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Brian Patneaude Quartet CD-Release Party

Unless you’re allergic to the saxophone and actively avoiding exposure for fear of a compromised immune system, there’s a fair chance you’ve already seen local tenor ace Brian Patneaude. He’d be hard to miss. (Understatement Alert! Understatement Alert!) Patneaude keeps himself pretty busy.

In addition to the time he puts in as a private saxophone teacher, Pantneaude is a longtime member of Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra; he also works in an innovative trio featuring sax, drums and a DJ, called Nouveau Chill; and he plays ringleader to his own quartet, with whom he’ll be celebrating the release of his second album, Distance, on Saturday at WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium.

Patneaude’s debut, Variations, was highly praised by Vermont’s Seven Days, who said it “perfectly balances inventive improvisation with slippery-smooth melodies for a sound as refreshing as it is classic”; and the All Music Guide enthused that the work was truly as great as the sum of its parts. Metroland, too, is familiar with those parts—namely guitarist George Muscatello, drummer Danny Whelchel, bassist Ryan Lukas and, of course, Patneaude himself—and has twice named BP as the Best Jazz Artist of the year (2003 and 2004, if you’re checking the archives).

Distance continues on in the pattern established by Patneaude’s debut, seamlessly incorporating world rhythms and textures, tasteful shadings of free-jazz inspired oddity, and smoky slow groove, all of which are threaded together by Patneaude’s unfailingly lyrical and melodic tenor.

The Brian Patneaude Quartet will hold their CD-release party on Saturday (March 19) at WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium (339 Central Ave., Albany). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $8. For more information, call 465-5233.

Artist Residency: Amelia Biewald

Typically, artists wait until they’ve finished their work before putting it out there in front of the people, but not Minneapolis sculptress Amelia Biewald. The recipient of Schick Art Gallery’s 2005 artist’s residency competition, Biewald has chosen to use the coming month to develop an installation inside the gallery. It’s a bold move, but we have a feeling she’s up to the challenge. Biewald, who has studied at such prestigious institutions as the Rhode Island School of Design and Goldsmith’s College at the University of London, creates works that explore the pursuit of, and pop culture’s obsession with, youth and physical beauty. Whether this project will take the form of a gigantic silicone implant or an homage to Lindsay Lohan remains to be seen, but half the fun is getting there. To add to the fun, Biewald will allow a limited amount of public interaction while she works.

Amelia Biewald’s artist-in-residence exhibition opens this Monday (March 21) at the Schick Art Gallery, on the campus of Skidmore College (815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs). Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 to 11 AM and 1 to 2 PM. (The gallery will be closed Friday through Sunday throughout the residency.) Biewald will give an artist’s lecture at the Tang Teaching Museum on March 24 at 7 PM, and a reception and installation celebration will take place just prior to the exhibition’s closing on April 14 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. For more information, call 580-5049.

Empire State Youth Orchestra

For 25 years, the Empire State Youth Orchestra has provided an exciting place for great young musicians to perform with other great young musicians. (If you ever played in a high-school band, especially one in which the quality of playing is, shall we say, uneven, then you know what we’re talking about.) ESYO, with its various ensembles and varied concert opportunities, has established itself as both vital and entertaining.

For the 25th Anniversary Season Concert, music director Helen Cha-Pyo (pictured) will conduct the world premiere of Hilary Tann’s From the Feather to the Fountain. Tann, a Union College professor, is celebrated for nature-inspired compositions. Also on the program: Violinist Eric Zhou, winner of the recent Lois Lyman Concerto Competition, will be featured on the Chen Gang and He Zhanhao work Butterfly Lovers Concerto. The Empire State Repertory Orchestra, under the direction of David Beck, will present works by Boysen, Gounod and Rimsky-Korsakov.

The ESYO 25th Anniversary Concert will be held Sunday (March 20) at 3 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Second and State streets, Troy). Admission is $15 adults, $10 students and seniors. For tickets, call the ESYO office at 382-7581 or the Music Hall box office at 273-0038.

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