American Symphony Orchestra
February 5, 6. Bard College President Leon Botstein conducts the magnificent American Symphony Orchestra as it continues the mission it began last October: to perform Beethoven’s first five symphonies in the acoustic splendor of the campus’s iconic Fisher Center. These two recitals present the composer’s pivotal third symphony, aka the Eroica
symphony, and adds Bruckner’s third symphony. 8pm. $20, $30, $35. Annandale-on-Hudson. (845) 758-7900; www.fishercenter.bard.edu
Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson
February 6. Blues history has given us three guitarists named Luther Johnson, but don’t be confused: The Mississippi-born “Guitar Junior,” is the best known and the heir to the towering throne of his late Westside Chicago mentor, Magic Sam. Johnson further honed his soulful chops with the legendary Muddy Waters, appeared in The Blues Brothers
, and grabbed a Grammy in 1985. Backed by his Magic Rockers, he enchants the Towne Crier this month. (CJ Chenier brings zydeco love February 14; bluesman Joe Louis Walker burns February 20.) 8:30pm. $25, $30. Pawling. (845) 855-1300; www.townecrier.com
February 6. Since 2001 Tony Falco and his family have hosted shows by music’s leading names in their cozy DIY venue, the Falcon. Featured artists come from the blues, rock, and contemporary chamber music worlds, but the strongest accent has been on jazz—a trend that continues with this date by pianist Fred Hersch. An ex-sideman to Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Toots Thielemans, and Stan Getz, Hersch has elicited swoons from Downbeat
and topped many a jazz poll. (The kid-friendly Gustafer Yellowgold plays February 13; blues rocker Chris Bergson heats things up February 20.) 7pm. Donation requested. Marlboro. (845) 236-7970; www.liveatthefalcon.com
WGXC “Sound + Voice + Image” benefit
February 13. On the heels of WGXC’s wildly successful, circus-like New Year’s Eve benefit comes another event designed to further raise funds for the community radio station’s operating costs. “Sound + Voice + Image” takes place at Nicole Fiacco Gallery and promises music and readings by Brian Dewan, the Bunnybrains, Peter Head, Maggie Estep, Lady Moon, Luc Sante, Studio Stu, Chronogram’s own Sparrow, and many others, plus visual works by area artists. (On February 6 Sorted boutique hosts “I ♥ WGXC,” a fundraiser/sale and performance by sound artist Hans Tammen.) 7pm. $10. Hudson. (518) 622-2598; www.wgxc.org.
February 20. Besides being a globetrotting Muslim musician and a former member of two of Southeast Asia’s biggest acts, Vital Signs and Junoon, Pakistani guitarist Salman Ahmad is an actor, a medical doctor, and a passionate advocate working to foster HIV awareness and peace between India and his homeland. He’s also the author of an inspiring memoir, Rock & Roll Jihad (Simon & Schuster, 2010), from which he’ll read, in addition to performing, at this rare appearance at the Tuscan Cafe. 3pm. Call for ticket price. Warwick. (845) 987-2050; www.tuscancafe.net.