Hour, featuring the improv piano sounds of Em Ludek performing as Five Dollars More Fancy, at 5-7 p.m. Tuesday

Joe Hayward, Richie Stearns, Liz Pickard, and Sam Schmidt will play old-time tunes at Bike Bar Ithaca at 6-9 p.m. Tuesday

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

SingTrece hosts her monthly “Open Mic for Singers, Rappers, Songwriters, Poets and Spoken Word” at the Downstairs at 7 p.m. Tuesday

Jesse Collins hosts the Sandwich Sessions at Brookton’s Market at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Levi and the Wranglers are 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

The Salsa Night Dance Party returns to the Range at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays

Richie Stearns and Friends play old-time tunes at South Hill Cider at 5-8 p.m. Thursday

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

Pat Nadge and Roger Decker are at Cortland Beer Company at 6 p.m. Thursday

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

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


WonderMonday plays a solo show at the Downstairs at 7 p.m. Thursday

Freight’s JP Payton and Liam Lawson play at Brookton’s Market at 5:30 p.m. Friday

Cisco and Present Company are at Hopshire Farm and Brewery at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Clint Bush plays Trax Pub and Grille at Greek Peak at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Sandra Esparza is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m. Friday

The Causeway Giants play at Heuga’s Alpine in Tully at 6-9 p.m. Friday

Just Joe hosts Vinyl Night at ONCO Fermentations in Tully at 6-9 p.m. Friday

Joey Arcuri, Owen Erickson, Tristen Jarvis and Zack Knewstub play jazz at Seven Of at 7-10 p.m. Friday

Marc & Monica are at the Hairy Tony's at 7-9 p.m. Friday

Adam Parker is at the Dryden Hotel at 7-9 p.m. Friday

The Homebrewed Comedy Show is at McGraw Box Brewing Company at 7-9 p.m. Friday

Evan Dillon is at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards at 1-4 p.m. Saturday

Pat Young is at Treleaven Winery at 1-4 p.m. Saturday


Kilrush brings Celtic folk-rock tunes to Grist Iron Brewing for “St. Practice Day” at 2-6 p.m. Saturday

Da Prof 'N Starr are at Chateau Dusseau in Locke at 3-6 p.m. Saturday

Mark Nanni is at the Puffin Dirt at Labrador Mountain in Truxton at 4-7 p.m. Saturday

Terrapin Station is at Two Goats Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

The Rollin’ Rust is at Summerhill Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

TNT Dynamite DJ is at McGraw Box Brewing Company at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

Pat Young is at Homer Hops at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Rachel Beverly returns to Brewer’s Kitchen and Taproom at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Diana Leigh is at WMC North in Elmira at 7-10 p.m. Saturday

Joey Arcuri, Owen Erickson, Tristen Jarvis and Zack Knewstub play jazz at Seven Of at 7-10 p.m. Saturday

Grateful Upstate Toodeloo is at John Barleycorn Tavern in Owego at 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Proper Philth and DJ Tuggle join forces at the Upstairs at 10 p.m. Saturday

Cielle is at Six Mile Creek Vineyard at 1-3 p.m. Sunday

DeWayne Perry hosts the monthly Jazz Jam at the Downstairs at 5-8 p.m. Sunday

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

Tenzin Chopak and Emmett Scott are at the Downstairs at 7 p.m. Tuesday

The Westy hosts its new Open Mic Night at 9 p.m. Tuesdays

Jesse Collins hosts the Sandwich Sessions at Brookton’s Market at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday

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

The Salsa Night Dance Party returns to the Range at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays

Donna the Buffalo

Regional Shows

Jan. 26, The Arcadian Wild and Oshima Brothers, The 9th Ward at Babeville, Buffalo

Jan. 27, Juice, Lark Hall, Albany

Jan. 27, Donna the Buffalo, Ransom Steele Tavern, Apalachin

Jan. 27, Chris Young, Turning Stone Event Center, Verona

Jan. 27, Greg Townson, Abilene Bar and Lounge, Rochester

Jan. 27, Dead to the Core, 443 Social Club, Syracuse (SOLD OUT!)

Jan. 28, Sim Redmond Band, Geneseo Theatre, Geneseo

Jan. 28, Donna the Buffalo, Water Street Music Hall, Rochester

Jan. 28, Colorblind James Experience, Abilene Bar & Lounge, Rochester

Jan. 28, Marisa Mulder, 443 Social Club, Syracuse (SOLD OUT!)

Jan. 28, The Brothers Blue, Oswego Music Hall, Oswego

Jan. 29, Jon Spencer & The HITmakers, The Bug Jar, Rochester

Jan. 29, Kate Taylor, 443 Social Club, Syracuse

Jan. 29, Dan Bern, The 9th Ward at Babeville, Buffalo

Jan. 30, Gregory Alan Isakov, The 9th Ward at Babeville, Buffalo

Jan. 31, Patty Griffin and Raul Malo, The 9th Ward at Babeville, Buffalo

Jan. 31, Jon Spencer & The HITmakers, Lark Hall, Albany

Jan. 31, Spafford, Buffalo Iron Works, Buffalo

Feb. 1, Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime, Westcott Theater, Syracuse

Feb. 1, Papa Roach, Main Street Armory, Rochester

Feb. 2, Shemekia Copeland, Center for the Arts, Homer

See an updated list of dozens of shows across upstate New York happening in January and beyond!

Shemekia Copeland on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage
Shemekia Copeland

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