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Burning Human

LOCAL BOYS MAKING NOISE Fans of the Capital Region heavy-metal scene—and heavy metal in general—are surely familiar with Shadows Fall (and former Stigmata) drummer Jason Bittner; the Colonie native has become one of the most celebrated players in the country for his seemingly superhuman abilities. This week finds Bittner behind the kit for his other band, Burning Human. The band was founded in 1995, but went on hiatus for more than 10 years as Bittner’s star rose. Now, at long last, the band will release their debut disc, Resurrection Through Fire, this Tuesday (April 21) on E1 Records. They’ll celebrate with a CD-release show at Northern Lights next Saturday, April 25, with guests Skinless and Brick By Brick. Visit for more on the show.

If you can’t wait that long, head out to Water’s Edge Lighthouse in Scotia on Tuesday night, where Bittner will put on a free drum clinic, and Burning Human will ring in the release with a special guest performance. Further details are at

BROKEN STRING The Capital Region jazz scene lost one of its great players and teachers on April 4 with the passing of John “Jack” Fragomeni. Fragomeni was one of the area’s top guitarists; he was a fixture on the local jazz circuit for 25-plus years, performing with his own combos, with the Empire Jazz Orchestra, and backing other musicians. He was also a professor of music at the College of Saint Rose and Schenectady County Community College—he taught a number of our area’s great players—and was an avid fly-fisherman. His loss will be felt for quite some time throughout the area music community.

LADIES NIGHTS This is the weekend for the third annual Women’s Music Circle, hosted by Old Songs, Inc. For a registration fee of $55, women can participate in a full slate of activities, including an open mic, song circle, and three workshops, all hosted by Pat Humphries and Sandy O of emma’s revolution, plus drummer Fre Atlast. For an additional $20, attendees can take in a Saturday-evening concert from the hosts. Admission to each event is also available separately; for full schedule and more information, call 765-2815 or visit

STICKING IT TO THE MAN Punk rock and Pearl Street don’t often mingle, but some local bands hope to change that one show at a time. Tonight (Thursday, April 16), Jillian’s in downtown Albany hosts music from the Blisterz, the Last Conspirators, and Smittix, in what organizers hope will be an ongoing series. Sure, Jillian’s isn’t known as a punk hotspot—or even as a venue for original music, usually—but the members of the Blisterz, with the help of Jersey Girl Productions, have high hopes for the series. Says guitarist Davey Blister, “There are a limited number of venues around town for good old original punk edged rock. So we were able to convince Jillian’s to give this a shot . . . [and] Jillian’s has decided to make this a monthly event.” The shows start at 9 PM, and there is no cover for those 21 and over. (It’s only $5 for ages 18 to 20.) Check for info on upcoming dates.

¡ATENCIÓN! The 2009 Ahora, Latin/Jazz! series continues to deliver a strong and varied slate of programming in its third year. This evening (Thursday, April 16) at the University of Albany Campus Center, percussionist Bobby Sanabria will give a lecture and performance on the life and career of Tito Puente; admission is free. Next Friday (April 24), Willie Martínez and La Familia Sextet bring their original AfroCuban sound to the Whisperdome in Schenectady. And on May 8 at the Whisperdome, you can catch the music of trombonist Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band. Information on all events is available at

—John Brodeur

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