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Art Beat

LISTEN TO THE DRUMMER: Last May 2 and 3, Yacub Addy (pictured)—who happens to teach at both Skidmore College and RPI—performed two concerts at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Excerpts from these performances have been combined with footage of Addy providing a tutorial in African drumming for a two-part TV special, African Jazz, to be shown tonight and next week on the BET Jazz channel. (They will be rebroadcast on regular BET next month.) Addy is the acknowledged pioneer and master of Ghanaian drumming, from his work to preserve and extend Ghana’s musical traditions in the postcolonial era (the late ’50s and early ’60s), through explorations of music and dance in his current ensemble, Odadaa!. African Jazz, Part 1 will be shown on BET Jazz today (Thursday, Oct. 9) at 1 PM, 9 PM and midnight; the second part will be shown next Thursday (Oct. 16), also at 1 PM, 9 PM and midnight.

IT’S OFFICIAL, SHE’S A GENIUS: Author Lydia Davis, writer-in-residence and associate professor in the English department at the University at Albany, was just named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2003. Aside from the prestige of being included in a diverse-yet-exclusive group (numbering only 24 this year) of artists, writers, scientists and social activists, Davis will receive $500,000 over the next five years, no strings attached. That’s what you get when you write a highly praised novel, five collections of innovative short fiction and translate a volume of Marcel Proust.

PROOF THAT HUDSON ISN’T JUST ABOUT BARE-KNUCKLE POLITICS: This Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 11-12), the Columbia County Council on the Arts will present the 9th annual ArtsWalk in Hudson. In addition to the art that will line a mile-long stretch of Warren Street, a wide variety of events have been planned for your enjoyment. Guatemala’s Grupo Cultural Uk’ux Pop Wuj will “transform 7th Street Park into a Mayan village market,” performing traditional Mayan music and dance, and offering both food and gifts for sale—on both days. Kuumba Dance & Drum will perform in the park both days, too. ArtsWalk: The Show, a zany collection of musicians, poets, jugglers and magicians hosted by Liv Cummins and Johnnie Moore, will be presented at the Hudson River Theater (521 Warren St.) on Saturday night. In fact, it’s actually two shows: the “family” show at 7 PM ($15, free for kids 12 and under), and the “un-family” show at 9 PM ($20). ArtsWalk: The Concert will be presented on Sunday at 3 PM ($15) at the Pleshakov Music Center (544 Warren St.), and will spotlight works by area composers Joan Tower, Robert Baksa, Jil Christensen, Jonathan Talbott and Antony Widoff. The ArtsWalk itself will take place from 11 AM to 5 PM both days; for more info, call 671-6213.

HELP THE KIDS PUT ON A SHOW: As recently reported in Metroland (Sept. 18), almost all after-school activities at Troy High School were axed as a result of the school district’s horrendous financial situation. The community has responded with assorted heroic fund-raising efforts. In the latest example, the Troy Booster Club is presenting a special concert on Oct. 18, at 3 PM at the First United Methodist Church (1915 5th St., Troy) to raise money to restore the annual school musical. This Broadway revue will spotlight student thespians (and music faculty members Erin Mack and Shellie Thomas) performing their favorite show tunes. It will cost $11,000 to restore the musical. An anonymous donor has pledged $3,000 if the rest can be raised; while the boosters have raised a few grand, they still need more. Tickets for the fund-raising event are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and $25 for families. If you can’t make it to the performance, feel free to send big fat donations to (and make checks payable to) PRIDE Foundation/Booster Concert, 44 14th St., Troy NY 12180.

DOCUMENTARY CINEMA 101: The long-running, hard-hitting PBS documentary series POV (which stands for point of view) will sponsor the POV Youth Films Institute next month (Nov. 14-16) in New York City. Participants will be trained in media literacy, and learn how to use documentary cinema to prompt discussions about “social, political and cultural change.” What, you may be wondering, has that to do with anyone north of the Bronx? Well, Images Cinema in Williamstown, Mass., will be sponsoring up to three local applicants for this educational experience. If interested, contact Sandra Thomas by phone at (413) 458-1039, or by e-mail at

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: The Saratoga Christmas Wish Contingent raised $36,000 for Make-A-Wish of Northeast New York last holiday season by selling the locally made CD A Saratoga Christmas Wish. The organization hopes to raise even more this year with another disc, A Saratoga Children’s Christmas Wish. The final cut of the CD—written by producers Joel Moss and Charlie Eble—will feature a chorus of more than 1,000 kids, and will be recorded this Saturday (Oct. 11) at the Saratoga Springs High School auditorium. The CDs will be ready for sale at area stores after Thanksgiving, and we are assured that 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish of Northeast New York. If you would like to help with distribution or find out more about this effort, e-mail the contingent at

—Shawn Stone


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