Sounds of the Season

Touring artists and local musicians make for a sizzling sonic slate.

The Wiyos come to Nelson Odeon Dec. 2

Fall calendars are starting to pick up in and around Syracuse with solid lineups and major productions in the making. Here are a few venues and shows to keep an eye on.

Lilith Flair. It was 20 years ago that Lilith Fair first changed the game for women in music. The traveling music festival, founded by Sarah McLachlan, Dan Fraser, Terry McBride and Marty Diamond, featured female artists and female-led bands including Fiona Apple, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Erykah Badu, Lisa Loeb, Lauryn Hill, Liz Phair, Sheryl Crow and more at a time when multiple female artists sharing a bill was extremely rare. This local rendition (Sept. 9, 7 p.m., at Eastwood’s Palace Theatre, 2384 James St.) will feature female singers, songwriters and musicians paying tribute to favorite Lilith Fair performers and showcasing their own original material. It will also benefit local Grammy-winning artist Joanne Shenandoah, and her need to cover medical costs. Admission is $17 in advance, $22 at the door and VIP tickets are $40. Tickets available at


Folkus Project. Dedicated to bringing acoustic and folk music to Central New York audiences, this non-profit organization, run by volunteers, brings old favorites and new up-and-comers to rooms full of listeners. The fall season includes The Easy Ramblers, Ana Egge, Harpeth Rising, The Acoustic Guitar Project Concert, Chris Smither and Cricket Tell the Weather. Shows happen twice a month on Friday nights. Visit

Nelson Odeon. This grange-hall-turned-music-room at 4035 Nelson Road, Cazenovia, is one of the best for listening audiences in Central New York. With the dedicated husband-wife team of Jeffrey and Linda Schoenfeld booking the seasons, the room attracts talent from near and far. This fall’s lineup features Robbie Fulks and John Cadley (Sept. 23), Cold Chocolate (Sept. 29), Woody Pines (Oct. 7), Stephane Wrembel (Oct. 20), The Wiyos (Dec. 2) and more bringing everything from singer-songwriters to gypsy jazz to life.

Westcott Theater. Formerly a movie house built in 1919, the 524 Westcott St. venue has been offering music since 2008. The theater has brought a depth of talent over the years, often showcasing talent early that later blossoms with major success. This season offers a range of musical talent that respects both fresh, new artists and seasoned veterans. Acts will include Tauk (Sept. 16), the David Bromberg Quintet (Sept. 24), Mike Gordon (Sept. 29), Melvin Seals and JGB (Oct. 12), Jimkata (Oct. 21), The Main Squeeze (Oct. 18) and Driftwood (Nov. 3).

Ladies Night. Formerly known as Respect, this Nov. 11 show at the Palace Theatre also presents some of the most dynamic and fierce women in the Central New York music scene. This year’s concert will “flip the switch” on popular tunes, as iconic songs from rock, pop, country and soul, all originally performed and recorded by men, will be taken over by artists including Robyn Stockdale, Carolyn Kelly, Lisa Romano, Ashley Cox, Peg Newell and more. Advance tickets are $20, and available at

Auburn Public Theater. This multifaceted performance space a 8 Exchange St., Auburn, welcomes events of all kinds spanning theater to music to comedy. It serves as a social and cultural hub for Auburn, a city that has been growing as a prime destination for arts and entertainment. This season’s lineup features Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb (Sept. 27), Leo Kottke (Oct. 4), Aztec Two-Step (Oct. 21), Joanne Shenandoah (Nov. 3), Professor Louie and the Crowmatix (Nov. 4), George Winston (Nov. 19) and Livingston Taylor (Feb. 3).

State Theatre. Although it’s a little drive from Syracuse, this classy Ithaca venue at 107 W. State St. is worth the mileage. With a schedule that regularly spotlights some of the most innovative and relevant players in music, this 1,609-seat room built in 1915 has both history and quality. Acts this fall include Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes (Sept. 12), Dawes (Sept. 19), Dinosaur Jr. (Sept. 30), Ray LaMontagne (Oct. 14), Amos Lee (Oct. 29), Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman (Nov. 11) and more.

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