ITHACA — Cornell University’s School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions will host the 2019 Cornell’s Free Summer Events Series, which runs on campus locations at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from June 28 through Aug. 3.
Internationally renowned drummer Paa Kow from Ghana will perform June 28 on the Cornell Arts Quad, following his performance at the Rochester International Jazz Festival. Other highlights include a performance in Sage Chapel by New York City’s Aeolus Quartet as part of a week-long celebration of the 50th anniversary on the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 16, and crowd favorites such as The Blind Spots on July 5, Richie Stearns at Klarman Hall on July 9 and The Mosaic Foundation on Aug. 2.
Wednesday lecturers include nationally syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson, aka “Ask Amy” on July 10 and Andrew Chaikin, author of “A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts,” which was made into an award-winning HBO miniseries starring Tom Hanks, on July 17.
Cornell Dairy will be on the Arts Quad selling ice cream, mango sorbet and bottled water during the outdoor Friday performances. Outdoor concerts are family-friendly and concert-goers may take picnics, blankets and lawn chairs. In case of thunderstorms or heavy rain in the forecast, outdoor concerts will be moved indoors to Klarman Hall and will be announced on FaceBook (@CornellSCE).
For more information on all the free summer offerings, parking and more, visit www.sce.cornell.edu/ss/about/events/index.php or @CornellSCE on FaceBook.
— Paa Kow, Friday, June 28, Cornell University Arts Quad
Dubbed “Ghana’s most artistic drummer” (Modern Ghana), Ghana-born drummer and composer, Paa Kow, (pronounced Pah-Ko) blends rhythm and artistry from his home with jazz and African roots creating his own Afro-Fusion sound. Touring internationally with his custom Ghanaian drum set and his Afro-Fusion Orchestra, Paa Kow brings concert goers an extraordinary musical experience filled with deep grooves and incredible beats. Paa Kow has shared stages with many African and American luminaries including Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede and Victor Wooten.
— The Blind Spots, Friday, July 5, Cornell University Arts Quad
The Blind Spots return to Ithaca this summer following a national tour supporting their fourth studio album, “Talk.” The tenured, five-piece moxy-rock band steered by the magnetic Maddy Walsh (think Heart, think Adele, Blondie, and Joan Jett all rolled into one) are sure to bring a high-energy performance to Cornell’s Summer Event Series with original tunes and an incessant penchant for fun. The Blind Spots have shared bills with Lake Street Dive, Silversun Pickups, Valerie June, Amy Helm, Rubblebucket, Donna the Buffalo, Sharon Jones, The Punch Brothers, and many others.
— Richie Stearns & the Finger Lakes Old-Time All-Stars, Tuesday, July 9, Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium at Klarman Hall
Banjo player Richie Stearns of The Horse Flies fame and the old-time music duo Ritchie and Rosie, has performed and recorded around the world with Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Natalie Merchant, Wilco, and many others. With the Finger Lakes Old-Time All-Stars, Ritchie brings along Aaron Lipp on stand-up bass and other guests to perform fresh and spirited Americana, old-time, and folk brimming with soul.
— Ask Amy: Answers!, Wednesday, July 10, Kennedy Hall
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson distills the life lessons she has accumulated in almost 20 years of giving advice to a national audience. Amy will also have copies of her memoir, “Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things” available for sale and signing after her talk.
— Road Man, Friday, July 12, Cornell University Arts Quad
A former child piano prodigy, singer-songwriter Jon Petronzio blossomed into a virtuoso musician highly regarded in the jam band scene. Touring and recording with roots music innovators John Brown’s Body, Petronzio has shared the stage with Sublime, Groundation, Freddy McGregor, Galactic, SOJA, the Easy Star All-Stars, and many others. On a break from extensive touring, Petronzio jumped at the chance to pursue a solo project: Road Man. In this current incarnation, Road Man and his talented band of musicians present an invigorating and body-moving mix of funk, blues, and reggae driven by Petronzio’s awesome keys and soulful voice.”
— Aeolus Quartet presents ‘Mysterium’ Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, Tuesday, July 16, Sage Chapel
New York City’s acclaimed Aeolus Quartet presents a very special program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the mission that put humankind on the moon and Cornell’s ties to space exploration. Mysterium will feature Oswaldo Golijov’s Tenebrae, which was inspired by the “Pale Blue Dot” photo taken by Voyager 1 of the Earth and the basis of Carl Sagan’s book of the same name. Aeolus Quartet consists of violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Caitlin Lynch, and cellist Alan Richardson. Since its inception, the all-American quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States and performed across the globe. They were the 2013-15 Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, and they make their home in New York City.
— Lecture: Andrew Chaikin, author of “A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts,” Wednesday, July 17, Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall
Award-winning journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin brings the Apollo 11 mission back to life with stories about his one-on-one interviews with the first men on the moon: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins. He’ll also provide historical insights to this incredible mission on its 50th anniversary. Chaikin’s “A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts,” is an acclaimed portrait of heroism and ingenuity leading to one of the greatest triumphs in human history. Based on in-depth interviews with 23 of the 24 moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving, the book conveys every aspect of the Apollo missions with breathtaking immediacy and stunning detail. The Apollo astronauts themselves have called it the definitive account of their missions. The book was also the main basis for the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, “From the Earth to the Moon,” starring Tom Hanks. Chaikin has authored books and articles about space exploration and astronomy for more than three decades.
— Arthur B. and the Planetary Mix, Friday, July 19, Cornell Arts Quad
Celestial grooves for the celebration of life is how Arthur B and The Planetary Mix describes their classic R&B influenced sound. Silky rhythms supplied by vocalist and guitarist Arthur B and soulful harmonies from Jessie Baldassari, Angie Beeler (locals may know her best from Miss Angie’s Music), and Karen Wyatte meld into a smooth, sunshine sound that will make you want to snap and sway. The band’s live performances have been described as “A rare treat” and “Pure soul healing.”
— John White Jazz Quintet: An Evening of Latin Jazz, Tuesday, July 23, Klarman Hall
Celebrated pianist John White of Ithaca College brings along four other gifted musicians, who all happen to be music educators in the Finger Lakes region, for an evening of Latin jazz. Paul Merrill (Cornell University) plays trumpet, Mike Carbone (Binghamton University) on sax and flute, Peter Chwazik (Cornell University, Ithaca College) on bass, and Tom Killian (Ithaca College and Elmira) on drums.
— Lecture: Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Wednesday, July 24, Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall
David Faulkner, with Cornell’s Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines and English, presents a lecture free and open to the public.
— The Caribe Jazz All-Stars, Friday, July 26, Cornell University Arts Quad
Come out for a free Latin dance party on the Arts Quad with Jorge T. Cuevas and the Caribe Jazz All-Stars. Featuring some of the region’s best jazz musicians, the All-Stars play an irresistible mix of originals and jazz standards in the styles of salsa, cha cha, bolero, samba, and merengue.
— Arise & Go, Tuesday, July 30, Klarman Hall
Celtic trio Arise & Go brings stunning musical precision and energy to every show. Members Ellie Goud, Michael Roddy, and Tim Ball use a diverse range of Celtic sounds to perform traditional melodies, instrumentals, and fresh new arrangements of favorite compositions.
— Lecture: Human Gene-Editing Moves Out of the Laboratory and into Human Testing, Wednesday, July 31, Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall
Ailong Ke, professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, presents a free, public lecture about the growing promise of gene therapies based on RNA research on bacteria.
— Mosaic Foundation, Friday, Aug. 2, Cornell Arts Quad
Mosaic Foundation performs forward thinking reggae that stays true to the roots. The band has grown a loyal following, thanks to electric live performances and four studio releases. Mosaic pushes reggae to the limits and sometimes spills over with a dynamic blend of roots, ska, dub, dance-hall, and beyond. Their rhythms inspire dancing in the moment fueled by songs that encourage positivity, living in harmony with the planet, and community. Mosaic Foundation has opened for world renowned reggae artists Toots and the Maytals, Lee “Stratch” Perry, Rebelution, Passafire, and local favorites like John Brown’s Body and Thousands of One.