cast of West Side Story may have taken their final
bow at Park Playhouse, but the beat goes on this Saturday
in Washington Park as Price Chopper and the Albany Latin
Festival Association throw their 13th annual LatinFest.
A celebration of Hispanic contributions to art and culture,
the daylong event will feature music, food, arts and crafts
as well as a kid zone for the niños.
Puerto Rican singer Andy Montañez headlines the event with
his trademark “salsaton,” a mixture of salsa and reggaeton;
he’s the winner of a Latin Grammy in 2006 for Best Traditional
Tropical Album. Sharing the main stage will be Ismael Miranda,
the “Pretty Boy of Salsa,” who began touring professionally
at the ripe old age of 11. But if that’s not enough to swivel
your hips, Amarfis y La Banda de Atakke will deliver a high-energy
romp of contemporary merengue straight from the Dominican
Republic. Bringing it all back home is Albany’s own Rigo-Rigo,
el babyface de la Bachata.
Come sun, the festival begins Saturday (Aug. 23) at 11 AM
in Washington Park (Albany) and runs until 6 PM. Come rain,
they’re setting up shop at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch
underneath Interstate 787. Either way, the event is free.
For more info, call 542-7212.
Monet’s soft paintings depicting the gardens and landscapes
in his quiet town of Giverny, France, are some of impressionism’s
most iconic images. But Giverny welcomed hundreds of artists
to its rolling countryside between the late 1880s and the
tumultuous beginnings of World War I. Drawn by Monet’s work
and the promise of painting en plein air—working
in natural light was key for the impressionist masters—artists
from America and across Europe shaped the pastoral town
into a vibrant artists community.
Giverny: American Painters in France, 1885-1915, drawn
from the collection of the Terra Foundation for American
Art, explores the work of American artists working in Giverny
at the turn of the century. The exhibition includes more
than 40 paintings by artists such as John Leslie Breck,
Willard Leroy Metcalf, Lilla Cabbot Perry, Frederick Carl
Frieske (Frieske’s 1911 oil Breakfast In the Garden
is pictured), and Albany artist Will H. Low.
Giverny will be on view at the Albany Institute of History
and Art (125 Washington Ave., Albany) beginning Saturday
(Aug. 23) through Jan. 4, 2009. For more info, call 463-4478.
Heart, Cheap Trick
acts on Sunday’s SPAC bill must have sold a billion albums
back when music was stamped into the grooves of shiny black
Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick all burst on the scene in
the 1970s. Journey were a jazz-rock offshoot of Santana
but evolved, thanks to golden-voiced Steve Perry, into the
power-ballad masters of the 1980s. If you were around then,
you know Journey; today, thanks to Family Guy, American
Idol and The Sopranos, the kids know Journey,
Heart, led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson (pictured), were
ferocious rockers (“Barracuda”) who thrived by following
Journey’s path, conquering the airwaves with power ballads.
Cheap Trick were prepunk subversives, bending the big beat
of the ’60s to their warped point of view; “Surrender” is
one of the greatest rock songs, like, ever. Cheap Trick
survived the ’80s—when Diane Warren was the Ming the Merciless
of pop—with power ballads, too.
Journey’s Perry is retired, but new guy Arnel Pineda is
said to be the real deal; and longtime members Neal Schon,
Ross Valory and Jonathan Cain are still around. The Wilson
sisters still rock, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen is still
a nut. All is well.
One final, 1981-appropriate request: Please bring real lighters
to SPAC. Holding up a glowing cell phone for “Open Arms”
would be weak.
Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick will perform Sunday (Aug.
24) at 7 PM at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga
Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $25 (lawn)
to $130. For more info, call 476-1000.