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Nightlife Highlights for November 2015 


Steve Gorn/Barbara Bash/David Lopato/Harvey Sorgen

November 7. Titled "Brushing with the Muse," this highly interesting event at Unison Arts Center brings together three of the Northeast's most creative improvising musicians—local multireedist Steve Gorn, percussionist Harvey Sorgen, and downstate pianist David Lopato—with the "spontaneous brush expression" of calligraphic artist Barbara Bash. "Weaving music and visual art created on the spot," organizers explain, "the evening will be full of surprises, evoking the unique, creative potential of moment-to-moment wakefulness." (Yuri Liberzon strums November 8.) 8pm. $18-$24. New Paltz. (845) 255-1559;

Soweto Gospel Choir

November 13. South Africa's 26-member Soweto Gospel Choir has sung for presidents (Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela) and on national TV ("Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Today Show")—and now they're coming to sing for us, at the Bardavon. The choir was launched with the patronage of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and their 2002 debut album, Voices of Heaven, hit number one on the Billboard World Music chart within three weeks of its release while their second and third, 2007's Blessed and 2008's African Spirit, both grabbed Grammys. Expect a jubilant jolt of joyful noise. (Jazzed Up hosts the Metta Quintet November 12; the Hudson Valley Philharmonic performs November 22.) 8pm. $35-$55. Poughkeepsie. (845) 473-2072;

SK Kakraba/Awesome Tapes from Africa DJ Set

November 18. Ghana native SK Kakraba, who visits the Half Moon this month, is a master of the ancient gyil,or Ghanian xylophone. An instrument maker as well a musician, Kakraba recorded his latest album, Songs of Paapieye, for the well-named Awesome Tapes from Africa label, which founder Brian Shimkowitz established to reissue the micro-edition DIY cassettes of indigenous music sold by African street vendors; the AFTA imprint rapidly broadened to include older and current music from across the continent. This event features a DJ set by Shimkowitz himself. (People's Champs bring more Afro-centric sounds November 14; Last Good Tooth returns November 4.) 9pm. $10. Hudson. (518) 828-1562;

Ry Cooder, Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, and Friends

November 15. How's this for a musical matchup? Part of the Egg's ongoing American Roots & Branches series, the bill unites Grammy-winning guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Ry Cooder (solo, Buena Vista Social Club, Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart) with bluegrass mandolin god and fellow Grammy-winner Ricky Skaggs, beguiling trad-country singer and guitarist Sharon White (the Whites), and the ace rhythm section of bassist Mark Fain and percussionist Joachim Cooder. On the program: a roundup of blues, gospel, and bluegrass that can only be sublime. (Buddy Guy burns November 11; Boz Scaggs buzzes by November 13.) 7:30pm. $45-$65. Albany. (518) 473-1061;

Speaking of...

  • Ry Cooder, SK Kakraba, Steve Gorn, and the Soewto Gospel Choir perform in the region this month.


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