Last weekend was a big one for big names, with John Gorka and Kathy Mattea - both Grassroots Fest caliber performers - in town on Saturday, and comic Lewis Black selling out the State Theater on Sunday. This weekend is a little less luminary, but still satisfying.
Thursday starts it off, with a free jazz concert by the Cornell Jazz Ensemble, with guest pianist and conductor Toshiko Akiyoshi, who performed with Lew Tabackin at Cornell last week. Ms. Akiyoshi's first claim to fame in a long and distinguished career was a 1974 recording, "Kogun", which became the biggest selling jazz album ever in Japan. Tonight's concert is in beautiful Barnes Hall on the Cornell campus, for the beautiful price of free (so nice we say it twice). 8 p.m.
Friday: Reggae old-schoolers, Rastafrica, at Micawber's, 10 p.m.
For a quick and easy road trip, the excellent Rooster Fish Brewpub in Watkins Glen has Gerard Burke playing fine acoustic blues. Don't know what time - but their phone is 535-9797.
Saturday: At the State Theater, the only place befitting such a piece, "Wonderful Town", the classic Broadway musical by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. The show is a production of Columbia Artists Theatricals, a major Broadway touring company, and features an 18-piece orchestra. 7:30 p.m.
Film screening and discussion: "Sir, No Sir", an award-winning documentary about G.I. efforts to end the war in Vietnam. Co-sponsored by the Unitarian Church and the Durland Alternatives Library. At the Unitarian Church, Buffalo and Aurora Streets. Free. 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Jennie Stearns at Felicia's Atomic Lounge. 508 W. State St., 7 p.m.
Go out and enjoy Ithaca!
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