Real Good for FREE: Music Haven Concert Series, Schenectady

Living up to its motto of “traveling the world one concert at a time,” the Music Haven Concert Series at the Agnes McDonald Music Haven Stage in Schenectady’s Central Park once again promises to be an exciting tour of music from around the country and around the world, featuring such diverse global music as African dance, Brazilian bluegrass, Latin pop and Celtic folk.

The six-week slate includes legends like Diblo Dibala, McPeake and the Music Mobile’s Ruth Pelham, as well as such legends-in-the-making as Diego Garcia, Matuto and the blazing Deb Callahan Band.

As always, quality dinners and snacks by Homestyle Caterers will be available for purchase stageside beginning each concert evening at 6pm.

The concerts will take place at 7pm on Sundays from July 8-August 12, and admission is free.

Here’s the line-up of performances for the 2012 summer concert season:

With Zorkie Nelson
Soukous means shake, and that’s just what you’ll do under the magic spell of Congo music master Diblo Dibala. Dibala’s supernatural guitar skills fueled the heyday of Kanda Bongo Man, and his own African pop is just as infectious. Master percussionist Zorkie Nelson kick off the evening (and the season) by leading a participatory drum circle.

With the Bernstein Bard Quartet
Brazil meets Bluegrass in the deep, funky, indescribable blend of Matuto. Jazz Times calls the Brooklyn group’s high-energy Pan-American mix of Forro and fiddle tunes – powered by electric guitar and accordion – “unorthodox and delightful.” The Hudson Valley’s Bernstein Bard Quartet offers its own acoustic blend of Brazilian standards and bluegrass melodies on mandolin, guitar, bass and percussion.

With Alison Jacobs & Matt Mirable
Philadelphia blues mama Deb Callahan has been compared to the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Nina Simone. Her hard-touring band has been a hit at blues festivals around the country, and she’ll be making her Nippertown debut at the Music Haven. Equally comfortable singing blues, soul and rockabilly, Metroland’s Best Female Vocalist 2006 Alison Jacobs has wowed crowds around the Capital Region and around the country. She’s the real thing.

With Ramblin Jug Stompers
Legendary Music Mobile founder Ruth Pelham has been bringing the gift of song to Nippertown children and families for 35 years. The even-more-legendary Pete Seeger, calls her “one of America’s greatest songwriters.” Ramblin Jug Stompers are upstate New York’s premier good-time jug band and frequent
collaborators with Ruth Pelham.

With Asili & Vaccaro
Argentine-American singer-songwriter Diego Garcia gently rocked the world with his debut solo album, “Laura,” in 2011, winning accolades for his smooth Latin-tinged pop and handsome presence. He stops at the Music Haven on route to a “Late Night with David Letterman” appearance. Singer Taina Asili and guitarist Gaetano Vaccaro team up for a high energy blend of flamenco and Latin folk favorites.

with Jane Rothfield & Allan Carr
100 years of Irish tradition is on proud display whenever McPeake takes the stage. Led by Uilleann piper Francis McPeake IV, the group builds on tradition while bringing Celtic music squarely into the 21st century. For a different side of the Celtic experience, Jane Rothfield and Allan Carr will explore traditional Scottish music on fiddle and guitar.


Music in the Park @ Schodack Town Park, Schodack (Tuesdays from June 5 thru July 10)
Rockin’ On the River @ Green Island Bridge parking lot, Troy (Wednesdays from June 20 thru August 29)
Alive at Five @ Riverfront Park, Albany (Thursdays from June 7-August 9)
Backlot Music Festival @ Waterford Public Library, Waterford (Thursdays from June 28-July 26)
Music at Sunset @ Greenport Town Park, Hudson (Fridays thru August 31)
Upbeat On the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (Fridays thru August 31)
The Summer Sounds of Salem @ the Train Depot Green, Salem, (Saturdays thru September 1)
Art On Lark @ Lark Street, Albany, Saturday, June 9
River Street Festival @ River Street, Troy, Saturday, June 16
Powers Park Concert Series @ Powers Park, Troy (Saturdays in July and August)
Second Sunday Concert Series @ the Guilderland Public Library, Guilderland (Monthly thru June 13)
Skidmore Jazz Institute Concert Series @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs (June 26-July 6)

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