THE DOZEN: December’s Must-See Concerts
By Greg Haymes
You could call it Best Bets or Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. One entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so please feel free to weigh in on what you think we missed.
Here’s The Dozen for the month of December:
TONIGHT (THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3): Anais Mitchell @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The multi-talented, adventurous Vermont singer-songwriter returns to the intimate Caffe. With Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis. 7pm. $22 in advance; $24 at the door.
FRIDAY (DECEMBER 4): TriBecCaStan @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady. John Kruth and Jeff Greene lead the band through a truly head-spinning evening of world music, jazz and what-have-you. 7:30pm. $20.
FRIDAY (DECEMBER 4): “It’s a Jazzy Christmas!” @ the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts, Albany. It’s a celebration of Vince Guaraldi’s holiday jazz music featuring some of the Local 518’s top players. 6pm. $20; $10 students; FREE children under age 5 (ticket required).
SATURDAY (DECEMBER 5): San Fermin @ MASS MoCA’s Club B-10, North Adams. Exotic, intoxicating chamber-pop. With the marvelous Sam Amidon, the only artist to have played MASS MoCA’s Solid Sound and FreshGrass festivals. 8pm. $12 in advance; $18 at the door; $12 students; $24 preferred.
TUESDAY (DECEMBER 8): The Tedeschi Trucks Band @ The Egg’s Hart Theatre, Albany. The husband and wife team of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi lead their sprawling, soulful dozen-strong rock extravaganza. With Deva Mahal. 7:30pm. $65–$85.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10: The Punch Brothers @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. Bandleader-mandolin master Chris Thile is a rare true musical genius – and his bandmates sure ain’t no slouches, either. With Gabriel Kahane. 8pm. $39 & $49.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11: Lee Shaw Memorial & Concert @ Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady’s Whisperdome, Schenectady. Greater Nippertown’s Queen of Piano Jazz died in October, and a who’s-who of Local 518 musicians – seven bands in all – will gather to celebrate her life and music. 7pm. FREE.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12: The Security Project @ Chrome, Waterford. A tribute to the music of Peter Gabriel led by Jerry Marotta (of Peter Gabriel’s band) and Trey Gunn (of King Crimson) with Michael Cozzi, David Jameson and Brian Cummins. With a reunion of the Penny Knight Band. 7pm. $20 in advance; $30 VIP; $45 VIP with meet-and-greet.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16: James McMurtry @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton. It’s the return of one of our fave Texas tunesmiths, this time in support of his latest album, Complicated Game. With Ray Mason. $20 in advance; $25 at the door.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20: Bill Kirchen’s Honky Tonk Holiday Show @ The Hangar, Troy. The Titan of the Telecaster rumbles into town to inject some road-house rockabilly into your holiday season. 8pm. $20 in advance.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29: Brad Mehldau & Chris Thile @ The Falcon, Marlboro. When the jazz piano great and the mandolin virtuoso get together for one of the their rare duo concerts, just about anything can happen. 7pm. Donations encouraged.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31: First Night Saratoga @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. The always rollicking NRBQ headline the 20th annual New Year’s Eve celebration – six hours of non-stop family-friendly entertainment that also features Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, MaryLeigh Roohan, Ramblin Jug Stompers and dozens more. And, of course, a fab fireworks display to ring in 2016. 6pm. $15.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31: Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. It’s a rip-snortin’ New Orleans-style New Year’s Eve throwdown with one of the Crescent City’s best piano men and his band. 9pm. $45, $55 & $75.