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April Music Highlights

Su 4/3- Saugerties Pro Musica presents DI.VI.SION PIANO TRIO, at Saugerties United Methodist Church, Saugerties—It’s a shame they don’t do it more than once a month, as Saugerties Pro Musica has become a real treasure for lovers of chamber music, running the gamut from choral, brass, bluegrass, folk, string quartet…you name it. This month it’s the piano trio, featuring Kurt Briggs (violin), Matt Goeke (cello), and Renée Cometa Briggs (piano) performing select works by Haydn, Alan Bush, and Albert Roussel. is a New York-based association of freelance musicians founded by Kurt Briggs in 1997, incorporated as a not-for-profit in 2001, with the aim of “present(ing) concerts and educational programs that reflect the spirit of the early pleasure gardens of London and New York. This concert tradition started in London in the early 17th century, and New York’s earliest pleasure garden was Vauxhall, founded in 1765 and named for its British counterpart. The tradition continued uninterrupted for more than 225 years, and left a legacy of permanent buildings for music, opera, dance, theater and art.” The 35-member core of gives numerous concerts in the City and tri-state area, performing all styles from early composers to contemporary, in ensembles of all sizes. For this program, the piano trio covers a good 300 years of history, starting with Trio in G minor, HOB. XV:19 by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), then Three Concert Studies for Piano, Violin, and Cello by contemporary British composer Alan Bush (1900-1995), closing with Trio in E flat Major, Op. 2 by French Impressionist Albert Roussel (1869-1937). Saugerties United Methodist Church, Washington Ave. & Post St., Saugerties,, 845.246.5021. 3 PM

Th 4/14- ART LANDE, PAUL MCCANDLESS, and BRUCE WILLIAMSON, at The Falcon, Marlboro—The Falcon in Marlboro has quickly become the premier listening venue in Ulster County, with their constant bookings of up-and-coming jazz, blues, and world music artists flowing through en route to bookings in New England, Canada, and Western New York, from the south. Proprietor Tony Falco has created a comfortable format for quality music that doesn’t usually get a fair hearing, with a nice environment with full bar and seasonal menu of fine cuisine, and as a result has found himself attracting some major talent, much of it local. We could wax rhapsodic over the rich April line-up—which includes KJ Denhert, Jay Collins, Bernard Purdie, Tomas Lopez, Alexis P. Suter, and Tisziji Munoz, and more—but we’ll take the time to focus on one show that’s representative of what the Falcon is providing the music-loving community. This particular ensemble strides the jazz and classical worlds comfortably, utilizing a wide variety of timbres—oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, saxophone, piano, and percussion—to achieve the blend. Paul McCandless (woodwinds) was a founding member of the seminal acoustic improvisational group Oregon, and has performed on over 150 albums with (to name a few) Carla Bley, Pat Metheny, Steve Reich, Bruce Hornsby, and with Bela Fleck, with whom he won a Grammy in 1996. Art Lande has been a piano monster, recording over 50 albums for ECM, Arch, Elektra, and Windham Hill with Gary Peacock, Jan Garbarek, Steve Swallow, Charlie Haden, and Chet Baker. Bruce Williamson (woodwinds) has worked with Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dave Douglas, Mark Isham, and Jack McDuff, as well as collaborating with composer Elliot Goldenthal and director Julie Taymor on several projects, including Across the Universe and Frida. This should be an inspiring evening of improvisational chamber music, at it highest level. With openers David Rothenberg and Lewis Porter. The Falcon, 1348 Rte. 9W, Marlboro,, 845.236.7970. 7 PM

We 4/27- The Harddrive Live Spring Fling Tour with SALIVA, REV THEORY, and SEVEN DAY SONNET at The Chance Theater, Poughkeepsie—Full disclosure: I have every reason to hate these guys. No, really. It was 1997 in Memphis Tennessee, I was a local up-and-coming record producer, on the Board of Governors for the regional chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS). That year NARAS had a big national Grammy Showcase competition, with each chapter doing their own “battle of the bands”, submitting each winner to the national finals. I had a really good band in the hunt in the Memphis finals, but suddenly there was this band Saliva NOBODY had ever heard about there too. Flamboyantly-dressed front man Josey Scott was one of those mile-a-minute-in-the-moment guys who was born to be a rock star, backed by a ruggedly inspired rhythm section blending hard rock and hip-hop in a way that…uh, actually worked. Kinda like a Southern-fried David Lee Roth fronting Rage Against the Machine. Damn. Well, after whomping my guys and the other locals, they went on all the way to the finals, where though not crowned champs, they walked away with precious national exposure and a major label deal. Boy were we pissed! But it turned out they had the goods, and fourteen years, five albums, several hit singles, soundtracks, and world tours later—even a greatest hits!—they’re still going strong, working new single “Badass” from their upcoming Under Your Skin (Island), due out soon. And the truth is, I truly love and respect this band because they are as real as you can be doing what they do, which is still in-your-face modern hard rock with the southern twist. Tweaked with a hard shot of Hollywood. With Rev Theory and Seven Day Sonnet. The Chance Theater, 6 Crannell St., Poughkeepsie,, 845.486.0223. 7 PM

We 4/27- Dan Smalls presents JOHN PRINE, with ERIC BRACE & PETER COOPER, at Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), Kingston—They just don’t make ‘em like John Prine anymore, do they? We seem to be a world away (30 years?) from those golden songwriter times, when irascible characters like Prine, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Townes Van Zandt, Warren Zevon and the like prowled the American musical landscape. It’s almost impossible not to love Prine; such rich yet simple imagery in the lyrics, the pure and sympathetic self-accompaniment on guitar, the songs delivered with a cranky but friendly grin. Quick Prine primer for the uninitiated: Came up through the Chicago folk scene with good buddy Steve Goodman, “discovered” by Kris Kristofferson, self-titled debut in 1971 still considered one of the finest in the genre, with signature songs “Illegal Smile”, “Sam Stone”, “Angel From Montgomery”, and “Paradise”. A steady run in the 70s with several great records, one even with Sun Records legend Sam Philips (Pink Cadillac, 1979). Started his own label Oh Boy Records in the 80s, had many covers of his songs by others (Bonnie Raitt’s sweet version of “Angel”), winning a Grammy for The Missing Years (1991), with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein, an album of duets with Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, and Iris DeMent, movies with Billy Bob Thornton, surviving cancer in his neck. Then earlier this year, a tribute record Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows (Oh Boy, 2010), with Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket, and Old Crow Medicine Show among those raising the glass. It’s been ten years since his last visit here, best not miss him this go-round. With Eric Brace & Peter Cooper opening. Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), 601 Broadway, Kingston,, 845.339.6088. 8 PM

Sa 4/30- High Meadow School Benefit, featuring JOHN MEDESKI, JAMIE SAFT, ELIZABETH MITCHELL, DAN LITTLETON, and special guests, at High Meadow School Performing Arts Center, Stone Ridge—Long considered one of the finest independent not-for-profit schools in the region—serving kids from pre-K to eighth grade—High Meadow School has earned its accolades by taking a very individualistic approach to each student, empowering them in a “learning community” as opposed to a rigid test-based curriculum. Over the course of the year, the school hosts a series of fundraisers to establish funds to offset tuition costs for less affluent students, utilizing the considerable talents of some of the parents. One such is John Medeski, who with the groundbreaking trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood has managed the thoroughly neat trick of selling cool instrumental R&B/jazz explorations to the burgeoning jam band scene, bringing it a much needed quality of true musicality. Medeski—who, by the way, also will be breaking out some nice collected wines for VIP ticket purchasers—has evolved nicely into an improvisational keyboard hero for our times, blending raw talent with fierce chops ranging from classical to funk, always with soul and curiosity, utilizing old school sounds with new applications. Many of these same descriptions can also readily be applied to keyboardist/composer/multi-instrumentalist Jamie Saft (Beastie Boys, Bad Brains, The B-52's), who will be performing along with the couple Elizabeth Mitchell and Dan Littleton, known for their folk-rock group Ida, and their family band You Are My Flower. VIP tickets include “Eat & Greet” with wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres by local chefs. High Meadow School Performing Arts Center, 3700 Main St. (Rte. 209), Stone Ridge,, 800.838.3006. VIP reception 7 PM, show 8 PM

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