As usual but even moreso, there's too much fun in Ithaca this weekend, focused on the big Light in Winter Festival, but with platesful more around town and campi as college life resumes.
Light in Winter is bringing back a couple of big international bands from recent GrassRoots Festivals: Hugh Masekela, the South African superstar who was the bust-out act last summer (at age 64 or so), and Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey, from Brazil and other locales, who were the heroes of the 2006 Festival with inspired music and costumed, prop-filled, slightly lunatic merriment after the worst day of rain (and washed-out performances) in GrassRoots history. It was also, of course, the day of greatest resurgence, with Baptista leading the charge.
Masekela performs at Cornell's venerable, refurbished Bailey Hall on Saturday, 8 pm. Baptista plays amidst similar grandeur downtown at the State Theater, Sunday at 8.
Friday night, Castaways hosts reggae legend Clinton Fearon, a founding member of the Gladiators. Kevin Kinsella, erstwhile frontman for John Brown's Body, opens with what we believe to be a committed new band. Break a leg, Kevin.
Saturday night, local heroes Gabriel Tavares and Richie Stearns get together at the Lost Dog at 8 pm, and the Butane Variations fire up at the Chapter House at 10.
Sunday night, folk music great Bill Staines returns to open another season for Bound For Glory at Anabel Taylor Hall. First set for the free show starts at 8:30, but you will need to arrive early for a seat for this one, no matter what else is going on in town. Bill will get the love.
for Ithaca Blog