We’ll get summery weather for the 35th Lake George Jazz Weekend Saturday and Sunday at Shepard Park (Canada Street, Lake George), unlike Albany’s chilly Riverfront Jazz Festival. Like Albany’s fest, Lake George is free and a delicious stylistic smorgasbord.
Saturday, the music begins (1 p.m.) with veteran Philadelphia tenor sax giant Robert “Bootsie” Barnes with his “Been There All Along” quartet — John Swana, brass and reeds; Byron Landham, drums; and Lucas Brown, organ — and an authoritative approach echoing Gene “Jug” Ammons and Hank Mobley.
At 2:45 p.m., trombonist Ryan Keberle leads Catharsis, another unconventional quartet (no keyboard; Barnes’ band has no bassist): Camila Meza, guitar and vocals; Scott Robinson, sax and trumpet; Jorge Roeder, bass; and Eric Doob, drums.
Charlie Sepulveda and his Latin-style band the Turn Around hit at 4:30 p.m. The trumpeter, composer and educator has won a Latin Grammy.
Keyboardist Jason Miles’ tribute to Weather Report brings an all-star cast to the Saturday evening (7:30 p.m.) showcase: Karen Briggs, violin; Fema Ephron, bass; Joel Frahm, sax; Mino Cinelu, percussion; and Richie Morales, drums. They have big shoes to fill, celebrated riffs to play, by founders Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul and a great evolving cast including Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Steve Kahn, Miroslav Vitous, Alphonso Johnson and others.
Sunday starts with multi-reed master Paul McCandless and his band Charged Particles (1 p.m.). Co-founder of hugely influential acoustic jazz/world music band Oregon, McCandless has won Grammys with three different bands. Charged Particles is Murray Low, keyboards; Aaron Germain, bass; and John Krosnick, drums.
Pianist Jim Ridl plays in NYC big bands when not leading his own quartet; his “Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams” album features Terrell Stafford, trumpet; Donald Edwards, drums; and John Benitez, bass; a first-class crew I hope he brings to Lake George!
Closing the Lake George Jazz Weekend is saxophonist Sharel Cassity with Elektra, a completely different band from her straight-ahead-bebop quintet at A Place for Jazz.
Elektra is Ingrid Jensen, trumpet (she guested impressively with drummer Terri Lynn Carrington at Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center in June); Mark Whitfield, guitar (terrific at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, also in June); Miki Hayama, keyboards; Rashaan Carter, bass; and Lucianna Padmore, drums.
Lake George Jazz Weekend organizers mourn longtime curator/artistic director Paul Pines, who died in June at 77, and express gratitude for the ongoing support of Kenneth and Susan Gruskin, among other funders. 518-668-2616 www.lakegeorgearts.org/lakegeorge-jazz.htm
This festival-jammed weekend also includes the 22nd Irish 2000 Festival Saturday at Saratoga County Fairgrounds (162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa). Irish songs, from folk-quiet to pub-rocking, fill two stages all day.
Coors Light Stage: Emish at noon; Hair of the Dog, 2 p.m.; Albannach, 3:55 p.m.; Schenectady Pipe Band, 5:05 p.m.; Screaming Orphans, 5:45 p.m.; Farrell School of Irish Dance, 5:45 and 9:30 p.m.; the Tossers, 7:35 p.m.; and Shilelagh Law, 9:30 p.m.
Nelligan Stage: Spancihill at 11 a.m.; Schenectady Pipe Band, 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; House of Hamill, 12:15 p.m.; Hellcat Maggie, 1:30 p.m.; the McKrells, 3 p.m.; the Druids, 4:30 p.m.; Jeff Strange & Kevin McKrell, 6:15 p.m.; Get Up Jack, 7:45 p.m. $16 advance. www.irish2kfest.com
Today is Bill Monroe’s birthday; betcha the Infamous Stringdusters play some of his bluegrass classics in their free show at Wednesday’s Hops and Harvest Festival (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Honeysuckle, super-charming fun at Music Haven in July, and the Lonely Heartstring Band open. 5 p.m. www.EmpireStatePlaza.org
John Pizzarelli sings very well and plays terrific old-school jazz guitar, but adding singer Catherine Russell to his trio ups his game considerably for Friday’s show at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Their “Billy and Blue Eyes” show honors Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. Russell has played The Egg with Rosanne Cash and led her own band at A Place for Jazz; Pizzarelli most recently played Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center. 8 p.m. $39.50. 518-873-1845 www.theegg.org
Both “Sweethearts of the Rodeo” 50th anniversary shows, with members of the Byrds and Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives at The Egg on Monday and Tuesday, are sold out.
Before reggae, there was ska; Jamaica’s zippy, syncopated rock-steady pop. On Friday, ska pioneers The Skatalites play WAMC’s The Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany).
Faster-paced than reggae, ska later turned into two-tone. As WCDB jazz DJ Bill McCann would urge: If this doesn’t make you dance, seek medical attention immediately.
Reggae stars Taj Weekes and Adowa open. 8 p.m. $25. 518-465-5233 www.thelinda.org
TRET FURE STEPS IN
Tret Fure opens the Eighth Step season Saturday at Proctors’ The Addy (third floor — 432 State St., Schenectady).
A veteran performer of powerful conviction and honed musical skill, Fure has made 16 albums (Bonnie Raitt guested on her 1972 debut) and played the Step most seasons since it opened. 7:30 p.m., doors 7. $26 advance, $28 door, $45 front and center. 518-434-1703 www.8thstep.org