We’re halfway through summer, but it feels like we’ve already seen a whole season of art, music, festivals and special events. Hudson Valley culture flourishes in every corner of its backyard.
In the beginning, you’d be forgiven for only thinking about it feels like there’s tons to do because we’ve been locked up for so long. In reality, every creative person is jumping at the chance to make a real human connection because the audience is just as eager to get back to the events. At the same time, a horde of feverish transplant recipients and impatient tourists are ready to escape captivity and spend the money they’ve saved from getting off the subway, to hell with inflation.
Our region’s support for the arts is legendary. Now it’s turbocharged. The demand for “getting out of the house and doing something” is through the roof, and the supply is plentiful. This week’s top Hudson Valley event picks are just a small sampling of the hundreds of events this week. To learn more, visit calendar.hudsonvalleyone.com.
Artistic explosion! – Upstate Art Weekend July 22-24 at 145 Hudson Valley art galleries. We repeat, 145 Art Galeries. You probably don’t want to miss the biggest local arts event in recent memory. It’s a cross-county affair, and there’s probably a participating gallery in your backyard. An artistic exploration through the breathtaking landscapes of our valley? The only question is, where to start? Visit upstateartweekend.org for a full map and list of locations.
Mushroom with a view. For the Love of Mushrooms at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, Sunday, July 24, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mushrooms have a moment, and not just the “magical” ones. Rockstar mycologist (yes, really) Paul Stamets has done a lot to fuel trending cultural interest in mushrooms, but to be fair, our region has always been a hotbed of mushroom love. This event brings together local mushroom luminaries from a variety of backgrounds and takes you into the beautiful surrounding forest for guided mushroom forays throughout the day. There will be cooking demonstrations, art demonstrations, presentations, vendors, food and drink. We share 50% of our DNA with fungi, so half of you are already here. Tickets are $40 for adults, $16 for kids 2-12, babies ride free. Visit ashokancenter.org to learn more.
Rock your dog. Music in the Parks with Kurt Henry & Dog Knows, Saturday, July 23, 7 p.m. at TR Gallo Park. Hosted by the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department, this show will bring the sweet sounds of one of our area’s most beloved bands to the Rondout. This band is known for their upbeat country-tinged uptown rock with genre-hopping elements and excellent musicianship. What a place to see them live, and with no entry fee!
Big views on a small scale. English landscapes reception at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW), Saturday, July 23, 5-7 p.m. Acclaimed local photographer Fionn Reilly presents a new solo exhibition showcasing a series of small-scale color photographs Reilly took in his native England between 2018 and 2020. His work has been featured in publications such as Squire, The New York Times, ID Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, QGand the prestigious Woodstock time.
Skulls are cool. Children’s Nature Program: Skull & Bones at Saatsburgh State Historic Site, Sundays, July 24 and 31, 10-11 a.m. This nature program for children ages 6-9 asks, “What can you tell by looking at a skull?” Then he hands your children animal skulls to examine. If that doesn’t sound totally awesome to you, well, more skulls for my child. The cost is $2 per person and well worth it. Have you ever tried to create a collection of skulls from scratch?
From slide guitar to string quartet. The Maverick Concert Hall welcomes American maestro Happy Traum and slide guitarist extraordinaire Cindy Cashdollar on Saturday, July 23 at 8 p.m. Then on Sunday July 24, it’s back to the classics, as part of the Maverick’s Chamber Music Festival, at 4 p.m. on Sunday July 24, the Quatuor Danel performs Tchaikovsky and his friends — Beethoven: Quartet in G Major, Op.18 No.2; Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 13 (1969-70); Tchaikovsky: Movement of the quartet in B flat (1865); and Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 1 in D major. Visit maverickconcerts.org for more information and tickets.
Sad apples. Blues on the Farm – cider, blues and barbecue at Stone Ridge Orchard on Saturday, July 23, from noon to 7 p.m. This one-day music festival hosted by Big Joe Fitz promises to be an epic day of bluesy jams. In addition to seven bands, there will be a farmer’s market, food trucks, vendors and a campaign. Kids under 12 get in free, otherwise tickets are $20 online and $30 at the door. Visit stoneridgeorchard.com to learn more.
Good vibes only. Bill Ware and the Upstate All Stars at Senator Garage in Kingston on Friday, July 22 at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.). Vibraphonist and musical polymath Bill Ware comes to this intimate venue with an equally talented jazzstronaut quintet for a night of sonic adventure. Sure, he could name collaborations with Steely Dan, John Zorn, Elivs Costello and David Gilmore… but we’re sure he prefers to let the music speak for itself. If jazz is a language, Ware is a master speaker with something new to say. Tickets are $25 at jazzstock.com.
Cornucopia. Brazzamatazz Music Festival at Seed Song Farm in Kingston, Saturday, July 23 at 2 p.m. Not your dad’s brass music festival. If you haven’t followed the contemporary brass scene, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s teeming with high-energy musical inventiveness. While these instruments may conjure up dusty memories of yesteryear, in fact, these marching bands are some of the hippest and hottest acts to catch these days. There will be food and a bonfire at the end of the day. It’s a farm perk and tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, $15 for students 18-21, $10 for 13-18, and free for under 18s. 12 years. Get tickets and check out the bands at brazzamatazz.com.
Dig into the crates. Bargain Record Fair at The Lace Mill in Kingston, Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Kingston Artists Collective will host record sellers and personal collectors, with a focus on price platters to move quickly. Over $1 billion worth of vinyl has moved into 2021, the biggest year for records since 1986. Some of them will be here at a deep discount, though you’ll likely find some real gems at real prices too. . They don’t charge for seller spaces, so you can go there as both a seller and a buyer. More information on facebook.com/kingstonartistcollective.