A s the 2014 International Festival of Arts & Ideas hits full stride this week, it’s only right that spectacle should abound. Between a classical music quartet popping up around the city, a quarry site turned into a magical multimedia arts project, an unusually large mass of food trucks and a couple of community gatherings around world-class musical performers, seeing is believing this week in New Haven.
Monday, June 16
In conjunction with Arts & Ideas, Music Haven’s outrageously good Haven String Quartet is making nine—nine!—stops around town this week on its rustic mobile stage known as the String Quartet Truck. Today alone, Yaira Matyakubova (violin), Gregory Tompkins (violin), Colin Benn (viola) and Philip Boulanger (cello) are scheduled to perform at 12:30 p.m. on Cedar Street between Congress and York; at 2 p.m. near the northwest corner of York and Chapel Streets; and 3:30 at Scantlebury Park, off Ashmun Street just north of the Grove Street Cemetery. All performances today and the rest of the week are expected to last about 45 minutes. Free.
Tuesday, June 17
Tonight through June 29, Long Wharf Theatre’s Stage II provides a home for the traveling troupe Split Knuckle Theatre, whose members cut their teeth at the London International School of Performing Arts. Through their “funny, physical and moving” original play Endurance, Split Knuckle presents a vision of two places even more disparate than New Haven and London, using “desks, chairs and filing cabinets” set in an insurance office in Hartford to conjure the “ice, snow and mountains” of Antarctica. $39.50. 222 Sargent Dr, New Haven. (203) 787-4282.
Wednesday, June 18
CitySeed’s downtown farmers’ market reopens for its second season on the New Haven Green today. The market’s hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday through October 29, and if the variety of vendors is similar to last summer’s, expect prepared foods in addition to lots of fresh locally farmed produce.
The New Haven Museum’s Pardee-Morris House (325 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven) commences its outdoor Twilight Concert series with a performance by the Asberry Boys, four brothers aged 18-23 who aren’t actually Asberrys. They’re Taubls—Jack, Sam, James and Jeremiah—lifelong musicians reared Partridge Family-style by their maestro mom Carol Taubl, who runs the local charitable music ensemble SOUND Affect. Starting at 7 p.m. tonight (the grounds open at 6), expect the Boys to harmonize enviably well over a mix of classical and contemporary string instrumentation, performing stylized versions of popular songs in addition to original tunes. Free; donations accepted.
Thursday, June 19
Projects for a New Millennium, a.k.a. Projects2K, likes to project light, which it often does in pursuit of a mission to meld “art and science as a means of discovery and appreciation for the natural world.” Starting tonight, the group’s latest installation, Terra Tractus: The Earth Moves, promises to turn Branford’s Stony Creek Quarry into an awesome spectacle of “lasers, dance, drums, music, lighting, sculpture, water, fire, science, technology, climbers, shadows and projections.” Regularly priced single adult tickets are $35, with discounts available for students, seniors and groups. Attendees during the eight-show run—with performances tonight, tomorrow, June 22 and June 25-29—should plan to park at Walsh Intermediate School (185 Damascus Rd, Branford); from there, a shuttle carries people to the quarry between 6 p.m. (when the grounds open) and 8:15 p.m. (when the show starts). Tickets and an extensive list of FAQs are available here.
Friday, June 20
The second annual Hamden Food Truck Festival is just what it sounds like. More than 25 wide-ranging vendors, including New Haven-frequenting favorites like Caseus, Fryborg, Soup Girl and Sugar, gather at Hamden Town Center Park (with parking nearby at 2901 Dixwell Ave) from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Comers are encouraged to bring blankets and appetites. Free to attend.
Saturday, June 21
The International Festival of Arts and Ideas’s grand tradition of free tentpole concerts on the green (amid everything else it’s got going on) continues tonight with Dianne Reeves, “among the pre-eminent jazz vocalists in the world,” who will have a tremendous backing band: the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William Boughton. Reeves’s timeless vocal stylings will have to time-travel quite a bit, with a set list that includes songs by Duke Ellington, Stevie Nicks, Bob Marley and Gen-Y prodigy Esperanza Spalding. 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 22
Last Sunday, Cry You One and headliner Martha Redbone Roots Project (pictured above from afar) served up heritage strains of country music. Tonight on the same stage, young Brandy Clark from Nashville adjusts the dial closer to pop-country, but not all the way; her voice is full and round and twanging enough, but the arrangements are more subtle, marked by thoughtful lyrics and interesting calls-and-answers between voice and instruments. Opening act Bronze Radio Return, formed in Hartford, has discernible country and pop elements, too, but with a big dash of indie rock and not a trace of pickup-truck-worshipping or rodeo-hopping.
Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.