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Yacub Addy’s Odadaa! with Stefon Harris

Ghanian musician (and area resident) Yacub Addy has made it his mission to share and preserve the traditional music and dance of his native country. It’s safe to say he knows more than a little about the subject: He’s a senior member of the famed Addy clan of performers, and founder of performance groups Ashieduketrekre and Oboade, the latter of which was the first professional traditional Ghanian ensemble to perform in the West. So he’s got a bit of a history in the business. Addy’s current traveling performance group Odadaa! is named for a traditional rhythm which is played once a year to open a harvest festival in Ghana’s capital of Accra. The music is spiritually moving, and has a deep connection to Addy’s ancestry. “We are the children of the ancients,” he says of his generation. “We are the link to the time when our fathers and mothers were one with the natural and supernatural rhythms of life.” For Friday’s show, the group will debut a new work titled Kolo. They will be joined for the performance by ace mallet-percussionist (and area native) Stefon Harris, who will add marimba to the ensemble’s already- complex sound.

Yacub Addy’s Odadaa! with Stefon Harris will perform at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) tomorrow (Friday, April 29). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $24 (adults), $18 (seniors), and $12 (children). For more information, contact the Egg box office at 473-1845.

Maude Baum and Company

It’s the best news since the Palace folks announced that they would be showing movies again: Albany’s Palace Theatre has formed a partnership with Albany’s venerable dance ensemble, Maude Baum and Company Dance Theatre. (Baum and co. usually perform at their own eba Theatre, a swell little venue in itself.) It’s the beginning of a partnership that, we hope, will prosper.

Saturday’s two performances will alternate works by Baum (including the premiere of Ballerina Barbies) and the legendary Isadora Duncan. Featured Duncan choreographies will include The Nocturne Etude, Revolutionary Etude, The Blessed Spirit and Valse Brillante, set to the music of Chopin and Gluck.

And, as they say, that’s not all. There is a benefit reception at 6:30 PM on the Palace Mezzanine level, with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a complimentary book on Duncan. It’s 100 clams for a good cause (the collaboration between the Baum company and the Palace). Also, the omnipresent Albany Underground Artists will be exhibiting new works throughout the Palace.

Maude Baum and Company Dance Theatre will perform Saturday (April 30) at 2:30 and 8 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets are $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, children and seniors. Tickets for the 6:30 PM benefit reception and evening performance are, as noted, $100. For more information, call eba at 465-9916; to reserve tickets, call the Palace at 465-3334.

In Conversation With Conrad Bakker

In the post-Duchampian, post-Warholian world of contemporary art, the task of determining just what is, and what is not, art is a tough one. A urinal, a soup can—these things seem to have made it through the critical filter. And once we were startled into regarding the iconography of industrial design and advertising as fine art, the processes of producing such icons seemed fair game as well. So, what of other forms of commerce? What about network marketing, motivational speaking? What about pyramid schemes?

These are the limits that artist Conrad Bakker explores in his works such as the Untitled Product Distribution Network, an ostensible pyramid scheme that “pitches a functionless product with the straight face of scam marketing.” In the past, Bakker has marketed paintings on eBay, and compiled catalogs of carved and painted replicas of the type of consumer goods—binoculars, nose-hair trimmers—available by mail-order.

On Saturday (April 30), as part of the exhibition Trade Show, MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass.) will host Bakker to discuss these themes and their place in his work. The 1 PM event is free with paid admission to the museum; however, reservations are required and can be made by calling (413) 662-2111.

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