Events: Out & About in February 2014
The Towne Crier returns, speaking of history, and remembering a really “big shew”
Guitarist Sharon Isbin — who has a list of Grammy awards and nominations as long as your arm — likes to mix things up. Although she is a renowned classical player (she founded the guitar department at Julliard), she frequently collaborates with other musicians to perform everything from Baroque compositions to jazz-fusion works — and her current tour is no exception. For Guitar Passions, which comes to two local venues this month, Isbin shares the stage with fellow strummers Stanley Jordan and Brazil’s Romero Lubambo for a concert of jazz, Latin, and Brazilian music. Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Egg. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org. Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Bardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org. Call or visit Web sites for ticket information.
If you’re a Baby Boomer of a certain age (say, 55 or better), you no doubt remember what you watched on The Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago this month. That’s right: The Beatles made their first appearance on American TV half a century ago. (Makes you feel old, doesn’t it?) The Egg Center for the Performing Arts marks this milestone anniversary by hosting a number of special programs and events. Eight community centers in the Capital District region present She Loves You: The Beatles and New York, a multimedia show with film clips, photos, recordings, and live music (Feb. 6-13; call or visit Web site for exact dates and locations). All You Need Is Love, a free concert of Beatles love songs, takes place on Valentine’s Day at the Egg (Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.). And on the 15th, the Fab Faux — arguably the best of the Beatles tribute bands — plays the mop-tops’ hits with help from the Crème Tangerine Strings and Hogshead Horns (7:30 p.m. $35-$45). Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org
Those with an interest in local history — and local wildlife — will want to check out this month’s Evening Speaker Series, presented by the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall. On Feb. 4, learn everything there is to know about the Walkway Over the Hudson — past, present, and future — from one of the linear park’s docents. The following week, the story of James F. Brown — an escaped slave whose freedom was purchased by the Verplanck family in the 1820s — is told by Elaine Hayes, executive director of Beacon’s Mount Gulian Historic Site (Feb. 11). Experts on backyard encounters with native animals (Feb. 18) and the future of the electric car (Feb. 25) round out the schedule. 7:30 p.m. $7. Cornwall Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. 222 Hudson St., Cornwall-on-Hudson. 845-534-5506, ext. 204 or www.hhnaturemuseum.org
The American Symphony Orchestra performs the second concert of its 2013-14 season in the acoustically superior Sosnoff Theater at Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The program includes works by 20th-century Finnish composer Erkki Melartin; the German Romantic specialist Robert Schumann; and Grammy-winner — and Bard professor — Joan Tower, whose 2010 composition “Stroke” is one of the evenings’ centerpieces. Dedicated to her brother, who suffered a serious stroke several years ago, the work is “dramatic,” says Tower, and plays upon the various meanings that its title can convey. Feb. 21 & 22 at 8 p.m., with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. $25-$40. Bard College campus, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900 or http://fishercenter.bard.edu
One of the region’s premier live-music venues, the Towne Crier Cafe, is now comfortably ensconced in its brand-new home on Beacon’s Main Street. How comfortably? As we go to press, there are 10 shows booked for the short month of February — that sounds pretty comfy to us. A few highlights: Folk-rock/Americana singer-songwriter James McMurtry (Feb. 8), Grammy-nominated Cajun accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco (Feb. 14), guitarist Jim Weider (formerly of the Band) and vocalist/Valley resident Amy Helm (Feb. 15), and the all-female Irish-American group Cherish the Ladies (Feb. 23). Call or visit Web site for complete schedule, times, and ticket information. 379 Main St., Beacon. 845-855-1300 or www.townecrier.com