Lena 50th Anniversary Weekend
years ago, Lena Spencer opened the doors to what would become
the oldest continually running coffeehouse in the United
States. A not-for-profit since Spencer’s death in 1989,
the venue is a hall of folk music history, host to some
of Bob Dylan’s earliest performances, and famously the place
where Don McLean first performed “American Pie.”
To celebrate, the venue is teaming with Skidmore College
and the city of Saratoga Springs to throw a weekend’s worth
The music starts tomorrow (Friday, May 21) at Caffe Lena
(47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs) with a fundraiser party
featuring Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur (pictured) at 7
PM. Tickets are $75, and only 75 tickets are being made
On Saturday (May 22), the city is closing off Phila Street
and putting up an outdoor stage where there will be free
music from 10 AM to 4 PM. Performers include Frank Jaklistch
and Michael Eck, the Barefoot Boys, Jo Henley, Steve Gillette
and Cindy Mangsen, Torey Adler, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad
Boys, and more.
Then, at 7 PM Saturday night, Arlo Guthrie will take to
the Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall stage at Skidmore College’s
Arthur Zankel Music Center, supported by Robin and Linda
Williams and Their Fine Group. Tickets are $50. For more
info, call 583-0022.
year’s American Music Festival, arguably the pinnacle of
the Albany Symphony Orchestra season, has moved to Troy.
Specifically, EMPAC. And we anticipate that the addition
of a central location will make the American Music Festival
really feel like a festival.
The AMF kicks off tomorrow (Friday, May 21) in EMPAC’s Theatre
with maestro David Alan Miller leading the new-music ensemble
Dogs of Desire in works by Patrick Burke, David Mallamud
and Ted Hearne—and the robots of LEMUR. (We love robots.)
Tickets for the 8 PM show are $25.
On Saturday afternoon (May 22), there’s a Composer to Center
Stage Reading Session in the EMPAC Concert Hall. This is
the culmination of the first-ever national competition among
young and emerging composers; the ASO will read and rehearse
works by the three finalists. This 2 PM event is free.
The main event of the weekend is Saturday night’s ASO performance
in the Concert Hall. There will be world-premiere works
by James Primosch and Stacy Garrop (pictured); and performances
of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Percussion Concerto featuring
Colin Currie, and John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby Suite.
Tickets for the 8 PM event are $25 to $49, with student
The weekend ends Sunday afternoon (May 23) with a guest
performance by Colin Currie with the Empire State Youth
Orchestra’s Percussion ensemble. Tickets for this 4 PM show
The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival
will be held this weekend (May 21-23) at EMPAC (Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, Troy). A festival pass good for all
events is available for $60. For tickets, call 276-3921;
and for more info, call the ASO box office at 465-4755.