T his week in New Haven begins with the jamming Alpaca Gnomes and ends with the klezmer band Nu Haven Kapelye, with jazz and punk and symphonies in between. There’s a high school youthsummit and a couple of libraries educating us about Muslim traditions. Commencement concerts signal the college year is drawing to a close, while the summer band tours are revving up. It’s a wonderful intersection of enlightenment and entertainment in the Elm City.
Monday, May 13
Two Bridgeport-based bands, the jazzy jam outfit Father Time and the eclectic Alpaca Gnomes, plug into Stella Blues (204 Crown Street, New Haven; 203-752-9764) tonight starting around 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 14
There is some art which you might not want to have explained to you. Edwin Austin Abbey’s historical paintings are so rich and dramatic, however, that you crave insights and details spotted by others. Helen Cooper, the Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at Yale University Art Gallery, crosses Chapel Street (and an ocean) to the Yale Center for British Art, where she’ll discuss Abbey’s painting “Columbus in the New World” (pictured above) for the YCBA’s Art in Context series. 12:30 p.m., 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Free.
Wednesday, May 15
Nick DiMaria, who spent his youth playing trumpet with the lively ska band The Flaming Tsunamis, has matured into leading his own jazz combo. The New Haven resident also writes his own music and teaches. The Nick DiMaria Quartet performs tonight at 8 p.m. at Best Video (1842 Whitney Avenue, Hamden; 203-287-9286). $5.
Thursday, May 16
A benefit at Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave., New Haven) for the Working Lands Alliance is meant to draw attention to Connecticut’s dwindling amount of “productive farmland.” A featured attraction at the dinnertime event, 5:30-7:30 p.m., is the celebrated Big Green Pizza Truck. $25, $10 children.
Friday, May 17
Commencement concerts commence tonight at Yale with the Yale Symphony Orchestra playing Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Beethoven’s fifth symphony and Muggorsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” for its last show of the semester at 6 p.m. in Battell Chapel (corner of College and Elm streets, New Haven). It’s a free show, no tickets required.
Another commencement concert comes courtesy of the Yale Glee Club, at 8 p.m. Saturday at Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College Street, New Haven; 203-432-4136). Tickets to that one are $12 for the general public and $10 for students.
Saturday, May 18
The Citywide Youth Coalition is holding a Youth Summit from noon to 6 p.m. at Career High School (140 Legion Ave., New Haven). It’s a great time for such a gathering, with the city picking a new mayor and superintendent of schools this year, and talk of student representation on the Board of Education. The event isn’t just about issues affecting youth, however (slogan: “Life is What You[th] Make It!”). There’s free food, live entertainment, a talent show and other activities.
Two libraries—the New Haven public one and the one at Southern Connecticut State University—get together for a presentation using materials given to SCSU’s Buley Library through an American Library Association/National Endowment for the Humanities grant named “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys.” A 2 p.m. presentation at the main NHFPL (133 Elm Street, New Haven) features a screening of the film Prince Among Slaves and a discussion with Imam Saiffuddin Hassaan.
The modern punk band New Found Glory found their greatest glory 10 years ago with their album Sticks and Stones. The band has mounted an anniversary tour and is performing the album, including hits “My Friends Over You” and “Head On Collision,” in its entirety tonight at Toad’s Place (300 York Street, New Haven; 203-624-TOAD). Cartel and Living With Lions are also playing. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $23 ($19 in advance).
Sunday, May 19
The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven is an ideal venue for the Nu Haven Kapelye, “Southern New England’s largest group of Klezmer musicians.” The band fiddles and strums and stomps through Yiddish music from throughout Eastern Europe in a special free afternoon concert, which starts at 4 p.m. at the JCC (360 Amity Road, Woodbridge).
Written by Christopher Arnott.