There are times, and this weekend is among them, that one thinks no place could have more artistic and community activities, weight for age, than Ithaca. Perhaps New York, New York; but probably not per capita.
Two of the most distinct events, one on Saturday and one Sunday, blend music, food, and community unity. What could be more Ithacan than that?
On Saturday, the Baptized Church of Jesus Christ at 412 First Street holds a Gospel Block Party. It promises "soul food, children's activities, and music from Thousands of One with Elliot Martin, The Righteous Boys (from Elmira), the Dobbs Sisters (a cappella singing), and DJ Lex Ruger. The event is in support of breaking down racial walls, building community, and celebrating life." The party goes from 2 - 8 pm.
On Sunday, the Ithaca Catholic Worker celebrates a release party for the St. Patrick's Four, who will finally all be free that day from their prison time for their anti-war activities. The event is at the Southside Community Center from 1 - 4 pm. Refreshments are provided. See www.stpatricksfour.org for more information.
There is also a slew, at least, of great music of disparate styles this weekend.
Richie Stearns and Friends play at Old-Time Dance Night at Perry City Friends Meeting Hall, 8 pm Saturday. Suggested donation, $7.
Priscilla Herdman is a folk singer with a long and varied career and one of the best voices you will hear. Presented by the Cornell Folk Song Society at 165 McGraw Hall, 8 pm Saturday. Tickets $17 at the door, or $15 in advance at Small World Music.
Marty Ehrlich is a multi-instrumentalist jazz player who has drawn comparison to Eric Dolphy. The Village Voice calls him "the dream jazz musician." With his Trio, at the newly-rechristened Club Euphoria, 115 N.Cayuga St., 8 pm Saturday. Tickets $15 at the door, $12 at Small World Music.
Johnny Dowd plays at the Chapter House with a band called Morning 40 Federation. Their name has something to do with an affinity for fortified malt drinks for breakfast, and they seem to appreciate the work of Dowd, if not keenly, at least fervently. 10 pm.
On Sunday: Balkan Beat Box, with Golem, at Castaways, 8 pm. Eastern European gypsy and klezmer mixed with free-form jazz, hip-hop, and what-not. Go know, it's the hottest thing on the New York scene right now. You'll get so jiggy you could plotz. Tickets $15 at the door, $12 at Small World Music (on Saturday - store closed Sundays).
Give a listen!
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