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19+ shows to see this week: Dec. 21-27

Metasequoia is just one of the 17 local bands performing at Yule Fest this weekend.

Practice at Presents brings us Yule Fest, featuring 17 local bands performing at three venues across two nights – and it’s all for a great cause, to benefit Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County.

Also, Nectar celebrates Phestivus at Deep Dive, the NRE Space hosts a grand opening, Iron Horse marks its 16th anniversary, and the Walsh Family and Friends Holiday Show returns to Hopshire!

Note: This week’s shows are listed in chronological order in two sections below.

Richie Stearns
Richie Stearns

South Hill Strings

“Exciting last-minute update! Kevin Wimmer, Tom Mitchell and Joey Arcuri are joining Richie Stearns and Steve Selin this Thursday. Kevin (Steve Riley, Ann Savoy, Red Stick Ramblers) and Tom (with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks) have toured professionally for decades and are a dynamic duo. Joey is a member of Driftwood! This Thursday will be a rare assemblage of musicians raising spirits at South Hill Cider!”

When: 5-8 p.m. Thursday

Where: South Hill Cider

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info


Zingy Swing

Zingology plays a gig at the North Star Fine Art on the Commons. “This is a celebration of the Winter Solstice in art and music. The gallery is the showcase for Zing guitarist Brian Keeler's work. The core group will be performing some great Django-inspired tunes- with Greg Ezra on drums, Joanna Green on violin and vocals, Wayne Gottlieb on guitar and vocals, Ted Caldwell on bass, Brian Earle on Clarinet, and Brian Keeler on guitar. The combo will be joined by the song chanteuse of the Finger Lakes, Diana Leigh, on vocals. And the combo's recent CD will be available—be sure to get a copy of ‘On the Boulevard’ with 12 tracks of danceable gypsy swing.”

When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday

Where: North Star Fine Art, 116 The Commons

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info


Ready to Throck

“Join us at Personal Best on the last Thursday before Christmas! There's shuffleboard, fine micros and a chill space for being social with friends & family. Throckmorton plays Gen-X acoustic interpretations of classic rock hits through the decades.”

When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Personal Best Brewing, 321 W. State St., Ithaca

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info

Solstice Swing

The Jesse Collins Quartet returns to Bike Bar Ithaca, with saxophonist Collins joined by drummer Sam Fishman, guitarist Ryan Peterson, and bassist Ted Caldwell.

When: 7-10 p.m. Thursday

Where: Bike Bar Ithaca

Cost: free; donations welcome

Underground Sound

“Cuban jazz vocalist Venissa Santí has traveled a long road to develop her signature repertoire. Accompanied by Michael Stark and Olive Mitra, these long-time collaborators join forces weaving Afro-Cuban rhythms with obscure jazz gems and original tunes.”

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: $10

Event Info

Phestivus Phun

“It's another Phestivus miracle! Nectar is returning to Ithaca to celebrate its annual Phestivus event. Phestivis III will make its debut at Deep Dive and we couldn't be more excited! So let's gather around the aluminum pole, air out some grievances, and share in the groove as we celebrate Phestivus and the music of Phish!”

About Nectar: “If you like Phish, you will love Nectar! Ithaca’s premiere Phish tribute band is made up of four musicians who are well known in the Ithaca music scene. Cameron Fitch (Space Carnival) on keys, Richard Ross (Feed the Fire) on bass, Jeff Goodmark (The Uncommons) on drums, and Steve Bassi (Dapper Dan) on guitar put their own unique twist on the vast music catalog of Phish. Accompanied with a stellar light production brought to you by Ari Kissiloff and Kristin Lovelace-Ross, Nectar strives to recreate the Phish experience.”

When: 10 p.m. Thursday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $15 day of show; $10 with student ID

Event Info

Grand Opening

“Come ring in the season at the brand new NRE Space! Story House Ithaca, in collaboration with NRE, SingTrece, and Comedy on The Commons, proudly presents an exhilarating evening at the much-anticipated grand opening of NRE Space. December 22, from 4 pm to 10 pm, experience the versatility and vibrancy of the NRE Space, set to become a cultural cornerstone in Ithaca.

Our evening kicks off with the beloved holiday film, “The Preacher's Wife,” from 4 pm to 6 pm, as part of the Black To The Future Film Festival. Feel the warmth and joy of the holiday spirit with your family in this charming setting.

“As the screen dims, the stage lights up from 6 pm to 7 pm with the beguiling voice of SingTrece. Her “Enchanted Evening of Holiday Melodies” promises a soulful journey through classic Christmas tunes, showcasing the acoustic excellence of the new venue.

“The grand opening crescendos into a laughter-filled night with the “Christmas Comedy Extravaganza” starting at 8 pm. Prepare for a rollercoaster of humor and hilarity, featuring top-tier comedians, as we demonstrate the space's dynamic potential for live performances.

Join us in inaugurating the NRE Space – a new home for creativity, community, and celebration in Ithaca. Be part of this special moment and discover the endless possibilities this new venue brings to our community!”

When: 4-10 p.m. Friday

Where: NRE Space, 402 W. State St., Ithaca

Cost: $10, kids get in free!

For tickets to the movie and music, click here

For the comedy, click here

Event Info

Glad Tidings

Practice at Presents will present the multiband, multivenue Yule Fest to raise money for Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County. On Friday, the Range, the Upstairs, and Deep Dive will host several bands; on Saturday, Yule Fest continues at the Range and the Upstairs. (See the photo for the complete schedule.)

“Loaves & Fishes provides a place for free meals, hospitality, companionship and advocacy for those in need regardless of their faith, beliefs or circumstances.

In 1983, Rev. Kathy Eickwort of St. John’s Episcopal Church brought Ithaca residents and businesses together to create and support Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County, a community kitchen, in response to the needs of neighbors suffering from hunger and poverty. Loaves & Fishes continues to rely on the generosity of St. John’s, community residents and businesses to fulfill its mission.”

“Serving over 2,700 free meals each month and about 175 meals each day, it is a great blessing that after 40 years our partnership with local businesses, social service agencies and Tompkins County residents is stronger than ever. Loaves & Fishes has never been simply a place to get a free meal. We have long been committed to cultivating an inclusive and supportive community of people who care for and serve one another. “

When: Friday & Saturday

Where: Deep Dive, The Range, and the Upstairs

Cost: $18 in advance for both nights, available online here; $25 days of show for both nights

$10/$5 W/ Student ID - Per Show/Per Night

Event Info

Madd Daddy is Ted and Maddy Walsh

All in the Family
The Walsh Family and Friends Holiday Show has become a tradition at Hopshire in the week before Christmas. Hosted by Madd Daddy (Maddy Walsh and her father, Ted Walsh), the program features a number of Walsh siblings, cousins, in-laws and friends singing separately and together. Some of the songs are seasonal, and some are not, but all feature strong voices, ‘blood harmonies’ and a general family feeling. This is one show you will want to catch.”

Food Provided by She Messy Tacos See less

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday

Where: Hopshire Farms and Brewery

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info

Dennis Winge
Dennis Winge

Tunes for the Cause

Local guitarist Dennis Winge will host a livestream benefit concert on Facebook. “We are going to raise at least $1000 for Food for the Hungry over 90 minutes while Dennis plays holiday music on solo acoustic guitar.”

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Facebook

Cost: donations welcome

Event Info

Solstice Stomp

Crooked Square (Jerone Gagliano, Lloyd Graves, Valerie Graves, and Molly Kornblum) and caller Marc Faris will host a solstice dance at Stone Bend Farm.

“We're fixin' to have another frolic! Mark the turn toward longer days with dancing, tunes, food, and fun. Marc Faris (caller) and Crooked Square (band) will keep your feet warm and your head happy. All dances taught from scratch — absolutely no experience needed. Come with friends, come make new ones. Hooray for Stone Bend and music and movement and community!!!”

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Stone Bend Farm

Cost: $5-$10 suggested (but no one turned away for lack of funds)

Event Info

Ready for Release

Southern Tier guitar stalwart Randy McStine (Porcupine Tree) will mark the release of his new album, “Unintentional,” by performing it in its entirety, followed by a full set of Jeff Beck music. He’ll be joined by Thomas Westcott (Ultra Vibe) on bass, Tyson Alston (Caviar & Grits) on keyboards and vocals, Jeff Howard (Metrognome) on drums, and Steve Simmons (Ultra Vibe) also on drums.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Atomic Tom's, 196 State St., Binghamton

Cost: $15, available online here

Event Info

Merry Skelequesmas

Delaques and Skeleton Hands are at it again for our Christmas residency!! Come see local artist Dakota's gallery! Eat some of the downstairs new food! AND maybe you'll see some special guests too!” For this final night of the residency, they’ll be joined by cellist Grace Dashnaw.

When: 9 p.m. Fridays through Dec. 22

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: $10

Event Info

Southern Rock

“Come join us in celebrating Iron Horse's 16th-year Bandiversary at Cedarwood Venue (formerly Brews n Brats). Iron Horse has become a long-standing Southern Rock staple in the Finger Lakes region, and they're still going strong after all these years.”

When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Cedarwood Venue, Trumansburg

Cost: free

Event Info

Holiday Swing

The Village Swing Trio – Wayne Gottlieb, Brian Earle, and Harry Aceto – concludes its December residency at the Downstairs. “We'll be hosting the wonderful singer Alice Saltonstall, who will help bring in the holidays with a selection of Christmas and other wintery tunes. Maybe we can even scrounge up some red and green lights.”

When: 7-9 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Downstairs

Cost: $10

Event Info

A Very Jerry Christmas

“Scuba Jerry is attempting our Deepest of Dives yet. Join us for a night of your favorite JGB+ tunes, great libations and some holiday cheer (or an escape from the craziness). Tell your friends, bring your family, and don’t forget your Hawaiian shirts! *DISCLAIMER* Ugly sweaters and Birks encouraged. All holidays are accepted and celebrated at this show. Only party poopers and sharks are turned away. We can’t wait to see you there.”

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: $10

Event Info

Get in the Spirit

Spirit Posse x EK present “2023 WRAP’d: A Holiday Special” at The Cherry Artspace. Featuring performances by Empire Kings and The Brat Dondada, and DJ sets from The Duchess, The Brat Dondada, and DJ Corazón. There also will be a cash bar sponsored by The Rhine House and a 360° Video Booth with A360 Moment. Open to 18 and up.

When: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday

Where: The Cherry Artspace

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 cash at door, $15 cash at door with a donation of non-expired, non-perishable food item for @No Mas Lagrimas

Event Info

Blues in the ‘Cuse

The Great Salt City Blues Concert 7 returns to Syracuse in a new location, as Blue Wave Records founder Greg Spencer hosts his annual post-Xmas blues blowout – the seventh in a series of 10 thematic shows “honoring some of our greatest blues artists.” This year’s concert will pay tribute to the late British blues guitar legend Kim Simmonds, the longtime leader of Savoy Brown who released several albums for Blue Wave during his decades-long stint as an Oswego resident. Soul great Ann Peebles (“I Can’t Stand the Rain”) and Delta blues master Skip James (“I’m So Glad,” “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”) also will be feted by an all-star band of 18 regional players and singers “chosen specifically because they are best fitted for the show.”

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Middle Ages Brewery Beer Hall, 120 Wilkinson St., Syracuse

Cost: $30 in advance, available online here; $40 at the door

Event Info

Wednesday Night Jazz
Kicking off a full night of jazz, Greg Lofaro and The Firefly Trio return for the Deep Dive Jazz Happy Hour. They’ll be followed by the Deep Dive House Big Band at 8-10 p.m. and the new People’s Jam hosted by Drew Martin at 10:30 p.m.

When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: free

Event Info

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 months.

When: 8-10 p.m. every other Wednesday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: free; ages 18 and up

Event Info

People Get Ready

“The People’s Jam,” a new jam night hosted by saxophonist Drew Martin, continues every other Wednesday right after Deep Dive House Big Band. A native of the Bronx, Martin is currently a jazz studies major at Ithaca College and has played a key role in the local music scene over the past couple of years.

When: 10:30 p.m. every other Wednesday

Where: Deep Dive

Cost: free

Event Info


Raedwald Howland-Bolton
Raedwald Howland-Bolton

More Shows

Scale House Brewery hosts Open Mic Night at 6-8 p.m. Thursday

Roger Decker and Pat Nadge are at Cortland Beer at 6-9 p.m. Thursday

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

Atlas Bowl in Trumansburg hosts the weekly Vinyl Showcase at 7-10 p.m. Thursday

DJ Dale hosts Karaoke Night at the Upstairs at 10 p.m. Thursday

Raedwald Howland-Bolton is at Two Goats Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Friday

Turkeytail plays a Solstice Party at Hector Wine Company at 5-8 p.m. Friday

Ryan Matter is at McGraw Box Brewing at 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday

Levi Dusseau is at Aurora Brewing Company at 6-8 p.m. Friday

The Steve Daniels Trio is at Homer Hops Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Friday

The Smokin’ Loons are at BRU64 in Cortland at 6-9 p.m. Friday

MAZAIAK is at Scale House Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Evan Dillon is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Friday

The Cadleys are 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

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

Gabe Stillman is at Garrett's Brewing Company in Trumansburg at 7 p.m. Friday

Rob Ervin is at the Brackel Pub & Grub in McDonough at 7-10 p.m. Friday

Planet Jr. is at Jake’s Saloon in Horseheads at 8-11 p.m. Friday

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

Soul Citizen Disco is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday

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

MrGoodies.Shop will host “Battle of the Buds” with DJ Zilla at the Speakeasy (1808 Hanshaw Road) at 3-8 p.m. Saturday ($10)

The Ampersand Project is at Summerhill Brewing at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

Two Horse Johnson is at Two Goats Brewing for a “Festivus Holiday Social” at 5-8 p.m. Saturday

Patrick Young is at Homer Hops Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Bryan Jacobson is at Brewer’s Kitchen and Taproom at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Tim Herron and the Great Blue are at ONCO Fermentation at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

The Raponi-Glanville Project is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Payton Bird and Sean Fried are at McGraw Box Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

M3 is at the St. Charles Hotel in Cortland at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Front & Main and Brian Wolff are at Atomic Tom’s in Binghamton at 7-10 p.m. Saturday

Stereopticon and Sweats team up at the Green Derby in Elmira at 8 p.m. Saturday

Yayle Hues is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday

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

The Green Street Jazz Band is at Brookton’s Market at 6-8 p.m. Wednesday

Dan Segal of Flea Circus is at Salt Point Brewing at 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday

DJ Dale hosts Trivia Night at Revelry Yards at 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays

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

The Upstairs hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday

Salsa Ithaca presents the weekly “Salsa Wednesdays” dance event at the Range at 8 p.m. Wednesday

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