intimate Club Helsinki stage will be packed to its limit
when the 11-piece Aphrodesia comes to play this weekend.
Since 2003, Aphrodesia, led by vocalist Lara Maykovich,
have specialized in their own brand of “super Aphro beat,”
an intrinsically rhythmic mash of African, Caribbean, Jamaican,
and American music that has made them a band to watch on
the world-beat scene. And they’re quite popular (in the
blue states, mostly) for their politics: In 2004, the band
set out on the Just Vote Tour, which took the San Francisco
group on a voter- registration mission through swing states
across the country and back in a vegetable-oil-powered bus—and
got them on the cover of USA Today. Their latest
disc, Front Lines, was prominently featured on National
Public Radio, and was used as a springboard for the band’s
February 2006 tour of West Africa.
Aphrodesia, with special guests Shokazoba, will appear at
Club Helsinki (284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass.) this
Saturday (April 22). Tickets for the 9 PM show are $15.
For more information, call (413) 528-3394.
hard to believe that pianist Findlay Cockrell is retiring
after 40 years as a performer and teacher at the University
at Albany; he’s such an important part of the local-music
scene. When Cockrell performed Morton Gould’s Interplay
with the Albany Symphony Orchestra last month, Times
Union critic Joseph Dalton described the result as “a
delight,” adding: “His performance alternated between a
clanging charm and a silken elegance. The lanky 70-year-old
practically skipped on- and offstage, but during the music
he was decidedly nonflashy in demeanor, concentrating on
those off-kilter accents and crunchy jazz chords.”
The Harvard grad (class of ’57) and former winner on Arthur
Godfrey’s Talent Scouts has been as busy in his final
year at UAlbany as he has ever been; in addition to the
performance with the ASO, he has kept to his full schedule
of solo recitals in the Performing Arts Center. His farewell
performances are on Sunday and Monday nights, with a program
called A Serious Time for Variations. He will play Mendelssohn’s
Variations Serieuses, Brahms’ Paganini Variations,
Book One and Tovey’s Diabelli Variations. Cockrell
performed the latter work at his San Francisco debut 50
years ago, and so, according to the good folks at UAlbany,
“it is a fitting finale” to his SUNY career.
Findlay Cockrell will perform Sunday and Monday (April 23-24)
at 7 PM at the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall (UAlbany,
1400 Washington Ave., Albany). Tickets are $8 general admission
and $4 students. Call the PAC box office at 442-3997 for
Man of No Importance
Man of No Importance, called “a mix of Irish music with
a pinch of pop and showbiz dazzle” by Time Out New York,
is a musical based on the 1994 movie starring Albert Finney
and Michael Gambon, adapted for the stage by Terrance McNally,
Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens (the same musical team
who brought Ragtime to the stage).
play tells the story of Alfie Byrne (Duncan Morrison, pictured
below), a 1960s Dublin bus driver, as he lives his life,
reciting Oscar Wilde poems to his passengers, and directing
community plays. The story involves lessons of self-acceptance,
the need to love and be loved, and standing up for one’s
Home Made Theater will present this regional premiere of
A Man of No Importance.
Man of No Importance opens tomorrow (Friday, April 21),
at 8:15 PM at the Spa Little Theater (Saratoga State Park,
Saratoga Springs). The show will also be performed on April
22, 28, 29, and May 5 and 6 at 8:15 PM; and April 30 and
May 7 at 2 PM. Tickets are $22 to $25. For more information,
or to order tickets, call the Spa Little Theater at 587-4427.