KEITH PRAY’S BIG SOUL ENSEMBLE
November 9. Anytime a new big band steps onto the scene is cause for celebration and, at 17 members strong, the Big Soul Ensemble is decidedly a big band. Led by jazzmeister saxman Keith Pray, they’ve been swinging into Tess’ Lark Tavern in Albany on the first Tuesday of each month for the past year, and now they’re wrapping up the fall season of the A Place For Jazz concert series by blasting their way into the Whisperdome. 8pm. First Unitarian Society, Schenectady. $15. (518) 274-0553. www.aplaceforjazz.org.
November 13. It’s a knockout mini blues festival featuring monster harmonica man Charlie Musselwhite, the rollicking North Mississippi All-Stars (who’ve made several recent Capital Region appearances with John Hiatt), blues pianist Joe Krown, and the everlastingly soulful Mavis Staples (whose recent Ry Cooder-produced album We’ll Never Turn Back proves that rousing songs about justice and equality are sadly still as needed as ever). 8pm. The Mainstage at Proctors, Schenectady. $35, $30, $25, $20. (518) 346-6204. www.proctors.org.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND
November 15. The Boss is back with the boys and the Magic. But let’s hope that this time around he shines the spotlight on wife Patti Scialfa for a song or two from her killer new album Play It As It Lays. 7:30pm. The Times Union Center, Albany. $96, $66.
(518) 303-8368. www.timesunioncenter-albany.com.
November 15 and 16. This original production by Old Songs, Inc., is all about our tall neighbors, the Adirondacks. Telling the tale through poetry, music, and historical narration is an all-star ensemble featuring Dan Berggren, Peggy Lynn, Joe Bruchac, John Kirk, Trish Miller, George Ward, George Wilson, Toby Stover, and Bill Spence. 8pm. Old Songs, Voorheesville, New York. $20; $5 children 12 and under. (518) 765-2815. www.oldsongs.org.
“SONGS OF SPIRIT”
November 17. This concert undeniably proves that spirituals, hymns, and songs of redemption know no global boundaries or language barriers. The international all-star lineup of performers includes Kenya’s Shangilla Children’s Choir, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, trombonist Craig Harris, the Tibetan Monks of the Druepung Loseling Monastery, the Klezmatics, Frank London, Lorin Sklamberg, and the one and only Odetta. 8pm. The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. $40, $37; $20 students. (518) 273-0038. www.troymusichall.org.
November 18. Perhaps because he makes the rounds of area pubs on such a regular basis, Frank Jaklitsch is one of the Capital Region’s most underappreciated musicians. While he’s best known as an interpreter of Irish music, he’s also a devoted fan of non-Celtic folks such as Richard Shindell, Mark Knopfler, and Bruce Springsteen—and he proves it with his music. He’s celebrating the release of his new album—his 11th—Good Things, and, as usual, all proceeds of his album sales go to charity. 5pm. The Irish Mist, Troy. Free; donations appreciated. (518) 266-8915. www.frankjak.com.