The Upstate Beat: Valerie June, Dendê Macedo highlight eclectic week

Tennessee native Valerie June calls her idiosyncratic style “organic moonshine roots music.” She performs Saturday night at Universal Preservation Hall. (Renata Raksha photo)
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Tennessee native Valerie June calls her idiosyncratic style “organic moonshine roots music.” She performs Saturday night at Universal Preservation Hall. (Renata Raksha photo)

UPSTATE BEAT – Early darkness is now upon us, as we stumble toward winter. But the Capital Region’s cultural calendar remains as promising as it has been for months now. From global rhythms at Proctors to classical music at the Palace, there is a lot going on as we offer you our picks for the week ahead.

Tennessee native Valerie June calls her idiosyncratic style “organic moonshine roots music.”

Her latest album, the introspective and free flowing “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers,” earned critical acclaim for its blend of Appalachian folk, vintage Memphis soul, gospel, blues and country. The talented June also recently completed a book under her full name, Valerie June Hockett, called “Maps for the Modern World,” a collection of poems and original illustrations. Now Brooklyn based, the artist appears at Universal Preservation Hall (25 Washington St., Saratoga Springs) on Saturday at with North Carolina roots musician Violet Bell. 7:30 p.m.

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For fans of Afro-Brazilian and Cuban rhythms, Dendê Macedo at Proctors GE Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady) on Saturday is a must-see show. Macedo hails from Bahia, a state in northeastern Brazil.

The percussionist, singer, composer, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist has been a professional musician since the age of 14, when he appeared in the frontline of Timbalada, a superstar percussion ensemble led by Carlinhos Brown, his musical mentor. Macedo’s group, Dendê & Band, reflects his roots in traditions like samba de roda and Candomblé as well as other global rhythms like rumba, afrobeat and mbalax. 7:30 p.m.

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Although Phish guitarist and vocalist Trey Anastasio will always fill seats, jam band aficionados seem just as excited about the area appearance of Goose, a genre-shifting, improvisational five-piece from Norwalk, Connecticut, that may be the most talked about jam band in the country right now after the success of their new album “Dripfield” and sold-out shows on their latest tour. The group comes to Cool Insuring Arena (1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls) on Sunday with Trey Anastasio Band. Fans can expect a full set from each band along with collaborations. 7:30 p.m.

Eighteenth century music and art come to the fore at Schuyler Mansion New York State Historic Site (32 Catherine St., Albany) on Sunday. The Scotia-based Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a chamber ensemble in residence at the Schuyler Mansion and Schenectady County Community College, presents the music of Carl Friedrich Abel, Antonín Kammel, Johann Christian Fischer and other composers in the circle of Thomas Gainsborough, an English portrait and landscape painter considered one of the most important British artists of the latter 18th century. The event includes a curated presentation of Gainsborough’s paintings of musicians and performers. Founded by violinist and director Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, Musicians of Ma’alwyck also includes Sten Isachsen on guitar, Norm Thibodeau on flute and André Laurent O’Neil on cello. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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Also, this week:
— Blues ambassador Guy Davis comes to the Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Avenue, Albany) on Friday, Nov. 11, with a new album that pays homage to blues masters Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. 8 p.m.

— Songwriter, social activist and DIY icon Ani DiFranco appears at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St., Troy) on Friday, Nov. 11 with special guests The Righteous Babes Revue (Gracie and Rachel, Holly Miranda and Jocelyn Mackenzie). 7:30 p.m.

— Rhett Miller, frontman of the great Americana band Old 97’s, performs an intimate solo, acoustic show at the Egg Center for the Performing Arts (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday, Nov. 12. Singer-songwriter Diana Demuth opens the show. 7:30 p.m.

— Under conductor David Alan Miller, the Albany Symphony presents Ravishing Rachmaninoff, music by the legendary romantic Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, as well as pieces by Duke Ellington and Joel Thompson, on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Palace Theater (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). 7:30 p.m.

— New York psychedelic rock trio Sun Voyager lights up No Fun (275 River St, Troy) on Saturday, Nov. 12 with Northampton, Massachusetts stoner rock group Black Pyramid and Albany’s Gozer. 8 p.m.

Reach Kirsten Ferguson at [email protected]

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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts, Life and Arts, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady

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